I got most everything packed yesterday, but we needed to check the weight again. We did a little moving around and got all three bags under 23 kilograms. We are probably up to 60 pounds of beer now.
We cleaned up everything at the apartment and left for the airport. On the way we stopped for gas and I took a couple of photos of our dirty car. It is a little bit cleaner than it was at one point. Might have been the trip through the river. Did I say that? We didn’t drive through any water with the rental car.
We then went to turn in our car at Sixt. They were the really busy again but could be because they are the cheapest place to rent a car. So if you want a cheap rental be prepared to wait a couple hours. Our car was the dirtiest one that was turned in. I guess the people didn’t have as much fun as us.
Now time to catch the shuttle to the airport. There was some interesting art outside the airport.
When we went to check in I told them that we had paid for a bag in London and they told us that it was paid all the way through. She wanted to see my receipt which luckily I had on my email. Glad I don’t get rid of that stuff until the trip is all over. We loaded our luggage on the weighing belt and we had 1.4 kilos to spare. Yeah! We passed the weight allowed.
Then off through security where I managed to set the bells off as normal. After getting patted down and having the wand run over my body, to bad it wasn’t a guy doing the patting down, I was let through.
We picked up some licorice in the duty free. I was going to get some whiskey made in Iceland and smoked in sheep dung but thought $89 was a little much.
We found a place to sit and had a sandwich I had packed. Now we are waiting to see what gate we go to. Then we will be off to Anchorage and our own bed for the night.
We decided to just hang out in Reykjavik today because we hadn’t really checked the town or the breweries out yet.
Our first stop was the Bryggjan Brugghus Bistro & Brewery. We met Arturo Santoni a Brewmaster from Argentina who gave us a tour of the most beautiful brewery we’ve ever seen. We then enjoyed a flight of the their beers which we really enjoyed. Sorry guys we couldn’t bring any back because the liquor store we stopped out didn’t carry any. We will check at duty free on our way out though. Arturo even gave us a sample of his red ale with cherries and coriander. That was our favorite. When we told him that he gave me a cap.
To Fred I think these people started with a little more than 5000 pounds since they have only been open for two years.
Then we looked at some of the boats and the ducks with one duckling in the harbor.
We then stopped at the Sun Voyager to take a couple of photos.
Then we were off to meet Alyson Hartwig the brewer at RVK Brewing Company. Alyson is an American from Colorado. They are not open to the public yet but if you contact them you can go for a tour. We really enjoyed her beers. I think she will really make a name for this place in the future, so be watching for her.
We did find some interesting buildings today.
We then went to eat at Le Bistro. We ate here our first night but couldn’t remember the name or where it was. At that time I had some wonderful mussels and David had a very nice lamb shank. They had an Icelandic sampler that we wanted to try. We had the goat’s cheese, carmalized onions and dried apricots baked in a filo pastry served with beetroot and a French vinaigrette. This was very nice. Then we had the Icelandic sampler which was black pudding made with lamb, pickled herring, smoked salmon, dried cod, smoked lamb, dark rye bread, rotten shark and a shot of Brennivin.
Kæstur hákarl or Rotten Shark is a national dish of Iceland consisting of a Greenland shark or other sleeper shark which has been cured with a particular fermentation process and hung to dry for four to five months. Kæstur hákarl has a strong ammonia-rich smell and fishy taste. Kæstur hákarl is readily available in Icelandic stores and is eaten year-round, but is also served as part of a þorramatur, a selection of traditional Icelandic food served at þorrablót in midwinter.
I was also told that the reason the shark has to fermented is because it is full of toxins. The ammonia smell is because it looses its urine through its skin. The closer the skin the worse the smell. We didn’t think it was as bad as everyone said but the waitress told us this is because it was not from close to the skin.
We highly recommend this restaurant if you ever get to Iceland.
Our last day was a nice relaxing day. Now time to start getting packed for our trip back to Alaska.
