This day started earlier than I wanted – not too early in the real world. We did a lot of hiking yesterday and so much to see that we were almost tired out. We had to be at the airport early and we had a courtesy ride to the airport from the wonderful hotel. The small plane arrived only 15 minutes before we were scheduled to leave. The place was wet and moderately foggy. I checked the weather and Reykjavik weather was sunny – very hard to believe. As the plane climbed we saw the sun and it cleared. Wow! Such a pleasant surprise! There were a few clouds that disappeared by the time we landed in Reykjavik. Jim suggested we take a bus into town – we were able to get transfers and make it to a couple of blocks front the hotel. We walked there and Linda C checked in early (for a fee) and we all stored our luggage there and went out for a late breakfast before lunch. Linda C decided to stay at the hotel to catch up on some rest and do some shopping.
We went to a place called the Hofnin with some fabulous tomato soup and Arctic Char. This is where we met up with the Marathon Tours people Scott and Jane and a few other people that were going to run in the race on Saturday. We walked the harbor after lunch while we waited for the tour bus to start – with the sunny day we had, we were easily able to see the other shore and the mountain (Mt. Esja) to the North of the city. This mountain is supposedly well hiked and we could all see that this should also be on our list for the next time we come here to hike some of them.
The bus tour took us to where Reagan and Gorbachev had the secret meeting. This was a French built building now being used to hold meetings. The tour guide seemed knowledgeable and provided good information as we drove around the city, she explained various things about the parts of the city, the financial crisis that occurred etc. we drove by the most popular pool in the area as well as the place where we are going to have to get our race kits and the carbo dinner Friday night. We then went to a place called the “The Pearl” as it looks like a pearl from far away with some water tanks, one of which had been converted into a Saga museum. We climbed to the viewing area and saw great views of the city as the weather was still holding out and the air was clear. We could see the city airport, the president’s house, the church, the harbor and so much. We didn’t go to the Saga museum as we didn’t have much time there and there was a fee – I could not pay to have a look for 15 min. We left and made our way down to the ocean front where Bjork’s house (painted black) was then over to the university properties and the Icelandic Museum where we were able to spend about 90 minutes wandering thought the place. Interesting artifacts and carvings as well as a special exhibit of carved horns.
The bus was able to bring us back to the hotel where we checked into our room and reunited with Linda. The five of us had rooms beside each other making it easy to find each other if we wanted to go anywhere.
A quick look at the room and off to find the famous hot dog! We first went the wrong way then asked for directions, and used the GPS (the map on the GPS was created for Iceland by a real person who did it for donations) and all is said was the Icelandic word for hot dog. I plugged it in, and we followed both sets of directions. They had told us that there would be a substantial line up so that is what we looked for. We saw the place and weren’t sure, but we were now hungry, as we came closer, we found that this was the place and all five of us had hot dogs. There was no line up at all when we arrived. By the time we had finished eating our food, there were at least 25 people in line to get these dogs. We know there were other vendors in town, but these were the best! We’ll try some others as the days progress.
We wanted to make reservations for Saturday night at a Fish Market restaurant, but it was full for all the nights we were going to be here. We tried other restaurants and they were full too – it is culture night on Saturday and the city is packed. At least we’ll get to see fireworks and the new opera center will be lit up for its opening.
Jim wanted fish and chips and had seen an interesting place the first couple of days so we made our way there. Wow! What a great choice, this was an “organic bistro” and had fantastic fish and chips – Lindas and I had it on mango salad with a curry sauce on the side. The best fish I’ve had, and Linda Y also said the same. We had lucked out the same way as the hot dogs earlier…by the time we finished our meal, the place was full and there was a line up to get in. We walked back gently, thinking about ice cream. Jim and Tammie had tried the local soft ice cream and knew where to find it and we made our way there. On the corner nearby, I saw a sign for Haunted Tours and a few people around it…while the others waited for ice cream I checked out this tour…it sounded interesting until I found out it was 2500 ISK ($25) per person for this 1 ½ hour walking tour. The temperature was starting to drop, we were a little tired, and at this price point, it was too much. We had our ice cream and retired so that we could go on our south shore excursion and wake up at six on Friday.
I went to the lobby of the hotel and started to upload photos to http://pierregy.smugmug.com/Travel/2011-Iceland-and-Heimaey
So that if anyone wanted to see what I was taking they could look, but this too is a very time consuming process. I will wait to edit the photos at home and rework the blog to make the pictures fit. But for now, if you want to see the photos you have to go to the above website.