Iceland 2013

The bearded stranger and his family came to my restaurant three times during their stay in Laugurvatn. The village is well-placed for those exploring the Golden Circle of tourist sites, so he had based himself there.

Gulfoss waterfall

Gulfoss waterfall

The first time they came was after seeing the waterfall at Gulfoss and going to Geysir, where the great geyser named Stokkur bubbles and bubbles, and then blows high into the air. The special menu item that evening was whale and shark. They were adventurous and chose it, but I don’t think they liked the whale much. The second time they had spent the day at Thingvellir , that hillside where the Icelandic people would meet on neutral ground many hundreds of years ago, and decide things - a parliament really. They had been excited to walk around in the ravine created by the Continental Divide between Europe and the Americas. That night I offered them another specialty of our country: pony. The idea of eating ponies turns many people off, but its delicious.

Continental Divide

Continental Divide

On their third visit they had spent the afternoon in the hot springs on the local lake. You shouldn’t walk in the lake: its freezing except where the geothermal outlets mean the water might scald you! The spa buildings had channelled the geothermal heat into natural hot spring baths and sauna huts. They keep one at its ‘natural’ temperature, the steam is around 80 degrees centigrade. That evening they came to the restaurant with a good appetite, but by then had had enough of the exotic local specialities. So they were delighted when I suggested burgers. Reindeer burger isn’t exotic is it?