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A Beautiful Skyline and Baby Seals

While we are having some rough times here, with wage and labor disputes, strikes, protests, issues of the constitutionality of some government decisions, including the management and ownership of our nation's resources (Iceland Review is always a good site for current affairs news in English) there's always time to stop and enjoy a good view.

This was from atop Arnarhóll on Friday evening, at around 10:30pm. It was a day
that felt like summer was finally, actually, arriving after a long, bleak winter. If you've been here, you might recognize the square tower of the Catholic church there at the bottom left (unfortunately, like so many others, this church has been plagued by charges of abuse, which my friend Paul at Grapevine wrote about in 2012.) In the bottom right corner is the mast of a ship in the old harbor, and just out of view stands the Harpa Concert Hall. This simple skyline will be changing soon, with the addition of more glass and steel, with ground having been broken for the building of a lux hotel right in front of the white building in the center of the shot (the local construction group Mannvít have a pretty sexy website with info in English on the project, to be developed by the US-based Carpenter & Company.) So let's hope they all do a nice job, so that the ultra-rich have a suitable place to stay while here (not a joke: they've been complaining, I've heard...) But no matter what pops up, it will never be able to compete with this kind of sky.

I'll finish up with a sad story with a happy ending: a good friend of mine inherited an island in the middle of the Þjórsá river down on the south coast. He found an abandoned baby seal, and, along with his wonderful dog Skuggi, took it by boat and so car to the Slakki petting zoo in Laugarás. I hope it settles in nicely, and can be reintroduced to the ocean healthy and happy. Here's a good article for a more detailed account : )

Also, I just ran across a photo on the Ljósmyndasafn Reykjavíkur (Reykjavík Museum of Photography's) facebook page from around 1915 that shows Arnarhóll and the turf house that stood pretty close to where I sat while taking my pic. 

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