Edmonton, Canada to Reykjavik Iceland Day 1 and 2 – December 8-9th 2016
Writing to you all again this time from Iceland, best known for its geothermal energy, volcanic seas and glaciers. The common response I got prior to leaving on this trip from people back home has been “Iceland? In the winter?”. Yes the choice to travel further North than home in the darkest month of the year was a tad bit unconventional but here I am. Surprisingly the temperature change from Edmonton to Reykjavik would have some people thinking we have left for the tropics as we experienced a 28 degree Celsius temperature change from Edmonton (- 22 Celsius without wind chill) to Reykjavik (+6 Celsius). Woot it’s practically Mexico up here.
I’m accompanied on this trip by my best friend who also happens to be my mom. We’ve travelled a bit in the past together and have always seemed to find ourselves getting into trouble and laughing until we cry at least once or twice. So I have no doubt this trip will be any different.
We arrived in Vatnsmýri (the town where Iceland’s international airport is located) at 6:30am. After retrieving luggage, we made our way onto an airport transfer bus to Reykjavik. This was purchased as part of our flight hotel package but in retrospect I would not have booked it ahead. Mainly because the day we fligh home, we’ve decided to go to the Blue Lagoon first. This is a geothermal hot pool spa located 20 minutes from the airport. To combine stopping here with travling to or from the airport is very simple. To change the option from direct bus from Reykjavik to stopping here first however is going to require me to contact Iceland Air and get a refund.
Winding through the small streets of Reykjavik at 930 am with still a blanket of darkness, we arrived at our hotel at the heart of downtown. We are staying at the Canopy by the Hilton which is the newest hotel in Reykjavik. This is definitely a swing on the luxury pendulum from camping in Chile. I never seem to loose excitement when I walk into hotel rooms and find them being the same size as my condo back home. Mom and I were brain storming how a kitchen and murphy bed could be added to the suit and be just perfect as a tiny home.
We slept till 1 pm trying to shake our jetlag (which obviously didn’t work as I’m writing this blog post at 2 am). Trying not to loose any valuable daylight hours, we rolled out of bed into our sweaters and hit the town for some lunch and window shopping.
First stop was a café called “C is for Cookie”. It’s a vegetarian café mainly serving sandwiches with vegan cheese options and have some baked goods. Mom and I both got the broccoli soup which was delicious. I don’t know if Id go back as the menu was pretty sparse.
We walked around the town and walked along the harbor as the sun set. Yes in December the sun rises at 11 am and sets at 3pm which is something I totally overlooked when booking this trip!
We ordered tea to go from one café and asked for a large. Large size here is a 6 fluid onces where in Canada its 20 fluid onces. I’ve been to “Europe” before so I should not be surprised but when your in desperate need of cafine, somehow a cup just doesn’t do it.
We ended up stumbling upon the Saga Museum and after dressing up like mid-evil folk and taking a bunch of classic touristy photos, we found ourselves walking through the exist of the display area. As we were walking around it quickly dawned on us that we did in fact come through the exit not the entrance and that there was an admission fee we forgot to pay. Opps! At $15 per person I don’t know if it would have been worth it.
For dinner, my dad who’s visited Iceland before said we had to go to “Ramen Momo”, this tiny little raman noodle house right next to the marina. It is the cutest little ramen shop I’ve ever scene. There is room for no more than 6 people and the menu is simple but direct, with options for both vegan and non-vegans alike. Mom and I went a little overboard with our momo consumption (as I always do with dumplings, see this post about eating momo’s in Nepal) but had a great time chatting with a couple from the US and the cook.
Evening was spent walking back to our hotel and the intent was to play some cards at one of the lounges but we hit the pillows by 730 pm.