Day 9, 10, and 11: Reykjavik

The last three days of our Iceland trip did not go as planned.

My original plan included another swimming pool, possibly blue lagoon,  The Perlan, a walking tour through the city to see places like the concert hall, possibly visiting the active volcano (Justin was interested in that, not really me), the Penis Museum (yes you read that right), and a food tour. Most of those events did not happen for the following reasons.

It started with my food poisoning. I spent the entire first day of Reykjavík on the couch, sick and unable to keep anything down. By evening, I felt a little bit better, better enough, at least to go to the Bónus nearby and buy some ginger ale and soup for when I felt better. But mostly, I napped on the couch on and off, and when I was awake and conscious we watched Bojack Horseman.

The next day, so day 10, I felt 100% better, but Justin woke up sick. He had the symptoms of a cold. He was sneezing, coughing, his throat hurt, he had a headache, etc. We also had to drive downtown to get our COVID tests so we could fly back to the United States in two days. Justin was freaking out the entire drive to the testing center because he was worried his COVID test would be positive and we would be stuck in Iceland without lodging or anything for two weeks. I ensured him that he just had a cold, and his test would not be positive.

The testing process was really simple. I made an appointment online. We showed up. It took less than ten minutes. We walked into the building, they checked our names/birthdate on the computer, checked our passports to make sure we were really us, then we walked into a room where there were about seven different people running the tests, got things stuck up our nose, and it was done.

I think we got our results in an hour, and we were both negative. They sent the test results with a barcode to our emails to show at the airport.

Justin wasn’t at the cusp of his cold yet, just the beginning symptoms, so we decided to go to The Perlan Museum. The Perlan is a museum on top of Öskjuhlíð Hill in Reykjavík. It’s a museum that is built on top of six water tanks that store 24 million liters of Reykjavík’s hot water.

The Perlan is a museum that is all about Iceland’s geology. It has exhibits about volcanoes, tectonic plates, geothermal energy, earthquakes, water, Icelandic wildlife, Icelandic weather, and glaciers. Justin and I really enjoyed it. All of the exhibits were interactive, and there was a lot of information. I think we read every single description for every single exhibit.

They also have an ice cave. I’ve never been into a real ice cave so I cannot compare it to the real thing, but I enjoyed it. It is 100 meters long and it was built from over 350 tons of snow from the nearby Bláfjöll Mountains. The cave itself is 5 degrees Farenheight. I think prior to the pandemic they used to give out coats or vests for extra warmth, but they did not while we were there. I was fine. The temperature was similar to the temperature in the Ice Land exhibit that Moody Gardens has every year around Christmas, so nothing shocking. I had my winter coat since the temperature was in the 30s on a daily basis anyways, and I wore my hat, and I had gloves in my coat pockets. I was not cold at all, but I am also used to colder weather being from the east coast whereas Justin has a lower tolerance of colder weather since he grew up in Texas. We both enjoyed wandering through the cave.

There was also a movie in a planetarium that was all about Northern Lights that we watched. The movie had both English and Icelandic versions.

And there was a viewing deck at the top of the museum, where you could see the Reykjavík skyline.

We decided to try some Icelandic food afterward. We went to a very touristy restaurant in Iceland. It was called Íslenski Barinn. You could tell that it was designed for tourists that wanted to try what was typical Icelandic food. They had the fermented shark, which we did not try.  I had a delicious salad with Icelandic lobster, cheese, blueberries, grapes, peppers, onions, and cucumbers. Justin had a reindeer burger. And we bought some meat soup to go to eat back at the cabin. The food was delicious. I still think about that salad.

 

After we ate, Justin was not feeling that great, so we went back to the cabin. Instead of me feeling like shit that day, it was him. He took a nap, and I wrote postcards to friends, played Xenoblade II, and relaxed. And that was pretty much Day 3.

The next day was our last day in Iceland before we flew back to the states. We had a few things we wanted to do before we flew back such as trying Iceland food, buying souvenirs for our friends and family, and things like that.

The first thing we did was go to a souvenir place, so we could buy tourist souvenirs for our friends and family. Justin wanted lava salt and other weird salts and peppers. I also wanted to buy a snowglobe for one of my coworkers. Justin bought a lot of stuff including a blanket, that I haven’t seen since we were in Iceland. I should ask him where it is. My father wanted a specific tea. I did find a hat I really liked though and totally bought it.

Unicorn and rainbows? That is so me.

We also really wanted to go to the Penis Museum. Read at your own risk? Warning for pictures from the museum?

The Iceland Phallological Museum is dedicated to animal penises from all around the world. It houses over 200 different preserved penises. The curator of the museum, whose name was Sigurður Hjartarson was apparently fascinated with penises, an interest that started when he was young when he was given a whip made from a bull penis. His friends and family curated this interest by giving him different penises as gifts. In 2012, his son took over the museum and made it the place it is today.

