On Friday morning, Jarv and I woke up to the disturbing racket of a 4:30 AM alarm. Grunting and grumbling, we stumbled out of bed and into zombie mode, slipping on clothes haphazardly and waiting for our taxi to arrive to take us to the airport. For we were off to ICELAND! It was the first time for both of us and the anticipation was immense - we wanted to do it all in 3 short days. See the Northern lights, go to the Blue Lagoon, eat the best Icelandic food, hike up glaciers, drive snowmobiles, go horse-back riding, check out the infamous Iceland nightlife...obviously, there was no way we could squeeze all that into 3 (technically 2 and a half) days, but we did manage to do a LOT. It was non-stop, but every minute of it was extraordinary. Driving through the incredible country, turning up the music (Chvrches will forever remind me of that trip) and taking in the spectacular scenery reminded me of being 15 again, enjoying the warmth of the sun on my arms and not having a care in the world. Just for a bit.
So here we are, at day 1. Our flight was delayed due to fog in London (surprise, surprise...), so by the time we arrived in Reykjavik, our friends (who flew out a day earlier from New York) had already set off on a drive around the Golden Circle to take in some of the sights. We definitely didn't have time to complete even half of it that day, so decided to explore the capital instead.
Ughhhh, I love licorice and chocolate together! I've had the combo before, both times when friends brought treats back from Sweden and Finland, so I was very happy to see these in the airport upon landing.
It was around 3.30pm when we decided we were peckish and wanted to hunt down this hot dog stand. It's utterly bemusing to me that out of all the wonderful restaurants and top quality food we had, the most popular place to eat in all of Iceland is a hot dog at Baejarins Beztu Pylsur. Visited by the likes of Bill Clinton and Anthony Bourdain (!), we knew we had to give it a go. I love hot dogs.
I must be honest, I was underwhelmed. Perhaps the spectacular build up was destined for a let down (The Guardian claims it's the best hot dog stand in all of Europe!), but the bun was just an ordinary bun and the sausage may well have been your average store-bought sausage. I suppose it was more about the sauces - a mix of remoulade, ketchup, sweet mustard and delightfully crunchy, crispy onions. All in all, it was enjoyable, but I've had far better (in Switzerland). I will say that it's perfectly ideal for a cheap, tasty snack whilst running around the city.
I won't post photos of our brilliant 7 course dinner at the fantastic Kol restaurant, as the light quality was just so low and I'd left my camera at the hotel for the evening. I will, however, rave on about the bread. The bread! Everywhere we went in Iceland served amazing, fresh, thick, often seeded bread. In everyday life, I limit my bread intake hugely (I have IBS, which is a large reason for my healthy eating) to only two or three slices a week, if that. I definitely broke that rule in Iceland.