Adventures in Iceland – Around Reykjavik

Alas, this will be the last post I will be writing about Iceland.  In case you are joining late, you can view the entire saga here.

In the afternoon, post volcano adventure, I specifically planned nothing so that I could tour around the city and do some shopping.  I ended up getting frustrated with the cost of souvenirs ($3 for a postcard?!) and came home with a tattoo instead.  I still look down at my wrist and smile thinking about the wonderful time I had with great friends, horses and landscapes.

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Reykjavik is really such a beautiful city, the air feels clean, the artwork and homes are eclectic, and it is incredibly quiet.  A city that really works for me!

The view you can expect to see down any street.
The view you can expect to see down any street.
Bizarre moment: finding a line 50 people long for Dunkin Donuts.  What?!
Bizarre moment: finding a line 50 people long for Dunkin Donuts. What?!

I was determined to eat more fish while I was in Iceland, and this seemed to be my last opportunity to do so.  Feeling a bit better with some more appetite, I wandered into “Fish & More”  BINGO!  I had remembered some of the women in our group raving about how good it was, and the prices were comparatively low.  I got some sort of mystery platter (so long as it isnt sea bugs, I figure you cant go wrong with any type of fish)

Good portions, absolutely delicious.
Good portions, absolutely delicious.

Some more wandering followed before I went back to my hostel where some of the other riders were to meet me for drinks.  I stayed at Kex hostel, which was very trendy – seriously hipster central!  The decor was really cool, but its real draw for me (beyond the waterfront location) was their gastro-pub with a vast selection of craft beer (some I understood was brewed in house).  I grabbed a stout and was in heaven.

Unfortunately, it could not be a late night and we said our final goodbyes after a few short drinks.  I was due to fly out early morning.  Now, usually I hold my liquor much better, at the very least I didn’t feel impaired, however it appears I miscalculated my wake up time.  I hadn’t adjusted my phones clock to the new time zone, I just kept making my alarms the EST equivalent, and felt nice and smart about it.  The next morning, I felt like a total idiot: waking up, looking at the clock, smirking that I had an hour and 8 minutes before I had to go.  Oh wait, thats only 8 minutes before I have to catch my bus!

I am not sure I have ever done anything so fast – flying off my second story bunk, cramming my stuff into bags, and running to check out in my PJs.  Iceland… you almost got to keep me!

Long story short, I got home and entertained a few hotel clerks and patrons with my nervous jigging.

So I suppose I should do a bit of a summary of things I noticed about my trip.  Here are 10 interesting tidbits that may not have come out in my daily writings.

  1. We didn’t use saddle pads at all.  Nor were the horses ever groomed.  You might think that was a tack cleaning nightmare, but somehow the horses would go for a roll and end up cleaner than they started.  The magic of Iceland!
  2. Everything is expensive – ok you probably got that, but don’t let it deter you.  Save your cash for day trips, if you go to Iceland to spend a week shopping, you will be sorely disappointed anyway.  Bottom line, get outdoors!
  3. It is not illegal to eat whale in Iceland.  One of the few places left in the world.  If that sort of thing is on your bucket list… I did try it, I wasn’t won over.  Sort of tasted like a fishy steak.
  4. They also eat horse in Iceland.  While it filled my criteria of “lived a good life”, I couldn’t bring myself to try it.
  5. I cannot pronounce a single Icelandic word.  And here I thought Mandarin was hard! Thank goodness everyone seems to speak English too.
  6. The horses were so hardy.  They would fight a lot within the herd, yet none of them seemed to have bite marks.  Either they have super tough skin, or they know how to bite just the right way.  And here my horse looks like Rambo just by walking through a low tree.
  7. The volcano erupting a few years ago seemed to boost tourism in all the right ways.  Funny, you would think it had the opposite effect, but instead it put it on everyone’s radar.
  8. The Icelandic Sheepdog is by far the cutest dog I have ever seen.
  9. Showering procedure is group – naked (based on gender).  Perhaps avoid visiting the pools with your parents.
  10. There are a million and one things to do.  I could go back every year for the rest of my life and find new excursions.  The ones I listed here are just a short sampling.
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