We landed around 4am, the flight with WOW airlines went surprisingly smooth and quick (only 7.5ish hours). We landed earlier than expected and even though no food was included on the plane ride, we easily circumvented that by packing our own meals/snacks (aka Dim Sum in ziploc bags, thanks mom). Although I admit to having given in to paying around $6 for a cup of instant noodles towards the end of the flight (please don't judge me). The girl next to me ruined me because she bought one and I couldn't stop craving it! The hunger was real. After landing, we picked up our car rental from Blue Car Rental right next to the airport (literally walking distance), and they ended up not having the car we initially booked, so they upgraded us to a more expensive one! HOLLA! We then picked up a wifi dongle (highly highly recommend) that provided us with wifi everywhere we went for only $10 a day. It gave us the flexibility of using google maps, messaging our Airbnb hosts, posting on social media, etc. We wasted absolutely no time and drove to Reykjavik, which was only a short 40 minute car ride. With rumbling tummies, we looked up the earliest open breakfast spot, rushing into Sandholt Bakery right when the doors opened at 6:30am. My friend, Wei, ordered a beer at this early morning brunch, and the rest of us got cauliflower soup and croissants to munch on with our coffee. We walked around the city, enjoying the quirky street art and headed also to the Icelandic Phallological Museum, HAHA it was recommended on the airplane magazine "weirdest things to do in Iceland" so we were like, why not? It was uh.. interesting.. to say the least. That's probably all I should say about it. Anyways... hahaha next we checked out the infamous Hallgrímskirkja, and it was tall and magnificent and g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s.
Fun fact: our friend, Wei, decided to bring one of those yellow Kodak disposable camera to capture a few pictures. You'll see them scattered throughout my Iceland series post! I loved the way they ended up looking, They've definitely got a film look to it that I'm more than just a little bit in love with.
For lunch, we decided to check out Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, a famous hot dog stand (because apparently hot dogs are all the rage in Iceland). Since eating out in general is crazy expensive here, our group agreed we would resort to gas station hot dogs for a majority of our meals, as do many travelers. The hot dogs were surprisingly delicious, they add a crunchy layer of onions below the hot dog, and you are offered a wide variety of 3-4 sauces, including chili ketchup, remoulade, and mustard.
Next, after reaching our energy cap, we decided to finally check into the Airbnb to rest for a bit. Can't quite figure out why, but these Nordic countries have really amazing interior design skills or something. Our Airbnb was gorgeous!!!
We all vowed to each other that we would stay awake all day and just crash at night to accustom ourselves to the jet lag, but once one of us laid down just to "rest", the entirety of our group ended up taking a four hour nap. Well.. we tried!
When everyone woke up, we decided to splurge and eat well tonight with the knowledge that hot dogs and instant ramen were to make the majority of the rest of our meals. We treated ourselves to a 7 course meal at Tapas Barinn. The biggest reason we chose this restaurant was because we wanted to try the smoked puffin and whale steak! A bit controversial to some, but we were affirmed that neither were endangered and also unique to Icelandic cuisine! Janae and I shared the entire course and it was more than enough to fill the both of us. Honestly, didn't really take a liking to the puffin. Its texture was similar to that of smoked salmon, but a bit tougher. The whale steak I thoroughly enjoyed however! It honestly just looked and tasted like red meat.
This deluxe meal was a great way to round out the end of our first day here in Iceland. Our last stop of the night was to an "American Bar", where there was a talented live performer singing a lot of oldies our crew sang along with. The beer was decent and exciting to taste! The city of Reykjavik is super cute and quirky, but crazy excited to get out of the city to see all the nature stops on the rest of the island!