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Ship in port

Yesterday I sat outside on my doorstep with my morning coffee and Fréttablaðið, the free daily newspaper. My daughter Valentína and her friend Telma were coloring the sidewalk with chalk, and we were all chatting happily in the late morning sun.

After a while I realized the street was teeming with tourists who seemed to be regarding us with curiosity and interest. I think they thought our little tableau charming, quaint, as if they were getting a glimpse into the true behavior of the indiginous peoples of Iceland. I liked posing like that for them, giving something to smile about.

But why were there so many of them? We usually get a lot of traffic on Baldursgata, our street, because of Þrír Frakkar ('Three Frenchmen'), a popular and cozy seafood restaurant on the corner at Nonnagata. But this was way beyond average.

Later that day I talked to a taxi driver who told me that the largest cruise ship ever to have docked in Reykjavík was in port (not the ship pictured), and that thousands of day tourists had debarked to explore the city. He told me that it was, I think, the 69th ship to dock here this year! And every year the numbers are rising. The taxi driver had been hired for half the day to take a couple from the ship all around the Reykjanes peninsula, a 30,000 kronur trip which they paid for with ease. Cruise ships were, in his opinion, a very good thing!

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