After a last minute change in our Day 12 plans, we ended up spending the day doing some things that were intended to be on the last day. We started by waking up and having breakfast in the apartment (the same apartment that we started our trip in) in downtown Reykjavik. We then went to the Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral and to the top of the bell tower to see one of the best views of Reykjavik, and some of the most extreme wind as well. We all listened to the organist play a few songs on the organ and took in breathtaking views of the inside of the Cathedral. We also got to visit the Settlement Museum, which has an exhibit of one of the oldest Viking structures in all of Iceland. After that, it was off to lunch at a noodle place that we spotted back in our first few days of being in Iceland.
Once we’d eaten some noodle soup, we went to experience an Icelandic cooking class. The class was run by a husband (Egill) and wife (Gígja). We learned background and history from Egill, and cooked with Gígja in their traditional kitchen called “The Tin Can Factory.” After learning some of the rich histories of Iceland, we got to experience a variety of foods with Gígja including Icelandic scones, pickled herring, and different parts of a sheep’s head (including cheek, ear, nose, and tongue). The highlight of the cooking class was the classic Icelandic pancakes. We all were able to make our Icelandic pancakes with the help of Gígja, and then we prepared them the way her grandma used to; folded meticulously with cream and jam. Unlike an American pancake, the traditional Icelandic is very thin and could be compared to a crepe.
We then had two hours of free time to explore the shops and buy souvenirs throughout downtown Reykjavik. We split up into a few groups to hunt down clothing, trinkets, food, and then we went to a park. After a light dinner, we had a forum and a group discussion about goals and values and hashed out our plans for tomorrow.
Overall, the day was jam-packed with fun activities and funny moments amongst ourselves that we were all able to enjoy while in the beautiful city of Reykjavik.