This was going to be our last road trip of our vacation. I decided we needed to go to another geothermal bath. I knew I had read about one so I located it and marked our route on the map. This time I didn’t have to find back roads because that is what you had to take to get there. I packed us a lunch and had in may mind this nice private place to enjoy our last soak.
we took about a two hour drive down gravel roads some of which are called F roads, which weren’t as bad as some we have driven down in Alaska, not sure what the F stands for. You can imagine though we did have fun with it. We were saying things like I will drive down any F-ing road I want. We finally reached Fjallabak Nature Reserve where the hot bath is supposed to be that we are going to. Off we go to drive down another F-ing road.
Fjallabak Nature Reserve was established in 1979. The Nature reserve is 47.000 hectares and is over 500 meters above sea level. The land is mountainous, sculptured by volcanoes and geothermal activity, covered by lavas, sands, rivers and lakes.
I have to say that on our road trip so far we had only a couple of cars that passed us. Then we hit the top of a hill and around the corner there were several other cars stopped to take photos. We did the same and while we were there even more cars came and stopped. I am starting to thing these people had the same idea I had about getting away from the people and having a nice soak.
We made it too Landmannalaugar in the Highland. I was in for a big surprise when we got there. The place was packed. There were cars and buses all over the place. I was thinking it was a whole river that you could use but it was just a small spot where the hot water mixes with the cold.
Landmannalaugar (the people’s pools) is a geothermal paradise, replete with rainbow-colored rhyolite mountains and bubbling hot springs, where wispy plumes of steam rise off the volcanically heated waters. It has been a resting place for travelers for many centuries and Icelandic people have traditionally used it as a stop off point when they cross the highlands, which is where its name originates from.
This makes it sound so romantic. I wouldn’t call it that because to get the warm water you have to be in the area where the river runs into the small pond. This is the point that everyone gathers. It was a beautiful setting though.
When we got there the first thing I had to do was hit the toilet. It was becoming urgent. We got to the bathroom and we saw a sign that you have to get a day pass to use it. After paying our 500 Krona or $4.68 and getting our wrist bands I could have some relief. We enjoyed our picnic lunch outside at a picnic table, a first for us because we had been eating on the road. You could eat inside a clear plastic, covered area. We then noticed that if you wanted to shower after your soak you had to get a ticket to scan which was another 500 Krona. We decided we were going to go for that too, so our free soak cost us a total of 1000 Krona or $9.36. We changed and headed for the bath down the wooden walkway.
At the end of the walkway was a platform where you can leave your things while in the pool. Some of the people were changing out there, so if you want to save the 1000Krona you can do without the toilet and shower. We climbed down the few stairs to the water which was very clear, cold and had a gravel bottom. If you have tender feet like David you may want to wear water shoes. The water was about thigh deep. it is just a short walk to the where the warm water flows into the cold pool. We sat amongst the people who were from many different countries. We enjoyed listening to the many languages. As people leave you move closer to where the hot water pours into the cold. You can feel when the heat comes up from the ground because the stream will get hotter. I have to admit that the scenery is beautiful. This is not one of our favorite hot baths but it was unique and well worth going to.
Landmannalaugar (the people’s pools) is a geothermal paradise, replete with rainbow-colored rhyolite mountains and bubbling hot springs, where wispy plumes of steam rise off the volcanically heated waters. It has been a resting place for travelers for many centuries and Icelandic people have traditionally used it as a stop off point when they cross the highlands, which is where its name originates from.nt countries. It was fun listening to all the different languages. As people leave you move closer to the hot stream. We enjoyed it but we would not call it the best one we had ever been too. It was the cheapest though.
There were some beautiful flowers and some cute little birds in the creeks.
After our shower we headed home a different way. The way we came home was quicker but I could see why they recommend a 4X4. There were a couple of water crossings but nothing bad. I do imagine that in the spring it can get really bad. I now see why there are so many trucks with the big tires on them now. They must spend time in the highlands.
