Iceland – day drinking in Reykjavik

Afternoon all. Trying to write this while things are still relatively fresh in my head, but we’ve been home for a couple of weeks now, and we’ve almost physically recovered. Almost….

I’ve covered the Northern Lights in a seperate post, which is coming soon, so I’ll start the next day, when we should have been headed to Sky Lagoon for an indulgent afternoon, of hot water, cold water, misty water, steamy water etc…. but, weather stopped play. A severe weather warning for wind, meant we had an email to say, basically, come if you want, but we’d probably recommend you change it to another day.

So, we did, what all good Yorkshire folk do when their plans change. We do museums and day drinking.

We started with the Icelandic Punk Museum, housed in a former public toilet, and literally just occupying the space of 3 toilet cubicles and a small adjacent room. It was cool, but you really did need to care a lot about bands you’d never heard of, and some you had (well, OK, obviously the Sugarcubes), but it was impossible to be in there more than 10 minutes due to space, cramped was not quite the word I’d use. The chap that runs it is a character though, and it was fun to hear him referenced by Henry Rollins at his show later in the week. If his tour is coming anywhere near you please do check him out, was brilliant.

The Icelandic Punk Museum

Then, of course, The Icelandic Phallological Museum. Yup, that’s peni. Lots and lots of peni…. We thought it would of course be amusing, and the owner of the museum said feel free to get a drink at the bar and take it in with you. I’m not sure that there was a drink strong enough that could have prepared us….. It took about 20 seconds for the queasiness to kick in. Every size, and variety of erm, parts, were there on display, mainly in formaldehyde filled jars. bobbing about with little flaky reptilian scrotums in tow. Mice, to whales, and homo sapiens a plenty. I’m not sure I can ever look a Mallard in the face again….Some handball (snigger) team that had chosen to be immortalised in silver, with team photo at the back so you could play guess who….. We wandered through, mainly horrified, until we got to the cafe bar, safely out of sight of the exhibits. Now I don’t know who wants a penis shaped waffle covered in whipped cream and fruits after a thing like that, but they have a stronger constitution than I. So, dutifully, instead, we began to work our way through the penis themed beers, Icelandic Penis Ale, Big Cock Ale, Phallic Lager, Moby Dick, and Dick Johnson’s Seasonal Ale. Just watching people go to the bar and sheepishly ask for a pint of Big Cock, was worth the admission fee alone. There was a middle aged chap on the table next to us, he looked like he’d been traumatised and was practically in the foetal position, rocking back and forth. There was a couple that had brought their toddler! She was sat in the pushchair wearing headphones and engrossed in her tablet. Presumably googling therapists…… Who takes a toddler to a penis museum? Who?! After sampling the majority of the beers, we decided we’d had enough excitement for one afternoon, and legged it, just as Irish hen parties made their way in….

Next, we started to get a little taste of the weather front, snow started to come down, and wandering Reykjavik in a blizzard is surprisingly charming. It really is a beautiful city. We found another cosy bar, one that did beer flights, which I love. 2 different flights, each with 4 x 1/3rd pint glasses of different Icelandic beers to try. So effectively 1.1/3rd pints each. As we finished up, I asked the bartender if there was an Icelandic whiskey we could try, and there was a blended whiskey she recommended so I ordered 2 glasses, before we headed back out into the cold. It was the most peaty tasting thing ever, and I like a peaty whisky but this was hardcore. Not a huge fan, but it was definitely warming, so we finished it and got the bill. So 2 and 2/3rds of a pint of beer, and 2 whiskeys, and the bill came to just over 75 euros! This gives you an idea how financially painful Iceland is, and I still haven’t plucked up courage to look at the bank balance since we got home….

Our Faberge Beer flights

We started to head back towards the hotel, via Iceland’s premier rock bar called Lemmy’s. I wish it was my local. Several Jack and cokes and a lot of System of a Down later, I think leaving at that point was sensible.

The weather deteriorated as we got closer to the hotel, and with a pause to do the sort of shop a toddler would do, crisps, Toffifee and Tunnocks Wafers of all things, we headed back to the hotel to hunker down.

It got really unpleasant into the evening, wind howling, horizontal snow. My beloved (and I cannot stress this enough) beloved husband, went out into the night to buy us both a most excellent kebab from over the road. I have never loved him more.

We’d had an e-mail to confirm that due to this weather front, our golden circle tour would be an hour later setting off in the morning, and with that we had an early night, to dream of waterfalls, and geysers and mountains……

To be continued…..

Link to the first part of my Youtube video is here if you’d like to see more


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