We woke up around 8 feeling pretty sleepy due do the interrupted night. Packed up, checked out, and drove about 20 mins to the meeting point for our snowmobile tour. At least this morning was sunny and clear so we had beautiful views driving on the road that we didn’t have before.
At the snowmobile place we got suited into big insulated jumpsuits, balaclavas, and helmets. Then we rode in a van about 20 minutes up to the glacier itself. There we all received basic driving instructions for the snowmobiles and climbed on. Riding on the snowmobile was very exciting and very fun. I sat on the back while Eric drove, and it was an amazing experience. We went very high up onto the glacier where we stopped and the guide told us a bit about the volcanoes that are under the glaciers and their eruption histories. Then we went back down. The views coming down were spectacular, and by the second half of the drive we were all feeling more comfortable with the snowmobiles overall. On the drive back to the main office we told the guide how much fun it was and how we want to do it again sometimes. He said it doesn’t matter if you’re a tourist or working as a snowmobile guide, there is never enough time on the snowmobile because it’s so fun. We could definitely rent snowmobiles in Tahoe, but there’s no way it could top the views and terrain of being in an Icelandic glacier.
Our next stop was to get lunch in a small town called Hvolsvöllur. We got more pizza, no idea why we keep eating pizza, but this particular place cane recommended. It was a little diner type spot in the town and only one other table was filled. Regardless it was very good and made a quick lunch so we could get back on the road.
We drove the rest of the way into Reykjavik and found our apartment for the next three nights. It was a very bright and cute little two bedroom on a main road just in front of the Hallgrimskirkja. We changed out of our warm clothes and into more street clothes and started some laundry before heading out to see the area. We wandered around the nearby streets going in and out of tourist shops and looking at the grocery selections to prepare some food for the next day and some light snacks for the evening as we wouldn’t really get a proper dinner tonight.
At 5:30 we were picked up by a van in front of the church that took us to the main bus terminal on the edge of the city. There we boarded another van that took us to the Ölgerdin brewery for a tour.
At this tour they really drive home the beer. They gave us lots and lots and lots of free beer to drink and spent most of the time asking if we needed more beer. We learned about the history of Iceland’s relationship with alcohol and for a very brief few minutes saw the brewing equipment. Iceland has a very odd history with alcohol and didn’t allow beer until 1989. Most of the beers they provided were ones we had already sampled while in Vik, so we knew they were good. The tour guide also made us “beer subtstitute” which was vodka mixed with a “non-alcoholic” Pilsner that used to be served before beer was allowed (anything less than 2.26% alcohol is not considered alcohol here, so they sell cans of 2.25% Pilsner in the regular grocery stores and anyone can purchase them). And we tried a shot of Brennivín, the traditional schnapps of Iceland which I had read was nasty and locals give it to tourists to laugh at their reactions, but I liked it. Maybe it’s because we were already 6 drinks in, but it wasn’t bad. If I recall Iceland went from complete prohibition, to allowing Spanish Rioja, to allowing all wine and liquor except on Wednesdays. Beer was thought to resemble a soft drink too closely and may encourage people to drink too much. And then finally beer was allowed as well.
After we got back to the apartment we decided to get a proper dinner even though it was pretty late. We headed to a bar called Lebowski’s and got burgers and fries with White Russians, the bars specialties. We considered stopping into Bar Ananas afterwards at the recommendation of the brewery guide, but it seemed crowded and I’d had a long day. So we just went home and relaxed instead. The apartment was a nice place to have as a home base.