Day 12 : Reykjavik

A nice quiet start to our last day in Reykjavik – a sunday morning, nothing would be open before 11 or 12, and we have already done 400km excess on the and are a little worried how much we will get penalised for that. Operation sort out the car is commenced, and the final packup done in the light rain (just like northern scotland, really). We try to follow the guidebook which directs us to the 5 star restaurant at the Hilton, only 2 blocks away, where there is meant to be an amazing sunday brunch. Nope, no longer. So we head into town, searching for a cafe. We settle down in a delightful cafe on the main street (very much like Rundle St with its high end fashion, many cafes and bars and a few tourist shops). The cafe was playing Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra, the timber floors and white painted timber window seats and columns and waitresses in cute aprons. What drew us in, however, was the menu – Charlie opted for a taster plate with Minke Whale steak, garlic lobster, fish stew and dries fish. I opted for the chicken salad – it was promised to be served with lots of vegetables. The plates arrived – a palm sized hunk of whale meat, surprisingly dark in colour (liver coloured, practically) but tasting very much like beef steak, tasty lobster bits, a very fishy white fish stew and dried fish that tasted like fish flavoured coir matting. The chicken salad was a little scary with a mango curry sauce drenching the small chicken pieces on a salad with rockmelon (!)

We walked down to the Reykjavik Museum of Photography in the city library. The exhibition there today was one put on by a man around our age, with photos by his grandfather, up to 60 years ago.

After meeting Agust, our car man, to hand back the car and settle the account (he originally wanted to charge us 600 Euro excess, but we talked it down to 400 Euro – still almost $600) and checked into our hotel room. After freshening up, we spent the afternoon exploring a local sculpture garden (amazingly gothic bronzes by Einar Jonsson) up on the hill near the big big church (looking imposing against the white cloud today), then settled into a bookstore – one of the 12 best in Europe, having an enormous coffee in the cafe, and uploading all the while. Free wifi in nearly every cafe and bar in town.

Dinner was at one of the fancy restaurants in town, and on tonights menu – more local specialities. After seeing all those sheep, we had to try the lamb, and our cab driver on the first day had told us that young horse was the best local meat. SO – the lamb and the foal it was. And they were both excellent, washed down with a french wine.

My favourite bar in Iceland. Very Exceter-esque.