Today was my birthday and with that Barry had booked another surprise trip for us. This time we were going whale watching! It wasn’t too much of an early start, we just had to be outside ready for our pick up at 8:30. Come 9:00 we were still waiting and when Barry checked the ticket, it said we should have been picked up from 8:15. I saw the panic flash across his face. He got straight on the phone to find out if we’d missed the bus. After explaining to the company the mistake he’d made, they told him that we hadn’t missed the bus, because the trip had actually been cancelled – the company had just forgotten to tell us! He asked if there were any other trips we could do but everything had already left for the day. The weather wasn’t the best, it was really dull and raining, so we thought we might see about hiring a car. Unfortunately the prices were a little out of our budget so we decided to head for a coffee shop and drown our sorrows in a couple of warm beverages.
We found ourselves at Tee and Kaffi where I tucked into a birthday treat of a chocolate macaroon and a Swiss Mocha. The macaroon was amazing and certainly softened the blow of missing out on the whale watching. To be honest I wasn’t too disappointed anyway, we had already done whale watching in Alaska and the whales aren’t guaranteed to make an appearance anyway.
After spending some time deliberating over what to do for the rest of the day, we decided to have a wander round Reykjavik and take some snaps of some more of the sights.
That night, we decided to treat ourselves to a fancy dinner at Sushi Samba. We’d been to the one in London in the Heron Tower a couple of years back for my birthday, but we were under no illusion that this would be the same company or even that the food would be on the same level.
As we entered it seemed like a nice place, although the maître d did make us hang our own coats up in the closet! We took our seats and checked out the menu. There was a lot of choice with a number of set menus. We went for the Icelandic Feast, which consisted of seven dishes. We do like to try different types of food when we travel so this gave us a good chance to try some unusual meats.
First up we were brought a traditional Icelandic spirit called ‘Brennivin’. It came in a shot glass so straight away I wasn’t looking forward to that. But being in good ‘spirits’ we went for it. It had a perfume like smell to it so I thought ‘how bad can it be?’ It didn’t go down well though and wasn’t particularly nice – I certainly wouldn’t want another one. I followed the shot with a chilli mojito. Barry stuck to coke – he’s so hardcore!
Then the food started to come out. The first plate was three sample dishes of Puffin with blueberries, Arctic Charr (much like salmon) and some beef teriyaki. The beef was supposed to be Minke Whale but they were all out of that. I can’t say I necessarily agree with eating whale or the puffin for that matter (the puffin is one of my most favourite animals) but I do just like to try everything once. The food was so good and the Puffin was amazing, although I did feel bad enjoying it so much.
Next up was a Lobster cigar and a Reindeer slider. The reindeer was delicious, but being a lover of the blue cheese that it was accompanied with, I’m sure I would have loved it even if the meat wasn’t the best.
By this point we were feeling pretty full, but there were still two courses left to go. The Icelandic lamb was next but really we could have done without this course. Although we like our lamb rare, this was practically still bleating. It wasn’t very enjoyable and even though it had lots of fancy bits to accompany it, the flavour just wasn’t there.
The dessert did make up for the lamb though. We had Icelandic Skyr, which is a strained yogurt. The raspberry sorbet, which came with it, topped it off nicely.
Aside from the lamb it was an extremely tasty birthday meal and a great end to an almost disappointing day.