Day 2: Shopping, Golden Circle, Dinner & Drinks
Shopping– What is a trip to a fantastical location without some serious souvenir shopping? What to buy in Iceland? Wool hats and gloves, carvings, books, icelandic herb tea that may or may not have been what made me so hideously sick the second i walked in my house, and of course spa products from the blue lagoon. Where to shop? at The Viking of course, our favorite store with our favorite graffiti. it also had a sign inside that cautioned people to think about their karma before shoplifting.
After a lovely breakfast and leisurely shopping we headed off on our adventure:
Driving the Golden Circle– apparently the #1 day trip in Iceland. And with the desolate drive and stunning scenery, it was a little like driving through a James Bond movie. Specifically the one where he goes to the ice hotel with Halle Berry.
We saw the three major sites on the circle:
#1 Pingvellar- the first site of the Viking Parliament in 930, and also the site of a huge lake.
#2 Geysir- home of many famous geysers. Iceland has tons of natural hot springs and such everywhere we went smelled like sulfur. or fish. beware, it’s hot.
#3 Gullfoss waterfall- Awesome. We pulled up the site, marked by a small sign and gift shop/restaurant, and saw nothing. heard nothing. saw no crowds…. and then we walked around the building, down 100 steps, and saw it. tucked away behind a mountain was the most gorgeous waterfall. that we could almost walk out onto after walking down a 1/2 mile path of snow and ice (that was technically closed due to weather) with a rope for a guard rail.
After all that excitement we settled down for some lunch. With Viking beer of course
We also saw the famous Icelandic horses. all over the sides of the road and we just went up and petted some, they were adorable. We had a tentative plan to go horseback riding, but had to scrap it because it was in the 20*’s and we were afraid we would freeze to the horses….
Finally we made it home safely (the road was a little treacherous at times, and toward the end we were storm flee-ers, as opposed to storm chasers that is). So back at the Holt Hotel we asked our friendly concierge about a good dinner place and he directed us to a good local place:
I dare you try and pronounce that sucker. local cuisine on the menu? Cured Shark, Breast of Puffin, Filet of Horse, Dog, and Whale. Our desire to eat weird local cuisine kind of abandoned us at this point and we mostly played it safe with mussels, soup, and fish. All local though! and the mussells were the best i ever had, complete with our very own gravy boat of delicious lemon, white wine, garlic, butter broth. I did kind of want to try the shark, but chickened out. After that we hit the bar scene which was a little slow (Reykjavik doesn’t get hopping till about midnight apparently) but we did go to B5*, which i JUST saw on MTV’s The Challenge season finale last week! We also saw this on our walk home and got irrationally excited that we could finally sound out a word and figure it’s meaning. ha.