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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Island 2013 (Iceland)

Getting Started

We started our adventure in our favorite coffee shop in Kirkland – St. James.

Then, we headed to the airport for the 8 hour evening flight from Seattle.

With no sleep, we headed into town.

Hjónabandssӕla, and Dining, and Biers, Oh My.

As always, our journey seemed to center around food and drinks. Here is a brief recap.

On the plane, we experienced Happy Wedding Cake (the word above), which is a hearty not-too-sweet figgie bread/cake. Oh, yes, and sampled the Icelandic Vodka

We visited two really delicious restaurants, both off the beaten path.

Smoked Puffin with a side of sweet mustard was really tasty. Not at all gamey and the texture was almost as smooth as a tuna sashimi. Highly recommend. I’ll pretend Puffins are not endangered.

Another night, had gratin Lobster/Monkfish (lobster is about the size of a shrimp but more tender) and a fish hash, made with potatoes, cod, and a cheese sauce. Both were really hearty.

Fish soup and mussles/calamari were really excellent.

Skyr with berry sauce, recommended by my good friend L-M (who happens to be married to a real Viking

Skyr – oh so nice! I will for sure figure out how to make this one at home.

And, Apple cake with a light caramel sauce and vanilla icecream. Yum

Bier

And, we of course had to have story about Bier! Iceland is not Belgium, but we found some decent local ones on taps.

Here is a recap of the sampling adventure

Viking C

Black Death C

Tuborg CC

Gull CC

Tuborg PilsnerC

Tuborg – Red CC

Viking-C

Manhattan – so good had to eat the cherry too!

Vacation cappacino – love to the last drop

Reykjavik

Such a cute little town, full of colors. The shops open late (“alla daga” 10 or 11 till 18) and they all seem to close promptly at 6, just in time to allow the restaurants to serve the dinner crowds. And, everyone was definitely out in the evenings, despite the drizzle.

The tiny streets seem strange to host such large cars. SUVs and mid-large size cars (with studded snow tires) were everywhere.

Overlooking the harbor. Brrr. Very windy.


The colors were everywhere, giving such personality to the city.

4 Wheeling Adventure

We had no idea what we were getting into when our deal included an excursion.

Unknowingly, we began what would become an 11 hour “jeep” tour.

Six of us (plus our guide) set off 4-wheeling to the base of the volcano where 70 MPH wind gusts pushed one of the young tourists into a 6-foot crater.

Then, the 4-wheel drive got us back thru streams and craters and we ended up next to huge waterfalls.

Yes, we did drive thru that stream!

It was so windy we couldn’t get too close to the waterfall without getting soaking wet…

Then, back into jeep (not really a jeep, but Toyota doesn’t sound as cool), and headed off to the black sand beach, where we sailed up and over and down the dunes.

Water was pretty chilly, especially when it gets the top of ones boots wet!

We stopped off at Anna’s (Anna was a famous dairy maid, who wrote cookbooks) Hotel/Lodge/Inn and had homemade lamb stew with a really hearty bread and crazy-good butter. What is with that butter? So good!

(The houses are made from tin or concrete. And the architecture is pretty plain. – Notice, there are no trees in Iceland.)

Then…wait! What? A Glacier? We’re going to CLIMB the glacier?

And in the pouring rain, we put on crampons and rain gear, and up the glacier we went.

And, what did I learn about climbing on glaciers?

I’m a chicken. I had no idea that my fear of heights would make me physically sick to my stomach. I can go up and down, but do not make me walk on a 3 foot path between two crevasses.

I’m so glad I had no idea what we were getting into. It was a long day, but well worth it! Definitely a must-do on the Iceland adenture.

The last day, we ended the journey with a trip to the Blue Lagoon – a steamy hot bath full of minerals. <as an aside: the scent of the lagoon kinda made me want some deviled eggs!>

The blue lagoon: It’s the life– sipping on a Gull beer whist floating around the warm creamy water. So funny to see Greg step in the pockets of the mineral goo that lined the edges of the lagoon.

Our 4 days/3 nights in Iceland adventure was well-worth it!

The locals are proud of their culture and are very welcoming to visitors.

Eveyone spoke English and currency was easy to convert. Prices were really not too bad either!

Here’s a recap of our highly recommended places:

Άsgeir Άsgeirsson http://www.2iceland.is Best tour guide
pRIR FRAKKAR www.3frakkar.com Locals restaurant—Puffin, Horse, Whale on menu; plus anything “gratin” awesome
Gamla VinHushiD www.gamlainhusid.is Apple Cake w/ Caramel and icecream
Vid Tjornina www.vidtjornina.is Quaint, old charm with chef’s special. Get the Skyr
Blue Lagoon www.bluelagoon.com Nice. Go on the way to the airport
Hilton www.hiltonreykjavik.com Very nice accomodations

Here’s to more adventures!

Xo

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Posted by on February 21, 2013 in 2013

 

Segway in Seattle – Feb 2013

Our friends Kevin and Karol talked us into this trip and I’m so glad they did. A new adventure for us all, we all started out a little wobbly, but soon we were crusing around Seattle.

 

Thankfully, it wasn’t raining and it was pretty warm .for Ground Hogs Day in Seattle.

Our tour guide, coaxed us up Queen Anne hill..I was pretty whimpy and had to walk down one of the hills.

We stopped for a warm coffee (or tequillla shots) and then back to base on Alaska Way

 

 

What a fun way to travel! What a great city!

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2013 in 2013

 
 
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