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Iceland

February 16th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

 

We wanted to go to somewhere that's a bit more road less traveled that's still within the Schegen area. February was the coldest month in Iceland (according to the Lonely Planet) but we thought less tourist might mean cheaper prices and places to see without the crowd.

Hallgrimskirkja

We opted to try our luck with AirBnb again as we wanted to stay in a residential neighborhood rather than a hotel. Especially, when I saw the Tron-ish church Hallgrimskirkja I really, really wanted to stay near there. We could have opted to stay at Hótel Leifur Eiríksson as it's literally across the Hallgrimskirkja and it was featured in the Simpsons (The Sage of Carl; more reference to that episode, later) but the offer in Airbnb was irresistible.
Reykjavik is pretty small for a capital city. I'd have a harder time navigating Quezon City but it is slightly larger and more vibrant than Naga.
From our apartment everything seems to be walking distance; the city centre is about a 15 minute walk and the harbor is about 20-ish at a leisurely pace.
Moving houses...quite literally

You can see this mobile crane far away.

Harpa

The Harpa, according to a walking student guide was built when Iceland was in financial meltdown. Talk about Keynesian economics, eh. The inside is impressive but I wish they had a bar on top or something. It is a concert hall but I did hope there was more variety to the things they catered for.

The Lobster Hut, according to my friend, is popular in  TripAdvisor. It was just opposite the Grey Line tour bus (which we didn't get a chance to use) and across the opera house. 
I tried the Lobster sub and it was good (too good, I didn't have time to take a picture) as it was quite tasty and not that filling. My friend had the Lobster soup which was in a coconut-curry base of some kind.
Continuing our food trip, we reluctantly tried fermented shark. Some people don't like it because it's rotten (shark meat is poisonous when eaten without curing) and some just don't like it in principle.
It's an Icelandic tradition so we had to try it.
Fermented Shark
The shark tasted of ammonia so had to wash it with Brennivin.
Shark. Shark fin soup. Hotdogs and Whale steak


The night we came on was, coincidentally, the start of the Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival. It started with a lights show on Hallgrimskirkja - a cool eight minute walk from our apartments.
They also had a snowboarding show in the city centre. So that was cool.
Note to self: Learn to snowboard and get a better camera
They had a picture of Clinton on a small hotdog stand in the city centre. There's always a line but the dogs were cheap and delicious.


A quick tipple before going  home.
Bars and clubs open until 4:30 in the morning but we had to skip that as we had a tour booked in the morning.

The Golden Circle tour starts

The Strokkur geyser
Apparently, the word geyser came from this place. So even though it wasn't as popular as the one in Yellowstone National Park (I'm basing this from pictures) it is still  pretty awesome.
A lot of the people stayed on the far side it was just myself on the other end. I didn't know why, I swear I didn't stink. Haha.


This cute couple got caught in the steam.


Further on we went to this awesome falls. It's called Gullfoss and it looked brilliant with all the snow - very Game of Thrones beyond the Northern Wall vibe.
Gulfoss
You know nothing Jon Snow, but if you read this you might learn a thing or two





Mid-Atlantic Ridge


My friend tried the lamb's head and best place to have it is at the bus stop. It's priced alright and that's where bus drivers go - so, locally approved?


The Blue Lagoon was a good experience. My camera would have conked out with all the steam and humidity so didn't take a lot of photos. I would have wanted to try an in water massage but time wass against me that afternoon.
Word of warning, I opted to rent a robe and a towel. They both got lost so I had to ask for replacements (they were lost twice).
The towels and the robe all look the same so some knobhead must have just taken the closest one they could find. My slippers on the other had I couldn't replace anymore.
To be fair, I mistakenly took someone's bath towel in the shower by mistake. How did I know? My friend pointed I had a light brown towel whereas my rented one was darker brown with Blue Lagoon logo on it.  My bad to whoever I pinched that towel from - I swear I didn't mean to.

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