Friday, September 03, 2010

Iceland - Day 10 and 11

Day 10

We wake up and grab a delicious breakfast from the bakery just down the street… I'm sure going to miss having the delicious breads and pastries just down the street at all times! We then check out and get the owner of the hostel to give us a ride to the Christmas house… yes, you read that right… the CHRISTMAS HOUSE! This is a house just minutes out of Akureyri that specializes in all things Christmas. The man who owns the house had this idea about 12 years ago and started with just the upstairs of this small house. He painted the house like a Gingerbread house (but red) and then put Icicles on the edges of the house and on the roof there were big giant candies... it was AWESOME! Inside it was like Christmas - it even SMELT like Christmas. Decorations and music and the crackling of a wood burning fire... it was complete. They had some Icelandic traditional Christmas things too like the 13 brothers at Christmas and their grumpy and mean mother Gryilla as well as the roasted, dried lamb leg (that I smacked my head on as it was hanging from the ceiling). It was simply Christmas heaven!

After returning to Akureyri, we had some lunch and sat and watched people, explored the down town, checked out the big church and then boarded our bus back to Reykjavik.

The 6 hour journey on the bus was not very eventful, there isn't really that much to see between the 2 major cities - a lot of farm land and lava fields... glad we left this leg of the journey until the last part and in the evening so we didn't feel like we wasted a day. We got into Reykjavik around 11 and walked to the hostel that was in the middle of the city... about a 15 min walk, so not bad at all! We settled in and went straight to sleep!

Day 11

I woke up early and went out to find breakfast and an idea of what we should do this morning - we only had until about 1:30 to spend in the city before we had to head to the airport. I booked our airport shuttle and then returned with delicious baked goods to the room. We headed out to our first stop the 814 (plus or minus) 2 museum. It is an archaeological excavation of the most complete long house found in Iceland - long houses are what the Vikings lived in. It was very interesting.

After the museum, we journeyed to the harbour to rent scooters... we had wanted to see the Pearl Building (which is their water tanks for the city that has been made into a beautiful building with a revolving restaurant on the top of it) and the building was a ways from the city centre, scooters would be the perfect way to get there. After some minor problems with my scooter and an upgrade (to a Vespa instead of a yellow scooter of no name) we headed out. 35 minutes later we were at the Pearl Building (after many detours and Heather getting lost a bunch of times... I sucked at navigating in Iceland but only because I couldn't understand the street names!). We parked, roamed around the pearl building for a couple minutes and headed back to the harbour (which only took 10 minutes... sigh). It was fun scooting around the city like we owned it though, and I would recommend this to anyone!

After the scooters were back at their home, we grabbed some food and some last minute souvenirs and got onto our shuttle for the trip back home. The airport and flight held no big event until we got to Toronto - the connection we had was only 1 hour 30 mins and we had to get our bags, go through customs and get new boarding passes, check our bags again, go through security and then find our gate... needless to say our bags took 30 mins to get to us and we were hooped... missed the connection. So, we spent 3 extra hours in the Toronto airport. We finally boarded the plane at around 3am Iceland time (11 pm Toronto time) and got into Calgary about 8am Iceland time and 1am Calgary time... it was one heck of a long day.

Now that we are comfy and settled back into our house, laundry done, tacks placed in the cities we were on our world map, we are anticipating our next journey... Ireland in 2011... the travelling continues!