Saturday, December 31, 2011

Travel: Iceland Day One

Hey everyone! Sorry it’s been a while, but I have been super busy from before Iceland, over Christmas, and right up until now. And in fact I will now be really busy until mid-January, as I’m going full time next week at The Cosy Club, and I’m moving in with my Nicky next week too! Anyway, so finally had time to write a little bit about my travels, hope you like!

So I was very nervous about this trip, as I was going on my own, but I actually found myself quite relaxed getting the coach to Heathrow, and going through all the airport stuff. I suppose foodie-wise, my trip didn’t really get off on the right foot! I decided to try out this Café Est place in Heathrow Terminal One- and oh my god guys, seriously, don’t eat here!!! When I came in, I noticed there was something on the menu outside that said “early lunches” that had basically the same stuff on the main menu, but for cheaper, because they served it 11am-12pm. Like an early bird special I guess. So I went in, and I noticed this early thing wasn’t on the menu this woman gave me, so when I ordered my meal (lasagne) I mentioned this but the woman was like “oh we must not have put the new menu up there” but I thought screw it, I’ve already sat down, I’ll order it anyway. I was thinking £11-12 for a lasagne, I hope this is good. I also ordered a double espresso, which took forever to arrive, and then the lasagne took ages to arrive as well. When it arrived, it didn’t even come with salad, and it was FROZEN in the middle, meaning of course that they hadn’t make it fresh (or it was v doubtful to have been made fresh). When I told this to the woman she was like “oh I’ll go sort this out for you” but I was just thinking, NO, I want something else, I don’t want to be served a reheated reheated lasagne, I don’t want to end up ill- but she hurried off! And I noticed a guy two tables over from me that had the exact same frozen lasagne thing as well. So it was served back to me and mreh, it wasn’t really that nice. Paid, didn’t tip, and left- super disappointed. Literally, look at this lasagne, even this cool looking Asian businessman guy sat next to me asked literally “what is that??” when it arrived.

Flight was quite nice; IcelandAir had done it up all nice and Christmassy, and had all these cute messages about Icelandic folklore/ Christmas traditions/ languages. And the plane was called Heklar, which is one of the volcanoes on Iceland. Got into Reykjavik fairly easy, although the moment I got to Iceland I realised that it wasn’t just the hotel/ booze that was expensive in Iceland, it’s just EVERYTHING. I mean, I had to get a Flybus to the main BSU bus terminal, and then a shuttle thing from the terminal to my hotel. The shuttle was all right (I thought shuttle transfers were included in the hotel price but apparently not) but the Flybus was £11!?! Usually travel costs are always really good everywhere else I’ve been in Europe, like when Nick and I went to Prague we were shocked that we spent about £3.50 for a 24 hour travel pass, which worked on buses, trains and ferries- amazing. So got to the hotel and it felt late because it was so dark- but it was only 6pm! It is really hard to get used to, in fact, I don’t think five days was even enough to get used to the almost constant darkness- I expect it would take years to be fine with it. You just naturally feel tired because it’s dark, but you just have to keep reminding yourself “Doesn’t matter if its pitch black, its 9am, Doesn’t matter if it’s pitch black, its 6pm” Lol. Hotel was nice, SUUUCH a comfy bed. Mind you though, am I the only person that thinks this is weird- my bed was a double bed, but it had these weird little “personal” 1 person covers, instead of the normal 1 big one. Weird right??

Decided OK, I will be brave, and Instead of just having dinner at my hotel restaurant I would have a bit of a wander about outside my hotel, central Reykjavik, and try and get my bearings. Now, when it comes to food, I brought with me a load of names of recommended restaurants. The best ones were the ones that my boyfriend’s work colleague Sif recommended- she is Icelandic also, so she really gave a nice personal account of which places I should try/ what I should eat whilst I was in Iceland. I then looked at Trip advisor and wrote down a lot of their recommended restaurants, which were in a close radius to my hotel (A lot of these synced up with Sif’s recommended places). Whilst walking around and going down different streets, what was super useful was that there was this little Christmas market outside my hotel, with this big Christmas tree covered in bright red lights. So if I felt like I was getting a little lost, or too far away, I knew that I had to keep my eye out for the red Christmas tree, and then I would know how to get back to my hotel. Saw some funny things on my way too- love the MASSIVE puffin with all the little puffins. Awww, gawd I wondered how much that actually cost- Lol! Imagine trying to get that back through the airport, haha!

Anyway, managed to find this really nice Italian place called “Hornid”. Staff seemed fairly friendly, and they sat me next to where these two fit Nordic looking guys were making the pizzas (Mmmm! Haha!). Ordered a nice cold beer called “Skor” (except with a pointy thing over the o, I don’t know how to do that with my computer), which was the nicest beer I had whilst I was in Iceland, I recommend it. I then got the “Pizza con Rucola y Parma” (Pizza with rocket and Parma ham) with a side salad. The side salad was rubbish (iceberg lettuce, sundried tomatoes and olives and a thin salad creamy type dressing) but the pizza was delicious. I don’t normally order pizzas because usually I can’t eat all of it, but I was so hungry by then I really fancied one. Pizza was so delicious, with loads of parmesan and fresh rocket and tasty Parma ham. There was also garlic oil and chilli oil to dip the crusts in- mmmm!

After this a wandered back to my hotel and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow- travelling really does knacker you out doesn’t it???

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