George Christy Talks About The Majesty of Iceland, The World’s Best Hot Dogs, A Fence Line Of Bras and more!
Posted Friday, January 25, 2019 - 10:59 am
“My buns were freezing for the entire ten days of our holiday,” reports our helpmate Jodi Brown, who spent New Year’s with her family in Iceland.
“A happy group, my mom, Julie, and dad, Rick, a dentist in Sacramento and sister Amy, with screenwriter husband Rich and their young ones London, 15, and Brody, 12.”
“Flying nonstop to Reykjavik, the capitol, on Wow Airlines involved over a nine hour flight.
“Jon, an Ice-Limo Luxury Travel driver, welcomed us at the airport, a gentle soul we much appreciated. He shared the insightful tales about his native land that were fascinating.
“A country with 320,000 residents managing a life among the lush green volcanic mountains, cascading waterfalls, steaming hot springs and glaciers. An unforgettable scenic tableau.
“The citizenry lives mostly in darkness during winter months with daylight varying from three to five hours.
“Temperatures vary from 27 to 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, one adjusts to living in the cold.
“Tourism is booming, with billions of dollars pouring in yearly.
“Hollywood has planted its foot in Iceland with filmmakers of note. Game Of Thrones; Vikings; Black Mirror; James Bond’s Die Another Day and A View To Kill; plus more.
“We rented a large grandmotherly Airbnb house in the downtown heart of Reykjavik, ideal for walking to cafés for our meals and shopping.
“Sightseeing was a revelation with Reykjavik’s hip vibe. Colorful artwork appears everywhere. Houses painted in bright yellow, red and blue, with projections of elves and nature decorating the sides of buildings. Icelanders believe in their ‘hidden people’ of elves, trolls and ghosts.
“Visiting the Blue Lagoon, a man-made hot spring, we found that it’s among Iceland’s most popular attractions.
“We enjoyed silica mud masks there, as we floated under waterfalls and bridges.
“Iceland’s iconic waterfalls are breathtaking, we also checked out black sand beaches and were in awe by the erupting geysers.
“Our big fun was snowmobiling to a newly discovered ice cave that opened two months ago.
“In toto, we covered the Golden Circle.
“The bonfires and fireworks of the New Year’s celebration had our mouths agape. Imagining being in a warzone with the pop-pop-pop of fireworks with the sky aflame.
“We stopped by the 244 feet-high Lutheran church, at the top of the hill that overlooks Reykjavik, to welcome 2019. Families arrived with their cache of fireworks and created a spectacular display of skyrockets that illuminated the nighttime sky with dozens of images.
“In the long ago, history books described Iceland as the Land of Fire and Ice.
“Touring the countryside in days afterward, we passed the talked-about brassiere fence. Some time ago, a lost brassiere was picked up from the road by a passerby and mounted on a fence post. Soon enough, this became a fad, with women taking off their brassieres and adding them to the increasing collection of the fence’s lingerie.
“With each new brassiere, the landowner, a retired sea captain, donates $50 for breast cancer research.
“Dining in Iceland is a world onto its own, many tastes alien to our palettes. Like rotten shark and roasted sheep skull. Fresh fish always in endless supply, but hot dogs are the big noise, considered the national food. With hot dog stands hither and yon.
“The hot dogs are very special, made fresh with spring-lamb, pork and beef. Nestled in a warm steamed bun, and dressed with raw white onions, crispy fried onions, ketchup, sweet brown mustard, and remoulade. Outrageously delicious.
“Lining up in long queues at Iceland’s famous hot dog stand, Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, which translates as ‘Best Hot Dogs in Town’, Icelanders are politely patient as the wait is often interminable. Iceland’s hot dogs are rated the best in the world.
“Apotek is the luxury restaurant … the name a dimiutive of Iceland’s apothecary, which dates back to the 1930s.
“Drinks are adventuresome. Bartenders call themselves ‘pharmacists’. The artisan cocktails are nicknamed for the pharmacy’s past: Painkillers, Stimulants, Tranquillizers and Placebos.
“Oddly ice cubes in Iceland are imported from abroad. For whatever reason they are expensive to make. No explanation as to why.
“Icelanders are fully aware of this, and embarrassed. No matter, ice cubes made from the purest water are plentiful.
“Something irresistible about the country. By the end of our stay, I fell in love with Iceland. The people. The terrain, and the hotdogs, of course.
“I will go back and freeze my buns off.”