The Reykjavik Food Walk, Part 2

31 08 2016

Continuing with the Reykjavik Food Walk, our third stop was at this lovely cafe right in front of Hallgrímskirkja, the modern looking church in the city center of Reykjavik perched on a hill, which could have suggested that it may be a tourist trap given the great location.  Not so.  Here we were served a dessert/snack whichever way you’d like to look at it, an ice cream dish which tasted amazing as our guide Gabriella kept telling us.

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Hallgrímskirkja

Cafe Loki. We went upstairs where we had the view of the church.

Cafe Loki. We went upstairs where we had the view of the church.

The signature homemade ice cream with toasted rye bread crumbs mixed into the ice cream, rye bread being the signature Icelandic bread

Homemade ice cream with toasted rye bread crumbs mixed into it, rye bread being the signature Icelandic bread

It's like cookies and cream w/o being sweet.

It’s like cookies and cream w/o the cookies being sweet.

The stop after was supposed to be a hot dog stand and the Icelandic people apparently love hot dogs.  However, there was a long line when we got there so we moved onto our next destination, leaving hot dogs for later consumption.

And it was lobster soup that awaited us.  I had read about this particular eatery earlier in the day and was considering going there on the last day of my stay so was thrilled that it was included in the food walk.

The venue

The venue, “sailor’s cabin”

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Gabriella leading us into the shop.

Inside upstairs, the bed where the owner fisherman used to rest.

Inside, upstairs, did not always look like this as seen in videos in which they showed double bunk beds but it gives you an idea of how sailors used to come here to eat, change, and rest.

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The lobster soup!!

The lobster soup!!

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A New York Times article on Seabaron that describes the soup well (from 10 years ago.  The original owner has since passed but it is run by a former employee and her partner.)





The Reykjavik Food Walk, Part 1

30 08 2016

I had found the perfect tourist attraction for myself prior to travelling to Reykjavik, Iceland: a walking tour that involved eating; lots of eating.  I immediately signed up and I was not disappointed.

At 12:30 pm on a windy Saturday in August, a group of us met up in front of Harpa to be taken on a walking journey of Reykjavik tasting the city’s local favorites by our bouncy guide Gabriella.  We were 10 tourists: an American family from New Jersey – husband, wife, and a grown daughter; a German couple in their 50’s with two nephews; a young American lady in her 30’s? working for GE who was travelling inbetween business assignments, an older Welsh lady residing in Australia who told me she and her husband were coming to Tokyo on their way back; and yours truly.

Our first stop was Islenski Barrin (literally Icelandic bar) to try the signature Icelandic dish, the lamb stew.

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Then we moved over to Ostabúðin, a lovely cheese shop which came with a restaurant attached.  We tried three kinds of Icelandic cheese and three kinds of cured meat.

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Our cheeses on the board on top of the glass case

Our lovely guide Gabriella who used to work at this cheese shop

Our lovely guide Gabriella who used to work at this cheese shop

The meats. One of them had a licorice taste - it was seasoned with anise.

The meats. One of them had a licorice taste – it was seasoned with anise.

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The Reykjavik Food Walk

To be continued…





The View of and from Harpa

29 08 2016

This modern building on the waterfront of Reykjavik, Iceland, while now being one of the signature buildings and the cultural center of the city known as Harpa, has apparently been the subject of controversy while being built because of its massive size, the serious financial crisis, etc.

The concert hall and conference center

The concert hall and conference center

It was the meeting point for an eating tour I had joined.

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It provided a good view of the port from the inside that was quite special.

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Drinking in the Apartment in Reykjavik, Iceland

27 08 2016

Buying wines or other alcohol beverages for consumption at home in Iceland isn’t too simple as they are only sold in state-operated shops during limited hours.  As with most Icelandic people coming home from outside the country, I stocked up before entering at the Duty Free Shop at the Keflavik International Airport.

By the time I reached my apartment after arrival, it was past 1 am so on the second night in Reykjavik, I opened the bottle of bubbly I had bought at the airport.

Taken after it was gone.

Taken after it was gone.

Nice but I had a big problem.  My apartment was not equipped with any wine or other suitable glass for drinking wine.

What I went with.

What I went with being the only choice.

On the next day I went out and bought a transparent glass at this shop.

On the next day I went out and bought a transparent glass at this shop.

Not perfect but still much better

Not perfect but still much better

The third bottle from the Duty Free shop

The third wine from the Duty Free shop

Had to get another for my final night

One of the state-owned wine shops in the capital to get one more bottle for my final night

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At the end of my stay I told the apartment owner that he would do better by providing wine glasses and a cork screw (I only bought screw caps) and he was like, wow, thanks for letting me know; really appreciate the advice.  I don’t think he drinks being a young cab driver…





The Best Known “House” in Reykjavik, Iceland

26 08 2016

It looks like it’s in the middle of nowhere if you take in the scenery but it’s actually in the middle of everywhere.  It was situated only five minutes from my centrally-located apartment in Reykjavik.

This is the house.

This is the “house” in which presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbatsjov met in 1986, marking the end of the Cold War.

The seaside of the house

The seaside of the house

The view from in front of the house.

The view from in front of the house.

Ditto

Ditto

A closer view of the land across the sea

A closer view of the land across the sea

Not quite snow-capped but there is snow.

Not quite snow-capped but there is snow.

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Looking towards the house from the seaside.

Looking towards the house from the seaside.

This is closer to the actual distance but still not far

This is closer to the actual distance but still not far

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Höfði House








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