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Published: October 25th 2009
The City Hostel in Reykjavik is a really nice place. It is a pretty hefty walk into the city (although there is a bus stop right outside for those less inclined to walk than we are), but the place is clean, the staff are friendly and it just has a generally nice atmosphere. Once back at the hostel, we popped on the internet for a while to try and find a cheaper price for whale watching, but, being out of season, there was a restricted choice. Eventually we asked Ricardo, on reception at the hostel, if he could find us anything cheaper, but even he couldn’t work financial magic for us. We ended up booking the Golden Circle tour instead and gave up on the idea of taking three hours of seasickness in return for a slight possibility of seeing a whale or two. After this, we went straight out again looking for food. Being indecisive in choosing Icelandic cuisine (not unusual for us), we walked down the main food areas for a while, looking at the boards outside restaurants for anything that might catch our fancy, then ended up in a pizza place.
We arrived in the English
Pub not long after 8.00 and, not being able to find a seat, we stood near the bar with a pint of Gúll. A Canadian couple, whether because they noticed Lyndsey’s Canada badge on her bag (stolen from the hostel, where a number had been left on a table in our room), or just because they were nice people, shuffled over and let us sit down. Joe arrived not long after, and with a local band setting up on stage, we were settled here for the night. The name English Pub was quite deceptive, mainly because the beers they served were, apart from the Icelandic ones, largely Irish. Adding to the Irish feel was the dark wooden decor and the jovial atmosphere, but, presumably because there is already an Irish bar elsewhere in the city, there were other elements in there that were designed to give it that English, homely feel. Homely in the old fashioned sense, of course, there were no quiz machines or 16 year olds in tracksuits, but there was a dartboard and a wooden ‘Wheel of Fortune’ type game behind the bar, the kind of game that cost as much as two pints to play, with
the slightest chance of winning up to four pints if you hit the jackpot (officially 8 drinks, but the winners we saw only got 8 half-pints). The band entertained with acoustic covers of classic rock songs, with the occasional terrible pop song thrown in for good measure and before we knew it the ‘last orders’ bell was rung at 11.00, although this was just part of the English theme and we were able to keep drinking long after this. Not long after midnight, we decided to call it a day, and not wanting to do that immense walk back to the hostel for the fourth time in a day, we jumped in a taxi, which wasn’t as expensive as I expected, even after Joe had decided to leave a generous tip. With an early morning beckoning, and everyone else in the room already asleep, we decided to go straight to bed. Whether it was the effect of a few pints of Gúll, or whether the beds here are just more comfortable than my rickety old bed at home, I’m not sure, but, for the second night running, I was asleep within minutes of settling down into bed.
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