Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day 6: Akureyri

Today turned out to be a rest day for us; in the morning and early afternoon we hung around our guesthouse and the airport in Grimsey, waiting for our plane to show up; originally it had been scheduled to depart around 3 p.m., but yesterday we had been told to be at the airport by 1:30 p.m. (Our flight departed at 2:15 p.m.) Yesterday we did a lot more walking than we were used to, so we relaxed in our room, reading and taking catnaps. Fortunately, the flight back to Akureyri was just as short, and since the sun made an appearance as we were en route, we had some beautiful views.

We checked into our hotel and recovered before going to Mass at St. Peter's church. The church and Mass were interesting; a small church, it had 10 pews and a few chairs in the back that would have seated approximately 40 parishioners in total.

There was a basement from which the priest emerged wearing his vestments, and an upstairs as well, although I'm not sure what was up there. In a corner off to the side stood a wooden confessional was in the corner, and the baptismal font was fairly small and out of the way; I'm not sure if the wooden platform in which it was placed could be rolled or not.
We arrived 25 minutes early; the rosary was being said by the priest and two Carmelite nuns (of the Divine Heart of Jesus). The Belgians commandeered the priest before Mass began; we learned that apparently there are four nuns, but two of them were elsewhere, along with most of the rest of the congregation, which is largely Filipino. We were hoping to experience Mass in Icelandic), and except for the readings and responsorial psalm, which were read in English by one of the visiting Belgians who had been pushed into service before Mass began, the rest of Mass was indeed in Icelandic. Only Ed and I, and the four visiting Belgians, were at Mass when it began; six more parishioners (and a baby) arrived late, which I'm a bit glad about: There were 14 people at Mass.
After Mass we talked to the priest for a few minutes; he asked where we were from, and upon hearing that we lived in Utah, gave a surprised remark of something along the lines of, "Oh, where are all the Mormons are!" Apparently his brother, a cabinet maker, lives in Los Angeles; he's never visited the States - he's a bit afraid to, he said; it's such a big place.

After Mass we had dinner at Strikið, a top-floor restaurant that Ed had discovered in one of our guide books. When we got back to our hotel room we went about making plans for tomorrow, our last full day in Akureyri.

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