Iceland – Day 1

Oops, I lied yesterday about today’s post containing blizzards and waterfalls and car troubles. That will be tomorrow. Actually, this serves as a prime example of how Iceland screws with your sense of time. I NEVER knew what day it was in Iceland, nor how many days had passed since I arrived. After 24 hours, I thought I’d been there a week. After a week, I thought I’d been sitting on the Icelandic Parliament for years.

Anyway. We crashed hard on Tuesday morning but only slept for a couple of hours because we didn’t want to sleep the whole day away – after all, it was thirty degrees out and raining, and who could pass up that sort of excitement?

So we headed into Reykjavik to check out the city. And by city, I mean sleepy seaside New England village, because that is pretty much what it felt like. In a good way, of course. Plenty of charming shops, cafes, museums, and, just like in every other world capital, a sculpture of a vaguely humanoid giant attempting to lift some buckets.

“If only the missus would learn to fetch her OWN fish heads.”

We had lunch at a cafe and I got my first taste of plokkfiskur, which is an insanely delicious mush made of cod, potatoes, and cheese. Look, I know it sounds revolting, but basically it’s like angels dancing all over your tongue. This was also the site of our first encounter with Icelandic butter, or Smjor. How to describe Smjor? Let’s see – if plokkfiskur is angels dancing on your tongue, then Smjor is GOD HIMSELF TAPDANCING ACROSS YOUR TASTE BUDS, COMPLETE WITH JAZZ HANDS. Every time we were brought Smjor, we had to find a way to eat it all. I put some in my plokkfiskur. We scavenged some Wheat Thins, just to have something to eat it with. We put it in hot soup, even though that scientifically doesn’t work out. It is that good. I also drank roughly a liter of coffee whose caffeine seemed to have no detectable effect on me, a trend that would unfortunately continue throughout the entire week and lead to several instances wherein I thought it might be a nice idea to take a nap atop a dinner table.

We continued our trek through the city and found some cool graffiti featuring:

Children dressed as monsters!

Robot wrestling smackdowns!

Geese looking mournfully out of windows!

Our losing battle against the RIDICULOUS amount of wind landed us at Hallgrimskirkja, the largest church in Iceland. It looks normal enough when viewed from the side:

But from the front appears to in fact be a spaceship:

“BRING US ALL OF YOUR SMJOR.”

However, when we went inside to welcome our new alien overlords, we found it to be a pretty regular-looking church with a massive organ. Heh.

     

We took an elevator up to the top of the tower, which I assume is inhabited by a healthy team of ghosts, based on the unearthly wind noises that constantly whipped through the place. Nice views of the colorful roofs of the city, though:

 

Not pictured: THE GHOST FLOATING RIGHT BEHIND YOU

After that we stopped into a few shops where we found this little gem of a board game that, had it not cost roughly fifty bucks, I would be forcing people to play this very weekend:

I highly encourage you to visit pukemaster.com, which is exactly as entertaining as it sounds.

The day ended with us eating a plate of Icelandic cheese at our hotel, getting sloppy drunk on Icelandic beer, and then making the highly intelligent choice of visiting the hotel’s hot tubs whilst drunk on said beer, where I learned that if you are so tired you can barely keep your eyes open, it is a bad idea to sit in a steam bath for more than, oh, say, five seconds.

Tomorrow: REAL blizzards! REAL waterfalls! REAL disappointment!

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3 Responses to Iceland – Day 1

  1. RJ says:

    Don’t forget that the church bells went off while we were up in the tower, which scared the bejeezus out of me, at least.

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