Last Wednesday I met Lindsay, Dave, Dave R and Rich at JFK Airport for our trip to Iceland. We checked in and went straight to the bar for pre-flight french fries and beers. Christine and Andrew met up with us and our group of seven was complete. Totally tipsy, we went to the newsstand and picked up water bottles and magazines but on the way back to the plane we realized that Alicia Keys was just a few feet away and we wanted to get a look. Part of our group was so late that they announced our names on the loudspeaker for boarding.
Flying into Keflavik was my first experience with how magical Iceland is. This was my first ever overseas flight sitting near a window, and looking outside we could have been soaring through outerspace. As we approached land in the winter pre-dawn hours, all that could be seen was little clusters of light in an otherwise black expanse. And on the ground, the land was colorless in the dark and could have been the moon for all I could see.
So then there was a dark bus ride into the city and finally we arrived at our hotel early Thursday morning.
Rich and DR at breakfast in Hotel Fron where we discovered the joys of mystery meat sandwiches and Sjmor butter
As the sun slowly crept up into the sky around 10 we went to find a place to book all of our outdoorsy excursions and walked past brightly colored street art on Laugevagur
A re-purposed bike for a traffic gate
"I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass," 3D Giraffe
After making arrangements for day trips we went back to the hotel to get our things for a walk around Reykjavik. Here we all are, only missing DR
Snowy mountains rising in the distance
Hallgrímskirkja, Leifur Eiríksson and the Icelandic Flag
Me and Linds
Discovering foreign signage with Linds
Super excited about his first Super Jeep encounter
A walk through Hljómskálagarðurinn
Inside the settlers museum where there is a window looking up to the street above the foundation of a settler-era long house.
By then we were all exhausted and hungry. We found a The Laundromat Cafe that was filled with color coordinated books and true to its name, had a laundromat in the basement.
It got dark very slowly in the evening and we made our way back up the main street and searched some shops for souvenirs.
There was the cutest candy shop with a heart shaped window on the door. It was too bad that all the candy was stale and really gross, oh well.
So after a long day of flying and walking we made ourselves beautiful and met up in Lindsay and Dave's room for pre-dinner beer and cider. Here are Lindsay and Dave being Iceland tough.
It had been a few hours, which meant it was probably time for a minor disaster. We were told that the restaurants would be open very late for dinner and drinks, however this was not the case. Seven of us wandered the streets looking for any open restaurant with any kind of food. In this picture, everyone is hangry as hell
Somehow it worked out perfectly. Outside yet another restaurant telling us they were closed, a girl smoking a cigarette on the sidewalk told us where we could still eat so we took the hint. Tapas couldn't have been more perfect. Not only was it open but they had Icelandic tapas so we could sample some local flavor (more about this later). They even gave Dave R a crazy hat that he wore for the rest of the trip and an ice cream plate with a sparkler.
Being the last people out before closing became the theme of our trip, starting with our dinner at Tapas. After they closed and we went in search of beer. Since it was only Thursday there was only one bar would serve us one beer before they closed which we ended up taking in to-go cups.
The evening ended back in Dave and Lindsay's room with Dave wearing Dave R's hat (It was as confusing on the trip as it is here to have two Dave's traveling together).
Drinking my beer in my to-go cup. Drinking on the street is illegal where I'm from so this blew my mind. I was IN ICELAND, drinking beer on the sidewalk with a bunch of my friends. Heavenly.