Iceland 2014 – Day 1 – Arrival and Reykjavik city

A reasonable start at 8am, as usual my dad is eager and raring to go, shouting that we need to be at the airport for 10am because the gate opens at 12 (for our flight at 1pm, yes, really.)

After what feels like an eternity in the car to the airport, the airport waiting lounge and the 3 hour flight itself, we finally arrive in Iceland, the plane drifts over what is likely hundreds of miles of barren land littered with rocks and brown moss for as far as the eye can see, my first impressions of this country are off to a rocky start (pun intended).

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After leaving the airport and being slapped by the frosty Iceland wind, we take a coach to the city of Reykjavik, our bus slowly taking us away from the rock fields and towards actual civilization. Our hotel is the ‘Radisson blu saga hotel’, a 8 floor giant in the middle of nowhere and approximately 20 minutes walk from anything we might want to visit, the hotel itself seems nice enough though. By the time we set our luggage down in our hotel room it’s already 5pm and our stomachs are starting to roar, it’s off to the city to find something to eat then.
The hotel concierge say’s its a 15 minute walk into the city, “just head towards the church” he says, outside the hotel it becomes quickly obvious which church he is describing, a white/beige tower in the distance high above the residential housing in the city.

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25 minutes later (because the hotel concierge is full of shit), we are finally in the city centre by the church, and searching for somewhere nice to eat. We eventually stumble upon ‘Sjavargrillid’, a seafood restaurant holding the #3 spot for best food in Reykjavik. How could we resist?
At 25,600 ISK (Approx £140) for 3 people, this was not the cheapest meal i’ve ever had, but my god was it a treat. Firstly, you can tell you are in a fancy restaurant when they start introducing purees, we ordered the 4 course ‘taste of Iceland’, which turned out to be 6 courses as the waiter brought us 2 complimentary dishes.

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We started with bread and cream cheese with salmon, fancy, but nothing too ridiculous just yet..
The second course was langosteen and fish served with apple and rhubarb.
This was followed by possibly the most bizarre dish I have ever encountered, it had Minke Whale, Puffin, Blackbird, 2 types of sweet onion, a myriad of sauces, and then a rather bizarre almost kind of dessert corner, with blueberries, blueberry sorbet, ginger biscuit and small balls of what I can only describe as tasting like popcorn. It was so strange, yet still amazingly good, the whale had a bit of a liver taste to it, the puffin tasted surprisingly close to beef and the blackbird was just odd.
Course number 4 was slightly more normal, with grilled lamb upon potato with onion ring and various other stuff (including what I can only assume is crack cocaine).
Next up some vanilla ice cream upon ginger biscuit, this was apparently on the house to tide us over until actual dessert, because the chefs had kept us waiting a whole 7 minutes? I guess this is why they have such a high rating on tripadvisor.
Finally, a very heavy chocolate fudge kind of cake with more ice cream and melted chocolate.

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Nothing particularly noteworthy after dinner, a short walk through the city on the way back to the hotel. The sun here is ridiculous, here are a few pictures taken on the way back, consider that these are taken at 8:30pm onwards and going as far as 9:30pm or so.

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Thats all for the first day, we didn’t really get up to a whole lot because of travelling taking up 2/3’s of the day, hopefully there will be much more to report tomorrow.