Day 6 – Horsey ride and the best dinner EVER!

Akureyri, Iceland

There were only the two of us staying at the hostel last night so I decided to sleep on the couch in the common room so Dorianne could have the room to herself and I wouldn’t feel guilty every time I coughed or moved around to wake her up.

It was actually really comfy on the couch and I had a good night sleep waking up to the whistling sounds of the wind at 6am.

I knew today would be a good day when I found my gloves I thought I had lost tucked away in a different compartment of my day pack.

Although the town of Sauðárkrókur is very small and only has one main street, it thankfully has a bakery on it that opens up at 7am.  I went by there to pick up a little breakfast sandwich, cafe mocha and a giant cookie.

Yeah, I had a giant cookie for breakfast!

I called up Marcus at the horse riding place 20km away to confirm we were still coming at noon and then I just walked around the town a little as the sun began to rise.

At 11:30 we checked out and headed to the town of Varmahlíð where the office and stables were for Hestasport – Activity Tours.  There we filled out our paper work with Marcus, paid, got dressed up in riding gear and helmet and took a short drive over to where the horses were.

My horse was a beautiful 17 year old named Moon.  This was my first time riding a horse and I was amazed at how easy it actually was.  I was able to mount the horse on my first try and the entire ride was seamless even when we took our horses for a gallop.

Our riding guide was a German girl named Julia who was up here in Iceland mainly because she loved horses.  Paradoxically, she also loves to eat horse meat.  Hmmmm.

Anyway, she was a great guide as she took us for an hour long ride around the hills next to little streams of water.  Before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye and head back to the office to change.

Marcus played a half hour documentary for us on the big screen called Kraftur – The last ride.  In order to protect from disease and cross-breading, Iceland does not allow the import of any horses.  It also means if an Icelandic horse leaves the country to compete overseas it can’t come back.  The film was the story of one of those horses named Kraftur.  It was a nice moving film and a good way to unwind for a bit after our horse ride.

When we headed back to our car it had begun to rain and I commented on how lucky we have been with the weather booking the horse ride in the short window where it was kind of nice out.

After a stop for some gas (and a hotdog) we were on our way to our home in Akureyri briefly stopping at Glaumbaer to see the famous turf covered houses.

By the time we reached our hostel here in Akureyri it was just before 6pm and the sun had set over an hour ago.

I asked the girl at the front desk for a recommendation for a nice sit down dinner and she told me about Rub 23 restaurant.  I went there by myself and proceeded to have one of the best meals I have ever had.  The food was simply amazing.  I decided I would try their featured three course meal for 4900 krona (about $45).

First, as a little amuse bouche I started with a dish of pickled cucumbers slices and dip.  Shortly afterwards, my first course of Sushi Pizza arrived.  It was 8 pieces each consisting of rice between two pieces of nori deep fried in a tempura batter and then topped with marinated arctic char and chili mayo.  I swear I could eat this dish every day for the rest of my life!

My main course was Salmon topped in a sweet pepper sauce with crispy cod, an amazing green salad (the dressing was scrumptious) and a mix of finely cooked cubed vegetables and potato.  Oh yeah, and a little side of wasabi apples which were to die for.

Even before I delved into my dessert of white and dark chocolate mouse with a raspberry puree, marinated fruit and a side of raspberry sorbet over graham crumbs my mouth was watering just from the stunning visual the plate presented.

Sure enough the dessert, like the rest of the meal, was amazing and easily completed what was surely one of the best meals I’ve ever had.

Alexander, my server, was also amazing.  Considering they don’t work for tips here, his friendliness and exceptional knowledge of the food and its’ ingredients was greatly appreciated and perfectly complimented my meal.

I asked him about the tipping situation here in Iceland as I told him I also was a server back home.  He said people do in fact not tip here but if they do the servers pool the money together into a fund for a staff party or event down the road.

What a cool idea!  So, after this amazing experience I gladly added to their party fund.  I hope Alexander has a couple drinks on me.

He also let me know that they are open for lunch between 11:30 and 2:00 and I told him that without a doubt I would be back tomorrow.

And that’s the day!  At 10pm we both turned in for the night.

Tomorrow Dorianne is going to explore around town while I ride a snow mobile for a couple of hours and then I’m going to do some exploring around town myself.  We have one more night here and then we’re heading further east to Myvatn.

Icy Trip 2013, Trip Journal

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