Thursday, June 4, 2015

Reykjavík, Iceland: Day 2

Sun Voyager
The Sun Voyager
Icelandic Opera House - reminds me of Rainbow Fish
laundromat bar
Pin this! Laundromat Cafe
me and mountains
hot dog
We ate so many hot dogs on our trip. I even brought some of their special mustard back with me. 
Our second full day in Reykjavík begins with a wonderful breakfast buffet at KEX Hostel. I have fallen in love with Scandinavian breakfasts of hearty, grainy breads topped with pate, soft cheese, cured meats and sliced bell pepper. Icelanders love bell peppers and "paprika" is a common flavor for chips and other junk food there too.
After our viking breakfast, we walk around some residential areas and play around in this totally unsafe, but very cool playground make of old ship yard trash. Vern unsuccessfully attempts to "steal"/ride some kid's scooter.
We go back to the church on top the hill, Hallgrímskirkja, and pay to go to the tippy top to see the whole city. Again the colors, so cheery. We head to a little cafe across the street for some spiked hot chocolate and wifi. Everywhere in Iceland has free wifi and accepts credit cards - even at the edge of civilization.
Vern's and my friendship is one heavily centered around food, so we were very strategic during our trip to space out meals and snacks and drinks so that we were always ready to indulge. Timing is everything and we had a lot of food to fit in. We stop to get a famous Icelandic hot dog for a late afternoon snack. Baejarins Beztu Pylsur is the place to go (although all hot dogs in Iceland are very very good). People don't believe me when I say it is one of their national treasures. Something about the crispy onions and the unique caramelized mustard and remoulade (ketchup too, of course).... Sorry Chicago, Iceland wins at hot dogs.
How do you kill time between snack and dinner? Drinks! Laundromat Cafe specifically, which is exactly what you think it is. Super kitschy and colorful. Einstök Icelandic White Ale was a favorite beer of mine throughout the trip.
Once we worked up an appetite for dinner we planted ourselves at the bar at Íslenski Barinn and treated ourselves. Our bartenders were so amazing and funny, we all were friends by the end of the night. We had a little sampler of Icelandic delicacies like smoked puffin with blueberry sauce (not the cereal), grilled whale steak (yumm, but also sad?) and the abominable fermented sand shark (just to say we tried it). Vern thought it just tasted like old cheese, I couldn't stop smelling it all night when people ordered it. They literally serve it in a sealed jar, it smells that bad. We drank some special cocktails and ordered fish and chips later in the evening. When we asked what the fries were like, the bartender said, "waffle fries, you know, like Chick-fil-a."
We were at the bar until close, still in our same stools. Met some interesting people.
Of course we decide to get some late night/early morning pizza and it starts to snow. Sort of magical though. All I know is we didn't get very much sleep, but we successfully experienced Reykjavík night life.  
white church
inside the church
view from top of Hallgrímskirkja
woman cat hill mural
SKYR!! All the flavors of Icelandic yogurt you could want, although they technically categorize it as a cheese. Creamy, sweet and lacks the sourness of normal yogurt. 
lots of construction
laundromat bar
vern playground
objects found in the kid's playground, that sh*t would never fly in America
boat opera opera
I made it. 
vern walk Sun Voyager
laundromat bar
maps at the Laundromat Cafe

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