We are finally off! Amid “mild” hangovers (damn you gin!) we finished up all the bits and pieces that needed doing and got out of the house in plenty of time to catch the train (but half an hour later than originally planned – we are such faffers!) AND get ourselves a nommy breakfast roll. Everything was going smoothly, until we were told we wouldn’t be sitting next to each other on the plane, boo! (P.S. Totes won the bag weigh – 12.6kg!) [Note to Self: Check in on-line for the Canada flight, I don’t want to sit on my own for 5 hours!] This did mean though that I could happily snooze for the entire flight without being guilted about not having conversation, so every cloud… Turns out I did miss some pretty cool infomercials, but what are you gonna do? I got to read some more of “The Age of Innocence,” it’s pretty good, full of old-fashioned scandal like going to a common person’s house for tea, oh my! Finally we arrived in Reykjavik and were off on the transport bus to our hotel. The city is ADORABLE – all the buildings are really cute and quirky and colourful, and it has a really super-chilled atmosphere. There are statues EVERYWHERE and the street art is AMAZING!!
On the way to the hotel we passed KiKi’s Queer Bar which was painted like a rainbow and is “the best place to go dancing,” so naturally it’s been bookmarked for Wednesday night.
Okay so it turns out that in Iceland and Scandanavian countries, a double room/bed is two mattresses pushed together on a double frame and each has it’s own duvet…it’s bloody genius I think, mainly because I can twist about as much as I please in my sleep and not get yelled at for stealing the duvet. 😀
We dropped our stuff off and headed out, only to find a wild C and F in the lobby! Having picked them up we headed off towards Hallgrimskirkja Church (I know, I know, how in the name of God am I supposed to pronounce that???). But FIRST…we stopped for food (naturally). At this stage you see, AJ and myself had literally only eaten that breakfast bap in the morning, so by 7pm we were pretty damn HANGRY and boy, ain’t NOBODY want to be around either of us when we’re hangry…
So food. We went to Loki’s Cafe and decided to try the flatbread (it’s kind of like slightly thick pitta bread with a weird taste that I can’t describe) [NOTE: no pictures of this, we forgot we owned cameras apparently…]. I got mine with smoked lamb and AJ got smoked trout (both excellent). Having eaten many doritos F wasn’t hungry and only had a diet coke, and C had a random Icelandic platter which included (get this) Bread Icecream – BREAD ICECREAM! It tasted DELICIOUS. Having paid, we suddenly remembered WE HAVE CAMERAS so naturally, I took mine out and started taking pictures of everything. Luckily enough, there’s plenty of scenic lovely things to photograph so I bothered relatively few people by shoving my camera in their faces. We wandered over to the church and for 800kr (~£4) took the elevator up to the very top of the bell tower, from which you could see pretty much the entire city. I spent the majority of my time messing with camera settings and taking photos of the scenery which AJ tried to take photos of me looking thoughtful/mysterious (total fail). C had his eyes shut in EVERY. SINGLE. PHOTO I took and we discovered the “joys” of AJ’s ultra-high resolution camera setting. All-in-all good fun.
From there we wandered down towards the docks passing more delightful street art and quirky shops and bars including “The English Pub,” “The American Bar,” and “The Dubliner” (I shit you not, these were their names). We ended up in a quirky dimly lit pub called “Haorra” [NOTE: this is how I pronounced it, but not how it was spelt – I can’t remember that :/] which was fully of really weird and awesome art including a wrapping paper-made dog head mounted on the wall.
Happy hour being from 5pm – 9pm we decided to sample the local brew – Viking: 2 pints for 1,400kr (~£7), and well worth it for that. It was in the toilets that I realised where the constant boiled egg smell was coming from – the water. The water in Reykjavik comes directly from the ground, pumped up by the geothermal power station. As such it contains a LOT of sulphur. Luckily the smell is only around when there’s water – it was gone when I dried my hands.
After that, it was goodbye to C and F and we headed down to the docks to have a look at the sights and (more importantly) to get LOBSTER SOUP (you don’t understand just how obsessed I’d become with having lobster soup after reading about it online).
It was FRICKIN DELISH as were the scallops and another Icelandic beer – Gull – all coming in at 4,800kr (~£24), which is cheap and cheerful here, and standard restaurant price back home, so it definitely lives up to it’s expensive reputation. After a wander back to the hotel during which we found more street art, we were shocked to realise that it was 23.15, as it was still REALLY bright outside (during the summer it never really gets dark, which is pretty cool). Thankfully the room’s blinds were excellent at shutting the light out so we could get some shut eye, but not before I had to get Tiger Balm rubbed on my arms which had SWELLED UP thanks to a too tight top and airplane pressure, plus already being injured from far too much arm exercising. Here’s hoping they go down tomorrow and are not as painful – I would so like to be able to straighten my arms without crying!
Tomorrow we’re off on the 2-day South coast and Glacier Expedition, I am SO excited to go and get some hiking/sight-seeing done!