Day 2- Taxis, Bikes and Boats in Reykjavik

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June 9th 2013
Published: June 10th 2013
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the Glesne'sthe Glesne'sthe Glesne's

Listening intently
Our first night in Iceland and it does not get dark, at all. It’s very weird to see the crack between the curtains and it is totally light outside. Before we went to bed last night, Kirsten was messing with the lights and were flashing them off and on, and then she plugged in her phone for the night and then . . . wait for it . . . she blew the fuse in the room. No biggie, but funny none the less. Chester had taken her favorite little helper, popped in her ear plugs and slipped on the eye mask and was out! Seriously out for the night. Kirsten thought she was going to be out for the night, until there came a pounding on our hotel door. Yes, Gene and Judy finally made it to the hotel and decided to let us know that they made it. Chester didn’t hear a thing, Kirsten got up and opened the door to yell at her mom about why she didn’t read the note we left for them in their room. Judy didn’t read it yet, but the note said “do not wake us up when you get here.” It was

In her sweet vest because she didn't have any color on.
2 AM.

We convened for breakfast this morning to get ready for a great day of sight-seeing. We took a taxi into town since the busses don’t run as early on Sundays. We met up with our bike tour guide, Stephan. He is also going to be our guide when we head up to the northern part of Iceland on Tuesday. We biked all through Reykjavik and stopped at many historic and scenic places. The real entertainment though was watching Judy trying to ride a bike. She hasn’t been on one for 30 years; maybe that explains why she kept trying to stop her bike “Fred Flintstone style”. This went on for the entire 2 ½ hours. She also wouldn’t peddle when she tried to change gears, even though she didn’t know why she was changing gears or how. We did get to see one site of particular, the world famous Icelandic singer Bjork’s house. Chester even sang a song of hers for the group. All were impressed. (Editorial comment by Kirsten, all were embarrassed for her.)

After the bike ride we hit the cheapest place to eat in Reykjavik, a hotdog stand. The dogs were good, and
Judy on 2 wheelsJudy on 2 wheelsJudy on 2 wheels

Attemption to keep her balance.
even Bill Clinton ate one of their dogs. We needed to kill an hour before our whale and puffin watching, so we went to the flea market. The whale watching tour started just as the rain really started to come down. Thankfully they had full insulated coveralls! They were warm and kept all of us dry but were by no means attractive. The quest to see Minke whales had begun. We saw a few harbor porpoises, and then we saw the big daddy. The whale was awesome. He would stay on the surface, which the guides say they don’t usually do. Then he would pop up and clear his blow-hole. Then he would go for a deep dive for 7 or 8 minutes. Then he popped back up almost in the same place. He did this several times. The boat’s crew was amazed at this. Then the whale came closer to the boat and would pop up on one side, and then go under the boat and pop up on the other side. The spotter would yell 9 o’clock, and then yell 3 o’clock and we would race from one side of the boat to the other. And then back again to the other side when he would come up again. It was pretty awesome. Chester took pictures and Kirsten got the video. There was a group of three French girls who kept pushing Judy out of the way when the whale would come up. Kirsten soon took care of that by cock/whale-blocking them when the whale went to the other side of the boat. We are getting good at this cock-blocking maneuver. Don’t mess with us. After the whale was gone, we headed to the island where the puffins hang out. They were cute, but nothing as exciting as the whales and the cock-blocking.

The day is not over yet. After the whale watching, Gene, Kirsten and Chester waited an hour for their fishing tour to start while Judy hit a couple of movies on the Iceland Volcanoes and how an island is made the first settlers to Iceland. Now if you are keeping track, Judy hasn’t fallen yet, which is a little unbelievable considering the conditions. This is included the 2.5 hour bike ride. We are as amazed as you all.

The fishing trip was a success. Chester is not the jinx that everyone seems to
Bjork's HouseBjork's HouseBjork's House

Not that impressive.
think she is. Gene caught the first fish of the trip and was the big winner with 5 total fish. Kirsten caught one of the biggest fish and one that was different from all the cod that was caught. Chester caught 4 fish, and two of the fish were huge. There were 5 of us fishing at the back of the boat and we filled a tub full of fish and then they started jumping out of the tub. The young kids next to us, about 14 or 15 years old, caught about 20 fish. Every time the girl put her pole down she had a fish. At one point she had two fish on her line; one on each hook. Unbelievable. For the cost of the trip, one would have thought that the crew would bait your hooks and help you, the paid fishermen with their catches. Well, one would be wrong. The crew was in the front of the boat fishing themselves. This was unacceptable to Kirsten and Chester. So unfortunately for Gene, he had to get the fish off our hooks. We all did bait our own hooks but it was gross. They did give us latex gloves to wear, which we did, but half way through the excursion our hands were frozen and the fish were flopping all over the back of the boat and we still got no help from the crew. Thanks! Good thing tips are not customary in Iceland because that crew would have received none. They did at least grill up some of the fish while we headed back to the harbor. It was delicious.

With the curse off of Chester’s back, we were glad the trip was coming to an end. It was rainy and cold and we were done. We got off the boat a little after 8 and met up with Judy for a quick bite to eat. We hit a great little place that serves whale and an awesome bowl of lobster soup. We order the soup and a kabob of salmon. It was awesome. The owner of the place was there as well. He was the first businessman to open a restaurant on the harbor. He is pretty old and his health is not great, but he still can shuffle around the place and hand out postcards of himself in his restaurant. Well, by now we

Sporting the oh so sexy one piece.
are expecting it to be dark, but at 9:30, it is still crazy light out. Ugh. We walked half way home, to the main bus terminal and then took the bus back to hotel. It was a long and busy day, but we saw some great sites and experienced some great excursions. Tomorrow we hit the golden circle.

Additional photos below
Photos: 12, Displayed: 12


The Glesne'sThe Glesne's
The Glesne's

Freezing their butts off.
Minke WhaleMinke Whale
Minke Whale

About 5 feet from the side of the boat.

Preparing to tear up the fish.
Our CatchOur Catch
Our Catch

Jumping out of the bucket. Teh big one is Kirsten's.

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