Friday, March 21, 2014

ICELAND ((Day 3))

If you read any of my Italy recaps from the summer of 2012, you'll remember that I planned out our days from about 7 am to 7 pm because I didn't want to miss anything. This time around, not so much.  Reading the Lonely Planet Iceland book, I knew that this trip would have a much different pace. Truth be told, I actually forgot to plan one of the days so I told myself we would just take it easy and have an extra day to explore the city.  Let's just say Jake didn't argue. I would suspect that he enjoyed not having every day planned out from breakfast to nightcap.  We actually put together a quick list the night before of things we might want to do. Jake wanted to check out the University of Iceland since he is in professor mode. I wanted to walk around a frozen lake that we had driven by the day before. We wanted to go up to the top of the church and take in the magnificent view of Reykjavik. etc etc.... So we were able to come up with a bunch of ideas. 

We ended up checking out the University of Iceland in the morning which was kind of fun. It's amazing how colleges can be so different yet the same not matter where you are in the world. Then we stopped by the frozen lake in the city - it's called Tjornin. I have no idea how to pronounce it, but I like it. We saw some folks playing soccer on the frozen lake but we were too terrified to even step one foot on the ice. 

We randomly wandered into a random building with no english signs.

We had heard about a certain hotdog stand so we headed there around lunchtime and stood in line with several other tourists.  It's called Baejarins Beztu Pylsur and it was amazing. We decided that the secret is the sauces and the onions underneath the hotdog! Genius! 

I need to figure out what the sauce is made of. So good!

After our delicious lunch, we headed to the mall! Did we think that we were back in 'merica --  North Carolina? Haha.... We walked around the mall and mingled with the locals and even tried a juice bar called Joe & the Juice. Nothing too crazy... I bought a scarf that was apparently made in India. Oh well. I liked the print. Apparently Iceland has a pretty cool fashion scene - its the Scandinavian influences, I think. 

We headed back to our hotel and we decided that we needed to unwind so we took a trip to the spa. We got to wear special hotel robes and slippers and we tried the turkish bath but it was so humid and then we tried the sauna, which I didn't like either. So we just relaxed in the jacuzzi for a bit. 

After the spa, we walked to Hallgrimskirkja church but it was closed. So we just enjoyed the view from outside and planned to go back on Friday.

I made reservation a few weeks prior at a couple of restaurants we found on Trip Advisor.  That night we had reservations at a restaurant called Fredrik V (which is currently the #1 restaurant on TripAdvisor) -- and the menu is either a 3 or 5 course surprise meal, all dishes chosen by the chef. We decided on the 5 course complete with wine pairings! Every ingredient came from the island and our server carefully explained each dish, sometimes going into gory detail {for example, creme brûlée  that was made from the cow's colostrum that has to be frozen for over a month for humans to be able to eat it. Kind of cool but also kind of weird and scary.... but it was delicious so I guess I can't complain. There was a map of the island at our table where she pointed out where each item came from. There are also pictures of all the farmers and fishermen in the restaurant. We both really enjoyed the 3+ hour experience and that was our main event for the night. 

A few of our favorites: 

2nd course - duck egg & catfish (caught fresh that morning)

in between 3rd & 4th course: below is a creamy soup boiled in lobster shells for 25 hours. It was one of the most delicious things we tried!! 

A couple more shots of the city:

I swear. Those mountains never get old.  Tomorrow (Day 4) we head out on our 2 day road trip to the Southern Coast! Stay Tuned! 

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