Friday, September 05, 2014

In Reykjavik

Today we ate appetizers of putrid shark and smoked puffin with a main coarse of whale steak for lunch. The shark came out in little white frozen cubes. Even frozen the ammonia smell was powerful. It had a strong unpleasant taste followed by a worse aftertaste. Now I know, if putrid is in the name of the dish, I'll pass next time.

Compared to the shark, the puffin was great. Puffin is a cute multi-colored bird, but it tasted like lox that had been sitting out too long with the consistency of liver. It was maroon. The whale steak was the best, tasting a bit like undercooked beef. After lunch, we went back to the room and ate gummy sharks brought from home. In the evening we were decidedly less adventurous. We ate the national dish of Iceland, hot dogs.

Before lunch, we saw the famous Hallsgrimskirkja, a tall church with a memorable layered design. We took an elevator almost to the top and walked a couple flights of stairs. We took in the view of the city and its surroundings.

A couple of other observations: the shower water smells eggy because there's sulfur in the water. Icelandic drivers have a weird habit of speeding and then screeching to a halt even when it's obvious they'll have to stop. The funniest is when they screech to a halt 100 feet in front of a pedestrian who so much as thinks of crossing the road, even if it's illegal to cross there. It's a good analogy for many Icelanders who have a brusque facade that masks a deeper kindness

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