Friday, May 23
Another day with nothing scheduled. We headed downtown for some breakfast at Sandholt Bakery and Coffee House. They bill themselves as artisans, and their pastries were wonderful. I had what could be the best cinnamon roll I’ve ever tasted. Mark had a filling and delicious ham and cheese breakfast sandwich (too large even for him).
We did a bit of shopping and simply enjoying the town. We stopped for a hotdog to see if we liked it any better than the first one we had. We didn’t, but the Icelanders simply love them. There are a few hotdog stands, and they are always busy.
We hadn’t seen puffins yet, so scheduled a boat tour in the afternoon for that. Although the day was cloudy and windy, we managed to complete the tour without rain. We went to the small island of Akurey, one of several nesting grounds for the puffins. The birds were smaller than I expected, and they flap their wings very fast, so it was difficult to get good photos.
It’s estimated that between 3-4 million pairs breed in Iceland. Akurey has about 20,000. They nest in burrows which consist of two separate spaces, one for living and the other for waste. If the baby puffins get dirty, their ability to swim is compromised, and they will die. They leave the nest after a few months, and remain at sea for three years, after which they return to breed the next generation. Puffins are great swimmers and divers, but they have to work hard to get airborne. They reminded me of loons when they take off.
When it’s time for the babies to leave, sometimes they get confused by the lights of cities, and end up in town. Children then gather them up and release them off a cliff, and the young birds get on their way.
For dinner, we went to Vegamot. We were lucky to find a place to eat, as the restaurants are quite busy on a Friday night. We made a good choice. I had a wonderful lobster pasta, with lobster done just right – not overdone. Mark and Jeff had slow cooked horse filet, which they both enjoyed. However, they both also had indigestion during the night.