Idling in Iceland – 2

Posted by Jay in Travel on March 22nd, 2015

After we had finished dinner at the restaurant, I wanted to get an early night so that I would be up bright and early for my next day of adventure. By this time, we had extra people in the hostel but I only got to meet a nice Canadian woman who had a lot of yarn! Everyone else went out for the night, and I was the sad old lady staying in on the weekend.

I had set my alarm for early enough in the morning so that I would be able to get ready and eat breakfast with no fuss. But unfortunately, before my phone could ring I was awoken by the loudest fart ever. The Canadian lady’s travel companions had arrived after a long night and started trading farts. One set the other one off, and so on and so forth. Thankfully for me they didn’t smell, as I had the heater on high. Or I just managed to get out of there quick enough before my nose was assaulted.

Having washed that rude awakening off me, I was waiting outside for the tour bus that would be taking us around the sights of Iceland. The tour that I was going on is called the ‘Golden Circle‘ tour and takes you across 3 of Iceland’s most popular sights.  Like with most tour buses, it was not the easiest to get onto with big steps that were not that close to each other, but I did manage to scramble up and down them several times during the various tourist points. I will not be stopped!

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Our first stop was Þingvellir [pronounced thing-ve-lar] which is a national park in Iceland and a UNESCO World Heritage site. This was the place that parliament was established in Iceland and where you can see the cracks between the North American and European tectonic plates.

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While walking around and taking in the sights, we stopped at a body of water that is apparently haunted by a ghost. Now, the guide kept laughing and stopping all throughout this talk so I am not sure if this is actually true or not. But I don’t want to fuck around and take any risks, plus I can’t swim that well…

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Next stop on the tour was the Geysir! There were many little geysirs dotted around but the main attraction is a few minutes walk further in, with lots of warning signs leading up to this. It was so crazy seeing hot water bubbling up from the ground which, while it was amazing to see hot water shooting up high into the sky, the smell was just awful. Like a mix of sulphur and bad life choices. While the smell wasn’t the best, I kept hanging around the big geysir to get more spectacular shots of it. We don’t get much of that in London!

One thing that did make me laugh at this particular portion of the trip was the constant looks of ‘Should you really be here?’ and ‘I’m not sure if I can carry her if she faceplants, but I can’t be the asshole that doesn’t offer to help’. This however, did not faze me and you get used to it travelling as often as I do. Especially while doing some of the trickier things that I do. All part of my ‘big pimpin” ways. I like to believe, anyway.

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The rest of the site is mainly mud that you are trying not to trip over and mess up your jeans! But further away from the geysir, you get some great views of the surrounding mountains. While pretending that you couldn’t still smell the shame and regret in the air coming from the geysirs.

Our final destination [thankfully, nothing like the film!] was Gullfoss, which is a magnificent waterfall just outside the city. This waterfall is one of many in Iceland, but it is particularly special because without the determination of a brave woman called Sigríður Tómasdóttir, it may have been used for the production of electricity. But she fought very hard to make sure that the falls were left exactly the way that they are and for all Icelandic people and tourists. That’s right, just a woman kicking ass and taking names. #girlpower

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After a very busy, and most importantly, tiring day of sightseeing I went to get some dinner at this Italian place by the Old Harbour called UNO. Man, oh man was that a good life decision. The restaurant was excellent and the service was great, but please do be warned that there are some stairs that you have to contend with before you can get there. I got a lobster [yes, again] and prawn linguine in a rich tomato sauce with rocket. Absolutely EXCELLENT stuff. And I was delighted to find that there were stingy with the portions either! The couple next to my table even commented on what an excellent choice I’d made, that’s how good it was. Tasted even better. I highly recommend going there!

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It also didn’t hurt that my waiter at the time was ridiculously good looking, wanted to tell him to take a load off and sit down. So we could talk about our future and dividing our time between London and Reykjavík. I am pretty sure that a piece of my heart stayed with him. And with the linguine.

The next day was my last day in Reykjavík, so I decided to stay in the city and just soak up as much of it as I could before my friend came to pick me up to go to Grindavík. Iceland is famous for having plenty of thermals baths and pools, so I started the day off right by having a swim in the pool before heating myself up back in the thermal bath which is located behind the church below.

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A short walk from my hostel there was a gorgeous Lutheran church called Hallgrimskirkja that I had seen on my first night there but hadn’t been able to go inside. But it looked just as spectacular during the day, and the views from the top were magnificent. A word of warning however, while there is a lift to get you up the church, it does not go all the way to the top and there are some metal steps that need to be climbed first before you can get there.

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The middle part before the steps does have some interesting artworks, but to be perfectly honest, it’s just not enough.

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After the church, I went back to Vegamot and got a lobster pizza for lunch. I think I may just have an obsession, but how delicious! Having left the restaurant, I just walked around the city and met up with a really cool duck that I just chilled with not too far from the Old Harbour. Yes, I did name him Donald, he was definitely not a Daffy.

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After my last sightseeing expedition in the city, I went to the university of Iceland for the sole purpose of charging up my phone as it had run out of battery after I was taking so many pictures. What was so great about this is that both students and teachers alike knew that I wasn’t supposed to be there, but couldn’t really say anything. And I used that to my full advantage and napped while my phone charged up. No shame.

After this, I met up with my friend to grab some dinner in a restaurant called Prikið and had the Snoop Dogg burger. He is awesome, even in burger form. She drove us around the city for a bit and I got to see the rich part of town, before we headed off to her home town. Which, as luck would have it, is right by the famous Blue Lagoon.

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about Jayon UPDATE: As of 25/09/2015 Nigeria has been removed from the WHO's Polio Endemic List! Having been born in Nigeria, I hail from one of three countries where polio is still unfortunately endemic, the other two being Pakistan and Afghanistan. I had contracted the poliovirus before my ...Read More

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