Reykjavik: The first 24 hours

Flying into Iceland - the steam coming up is from one of the many geothermal pools.

Flying into Iceland – the steam coming up is from one of the many geothermal pools.

My husband and I arrived in Iceland on Saturday morning at 6am. For being half asleep and totally jet lagged, we managed to make the most of our first day of vacation.

We left the Keflavik airport and headed directly to the Blue Lagoon, the most famous of Iceland’s geothermal pools. This is a popular spot with tourists since it’s a perfect place to soak out the aches of air travel.

Inside the Blue Lagoon

Inside the Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon, Grindavík, Iceland

The water is unreal!

The water is unreal!

After a few hours of soaking, relaxing and beer drinking, we headed on to Reykjavik, our home for the next few days.

We found our apartment, right in the heart of city center, and took a serious power nap. Then we headed off to tour one of the local breweries and learn about Iceland’s history with alcohol. Our tour guide, Sylvia, was hilarious and she poured us everything from Gull to Polar Beer to beer mixed with vodka to straight shots of the national liquor, Brennivín (also called Black Death).

Olgerdin Brewery in Reykjavik, Iceland

Olgerdin Brewery in Reykjavik, Iceland

One of many

One of many “tasters” of the brewery tour.

Skål! (The Icelandic version of

Skål! (The Icelandic version of “cheers!”)

After two hours of drinking, we headed back into town for a 13-course meal at Dill, possibly the most renown restaurant in Iceland. The chef, Gunnar Karl Gíslason, focuses on new Nordic cuisine and is committed to using local, seasonal ingredients and traditional cooking methods.

It was amazing – the perfect way to end our first day of vacation and to leave us looking forward to the days ahead.

The first of 6 snacks: Pickled carrots, fresh cheese and caraway seeds

The first of six snacks: Pickled carrots, fresh cheese and caraway seeds

The third snack: Fried blue mussels, toasted paprika

The third snack: Fried blue mussels, toasted paprika

First of five dinner courses: Salted cod, parsnip, apple and fried cod cream

First of five dinner courses: Salted cod, parsnip, apple and fried cod cream

Bread accompanied by whipped lamb fat with herbs

Bread accompanied by whipped lamb fat with herbs

Final dinner course: Braised beef cheeks, burnt and pickled onions, potatoes and thyme

Final dinner course: Braised beef cheeks, burnt and pickled onions, potatoes and thyme

First of two dessert courses: Burnt bay leaf ice cream, whey caramel, prunes and isbui (Icelandic cheese)

First of two dessert courses: Burnt bay leaf ice cream, whey caramel, prunes and isbui (Icelandic cheese)

And even though it was nearly twelve when we headed back to our apartment, the midnight sun was in full force.

Midnight in Reykjavik

Midnight in Reykjavik

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11 thoughts on “Reykjavik: The first 24 hours

    • And that was just day one! We’re here for another two days. It’s really an amazing place. The food, the nightlife and the natural sights (waterfalls, Pingvellir) are truly awesome. Hope you make it soon – it’s definitely a unique and memorable vacation! =)

    • It’s pretty incredible! And you’d be proud – we have kept to a pretty strict regiment of eating and drinking as much as possible. Of course the insanely high prices of beer (like $10 each) means we bought some local beer at duty free and are enjoying it in our apartment so the bar time has been limited. But still, we’ve gotten around!

    • Thanks! It’s seriously been amazing. So much good food and (with the exception of one bus driver) everyone has been extremely friendly and helpful. We are already plotting our return visit!

    • I’m telling you – the Blue Lagoon was a lifesaver! Every international airport should have a big hot tub/hot spring close by. I have a feeling coming back to Portland will be rough in terms of the jetlag (we’re in Denmark now so the flying time is even longer). I’ll have to settle for a really hot bubble bath and pretend I’m back in Iceland.

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