Saturday, 30 June 2012

Icelandic Food

Here are some of the traditional Icelandic meals.  Some which are not pictured here are cream of wild mushroom soup, smoked salmon of course, shark and dried fish.  Didn't try the last two.

Icelandic Meat Soup (with lamb)

Roast horse, roast lamb, roast pork with some sides.

Icelandic lobster, which is actually whole lagoustine.  We were so happy to hear that the Lobster Festival in Hofn was the same weekend we were there.  It's usually the first weekend in July, but this year it was the weekend of June 23-25th.

While this is not necessarily traditional Icelandic food, it was packed with seafood so I'd say it counts!  Squid ink linguine with seafood.

And for dessert some skyr (a type of creamy thick yogourt served on cookie crumbs topped with strawberries in this case.  The bottom one is creme Brule.  They have excellent dairy farms in Iceland.

Arctic Char (trout) served with hverbraud (rye bread baked in hot springs).

Lagoustine soup with cream.

Smoked lake trout with hverbraud again with a good Icelandic beer.

Once again skyr but this time prepared as a tiramisu.  They called it skyramisu...cute!

Grilled arctic char in the forefront, mashed fish in the back.

Pickled herring with mash fish served on rye bread with rye bread ice cream in the real it's good because their rye bread is sweetened with molasses.

Hot Springs

In Varmahlid (means warm mountain side)

At Jarobodin Myvatn


Blue Lagoon

Hvervellir (hot springs plain)

In Iceland, the cold water comes from the glaciers and the hot water comes from the ground.  There are hot springs all over the country and the Icelandic people love to have a swim, even their public pools are heated geothermically.  There's a distinct sulfur smell to the hot water but it can be very soothing and contains
various minerals not found at home.

Nick and I enjoyed many a dip in a hot spring where we stayed or nearby.  Here are a few photos.  I've already posted some at the Blue Lagoon, but here are some more.


Before coming to Iceland, I did some research and found that there were great waterfalls to be seen in this country.  I made a note of the big ones.  But I never realized that there would be so many, like many many, like everywhere many.  I thought Hawaii was a land of waterfalls, but there were valleys with waterfalls trickling off the side of the mountains on both sides, as small as a ribbon or as awe-inspiring as it can get.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

It came to a point where we would not take photos of every single jaw-dropping cascade because there were just too many and I do believe I've become too accustomed to them, which I never thought possible.  Foss is falls in Icelandic.  Many of the smaller ones do not really have names, some are named with the river they flow into with the word foss added, but the signs went by too quickly for me to see the names.

Behind Seljalandsfoss

Falls we came across while hiking in a canyon.


Friday, 29 June 2012


One of the tour guides in Reykjavik told me that Icelandic is a very old language.  By looking at labels on products I can see that it's similar to Norwegian and Swedish so imagine my surprise when the 3 men at the next table, an Icelandic, a Norwegian and a Swedish man, were communicating in English.  English is learned as a second language in Iceland so everybody speaks it rather well.

This is Teodor from Iceland, Erik from Norway, and Gunner from Sweden at the Gamli Bauker Restaurant in Husavik Harbor, photo below.

Here's my understanding of how it went based on speaking with both the tour guide and Teodor.

Iceland was settled in the 800's by Vikings from now Norway who spoke in a Germanic tongue (the root of Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Germany and even English.  Europe at that time was primarily writing their history in Latin while the illiterate masses developed their own tongues to communicate within their isolated communities, which in turn developed into different languages.  However in Iceland they wrote their history through sagas (an English word that comes from Icelandic) in that original language, as well as their laws.  They were taught to write by Celtic scribes.  That along with extreme isolation meant the language has pretty much remained the same throughout the years. So Icelandic is closest to the original language from which developed all Germanic languages.

During the Danish conquest, they learned to speak Danish as well, still do today.  However following their independence from Denmark in 1944, they formed a committee to "purify" the language for lack of a better term.  It's a language police in Iceland just like we have in Quebec.  The universities teach the old Icelandic and they learn the sagas in school.

The committee comes up with new words as per modern things such as a telephone or automobile for example.

Thursday, 28 June 2012


So what to do in Iceland?  Walk on ice, what else.  Here we are walking a glacier tongue with ash from last year's Grimsvotn eruption still encrusted in the glacier.  It's called Svinafjelljokull or Pig Mountain Glacier and it's where the training scene in Batman Begins was filmed (see link below).

Then after walking on ice, we watched pieces of another glacier (icebergs) float into a lagoon and then out to sea. Nick even tasted freshly cut ice straight from the glacier.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


The isolation here is extreme, hence why I've not posted in a very long while, not for lack of trying.  The Internet along the way has been from spotty to non-existent basically.  But it's easy to understand when you drive along the road and see nothing for miles and miles.  Talk about being in the middle of #@$! nowhere.

Off to go whale watching right now.  Will continue to post if I can.  Here are a couple more photos.