Saturday, April 25, 2009

April 5 - Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon

Sunday and we made it to church. Well... not an english service, that's actually really hard to find. but we made it an Icelandic service in the beautiful Hallgrimur church. After that we cruised around to some museums. We saw the original Sagas written in Viking times chronically the exploits of Erik the Red and Leif Errikson. Many of them are still in Copenhagen, claimed by the Danish when they ruled over Iceland but a few have been returned. The Culture house had a good display of them as well as exhibits on Icelandic film and housing some of the Natural History Museum specimens.

Reykjavik - hot dogs!!, originally uploaded by girl from finito.
We wandered back to the Flea Market to get me an Icelandic sweater (ya!) and ate dinner at the famous Baedarius Beztu hot-dog stand. I don't really know what was on our hot-dogs what we guessed was: raw onions, cooked (crunchy) onions, ketchup, mayonnaise with pickles??? and gravy??? Despite the unknown condiments they were quite good! We had to eat early becasue we were off to the blue lagoon.

Blue Lagoon, originally uploaded by girl from finito.
The water really is blue, but amazingly it didn't smell terribly of sulphur (like the surrounding area did). we slathered the white silt on our faces (sorry no pictures!) and lounged around in the warm waters. when it started to get dark we hopped on the bus and headed back into Reykjavik.

Blue Lagoon, originally uploaded by girl from finito.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Kolaportið ......... ah the flea market in Reykjavík. seriously such a great time. imagine a large warehouse divided into to isles and many table/stalls and then add huge amounts of people swarming and trying on sweaters/hats/etc. it's a crazy mix from folks with established tables full of vinyl and band tees, handknit sweaters (lopapeysa), beautiful dishes, to artists selling their work, and many just clearing out their closet. oh and the fish market of course! where we bought the rotten shark and dried fish

what we came away with:
jewelery - directly from the artist - stunning lava and silver pieces
salt licorice (just a couple pieces as i bought a MASSIVE bag at the airport - i still have loads)
a sparkly topshop tank - barely worn
a cowl top (again a group of friends selling items from their closets)
willa almost bought a sweater dress - but ended up with a great sweater at another shop

Thursday, April 16, 2009

icelandic foods: love, like, and not so much

easter eggs that come with fortunes. love cool article here

Bæjarins beztu pylsur (translates to The best best hot dog in town) and yep pretty good! they had a huge amount of toppings: ketchup, sweet mustard, fried onions, raw onions and remolaði, a mayonnaise-based sauce with sweet relish (oh and gravy too i think!) somewhere between like and love

haroifiskur or hardfiskur wind dried fish you eat with butter. it is alright. made a pretty good lunch. although not a quick eat.... lots of chewing. like

Hákari or kæstur hákarl (Icelandic for "fermented shark") yes rotten shark ... why rotten? well shark is poisonous when fresh due to a high content of uric acid and other toxins but may be consumed after it is 'cured' - ie buried in gravel for 2-3 months. It has a particular ammonia smell ... and is umm an acquired taste. Willa didn't mind it .... me? not so much

(pronounced skeer) is similar to a thick yoghurt, though technically skyr is a very soft cheese. and oh my it is really really good! it is actually made from skim milk which for yoghurt usually means well pretty crap but skyr is very creamy and rich. we ate skyr everyday and even during our layover on our way home! love oooooh and check out colbert eating skyr

April 4 - Reykjavik - Weekend Flea Market

We were supposed to go to the museums today but spent the day shopping. We cruised the flea market which is not to be missed. from the stalls you can buy all sorts of things, from locally designed jewelry to junk jewels; icelandic sweaters, delicacies such as dried fish and shark. We ate lunch in the small cafe area and listened to a group of friends playing Beatles tunes on their guitars.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 3 - Reykjavik and Around

Reyjkavik -, originally uploaded by girl from finito.
I was shocked when my sister didn't put up a fight when I suggested this activity. Mary is not a fan or horses but Saying the magic word PONIES! many many times somehow convinced her. We couldn't have picked a worse day for it.. blowing sleet for half the ride. Thankfully the riding company we went with had snow suits and rain gear for us. The rain stopped as we crossed over some low mountains and it was a pleasant ride from there on but both mary and my butts are sore an I think I will be trying to make up for this excursion for a little while.

