reykjavik cookies

A Birthday Christmas Holiday: Day 4 – Arriving in Reykjavik – December 8, 2015

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I had a 1 pm flight, so I wasn’t in a complete rush.

I still checked out of the hotel by 10 or so, walked to the Holborn station and took the Piccadilly line into Heathrow Airport with only one minor snafu along the way.

Check-in, security and all that was easy.  All I needed to worry about was lunch.

I instantly saw this place called YO! Sushi…

…which offered conveyor belt sushi beauty.

I grabbed 2 or 3 plates and they really weren’t anything special.

I also watched the staff preparing a whole series of new bowls…just that they wouldn’t put them on the conveyor belt.

So after enough waiting, I decided to pay for what I grabbed…

…get myself a holiday sandwich…

…and make my way to Gate 42…

…a magical number as I turn 42 this Christmas Eve.

The flight with Icelandair was nice with video entertainment, cookies, coffee, and some info about one of the Yule Lads (13 elderly children of troll parents who come to visit households over the days of Christmas).

Once at the airport in Reykjavik, I headed to the baggage claim for my bag…

…noticing the huge duty free there with tons of people stocking up on alcohol (perhaps something I should have done – there is a liquor store in town)…

…and took a pleasant evening bus ride to my hotel, the Reykjavik Residence Hotel .

My room was really nice…

…with a pleasant bathroom…

…and even a small kitchen area.

One thing I noticed in Iceland is that the hot water comes fast and it’s a little sulfuric.  I would not have to worry about the lack of warm water.

Speaking of water, Icelandic tap water is delicious.

I took a short walk to a convenience store for some interesting snacks, such as Cheddar, Bacon, Spareribs and Barbecue chips…

…and also nabbed a sandwich for the next morning, a Holly candy bar, Lakkris chocolate-covered licorice filled with coconut, and Appelsin, a malted orange soda enjoyed at Christmastime.

I originally planned to go on the Northern Lights Tour that evening, but it was canceled due to weather and moved to Wednesday night.  So, since I already had reservations for Fish Market (Fiskmarkadurinn) on Wednesday night, I called about eating there that night.

The girl told me to come by and that there should be something available.

I walked downtown to the Fish Market…

…and there was one stool left at a counter by the kitchen.

There, I had a 3 hour conversation with Bert from Belgium, who was passing through before moving to Florida and marrying his fiance.

Big stuff.

During the conversation, I enjoyed…

…this little freebee tuna bite on a chip…

…herring flavored with coconut and served with rye bread and orange butter…

…smoked puffin grilled with lychee glaze, baked onions and mushrooms…

…and some minke whale and salmon nigiri.

Let me just say that it was all incredible.  The whale tasted like a delicious beef, the puffin was also very good…

…even through I realize they are adorable.

After finishing the meal, Bert and I continued to chat and Icelandic restaurants don’t rush at all.  We would have to ask for our checks.

But, over the next two hours, we saw a lot of orders going out for the volcano langoustine maki, consisting of a salmon/cucumber roll topped with langoustine tartar, sesame oil, 7 spice, chili and salmon roll.

We eventually split one…

…and it was yummy.

 

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