Thursday, April 25, 2013

Iceland part 4

Today we had some sleep!!! Yay!!! And we had a late start to our day (9:30!!!) Today was horseback riding day!

We met our tour guides at 9:30. Something that is really cool about site seeing in Reykjavik is that all the tours pick you up in front of your hotel!!! It makes things so easy!!!

We got a quick riding lesson and then we went out to get a horsey! In Iceland, they only have one breed of horse. They are short and very friendly. You see these little guys out in the country all over the place. You can even stop by a random field and the horses will come up to you! They are like big dogs that you can ride!

So fluffy!

Here are all the horses just waiting for their riders. The guide picked out horses for us. I can't remember my horse's name for the life of me!!

But here she (he?) is!!! Apparently I got the strong willed horse (for an Icelandic Horse) of the bunch. I was told to keep her on a short leash...errr... tight rein.

Our tour took us through lava fields. Before I had been to Iceland, I thought that we would have to take a long bus ride to get to a lava field. Nope! They are everywhere!!! The country is covered with lava fields!

Wheeee!!!! Tölting!! 
Tölting is a gait unique to the Icelandic Horse. It's like a trot but super smooth. We were told to lean back if we were bouncing and to "sit heavy" in our saddles...whatever that means. My silly horse loved going fast. Anytime we would start Tölting I would leave the pack behind and end up by the guide...every singe time.

Josh's horse was prettier...but mine was faster!

Me on a horse!

 like a boss...

Hello lava field!

They both have the same expression!

Hi horsey!

When we got back after our hour and a half of riding, the horses had a nice roll in the dirt!!! Told you they were just like doggies!

After our horseback riding I was a little bummed that we were going to miss out on whale watching. I mean, the boat was literally calling my name...

But then we heard from a lot of people that whale watching was incredibly cold and all they saw were some porpoises. So then I was ok with not going! So instead of freezing our butts off, we walked around downtown Reykjavik. By this point, I was getting really familiar with downtown, especially by the harbor! I still couldn't pronounce any of the street names...

Reykjavik is so colorful!

 This is easily one of my favorite European cities!

 Josh and I looped back to a familiar site...and this time it was open!
oh hi giant Rocket ship church!!!

Check out that view!

The other silly thing we did on this day was to visit the The Icelandic Phallological Museum which is exactly what it sounds like. Surprisingly, or maybe not, but it is the only museum of it's we had to go!

I can't even tell you how awkward it felt to be taking pictures in here.

Finally we stopped at a nice restaurant for more traditional Icelandic food :) 

Poor Josh and his shellfish allergy....he stuck to this safe dish that had salmon, baked and grilled, mashed potatoes with egg and broccoli. 

I went a bit more traditional...and a whole lot more controversial. 
My meal included Puffin and Whale...I know I know! I am a terrible human being. Now, before I went I had researched this. Iceland does engage in whaling...but not the kind of whaling found in other countries (like Japan). They are very aware of the type of whale they are catching (not endangered) and have strict limits on the number that can be killed each year. Iceland is incredibly conscious of all things related to the environment. It is a very traditional Icelandic food and was found on most tasting menus.  They also eat reindeer and their beautiful horses (which I would never eat because they remind me of dogs)

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