Sunday, July 20, 2014

Iceland: up the hill, under the hill, over the hill

It's late afternoon, the day after my 40th birthday: to the keen observer, this statement of fact will adequately summarize the festivities.

I went out last night, as one might expect. Since it always appears to be afternoonish, I stayed out. 

The perpetual light deceives. This picture was taken unmentionably late. 
Good fun. 

There are videos of tequila shots which shall only ever be seen by yours truly. 

I would like a Viking for my birthday. 

Why, thank you.

True story: The night before my birthday, the mayor of Reykjavík and his well-heeled clan celebrated his birthday at the hostel bar. I almost asked him to take a selfie with me--how great a souvenir would that have been? Me and the mayor of Reykjavík, at a hostel bar on our birthday. Alas, I didn't muster the nerve. 

On to the tourism highlights. 
All the rumors are true: Iceland is phenomenally pricey. I will take three excursions: the Golden Circle tour, Inside the Volcano, and a visit to Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, for which I shelled out $80, $350, and $270 respectively. Yowza. But you only turn 40 once, and I only anticipate one trip to Iceland.

Sadly, this was the majority of my Golden Circle tour yesterday.

I did see some of the fissures between the North American and Eurasian continental plates...


I took a selfie and a piece of lava rock at Gullfoss ("golden waterfall")...

I learned that Iceland sustains its own produce needs with geothermal greenhouses. The President of Peru was gifted a bunch of Icelandic bananas to welcome him on his State visit. And the salads are amazing. Veggies so flavorful and crunchy, topped with yogurt and avocado spread. This time served alongside a fresh baguette with smoked salmon, arugula, and tzatziki, at the very charming Stofan Café. Everything tasted as though it had actually come into existence just 3 hours earlier. 

So that's the craic. :)
Today, I'm recovering. Happily chilling. Reading, drinking coffee (they have already named a special drink after me!) at Kaffitár. Might seek out some of the famous lamb for dinner, before a reasonable bedtime because the volcano tour departs at 9am.