Scenes from Day 9 of Iceland Trip

Today, my last night in Reykjavik, I spent the morning geocaching around Petrin, checking out the ruins of Oskjuhlid Hill, a WW2 relic. The walk from downtown was a lot longer than I had planned for, but it was basically Seattle weather, and nice to be outdoors:

On the way back, I was enjoying checking out the local street murals. The cat-stronaut is one of my favorites, but there are several solid works.

I was early to the meeting point for the Wake Up Reykjavik’s Food Walk (not to be confused with the Food and Drink walk event that I did on Friday), so I did the virtual Iceland offering in the middle floor of the Harpa Concert Hall. In this activity, you sit in egg-shaped chairs and have virtual reality goggles that do overflights of one of four regions: Northeast Iceland, South Iceland, Snaefellsnes Peninsula and a volcano.

By the time that was done, our guide for the Food Walk showed up. These food tours are an interesting way to spend an evening trying different restaurants and local foods. We visited five places:

  • Fjallkonan – Arctic char (smoked, with the consistency of sushi), and lamb shoulder with horseradish sauce. The char was my favorite of the bunch.
Smoked arctic char
Those look like eyes!
Lamb shoulder
  • Messinn – Pan-seared arctic char (with mini potatoes and tomatoes) and Plokkfiskur (cod stew). Both were tasty.
Pan-seared arctic char
  • Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur – Icelandic hot dog with all the fixings. The “fixings” are raw onions, crispy onions, remoulade, ketchup, and mustard (that is sweeter than conventional American). The hot dogs are made with 80% lamb (and 20% beef/pork). There is apparently side chatter among the tour guides such that they will skip this place if a certain “slow” person is working that day, and I think that is what happened on Friday.
Icelandic hot dog
It’s … a hot dog!
  • Íslenski Barinn – After sitting down, we were told we would be given fermented shark in what I think is akin to Rocky Mountain Oysters – a tourist dare/group bonding experience. It comes in a sealed jar (because fermented) and has a rubbery texture. The taste was fine, but it’s not something I would deliberately seek out when there are so many better food options. We also had Kjötsúpa (traditional Icelandic lamb stew) that I quite enjoyed, and bread with Icelandic butter.
Waiting for the speech to hurry up so I can eat my niblet of fermented shark. It wasn’t terrible.
Kjötsúpa and bread.
  • Kaffi Loki – was dessert consisting of a kleina (fried blob of dough) and a dish of rye bread ice cream that was amazing, with a chew consistency of cookies-and-cream (where the cookies are finely chopped).

This tour had a group of 12. The group dynamics were dominated by two subgroups traveling together who spent nearly all of the sit time talking among themselves, which makes it far less fun being a solo traveler. I prefer the scenario where everyone starts as a stranger.

Tomorrow is the Sky Lagoon and some remedial geocaching to get me to 100 finds in Iceland, then I have an early flight to Prague on Tuesday morning. For my first night there, I’m doing their walking food and drink tour.