Anyway, Iceland....well on the way back from our Golden Circle Tour the guide happened to mention in response to a question from a fellow tourist that it was likely to be a good night for the Northern lights tour!!
We had about 3hours to kill before being picked up so we hotfooted it over to Fjalakotturinn Restaurant - it just trips off the tongue doesn't it - one of the best deals in town according to our guidebooks. I can't say I'd disagree, from the food to the service everything was 5 star quality at 3 star prices.
Melissa choose the 2 course fish fantasy of lobster bisque followed by roast salmon for 3900kr and I went with the 3 course gourmet menu of scallops, lamb and caramel cake for 4900kr, on the condition that Melissa share the cake with me, along with a glass each of house wine (1100kr a glass that's less than $10), a delicious 2005 Bon Courage Chardonnay from South Africa and later a Chilean San Rapel Sauvignan Blanc. "Very nice, but a little effervescent on the finish" mused Melissa, graduate of the International Wine Center.
It certainly didn't taste of vinegar I can tell you that much, but on the whole I would have preferred a second glass of the South African Chardonnay however the restaurant did have a Wine Spectator award of excellence, which were good enough credentials for me so I happily put myself in the hands of our very gracious host.
Here comes the foodiot bit....
The salmon tartare amuse bouche. I must say, I do likethe Uri Geller style serving spoons.
Erm...sorry the scallop appetizer looked so, well appetizing, that I scoffed it before I remembered to take a photo - foodiot shame - but look how lovely the lamb looks. It tasted amazing too.
And the caramel cake dessert. Mmmmmmmmmmm!!! I know that looks like a carrot in the back of the plate, but it's a cheeky wee kumquat!!
The total meal came to 13,200kr, about $106 US which was pretty damn good for the quality
of food and attentive service. It would have easily cost at least one and a half times that at a similar restaurant in New York.
At 10pm three coach loads of tourists left on Northern Lights tour, which consisted of Reykjavik Excursions driving us 30minutes north of Reykjavik to stand in a field of crispy frozen snow field and stare at the sky.
I squinted hard in the direction she pointed. Erm.......Nope, sorry, not seeing it, it just looked like regular old sky to me.
After about 30minutes of freezing my arse off in a frigid field I gave in and joined about the sensible third of my fellow aurora borealis hunters and went to sit back in the darkened bus to stare at the sky in the relative warmth. After about 10minutes I got fed up and dug out my iPod desperately trying to stay awake after my two glasses of wine just in case green ribbons of light should start to swirl across the Icelandic sky.
About about half an hour our guide apologetically joined us on the bus. "Sorry it was not so easy for you to see anything," she sympathized. "There was definitely something there, I saw it and our driver Pally saw it, and maybe a few of the Icelanders who know what to look for saw it."
"Ohhhh Icelanders and their special x-ray vision", sniggered the Dutch guy across from us to the older American couple behind him.
"The lights may reappear in a few more hours, sometimes you can see them over Reykjavik, so keep looking at the sky, look for a thin green light like an alien finger"
Alien finger...hmmm right, perhaps after about 5 shots of potent Icelandic vodka I might see alien
fingers and dancing lights, but I'm withholding judgment.
Behold, the aurora borealis...