I woke up but left my eyes closed. I could hear Taylor still snoozing next to me, and not a peep was coming out of the living room where Sarah was sleeping on the couch. Back to sleep. This scenario was repeated at least three more times. We didn’t set an alarm to wake up. We went to sleep knowing there was nothing we had to do the next day. So, when we all woke up at 11:00 the next morning, none of us were mad about it – especially Sarah, who is a mom of two sweet little girls. The extra hours of sleep were greatly appreciated by her and certainly needed for all of us given our long hours of travel the day before. Sunrise this time of year occurs around 8:30am, so it’s that much easier to sleep in!
When we finally got up and got around, we took a moment to enjoy some of our $5 dozen eggs and some Icelandic style yogurt. The popular brand here is Skyr, and I took a chance a bought the most Icelandic of the Icelandic yogurt – Licorice Skyr. One serving of this yogurt was about $1.75.
Icelandic yogurt seems to have the tart, or sour taste of Greek yogurt, but I found it to be much creamier. It was also sweeter, as it was sweetened with Stevia. As for the licorice flavor, it wasn’t overpowering. For someone who doesn’t like licorice (me), it was mostly tolerable. I had some KIND Cinnamon Cluster granola with me, so I threw some of that in there and it was pretty darn good! (I probably won’t buy it again, though)!
With full bellies we set out on the city, pleased our late morning would eliminate the expense of lunch. We decided to explore a different area of the city and took the nearby street of Skólavördustígur up to Hallgrímskirkja church. (Say that 3 times fast)! The street, lined with many quaint little shops, made a slight incline up to the grandiose church. Desiring something warm, and a bit of a boost, we slid in to this cute little coffee shop, Cafe Babalu. Each of us ordered a drink and did our best to avoid being tempted by the bevy of delectable sweets encased in the glass before us.
With caffeine in hand, we continued our walk to Hallgrímskirkja where we joined the small mess of tourists for photo taking. The Iceland flag was at half mast, which left us wondering if something horrible had happened somewhere in the world. After a quick peek at my Apple News headlines, I found only Trump-related headlines and proceeded to take more pictures.
A commanding statue of Lief Erikson is positioned in front of the church. Erikson hailed from Norway and was an explorer. He was the first European to discover continental North America. As we walked closer to the entrance of the church, we soon noticed a hearse parked in front and realized the church was not available to be toured. Thankful we have another day in Reykjavík, we left the church to continue exploring.
We decided our next destination would be Laugavegur Street. This street is considered the best street for shopping in Reykjavík. Typically, I don’t go shopping when I’m exploring a new city or country. I hate the thought of “wasting” my time doing something I can do at home. However, we were on a mission. Taylor has been wanting an Icelandic wool sweater, for which Iceland is famous. Buying them brand new will cost someone about $300-$350. She and I received great tips prior to coming that recommended checking out a thrift store. So that’s what we did!
Taylor shopped and Sarah and I looked around at some of the interesting thrift shop goodies. They had a little bit of everything, but my personal favorite was the second-hand swimwear… no thanks.
Taylor found some gems and we hit the sidewalk to see what this street had in store for us. We hadn’t gone but ten feet when we stumbled upon the Red Cross thrift store. Of course we had to go in there, too. I’m so glad we did because I found the absolute cutest little gift for my niece. I don’t generally buy souvenirs for anyone as I prefer to carry on my luggage and souvenirs can quickly occupy space and weight limitations. However, I just couldn’t pass it up. Sister of the day, right here. (Yes, even though it’s a thrift store find – how can you get any more Icelandic than that)?!
We actually found many of the shops to be darling boutiques rather than obnoxious souvenir stores, though there were some of those, too.
There was also a number of restaurants and bars, and as our shopping and exploration of Laugavegur sucked up our planned museum time, we had to change our plans.
Because alcohol is so expensive, many of the restaurants offer generous happy hours. We saw one that went from 11:00am-8:00pm. In my pre-trip research I learned of an app called “Appy Hour.” Not to be confused with an appendectomy app (no thanks), this app actually helps you find active happy hours going on around your current location. I pulled it up with the help of Sarah’s always-ready, trusty Trawire wifi, and we found there was a cute little bistro wine bar right next to us! We went in and enjoyed $8 glasses of wine – a real bargain!
After a long day of lazily sleeping in and sauntering from store to store, we headed back to our apartment to shower and start on dinner. As an attempt to save money on this trip, we opted to dine in on some delicious pasta and veggies.
The three of us had a wonderful meal together at our little kitchen table before changing in to our own swimwear (nobody else’s) to enjoy the hot tub on our balcony. We sat warm in the bubbling tub, noses cold, under the bright full moon.
The Big Dipper and Cassiopeia shined brightly above us inviting us to stay out longer, but the note on the door said: It is strictly forbidden to be on the balcony past 10:00pm. We stayed in the hot tub right up until the clock turned 10:00pm and then quickly jumped out, wrapped our towels around our bodies and hurried into the warmth of the apartment. After a nice geothermal and sulfur-smelling hot shower, I hopped into bed and fell immediately to sleep.