Enjoying Reykjavik, Iceland Like a Local

reykjavik iceland

Reykjavik iceland 2If you’ve been following along with my series of posts on my recent trip to Europe, you’ll know our first stop on this trek was…

Reykjavik, Iceland!

As I mentioned in my post — Horseback Riding In Iceland: A MUST Do Activity! — we ended up spending 18 hours in this awesome destination out of pure happenstance. When we found out we were going to have this pretty long layover, we knew we needed to do something to experience Iceland, so horseback riding seemed like an excellent idea!

Little did we know that our lovely horseback riding guides – Icelandic Riding – would also give us amazing suggestions to spend the rest of our day like true Icelandic locals! Jónína and Hanna said one common thing for Icelanders to do was to go to the community pools. Apparently, it’s much like Americans saying, “Hey! Let’s meet at Starbucks!” Icelanders hang out at the pools!

We immediately said, “Oh no! Our swimsuits are in our checked luggage — waiting to go on our flight to Paris.” We were sad.

But then we found out these community pools RENT swimsuits!  Woo hoo!

community pool iceland Lágafellslaug, in Mosfellsbær, just north of Reykjavik

We headed to a nearby swimming pool –Lágafellslaug, in Mosfellsbær, just north of Reykjavik, and the facility was lovely! Not only did they have a large lap pool, but also multiple hot tubs, each at a different temperature! Like Goldilocks, we were able to pick the one that was “just right.” :-)

Lágafellslaug, in Mosfellsbær, just north of Reykjavik iceland community swimming pool

Plus, they even had a kids play area and slides!  All water was deliciously warm and soothing!  Perfect for relaxing after a long flight and a horseback ride, before having to get back on a plane!

Lágafellslaug, in Mosfellsbær, just north of Reykjavik iceland community swimming pool slides

Afterward, now relaxed and clean, we went into Reykjavik proper for dinner, and found…

Mexican food!

I know. I know. Iceland isn’t known for it’s Mexican food. But, it’s kind of a running thing my husband and I do — try to find Mexican food in whatever country we’re in. :-) So, when we stumbled across the Red Chili in Reykjavik, we had to eat there!

red chili Reykjavik icelandThe restaurant itself was super-cute. There was definitely a “Wild West” theme going on, with even a mini-saloon type bar. The food was tasty, but definitely not what you’d think of when getting Mexican cuisine in the West. For instance, my chicken fajitas were topped with a sweet and sour sauce.

Yes… sweet and sour sauce!

And, the pico de gallo had mandarin oranges in it! It was tasty, but clearly Icelandic-Mex cuisine has a very unique flair!

red chili Reykjavik icelandred chili Reykjavik iceland fajita

Of course, no day in Iceland would be complete without ice cream!

The super-nice waitress at Red Chili told us ice cream is very big in Iceland. She said they eat it all year long, even when it’s the dead of winter. So, we HAD to get ice cream, she insisted. Oh, gee, twist my arm!  😉  And, she insisted the best place to get ice cream was Ísbúð Vesturbæjar.

Ísbúð Vesturbæjar ice cream iceland reykjavikIsbud is literally “ice store” in Icelandic. And, this place, although small was SOOOOOOO YUMMY!!

I love soft serve ice cream!  I especially love dipped ice cream! And, Ísbúð Vesturbæjar did not disappoint! Forget that waxy coating you get in America. We had a choice of white chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate dip! Oh so good!!! Seriously! Look at that thick coating of white chocolate!!!

iceland ice cream

Of course, our last “local” experience happened in the least “local” place… several hours later, as we waited for our 1 am flight to Paris — at the airport.

We kept hearing about “famous” Icelandic hot dogs. Now, at first I thought this was a joke. Like it was going to be fish on a bun or something. But no — they’re honest to goodness hot dogs. And, I definitely will give them two thumbs up!

Icelandic hot dogs remind me of the delicious Zweigle Red Hots I used to get in Western New York! A nice snap as you bite into the casing. Perfectly seasoned meat. Yup, I’m definitely a fan! It was a great way to end our Icelandic experience!!

iceland hot dogs

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