Iceland: What I learned about food

I hadn’t gone to Iceland with high hopes for the food scene. In fact I went to Iceland with a bag full of gf spaghetti and a packet of porcini mushrooms. I had only two goals for my trip: experience the dramatic scenery this rocky island has to offer and don’t starve.

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All I can say, is, it was a shame about the hurricane that left us housebound for 3/3 days and, thank god I’d packed the spaghetti. We landed in the worst landing conditions I’d ever flown in in my life. The last hour of the flight from Gatwick could only be described as “rollercoaster-esque.” Every time the plane tried to go down, a gust larger than I’ve felt in a plane before would blow it off course. It was the landing of nightmares, and proof of how awful it was that the whole cabin was laughing hysterically/weeping for the final ten minutes of descent as the plane’s wings careered from 45 degrees left to right. Awful.

Plane trauma aside, the fact was it was pretty damn windy. This I put down to Iceland in the winter, but in fact, said the lovely Danish woman in the tourist information, one of the biggest hurricanes to hit Iceland in the last decade was on the horizon. “It’s fine, you’ll be able to do everything. I’ve never seen the golden circle tour shut the whole time I’ve been here.” “Nor have I,” piped up her geriatric colleague. Lo and behold, the Golden Circle tour was shut early next morning because of “hazardous weather conditions.”

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The whole trip then turned into how to literally not get blown away in Reykjavik and becoming extremely well acquainted with¬†Iceland’s ¬†Keflavik airport arrival and departure board online. We watched in horror as every flight switched from delayed to cancelled, and with heavy hearts, realised that we were indeed stranded in Iceland with absolutely nothing to do.

Normally I’d turn to food, but as you may have heard, Iceland is pretty damn expensive. I had some toast out at one point, and I bought a broccoli so I could make my spaghetti into noodles. Otherwise, we just sat, huddled in Kaffitar coffee shop where I finished writing the firs draft of a book I was working on at the time, and wished we could afford more than a filter coffee between two.

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Once, we went into a local supermarket and saw what exciting produce was on offer, but other than packets of dried fish, and really, really expensive red peppers, there was just the usual. We watched lots of people get drunk, and wondered how.