Reyjkavik - the Perlan, originally uploaded by girl from finito.
Back in town we decided to go for a walk around town and found our way up to the Perlan. The Perlan is the storehouse for a lot of the geothermically heated water supplied to reykjavik. Actually almost 90% of houses in the capital are heated geothermically. The Perlan is also a museum and a cafe that sits on the top of a mountain overlooking all of Reykjavik. There was some lovely views and some bunnies spotted. The bunnies apparently survive the winter by snuggling up the the hot water pipes. After all the riding and walking we opted for a relaxing swim at one of the 7 swimming pools in the city. All the pools are minimally chlorinated (so you have to shower before you enter) and geothermcally heated.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 2: Reykjavik

Reykjavik - The Grey Cat, originally uploaded by girl from finito.
What do you do after not sleeping on a red eye from Toronto to Reykjavik? I mean besides wondering what the smell is (sulphur) and stopping in the duty free to impulse buy vodka and salted licorice (and then put the super salty thing in your mouth and reel back).. no, after all that you eat breakfast. yummy yummy breakfast at the Grei Kotturinn (Grey Cat) my new favorite little cafe. it was a big breakfast in the oddest little relaxed shop.

Reykjavik - Sun Craft, originally uploaded by girl from finito.
So we have arrived. and have the pictures to prove it. We did a little walking tour that ended at the suncraft sculpture down near the harbour.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Iceland & Denmark

If you came for posts on our trip.. they are coming... My computer ran into a little power problem in Reykjavik and we have no wifi in Copenhagen so I have been forced to shun the internet. But I have been keeping a little bit of a diary and taking a ton of pictures so I'll have a lot show you all very soon.
Back in Canada on Sunday.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

no photos ..... but trust me it is pretty

Copenhagen is a pretty city .... lots of flowers which is the best. We wandered around shopping today as all the shops will be shut for Easter starting tomorrow(yes including Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday). The big fashion item here are big scarfs - loud bright triangle ones with tassles are hot..... so guess what both willa and i bought today? oh yes mine is almost neon with fantastic embroidery and pom-poms and willas? massive black and white woven square with the biggest tassles ever in yellow, pink, and purple. so great. is it bad i want another one? saw this russian style one ...... good thing those shops are shut for a couple days hey!
tomorrow we are hitting museums. looking forward to that.
oh and to explain the lack of photos: we have to internet cafe now as our hostel doesn't have wifi and we are still having computer power issues (our power converter blew up - it was quite dramatic .. smoke and everything). so yes this a brief note ..... but we have lots more icelandic and now danish photos to post. you can check out some of our iceland photos at willa's flickr site

Saturday, April 4, 2009

orange blobs on wet icelandic horses

umm yep that us .. this picture was taking after about 1/2 an hour of driving sleet. my hair and wet touque is plastered to my face. willa looks a bit better, but then she has always liked horses. when we were kids she was "horse crazy" went to horse camp, drew horses, had posters of horses etc .... me? no. they kinda freaked me out ... ok i should be honest they totally freaked me out esp when they went fast. so willa was pretty excited/surprized when i agreed to a three hour riding trip on icelandic horses. the reassuring thing for me? do you see the size? more like a pony.
We went out with Eldhester they are about 45 min out of town and picked us up right at our hotel/apartment. The horses are really well trained. which served me well. going fast still freaks me out so that was the worst part for me yes even above the stinging sleet and walking thru the river. the mountain trail was beautiful (it had started to clear up then). the staff and whole set up was great. they provided a snowsuit plus the bright orange rain gear along with boots (we had our own), gloves/mitts, and helmets.
today? a little sore .... feels like my bum is bruised. even after the soak at the thermal pool last night.

Friday, April 3, 2009

first stop? .... pancakes

we flew at 9pm and arrived in Iceland at 6am ... it was a four hour flight and neither willa or i slept much. the drive in from the airport took us thru volcanic cliffs and lichen flatlands almost looked like tundra at times but with giant lava boulders. once in town we headed straight to the Grái kötturinn (Grey Cat) for a full plate of pancakes and bacon. it was about 3am our time so bodies demanded food or sleep. sleep wasn't an option so we window shopped and trekked around town. we hit most of the major landmarks. Reykjavík is such a walkable city! everything on the map ended up being closer than we thought. however by 3 we were about to collapse and had to nap! ah well we walked around more after dinner. our place is great! we have a studio apartment right on the trendy shopping street. very amazing. it has an awesome little kitchen and big square windows.

the classic Reykjavík shot ..... right on the harbour. what might not show up here is how windy it was. unreal. super chilly. but as you can see a nice looking day none the less.