- Hafnarhúsið – the Reykjavik Art Museum by the old harbour. It was bizarre and cool with a very eclectic collection. I may have broken every museum rule ever and put a western Emmet mini fig onto a Lego replica of Hallgrímskirkja.
- Hallgrímskirkja – this time, we went inside. It is definitely an impressive structure and has art in the entry (a small show, ending soon I believe) unlike any other art I’ve seen in a church before.
- Sólfar – The Sun Voyager, out by the sea. We sat on the rocks a bit down from this for awhile. Just looking at the mountains and the ocean. In awe of where we were.
- Harpa – Yep, we went into this too. This building is seriously cool, very hive like. And somehow, even bigger on the inside.
- Nexus – Of course I went to Reykjavik’s comic shop. It skewed super American rather than Euro comics, but it was weird seeing the itty bitty collection of single issues. And it was yet another place where I was mistaken for a (short) local and I accidentally gaped at the speaker instead of telling them I had no clue what they just said to me. Jetlag, man. Also worth note, they had a huuuge Ms. Marvel picture on one of their windows.
Most of our Friday food came from places recommended to us by Auður. And they were all excellent.
- Prikið – for breakfast. It seemed like it was mostly locals inside, and the place is apparently known for it’s hangover cure. It’s modeled after a 1950s diner and is apparently the oldest café in the city. And they had seriously huge portions.
- Reykjavik Roasters – This was the best coffee I had in Reykjavik. The beans are roasted there! Auður says on colder days she’ll generally stop there during tours in colder weather, and will often see members of the previous day’s tour back there again.
- Snaps – Yet another one of Auður’s recommendations. Seriously, she gives the best places to go. We waited for our table at the bar downstairs. I had a Yellow (lemony) G&T and then ordered a smoked arctic char open sandwich for dinner. Not something I would usually go for, but I was curious about the combination of smoked fish, potatoes and apples. It was pretty good, but also too big of a portion for me. I guess I can’t eat as much as a nation where I swear everyone is at least 6 foot tall.
Worst hashtag or best hashtag? It’s definitely the best goal to have when travelling anywhere, but especially abroad. We took it upon ourselves to crack open Grapevine, the English language local newspaper. The center spread included a map of some bar suggestions. So we decided to take them up on one, thus beginning our saga of partying like a local.
- Dillon Whiskey Bar – Dillon is a place both my friend and I agreed we would be regulars at at home. Sort of metal (mostly metal) and with more than a few locals. I was immediately greeted by one in particular (The Viking) who tested my BS tolerance instantly. But he charmed his way back into talking to me and making out with me while my friend befriended a group of nearly 20 American dudes who were there for a bachelor party. At some point The Viking went out for a smoke and never returned so we headed out with The Americans to…
- Lebowski – Yeah, it’s a themed bar. And yeah there are a lot of white russian options (I didn’t partake since I’d already had gin and beer.) And it was frankly, weird. There was a bowling alley lane on the wall, some seats behind the bar and then a dance floor beyond that. I think there’s a diner in there somewhere too, but it may have been too late at night for that. One of The Americans was buying us drinks (thank you, kind stranger) and my friend somehow spotted The Viking outside with his friends smoking. So she basically demanded that he come in and find me. Which for some reason, being scolded by an American girl that he didn’t know had an impact on him, so he did come in with his friends. After some more drinks, dancing and me watching conversations happening over my head in Icelandic (height + language barrier = me either bobbing my head back and forth like a tennis match or me staring straight forward and tuning out the noise) we left The Americans and headed to another bar to continue on with our evening. Just to be clear, I think we left Dillon around midnight.
- Dio – At least I think the name was Dio. We apparently saw the proprietor earlier that evening, all dappered out. By the time we got there the focus seemed to be on playing a lot of music from Mad Decent. And then through the course of us being there dissolved to the top 40 hits we were dancing to in college. More viking smooching, plus some “oh my god I love this song” shouting. There were a few attempts to leave that never came to fruition. And by the time we rolled out of there, it was a staggering 4:30 a.m.
My goal of partying like a local? Definitely accomplished. Also, shout out to the nice girls who were with us + the guys. They were the best. Bonus pro-tip, apparently the Phallogical Museum only takes cash? Which is <i>slightly</i> ridiculous seeing as locals don’t even have cash.
Part 3 : Game of Thrones, coming soon!