Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Day 15 & 16 - Reykjavik- Hot Dogs, Happy Hour, and Sunshine City

Laugavegur Street, Reykjavik
The weather gods smiled upon us on our last full day in Iceland.  Sunshine and warmth (well...60 F) made the city come even more alive.  We had a few things left on our Iceland bucket list including eating a hot dog from a food cart, some last minute shopping, and a splurge of a dinner.  Here is how we accomplished this...

Day 15 & 16 - Reykjavik- Hot Dogs, Happy Hour, and Sunshine City
Hot Dogs at Baejarins Beztu Pylsur.  Notice the line behind them.

Our day began with breakfast at our hostel followed by a walk around town.  We were fortunate that our hostel was located right at the start of the popular shopping street Laugavegur.  This street has gift shops, boutiques, cafes, bars, and many parts is for pedestrian traffic only.  Our goal was to work down Laugavegur towards a popular hot dog cart - Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur.  The place is known as good bite, and consistently has a line of 5-25 people.  I ordered two dogs with "the works".  This included ketchup, mustard, friend and raw onion, and remoulade (sweet mayo dressing).   They were delicious!

Enjoying the sunshine and a mocha at Uno
After the dogs, we went to Uno for coffee.  We stopped here because it was a warm, sunny day (I was down to only one long sleeve layer!) and they had patio seating.  We enjoyed people watching and sipping our hot drinks.

From there, we took a long, out-of-the-way walk back to the hostel.  I wanted to walk through Hljómskálagarður - a town park and small lake within the city.  It was such a beautiful day that walking outside was a perfect way to explore and get some Vitamin D.

Back at the hostel, we researched restaurants for our last Icelandic dinner.  We settled on seeking out Snaps - rated by one magazine as "The Best Goddamn Restaurant".  We also researched happy hour spots and found out that Apotek- a swanky restaurant and bar - had 1/2 off cocktails during happy hour.  Sold!

Dinner at Snaps

Another 10 minute walk and we reached Apotek where we enjoyed gourmet cocktails in their comfortable and stylish lounge.  Afterwards, we walked 5 minutes to Snaps.  Word of caution - make reservations for Snaps.  We hadn't thought of this, but we were informed they were entirely booked.  Fortunately, there was room at the bar, so we all enjoyed a meal there after all.  I felt the menu had a French influence and I enjoyed my mussels, fries, and house red wine.

After dinner it was time to return to the hostel and pack up.  The next morning, we took an early FlyBus from our hostel to the airport.  It was time to go home.
Walking through Hljómskálagarður park.
What a trip!  It was great to have one extra day in Reykjavik to unwind and explore.  I feel extremely grateful and humbled that I was able to travel 15 nights through Iceland with two wonderful women.  Thank you Leanne and Ali for being the most fun, relaxed, and easy companions.  It's so much better to go to an amazing place and have someone to share experiences with.  I'm also grateful for the work done by Linda at Iceland Unlimited.  She gave great advice, was accessible and easy to communicate with, and found us budget accommodations near amazing locations.
The map we got from Iceland Unlimited with our highlighted route (pink) and interesting sites hand written in blue and green.  What a help!  Thanks Linda!!!
On most of my annual girls trips I know that, realistically, I will not be back to that location. Even though this trip cost three years of savings, I REFUSE to accept that I will not return.  Iceland will haunt my travel dreams for the rest of my life and I will continue to plan a return.  Until next time... "Kveðja".
Farewell, Iceland.  Thanks for the memories and magic!  ~ Lindsey, Leanne, and Ali

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