Paul and I got married Saturday in Gardiner, Montana, where we met last summer. We were there for a week before the wedding, but were obviously quite busy visiting with family and friends who had come to town and taking in our former home, so we didn’t get to write much about our trip, but we hope to share it soon.
The day after the wedding, we woke up, cleaned a little, said our good-byes, and, after a few miss-haps, made it to the Bozeman airport to catch our flight to Denver, then on to Reykjavik. After our flight attendant realized that we were on our honeymoon, he moved us to first class and treated us to champagne, truffles, and all the other drinks, food, and treats we could ask for. Not a bad way to start the trip. But after only a few hours of sleep the past couple of nights, and a little too much turbulence to get a great nap in on the plane, we were exhausted. We landed in Reykjavik at 6 a.m. Iceland time, got on a bus to our hotel, set down our things (since we couldn’t check in that early), and went to get food and coffee before exploring a little and taking a bike tour around the city.
Iceland is a small country whose population is only a little over 300,000, most of whom live in Reykjavik. So even the country’s largest city isn’t massive. The bike tour was the perfect, quick, way to see the major highlights including, Bjork’s house, the Opera House, the coastal shoreline, the country’s most popular restaurant (a hot dog stand), the 2 main squares, parliament, President’s office, an elf home, and both the Lutheran and Catholic cathedrals. Most sites were surprisingly small and quaint given their importance to the country. We did get some of the famous hotdogs on the tour; they honestly didn’t taste too different than the typical American hot dog, but they were topped with raw onions, fried onions, remolade sauce, mustard, and ketchup. Paul and I are pretty confident that it’s the fried onions and remoulade that make them famous.
By the time the tour was over, we could check into our hotel and were spent. We slept for 2 hours before forcing ourselves to wake up so as not to waste too much time. It was a national bank holiday (like the American Labor Day), so the major flea market, which is usually open only on weekends, was open for the day. After exploring a little, having a snack, and not buying anything, we headed out to get a better look at the opera house. It is covered in glass and, inspired by the Sydney opera house, overlooks the harbor. However, when the economy crashed here in 2008, the opera house was not completed and it sat as an empty, glass-less building before it was taken over by the city, taxes were raised, and the glass was purchased.
Our hotel is on the main square in town and everyday the Olympics are displayed on a big screen outside the hotel, beer is sold, and people lay out in the square to watch. Apparently handball is huge because it was Iceland’s first team to earn an Olympic medal, one of the country’s 4 in total (ever!).
After a couple of drinks, we headed to a guidebook recommendation for dinner: Icelandic Fish and Chips. This place was awesome. The place served a few types of fish, plenty of different dips, potato chunks (not the typical chips), and salad. Delicious and perfect for our travel-weary spirit. We found a sports bar to watch more Olympics and have a few more drinks, but by about nine, we couldn’t hold our eyes open. We hit the sack and slept for 10 hours. Perfection.
The next morning was an awesome free hotel breakfast, extra coffee, then wandering around town before getting our rental car to hit the Golden Circle which is a drive with three of Iceland’s main tourist attractions.