A few posts ago we talked about Iceland and our bucket list. The day has finally arrived to begin our trip!
And so the journey begins – at least it is a straight-through flight from Orlando. Yeah!!
Although not a short flight, after traveling to Shanghai, everything seems shorter. It is less than 7 hours, and as you can see below, an overnight flight.
And if you can read Icelandic…….their alphabet has 32 characters.
Once on-board, you’re given a unique bottle of water to truly get you immersed for your upcoming adventure.
Our flight path eventually took us over Greenland.
Although not a window seat, I got a shot of their mountain tops.
Getting to our apartment was a mult-transportational adventure. You start with a bus from the airport (40 miles away from Reykjavik), transfer to a smaller bus at their bus terminal, dropping you off at your requested bus stop (you need to know in advance), to walk to your abode.
The apartment is nice, small but everything we need.
First things first, a (power) nap. We both got some shut-eye on the plane, but didn’t want to crash during our food tour this afternoon, so the 1 1/2 hour snooze really did the trick.
Pretty much everything is within walking distance and our meeting spot was the Harpa Concert Hall and while my photo is quite boring, there are some amazing photos on the internet when it’s lighted in the evening. The outside is a honey-comb of glass panels.
Our tour guide, Marin started our walk, explaining we would be making 6 stops for this tour – wow, that’s a lot of stops & food. First stop was at Islenski Barinn with a bowl of lamb soup. It was just the thing for the chilly weather. Of course, having a glass of beer only helped the experience.
Next up was a deli, normally closed on Sundays but since our tour guide was a chef and knew the owners, a prepped cheese & meat platter was waiting for us. She went in through their restaurant and unlocked the door to their deli for our group to enter.
The platter was all locally sourced. The (3) cheeses were a gouda, soft-ripened type (kind of like brie) cheese, followed by a bleu cheese. The (3) meats were salt-cured lamb, salt-cured horse, ending with hot-smoked wild goose breast. She recommended a drop of raspberry champagne vinegarette with the goose, which truly made it more enticing. Eric, of course, had it plain.
Next food stop was Café Loki for a unique Icelandic variety of ice cream – rye bread ice cream.
Don’t scrunch up your nose, it was quite tasty. Barely, just barely can you taste the rye flavor. I’m not the biggest fan of rye bread and this was delicious. The whipped cream and chocolate syrup on top didn’t hurt.
There was an interesting mural along their back wall. My photos would have no chance of capturing it, luckily they gave a nifty flyer with the photo. The restaurant is a great location, right across from the iconic Lutheran church.
Now we switched back to a savory dish at Messinn Seafood Restaurant.
As the name indicates, this was a seafood stop. We had (L>R, clockwise) arctic char, mashed cod and two people had pre-ordered a vegetarian platter.
So far, I was game for everything and while my plate might not be over-flowing with food, I tasted everything we were served.
Our next stop would probably surprise most everyone, unless you’ve been doing some reading about food in Iceland. Hot dogs get a lot of attention, particularly this spot. That’s our tour guide, ordering our dogs. The traditional Icelandic ‘all the way’ is a dog with ketchup, remoulade, sweet brown mustard, fresh onions and (marvelous, very tasty & crunchy, little bits of heaven) fried onions.
You don’t see the onions in my photos, but they ‘make’ the dog. I was good with everything but the sweet brown mustard.
Yes, you eat outside and yes there was a line for this small street food outlet. A family in our tour group was renting a place in the background and they said the place was hopping at 4:00 a.m.
Our last and final stop was at Aptoek restaurant for dessert, served with coffee. The photo does not do it justice. There were fresh blueberries, passion fruit puree, berry compote and brownie crumbs.
Besides us, our tour group was comprised of 4 Floridians from South Florida, 5 ladies from Iowa, celebrating their friend’s 50h birthday and a couple from Australia. It was a fun group for the tour.
I’m closing this post with a photo from one of their icons, the Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik’s Lutheran Church.
Stay tuned, more to come!