July 14th, 2017
After our exploration of the Icelandic countryside the day before, the rain returned and we had a leisurely morning at home playing with Eva while we waited for the weather to break.
Ingun had ridden Icelandic horses with her sister growing up, so she found a tour that would take her back out in to the beautiful mountains and waterfalls on her very own horse. She was so excited and we got a few snapchats during her 6 hour riding adventure!
While Ingun was out, the rest of us decided to explore downtown Reykjavik and do a little shopping.
First we passed by the Icelandic Phallological Museum which had an interesting display of things in the windows. We might have stopped in just for laughs but we didn’t want to pay admission!
Alec wanted to grab coffee at Reykjavik Roasters, so my parents and I went back to the big church to show my dad how cool it was! It was also chilly outside so we went inside the church to escape the wind for a few minutes. Such a beautiful hall inside!
We made our way towards the water and weaved through the city all together. There was a really cool clothing shop that had all sorts of Icelandic clothing words translated in English on a big plaque outside. The language nerd in me was thrilled!
Little Eva and I played as we walked and enjoyed the sights of the city. There were some cute shops and painted buildings which made it look like a perfect Scaidianvian city, even though it was nice and cloudy out!
We walked for a while until it was about ready for Eva’s nap. We grabbed lunch on the way home but took it to go, so my mom and Eva danced while we waited and it was SO stinking cute!
Ingun came home that night and told us all about her day. Unfortunately it rained a good deal (sideways!) but she said she had a lot of fun! We were all ready for dinner and I cooked in our tiny Airbnb kitchen. Pasta salad, grilled chicken, and sauteed spinach on the menu.
By the way, don’t forget the eternal summer this far north! Check out the level of sunlight at 10PM…
July 15th, 2017
The next day was the last full day we had in Iceland, so we went to find a geothermal pool to play around in. Before the pool, my dad and I went out, nice and early, to an amazing bakery we found the day before called Braud & Co. It was, beyond a doubt, the best bakery I have ever been to in the world.
The smell of beautiful, buttery pastries wafts down the street at the crack of dawn and we salivated just thinking about them on our 20 minute walk over. Cinnamon buns, vanilla cream pastries, traditional and chocolate croissants… lord have mercy. The shop was stunning inside– all wooden and cozy, loaves of bread with hard crusts on the outside next to the buttery delights, and the baker himself visible behind a small window inside the shop.
You can’t miss this shop for two reasons: 1) the pastries are legitimately mouth-wateringly good, and 2) the outside of the shop is a stunning rainbow that stands out among the other painted shops on the street! This is easily one of my favorite photos I took on the trip.
My dad and I walked back with about 12 pastries in hand (we wen’t a little crazy!) and found a little cat who followed us halfway down the block.
We brought the spoils home and I laid them out on a plate, still warm, and we had the most delicious breakfast. JUST LOOK AT THESE BEAUTIES! I only pray that someday I can make things as amazing as these sweets.
After breakfast, we were lucky that the rain stopped for a little while, so we asked Johannes where we should go for a geothermal pool and he recommended a local bath called Laugardalslaug. It was not touristy at all and Eva was allowed to come! Ingun and I needed to grab some swim diapers for Eva, so we stopped for coffee and then trekked to a pharmacy to find her some. The coffee, from Reykjavik Roasters of course, was delicious and I finally got to take a photo of their coffee flavor wall. What a beautiful way to draw tastes!
When we got home, we packed up the family and walked about 25 minutes and arrived at the pool. We weren’t allowed to bring in cameras to the pool but this website had a great shot of the facility:
There were maybe 1/4 of the people in this picture there when we were, so it was a lot less crowded. Off to the right of this photo was a small circle pool where we hung out with little baby Eva who had never been swimming before! The pool was shallow and really, really warm (around 38ºC) but felt amazing.
On the left side of the deck there were 5 hot tubs, all heated geothermally, at different temperatures. Ingun and I wanted to try them all, the hottest being 44ºC. We could hardly stand it for more than 60 seconds! The final hot tub was filled with sea water from just down the street and heated to a comfortable hot tub temperature. It was super cool to lounge in the saltwater.
After we swam, we dried off and got dressed while we waited for the boys to finish in their locker room. Eva found a chair to push and was a total ham guiding it around the floor!
We grabbed a quick bite on the way back home and Eva wanted to share my sausage. Looks kind of like a Darth Vader grip going on there…
We chilled back home for a while and Ingun went out to shop a little (since she missed the adventure the day before) and my parents went back to check out a small shop in town. I was wiped out and blogged a little while Alec and Eva napped outside.
Later in the evening, Ingun and I went to Bonus, the grocery down the street, and got ingredients for the last dinner in Iceland. I made a homemade tomato sauce, pasta, and meatballs (I found the SWEDISH KIND!), and some KILLER garlic bread using a baguette from Braud!
Just before bed, Alec and Eva had a sweet moment with Eva’s new Icelandic book and he did his very best to read it to her… :)
July 16th, 2017
I got up at the crack of dawn to take a bus to the airport the next morning. I grabbed a quick breakfast at the airport of a coconut milk and chia pudding with coconut flakes and sour currants, and took one last snap of the Icelandic fact board that welcomes you as you enter (and exit) the country. So cool.
I also took advantage of Duty Free and stocked up on ALLLL the Icelandic vodka. And a 6-pack of Somersby, of course! I hardly had room in my backpack but I would have thrown out my clothing to fit in the Somersby :)
After some technical problems with the first aircraft, we changed to a new plane and off we went. I got put in Economy Plus (my airplane luck is incredible lately!) and sat next to two adorable Swedes heading to Maryland for a week. We swapped stories and I gave them a few recommendations while they were in the city. What a welcome sound to hear my beloved Swedish being spoken so beautifully in my ear the whole flight!
All in all it was a fantastic trip to Iceland, but the family time was hands down the best part. I loved seeing Alec, Ingun, and of course, my little niece Eva who stole the show. I can’t wait to see everyone again this winter at our home this time! <3