Bernhoftsbakari, Iceland

Staying in an apartment enabled us to do some home cooking instead of eating out in the expensive Reykjavik city centre. One minor problem though was the opening hours of the minimarts here, most of them close at 6pm. Only 10-11 seemed to be operating 24-hours and their prices are also akin to our inflated 7-11 price. Nonetheless we managed to settle our dinner the night before and breakfast this morning. So why am I visiting Bernhoftsbakari, Iceland? We decided to grab some bakeries as snacks to munch while we embark on our 2nd attempt to complete the Golden Circle tour. We abandoned our original plan of going skiing at Blafjoll to make time to complete the Golden Circle.  Afterall with the kind of wind force, I don’t think the resort will open…

Due to poor weather the day before, we couldn’t visit the Gullfoss. Or rather, the super jeep managed to get us there, but we didn’t want to risk (i) being blown away by the strong gust or (ii) slip & fall and break an arm on the icy pavement. That was when our guide who commented that the weather was “just a little bit extreme” in the morning changed his stand to “Now this is getting ridiculous“. In fact it turned into a minor rescue mission to fetch a few visitors who were trapped at the lower level of the viewing area. They couldn’t climb the stairs back to their cars parked at the upper level due to the insane wind.

With a relatively clear sky in the morning today, I took a walk to nearby Hallgrímskirkja church which is a landmark in Reykjavik. The soaring building is visible from every corner of the downtown city centre. You can see from the time of the clock tower that it is already 8.35am in the morning but is still looks like dawn.

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Right opposite our apartment – Reykjavik4You, was the Bernhoftsbakari. We went to buy bakeries from the store simply out of convenience, only to realise that they are Iceland’s first and oldest bakery!!! The bakery was founded on 25th September 1834, more than 180 years old. How lucky can we get.

We bought the Berlinarbolla  (I remembered that these German doughnuts with jam filling were very tasty when I had them last year in Munich) and a Sérbakað vínarbrauð which is a Danish pastry. The bakeries cost around S$3 each. The freshly baked pastries were fantastic even when we ate them only a few hours later for lunch. We were so happy with the find that it was what we had for lunch the next day too.

The ricecrispies were heavenly!!! Rich and chocolately, good as an energy snack as well.

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With the food prepared, we were all set to see Gullfoss and complete our Golden Circle tour.

Photos from the day before:

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We visited Pingvellir National Park (top left) without much problem. Followed by Geysir (bottom right) which had icy, slipper floors plus strong wind…we should have brought the anti skid shoe spikes but we seriously didn’t expect icy grounds. We already had trekking shoes with reasonable grip on but it is still insufficient for folks like us who aren’t used to walking on icy grounds. After lunch the weather turned too extreme and didn’t get to see Gullfoss.

We had a good taste of Iceland’s extreme weather when the driver had to navigate through F-roads which were fully piled with snow. At one point, the visibility was down to only 1 pole distance! Driver expertly edged forward in the white-out conditions guided only by the single pole lining the road.

On our way back to Reykjavik in the afternoon we stopped by Faxifoss (top right) – a waterfall that has “Ladders” built by the side to allow Salmons to return for breeding and Kerið (bottom left) a volcanic crater lake.  While the picture looks calm and peaceful, we were struggling to maintain our balance due to the strong gale.

On our way back to Reykjavik, the pass was closed!!! Had to take a detour which took an additional 1.5 hours to get back… =(

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Home sweet home at Reykjavik4You apartment. Nice, neat and clean. Northern Lights tour was also cancelled based on poor weather forecast…

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