Road in Iceland
It started raining on us again on the way home. We got up in the clouds as we climbed over the mountains back to civilization. We stopped in Selfoss to get to get some supper and headed back to the apartment to call it a night.
Once again we are off on another road trip with our friends. We can’t wait to see where we go today.
Our first stop was at a lake.
Next we saw a lighthouse. Could we be going to the beach?
Yes it was the beach we were going to.
Then we started home and came across this amazing pipeline.
Of course we had to end the day with a couple of beers at the Micro Bar.
Then we went to the tapa bar where we just had a drink while our friends ate. We do have to watch our figure.
Brennivin is an Icelandic schnapps made from fermented potato pulp and flavoured with caraway seeds. The word brennivín literally translates into burning wine, and it certainly has a strong and distinct taste.
Well we called it a day then. Looking forward to tomorrow.
We decided to go look at the south coast of Iceland. Of course, we didn’t get to do the whole thing because of time. We headed out on this beautiful sunny day, our first, to find a nice sandy beach to walk on. We didn’t find any sandy beaches but we found volcanic beaches which were still just as amazing.
First stop before we even got into the car I wanted to get photos of these pretty flowers. I had been looking at them and today I took the time to smell the flowers.
Then off we went on our next road trip. If you haven’t notice we try to take all the back roads.
Our first stop was a nice lake. I had to take photos of some the hills that surrounded us because lines in the rocks are amazing.
We went looking for a lighthouse which meant driving down this old dirt road and never found it. What we did find though was well worth the trip because I had never seen so many sea birds nesting in the cliffs before. Iceland claim to have more birds nesting in their cliffs than anywhere else.
Off we went to find another lighthouse. This one we did find and a church, which are all over this country. Most of them seem to be built pretty much the same and a lot are on people’s farms. Also, I just could not get over how such tiny flowers can grow in all the lava rocks.
Our next stop was at the end point of the greatest lava flow on earth since the end of the last Ice Age.
Then we found another lighthouse and a road to the beach.
We saw all these white birds in a field, which we think are some kind of goose due to all the honking. I also finally got a couple photos of the Icelandic horses, which are the size of a pony.
We decided we should probably start heading back. So we stopped to take a picture of one last river flowing into the ocean and off we went home.
We of course found a road we had not been on yet. We were following along the bottom of Lake Pringvallavatn.
Before we hit the main road we found a dirt road we had not taken. As we rounded a bend we saw in the distance steam coming up from a valley. As we got closer we noticed it was a geothermal plant. It was pumping hot water down to the cities and towns. The pipeline was quite interesting compared to the one in Alaska that we are used to. We followed the pipeline most of the way back to town.
Road in Iceland
On our way back to town the traffic was the worst we had seen. Everyone must have had our idea and left town for the day or the weekend and were going home.
We decided to leave the car at the apartment and walk downtown to find something to eat. We came upon a huge screen showing the world cup and people were sitting or standing watching it. I guess they are really into soccer over here.
We then headed to the Micro Bar because we had met the manager at one of the breweries we visited. It was well worth the stop. They have 14 taps and had about 5 pages of fine print bottle beers.
We also made a new friend there named Tobias from Sweden. Hopefully, he will bring his family to Alaska some time. He did say it was on his bucket list.
Then off to dinner. I wanted to eat something truly Icelandic, Tobias recommended a tapa bar right by us. They had Icelandic food tapas, puffin, whale, lamb, lobster, blue ling, and char. Some of the food looked so good when it came to the table we started eating before I got a photo. Sorry about that. I do think that the food was probably a little more fancy than the normal Icelander would cook it but it was delicious.
After we ate we started our walk home. I took a photo of this building across the street because I just thought it was cute. Then along came a mother and her two kids crossing the street. They walked with us a way.
We stopped at a store because I still had not had any dried fish. I am wondering how it compares to our squaw candy. I will let you know when I have tried it.
There was this interesting van we kept walking by, so we decided to take some photos of it.
Another wonderful day in Iceland has come to an end now. Wonder what our adventures will bring tomorrow.