Our 3 hour British Airways flight from London arrived to a very windy, rainy, foggy, and cold November day in Iceland. My first impression was that we landed in Iowa or Kansas in winter! Yuk!
In and out of airport security quickly, we set off to get our luggage and then to look for our rental car. But wait! What’s this I see? Could it be???? YES! THERE’S A DUNKIN DONUTS IN ICELAND! And they are sporting election donuts!
We got our usual coffees and one donut to split…$11! Eek!
Out in the rain, we did not see our rental car company, Blue Car, listed on the sign for the rental car shuttle bus. We went out there anyways and a few minutes later we find that we’re in the right spot. We were third in line at the rental car place and it took over half an hour to get our car. Little Kia Rio, stick shift and diesel, she is!
Off we went to start our Iceland adventure! First stop is gas where we had our first problem. Jerry starts to fill the car with gas…. not diesel! OMG! The diesel pump has a big sign on it, but he grabbed the green one, because that’s the color of the diesel pumps in the US. Luckily he caught it right away and I think we only ended up with a tiny bit of gasoline in the car, still enough to worry that we’re going to blow up the car and we haven’t even started our adventures yet.
We had no way to know where the hotel, The Radisson Blu Saga, is so I just tried to remember what area of the map I saw it on. Luck was on my side and we find it right off the bat!
They drive on the same side of the road as we do in the US so that is helpful! They also love their roundabouts!
We are given a room on the top floor.
There’s a balcony to walk out on with decent views.
It’s a good sized room but in need of updating. The room was musty smelling and the bathroom smelled of urine. We are only here one night so we deal with it.
After we get settled, it’s time to head into town to find dinner. One of Iceland food treasures is their hot dogs (believe it or not). They are made with part lamb/pork/beef and they put fried onions, raw onions, ketchup, sweet mustard and remoulade on them.
We find the little hot dog stand, Baejarins Betzu, and enjoy a dog in the rain. I still think Portillos has the best hot dogs ever hands down! But these lamb dogs were good and interesting.
Let me back track a bit. We had to find parking first. You have to pay to park downtown and there’s not a lot of parking. Streets are narrow. We actually found a spot right by the hot dog place! You put your credit card in the parking meter machine and… that’s where we got confused on what to do next. So we just pressed a bunch of buttons and got a ticket. Apparently we paid for overnight parking instead of just for an hour or two. The machine doesn’t even tell you how much it is so I guess we’ll find out when we get the credit card bill!
After our dinner we headed over to the concert hall, Harpa, which is all lit up at night.
We went inside as well. Very impressive architecturally!
There’s a few shops inside, one with a cute, but shy, chihuahua.
There’s lots of Windows to check out the view of the city or sea.
Next we headed to Laugvartan Street which is the main shopping/restaurant/bar street downtown.
Lots of street art!
Shops decorating for the holidays,
And Icelandic charm
We checked out a few shops and then stopped in the local 10/11 (like a 7-11) to pick up Icelandic yogurt – Skyr- to go with our oatmeal for breakfast in the morning.
Still drizzly and getting later, we headed back to the hotel for the night.