Birthday on Ice

The subtle hints worked! Began the day with a special birthday pressie from Hubby. Barcud Coch (Red Kite) pendant made by Clogau. Breakfasted on freshly-cooked waffles with syrup again and wrapped up ready for a day’s sightseeing. (No Aurora again last night, despite the clearest evening sky we’d seen yet.)

Barcud Coch Pendant

Outside, the morning was bright and cold. SERIOUSLY cold. I didn’t even know that car thermometers went down to -13.5 degrees Celsius! Martin helped me out of the hotel and into the car, where I snuggled into the passenger seat with its heating elements on full while he scraped the frost off the car windows. I’ve realised I can dry and warm my gloves by sitting on them while the car seat warms both them and me – and found that a very good tactic for coping with these cold mornings.

Martin Braves Snow

We drove to Selfoss and then took the Golden Circle route to Geysir, where we left the car to walk around the hot springs. There were signs everywhere warning that the water could be up to boiling point, so we didn’t go paddling! The Geysir itself is well past its best, (aren’t we all?) but smaller geysers performed very well. As did the various bubbling springs – both water and mud. We resisted the temptation to throw another tourist into one geyser when he insisted on walking in front of me in my wheelchair, despite Martin pointing out I was trying to film the eruption. It would have been so inconvenient for him to walk behind, you know.

Hot Spring

We stopped for a cuppa at the café adjoining the Geysir site. I was fascinated by the statue that occupied centre stage in the café and asked the waitress to explain. She told me the men depicted are competing at Glima, a form of wrestling which is the Icelandic national sport. Video of the genteel sport was showing on screens around the café, too.

Glima Statue

We toured on for a few hours, then back to the hotel in time for dinner – a birthday treat in the restaurant. We began with cocktails in the Bar – a Vodka Martini for Martin and a Choco-Martini for me. Then into the restaurant proper for our meal. I’m not going to quote the prices, but they were painful. The food was very good, but not that good! I understand it costs a certain amount to import anything they can’t grow or produce here, but that overhead would be in proportion to the size or weight of the imported item – not scaled according to its price. So if it adds £20 to the price we’d pay for a good bottle of wine in a similar UK restaurant, how come the overhead is more than £100 for a reasonable champagne? It may be a special birthday, but there are limits!

We quaffed a very nice bottle of Cava.

The Hotel’s owner came to chat while we were waiting for our main courses. He seemed to assume that we would eat in the restaurant every night we were staying there – nice thought, but unlikely!

Martin had Reindeer Carpaccio, followed by Beef Tenderloin and then Skyr for dessert. (This is an Icelandic speciality, something like a cross between cream cheese and yoghurt. Yummy!)

I started with Brenivin-marinaded Salmon, then beautiful Icelandic Lamb and finally a Melting Middle Chocolate pudding.

And finally, an espresso each. We don’t get to eat like this very often, it’s good to push to proverbial boat out onto the ice!

It’s been a busy day and a wonderful birthday. Finally, check our room number is marked on the Aurora Alert list and turn in.