Autumn in Reykjavík

It’s our last day in this wonderful city, and I am very sorry to leave it. This afternoon I took a break from packing and errands to take a walk downtown. Over the past week or so I have noticed that the leaves are changing color. As a Californian of three decades, I have never before lived in a place with a real fall season. It is so beautiful.

Dewy orange-red leaves

{as always, click on photos to enlarge, or mouse over for description/notes}

I cut through Hólavallagarður cemetery on my way to town. The place has undergone quite a transformation since my first visit there one month ago. Then it was all green and grey, and now it boasts every color from flaming red to deep purple.

Big tree with leaves in orange and red

Small burgundy berrylike growths on a plant with browning leaves

Big evergreen with a flaming-red shrub under it

Tiny pink flowers

Different tiny pink flowers

Drapey yellowing leaves

There is a little bit of an autumn in California, but it’s nothing like this.

Orange and golden leaves

Orange mushrooms

Leaves against the sky

Big brown round mushrooms

Mixed evergreens and autumn deciduous trees

On the north side of the cemetery I got a lovely sunny view of Hallgrímskirkja.

View of Hallgrímskirkja

I wonder what autumn will look like in Istanbul? We’ll be there on the 2nd.

Autumn cemetery

At any rate I can’t imagine anyplace ever having more kinds of berries than Iceland!!

Red berries, green leaves

Red berries on grey and black rocks

Red berries on a tree

Lichen-covered branches, bare of leaves but bearing dark-plum berries

After reaching downtown, I turned in a form, browsed an Icelandic design shop, donated a book to the library, and helped a group of tourists locate the art museum. That pleased me very much. Yesterday I helped a Canadian couple find Laugavegur, and showered them with recommendations along the way. And speaking of showers… I was going to go to the third-floor café at Eymundssons bookstore but it started raining, so I just ducked into Stofan Café and sat there for awhile, eating warm apple cake (the girl gave me two dollops of whipped cream this time… couldn’t let them go to waste, could I?) and listening to two young guys — a Londoner and an American from Seattle — talking about their dating experiences, Pride, and coming out to their parents. As I was doing this I sketched them and the inside of the café.

Sketch of the inside of Stofan cafe

Stofan cafe

When I finished my sketch an hour later, the rain had stopped. I walked the 1 km to the National Library to meet Erik, and then we crossed the street to go home for dinner.

In exactly twelve hours our plane will be taking off for London.