Reykjavik, Iceland: Day One & Two

Jeff and I went to Reykjavik, Iceland for one week for a multitude of reasons. One is that there was an indoor ultimate tournament that we were told would be good. Another is that my wifey, Shannon, would be able to meet us there for the tournament. And the third reason was that apparently the Icelandic go nuts on New Year’s. So, we packed up our bags and went. It was such a great time, I decided to blog out of order (::gasp::) and write about it before writing about Berlin. I’m sorry Berlin. 
 
Reykjavik at night

Our first night in Reykjavik we went out with three swiss players who arrived at the hotel with us. We went to a restaurant called Tabasco’s that served Icelandic food and Mexican food. It was ridiculously windy and cold, so not much thought went into the restaurant beyond proximity to the hotel. Jeff and I ordered fajitas and minke whale, and the latter was marinaded in ginger and garlic. We were surprised that the whale didn’t taste more like fish, but realized that as a mammal, it probably wouldn’t. 

 
After dinner, the Swiss-ies went for a walk around the town, but Jeff and I were so cold we decided to head back to the hotel. We ended up going to bed pretty early, traveling always wears me out a bit. 
 
Reykjavik Harbor
The next day we had nothing to do besides eventually arriving at the the Viking hotel in Hafnarfjördur. I was getting antsy and wanted to wander around the city, but Jeff was complaining that it was too dark out even though it was 11am. Eventually I became very hungry and thus cranky. I eventually talked Jeff into leaving the apartment, where we were immediately ambushed by the cold and wind. We made our way to a cafe we had seen the night before. It was called the Laundromat Cafe and had a nice warm atmosphere with good food and drink. The bar is on top of bookshelves full of color-coded books, and the walls are plastered with maps and photos of laundromats all over the world. Downstairs near the bathroom are three laundry machines. 
 
Reykjavik Harbor
Reykjavik

After breakfast, which we ate and finished around 12:30, the sun finally came out. We wandered around the city, but I didn’t bring any gloves and Jeff had lost his scarf, so we went to some shops for replacements. In route we went to the harbor of the city and took pictures of the mountains while being blasted by frigid wind. From there, I made Jeff walk to the Hallgrímskirkja, a church on top of a hill.  While we were taking photos of the church, we ran into our German friend, Yvonne. After catching up a bit we went to the top of the tower and got an amazing view of the city.  

 
Hallgrímskirkja
Hallgrímskirkja
Hallgrímskirkja
Hallgrímskirkja started to be built in 1937 and was designed to represent the lava flows of the landscape. Construction wasn’t finished for 38 years, which explains how new the church looks. The statue in front of the church is of Leif Ericson, who is thought to be the first European to land in America. 
 
Reykjavik from the top of Hallgrímskirkja
Reykjavik from the top of Hallgrímskirkja
Reykjavik from the top of Hallgrímskirkja
From the church we went to a cafe and fed Jeff some more while Yvonne and I had a beer. Jeff fell asleep on the table while we were sitting there. It began to snow outside, and it was becoming dark, so we decided to grab our bags and go to Hafnarfjördur, which luckily Yvonne knew how to get to. 
 
 
Reykjavik by night
When we got to the hotel, we said hello to some British friends, and then went for a dip in the hot tub before dinner. We went to dinner at the restaurant combined with the hotel. It was very expensive and not very good at all. We had a lamb shank that was very dry and mediocre lobster and salad. The only thing that was tasty was the Icelandic skyr, which is a special thick and fluffy yogurt. They mix it with berry compote and ice cream for dessert and granola and honey for breakfast. During dinner we also had an Icelandic tradition, which was some fermented shark with vodka. I only smelt the shark, which was horrid, but later in the trip I did try it, and you’ll hear about it then. 
 
After dinner we went back to the hotel and played card games with a few people. We started with Egyptian Rat Screw, and then moved onto Spoons. Spoons was quite brutal, with a small amount of blood being spilt with people getting scratched while grabbing for spoons. Around midnight Jeff and I went to bed because the next day was Shannon day!

 

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