First and foremost I am a Francophile. I have studied and admired the culture of France for the last 30 years. And then I visited Iceland. I now understand I have a heart large enough to ardently admire Scandinavian culture as well. I’ll begin with the food. We get on the plane and we’re handed a bottle of pure Icelandic water. It’s delicious! Then we get to our hotel to find a breakfast buffet of homemade breads, a smoked salmon bar with cucumbers, tomatoes, and dill sauce, Icelandic cheese, a variety of fresh cut fruit. It was exactly what I wanted every morning for the rest of my life after that.
The following five days were filled with jaw-dropping landscapes, waterfalls, lagoons, wildlife and unbelievably kind locals. This was our ten year wedding anniversary trip and it was exciting, beautiful, romantic and breathtaking. It was everything an anniversary trip should be. I loved going to the Blue Lagoon with my husband and getting a mud mask and a glass of champagne. I loved sailing out to Puffin Island, walking into an ice cave, crossing a river in a 4-wheel drive, shopping for souvenirs in Reykjavík, climbing around on waterfalls. It was truly a perfect trip.
There were unforgettable lunches and dinners under the Iceland sun. There was the French restaurant where we had Icelandic cheese fondue with homemade bread and perfectly seasoned potatoes. There was the Viking restaurant with delicious fish and chips. There was the unforgettable Wake Up Reykjavík food tour where I tried mutton, horse, fermented shark, lamb soup, smoked goose, Icelandic Brie, rye bread ice cream, pan seared char, potato and fish mash, fresh fruit skyr and the national food of Iceland: unforgettable lamb hotdogs! There were the snacks in the gas stations and convenience stores where we learned that Cokes with black bottle tops are diet and that lakris means licorice. There were delicious smoked meat sandwiches from the grocery stores that paired perfectly with every flavor of skyr. There was the seven course Icelandic sushi evening that I shared with a friend I made on the food tour. At Sushi Social she and I tried smoked puffin, teriyaki whale, redfish, pan seared lamb, smoked salmon and mango sushi and some delicious cocktails. It was an unforgettable meal! There was the crepe place around the corner from our hotel that made every kind of crepe imaginable paired with every flavor of ice cream imaginable. There was the dark Icelandic beer, the really cute fish and chips stand next to the old harbor and the many, many delicious flavors of skyr.
As my husband has told everyone on social media, if you’re a hiking enthusiast stop what you’re doing and plan a trip to Iceland. I’m saying the same thing to all you foodies out there! Go to Iceland! You will fall in love with it!