My last day in Reykjavik, Iceland was bittersweet. I was so sad to leave the country that I had fallen head over heels for, but was also very excited to move on to my next stop, Copenhagen. I planned the day’s activities around a last minute Reykjanes Peninsula Tour, which ran from 1pm to 4pm. The one thing that I really wanted to do before I left the country was go to The Laundromat Café for breakfast.
I had read great reviews about this quirky restaurant and wanted to try it for myself. I started the day early and walked over to the café from Hotel Holt. Every time I had passed this restaurant it was full of people, luckily I was able to catch it at a slower time. I sat down at a table by the windows and ordered coffee right off the bat. The menu here is simple, and it was easy to choose the blueberry and banana pancakes.
This meal was my absolute favorite in Iceland. The pancakes were topped with fresh blueberries, caramelized bananas, maple syrup and had Greek yogurt and blueberry compote on the side. It was heavenly. And the restaurant is so cute! They have a rainbow of books lining the outside of the coffee bar and framed photos of laundromats on the walls.
After breakfast, I walked over to the National Museum of Iceland, which was about a ten minute walk from the restaurant. There was a $13 fee to enter the museum, which features two floors of exhibits on Iceland’s history from its discovery through modern times. I found the museum to be very interesting, especially the exhibits featuring information and artifacts of the Vikings and the feminist movement in Iceland.
I took an hour and a half to go through the museum in its entirety, but I could have spent more time going back through to take a longer look at my favorite exhibits. However, I had to run back to my hotel to catch my tour bus to The Reykjanes Peninsula (read all about that here).
After the tour was over, our bus driver drove us wherever we wanted to be dropped off, so I got out at the Old Harbor to attempt to eat an early dinner at the Sea Baron. Every time I had attempted to eat at this seaside restaurant in the past few days it had been packed. Thankfully, since I was ahead of the game, it was easy to snag a seat at one of the community style tables.
The famous lobster soup was served up with a personal basket of fresh baked bread with butter. The soup hit the spot; it was so delicious. There were chunks of fresh lobster and the broth was perfectly seasoned. After being out in the cold all day, the soup was a perfect treat. After dinner, I stopped back at Hotel Holt to change out of my hiking clothes, then headed out to catch the rest of happy hour. I walked over to the Lebowski Bar on Laugavegur Street, where they boasted a two-for-one special.
Because I arrived towards the end of happy hour, at 6:30pm, I had to have both my drinks at once to take an advantage of the good deal. So I found an empty table and sat down to enjoy my two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc and Blues Brothers, which was being projected on the wall. This bar was so fun, with its themed decor in line with the 90’s cult classic, and even had a White Russian menu.
After happy hour, I was planning on wandering around a bit and maybe finding another bar to have a drink, however, I fortunately ran right into a Haunted Reykjavik walking tour. The tour was cash only – 2500isk, which I didn’t have. But! Lucky for me, he was accepting other currencies as well, and I had a 20 pound note in my wallet that I’ve had in there for years, since a guest at work tipped me with it.
The tour started at an Elf Rock, which is where elves live, of course. Elves are serious business in Iceland, which is fascinating to me. The tour circled through downtown Reykjavik, along old churches and the parliament building. Our tour guide, Oli, had us all engaged and laughing the whole way.
The way he told each story was great; he had all the facts but still made jokes the whole time. The last stop of the tour was the Reykjavik Cemetery. The lights hadn’t kicked on yet, and it was very dark and pretty scary. Oli guided us through using the flashlight on his phone and explained the different historic graves and Icelandic traditions. As we moved through the cemetery, we passed a gentleman lounging against a statue next to his scooter. We kept moving, and stopped for Oli’s next talking point.
Soon into this next story, the aforementioned gentleman started yelling from the direction that we came. I think it’s safe to say that everyone in the group jumped when it started, and we all tried to laugh it off. We moved on to the last grave, Jon Sigurdsson’s, where Oli was telling us all about this significant Icelander’s life. This was when the fight broke out. Mr. Scooter was grappling with another guy, and they both were yelling in a mash up of English and Icelandic. Very calmly, Oli suggested we move the tour somewhere else. The group quickly moved back to the downtown area, everyone whispering about the two amateur wrestlers in the cemetery. Oli finished up the tour with the same charisma he started with and just as he said his closing line, we spotted the scooter guy and his friend cruising by together, on the same scooter, both looking battered and unhappy.
It was actually a great end to the tour, plus it was hilarious. I finished up the night getting some ice cream at a charming little creperie on the way back to the hotel. It was a perfect ending to the wonderful whirlwind of adventures of Iceland.
Have you visited Reykjavik, Iceland? Which museums did you visit? Did you take a walking tour of the city?