February 6, 2023

We arrived in Iceland yesterday and I looked up a few words and phrases, not sure that everyone here would speak English – so far they seem to all speak high level English everywhere we have gone. Some of the phrases in Icelandic though were so colorful.  Like this one “Ég borga bara með reiðufé” or ‘I only pay with an angry sheep’ which is used when you are stuck doing something but want to express your displeasure. I really love it. Another one  “Ég kem alveg af fjöllum” is used when you are totally clueless and literally means “I come from the mountains” – lol. Sort of like “I’m just a hillbilly”.

In any event, Reykjavic is a very nice place. Reminds me a lot of Portland, Maine or small cities in the Pacific Northwest like Bellingham or Astoria. Everything is pretty expensive. This is going to be a spendy couple of days.

On Day 2, we woke up and made coffee in the hostel kitchen. No butt washer in Iceland either. Europe and America are the land of dirty buttholes, obviously.  Got Sophia up early so we could go find breakfast before getting picked up for our whale watching trip – which unfortunately was cancelled due to weather conditions an hour and a half later. I had booked a small boat encounter. That’s okay though. We had Skyr, the Icelandic yogurt for breakfast. Sophia found it too sour, I liked it. Also a huge fresh baked cinnamon roll. With an unexpected day on our hands we set out to get to know Reykjavik with long walks. A visit to the Perlan which looks like a big UFO on the hill but has an ecological history of Iceland in it plus an Ice Cave and the most stunning 3-d observatory show I’ve ever seen – all about the Aurora Borealis – filled with Icelandic music and history. Really good. We walked through the forest, got coffee and hot chocolate,  explored the street art and shops, and had the famous Reykjavik hot dogs (but skipped the Penis museum because Sophia is a 10-year-old girl). The hot dog girl said she came from Portugal to work in a hot dog stand because the pay is really good here. Sophia had the pulled sheep ‘hotdog’ and I had the traditional which included the actual sausage (pork) and pulled sheep. They were good – but nothing I would pay that much for again – but to try it, definitely worth it.  We hit the grocery store for some basic meal supplies. At the hostel we did our laundry, relaxed, and cooked dinner – I made curried beef over rice which turned out surprisingly good – a combination of ‘free food’ from the hostel kitchen box marked ‘free food’ and stuff we bought. Much cheaper than paying another meal in Iceland.  Then we took another walk as the Icelandic evening started to hit. Saw live music in the library bookstore/bar and looked at the Icelandic Punk Rock Museum from the outside.  I can see that people like to drink here and this is probably a pretty fun town to be a young adult in. About 14.5 miles of walking on this day.  Sites seen: Hallgrims Church, ‘the Pond’ , Austerstraiti,  Bankastraeti, Skorlavordusagur street (Rainbow), Harpa Concert Hall

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