 

It was actually a really interesting, albeit a bit perverted place to visit. The museum had all sorts of penises displayed, and interesting facts about the mating habits and the length of each mammal that the penis belonged to.

Here are a few pics that I did take on my cell phone.

I think Justin actually enjoyed it more than me. I mean I read every single information plate by the specimens, but Justin took a picture of every single specimen.

The museum had some unique souvenirs too, as you can imagine, and I bought my BFFL some very interesting souvenirs from the museum.

After our museum adventure, we decided we needed to try Iceland hot dogs, and stopped at a hot dog stand nearby to the museum.

Icelandic hot dogs are made from lamb, pork, and beef. They are served with white onions and fried onions, ketchup, sweet brown mustard called pylsusinnep, and remoulade which is a sauce made from mayo, capers, mustard, and hern. They were delicious.

After we devoured our hot dogs, we walked back towards where we parked the car and tried some Icelandic coffee.

Nothing much to report there,  it tasted like coffee.

We had parked next to a Bónus, and we stopped in there before we left to buy some chocolate bars to bring back to our friends and family.

The last thing we needed to try on our Icelandic mini food tour was ice cream. I found an ice cream place that had good ratings and we bought some ice cream.

Justin had mint ice cream and something else that I do not remember. I had coffee-flavored ice cream and caramel-flavored ice cream. It was so delicious. My one regret in Iceland is not getting more ice cream while we were there.

After our food tour, we went back to our cabin. Justin was still feeling pretty shitty from his cold, and we needed to pack to go home the next day. Packing was quite the challenge. I somehow added ten lbs to my luggage total and had to find a way to spread everything out so we did not have to pay an additional luggage fee.

That night, I could not fall asleep at all, so I spent the entire night on the couch until we left for the airport the next day at 5 am.

The trip back wasn’t that exciting. Justin felt like absolute shit. He was sneezing and coughing and felt horrible. We returned our rental car. It had served as well. The rental car place drove us back to the airport. Check-in was pretty easy. The Icelandic Air representatives checked our covid tests to make sure we took them and they were negative and within the appropriate time period required. And they checked our luggage.

Keflavík International Airport is pretty similar to Heathrow Airport. There’s one giant terminal where you wait. Our flight was very early in the morning Iceland time. Most of the stores in the terminal that would normally be open were closed due to COVID and social distancing. There was one humungous duty-free shop to check out, and one cafe open to get food and beverages. I got some food since I was starving and would not survive our flight back to the US without sustenance. I got a sandwich. I also got my last bottle of Appelsín soda. I miss Appelsín soda.

About an hour before the flight, the gate appeared on the monitor and it was a mad rush to get to the gate. We went through customs in Iceland, which wasn’t too bad. It went quickly, and then we waited at the gate until they loaded the plane.

Our flight back to the US was much more crowded than our flight to Iceland, every seat was filled. Other than the plane being more crowded, the flight wasn’t too bad. It was only a six-hour or so flight to Boston, which is where our flight back to Houston routed us through.

Logan Airport was a fucking madhouse. First, we had to go through customs, and customs was fucking crowded. It was super hot in Boston and the AC did not seem to be working. I think it took us almost an hour to go through customs. We went through fine. Then we had to get our boarding passes. We were unable to print our boarding passes in Iceland for our Jet Blue Flight. We tried to use the automatic machines to print our boarding passes but that did not work either, so we had to wait in line for a Jet Blue agent. We were surrounded by obnoxious and sweaty people. There was this one family that kept on trying to cut the entire line. There were families fighting with the Jet Blue agents over luggage weight and it fucking chaos. Once we got to the agent, it was all fine, I think it took them all of five minutes to give us our boarding passes.

We went to our gate, and it was not fun. The AC in the airport did not seem to be working, so we were both sweating. I saw fewer people wearing a mask in Logan Airport than I did in the Houston Airport and that says a lot.  Here I am waiting for the flight. My hair was frizzing like crazy.

The flight itself was not awful. This flight was also filled. But it wasn’t too long or anything. I just played video games on my switch. Ironically, it was cooler in Houston than Boston, and that says a lot considering how awful Houston is in the summer. Our flight brought us in at night. After we got our luggage, we caught the van back to the parking place and stopped at taco bell on the way home because we were starving.

The kitties were mad at us, at first, when we got home, but they slowly forgave us.

About a day later, I started feeling sick because my wonderful husband chose to share his cold with me, and I was leaving to see BFFL Hillary in less than a week.

Unfortunately, we did NOT get to experience everything we wanted to in Iceland, mostly in Reykjavík, but it was an amazing trip and Iceland was incredible, and we’ll just have to go back someday so we can experience the things we missed.

 

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