Monday, December 24, 2012

A Day in Reykjavik

Well I've just spent my first day in Reykjavik, Iceland. We had some initial drama with the flights over here. A connecting flight from Charlotte to DC was delayed, and long story short resulted in a mass of people jogging to the last flight into Iceland before Icelandair shut down for four days for Christmas. Our luggage arriving with us was also a huge maybe, which would have resulted in us having none of our things for four days, which would have really sucked. Anyway, we are here now with luggage and all's well that ends well.

I couldn't get a ton of hours of sleep in during all of these flights, so it's been a long day. It sounds like the city effectively shuts down for Christmas and is only half open Christmas Eve, so our first mission was to get some groceries. I love a foreign grocery store so much.

This looked like a bag of pickled quail eggs. One different quality of this place was the refrigerated section was an entire room. No lines of refrigerated doors like in the States. It was pretty darn cold in there. We walked through fast.

I have read a decent amount about Icelandic cuisine and I recognized a couple little things that looked good.

LaufabrauĂ° (leaf bread) is a traditional Christmas time food. They are like big fried crackers with patterns in them. We've eaten quite a few already. I guess families will roll these out, cut patterns, and then fry them themselves. Pretty fancy.

They taste good with cheese.

HarĂ°fiskur (hard fish) is pretty much fish jerky. This was another food I knew to look out for ahead of time. I think it's pretty good, but Lydia hates it. Our bus driver/tour guide said he liked me because I had just arrived and was already trying the local food. In Japan this is like something you'd put on a child's birthday cake instead of vanilla frosting. Remember when I had to eat pregnant fish at school lunch? For one of my going away parties I was served fried eel spines with the head still attached. Whatchu know about seafood Iceland?

Lydia wants to love fish jerky. The bus driver suggested that we try it with butter. Challenge accepted.

Well after the grocery store and a badly needed nap we took a bus tour of the area.




The important Reykjavik Summit between Reagan and Gorbachev was held here.


This is where the prime minister's office is. I think it is incredibly awesome how accessible the national government seems to be here. I saw in some tourism ad that the prime minister's phone number is in the phone book.


This is how I feel in the morning before work sometimes.


We ended the day doing some window shopping despite everything being closed.

The last couple days of our time here we are going to rent a car and hit the road. Traffic seems to be civil, but the road rules and signs worry me a bit. For example, what the heck does this mean? Don't drive 30? How about 31? I'm definitely going to need to take a peek at a manual.

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