Iceland & Greenland 3/7/2020 - 3/21/2020

Friday 3/20/2020 - Social distancing in Reykjavik

We didn't set an alarm this morning, but we woke up at around 7 a.m. and went downstairs to breakfast. The only other hotel guests seem to be from England, which, post-Brexit, has not yet instituted any flight restrictions.

After our breakfast of coffee, toast, ham, and cheese, we went back up to the room and started to organize our luggage for our flight home tomorrow. I thought I smelled cigarette smoke in the hallway.

We were scheduled to meet Hak-Ye and Roger for coffee this afternoon. If we were to socialize with anyone, it would have been them (we were together in confined spaces for a week, so if any of us are sick, we are all sick). But it was cold and rainy today. We didn't want to walk all the way down to the coffee shop in this weather. And we also felt like we should not really go out into the world unless absolutely necessary. We'd probably just get lunch at the waffle wagon across the street and spend our day at the hotel.

So I contacted them to apologize and let them know that we would just be sticking closer to the hotel today. Honestly, we were just holding our breath that nothing would change between now and tomorrow...that we would fly back to Boston as scheduled, pass any health screenings, and make it back to our house. We have never before actually looked forward to a trip being over, but given everything that has transpired since we left home, we just want to get home safely. We enjoyed the trip immensely, but it's time.

The hotel maintenance staff knocked on our door, apologizing but saying that they were investigating the origin of cigarette smoke. As soon as we opened the door they could tell that it was not coming from our room, and they apologized and continued the investigation. We would later learn that it was a woman across the hall from us, in room 204. That was the room we were in before we went to Greenland, and, unlike our current room, it has carpeting. What a nightmare. She had to pay a fine, and the hotel has to hope that a deep cleaning will remove the smell.

We became hungry at 2:30 p.m., and decided to head out to have a combination late lunch / early dinner. I made a recon mission to look out the front door of the hotel to make sure that the Waffle Wagon was open, only to find that it had disappeared! It had been there every day of our trip so far...and last year as well. But the one day we decided to eat there - gone!

I went back to the room and told Craig the bad news. Looks like we would need to go out in the world after all. We discussed where we should go. We knew that Lebowski Bar had a burger special. We liked the atmosphere and the drinks, so we decided to go there if it wasn't too crowded.

We braved the storm and walked down to Laugavegur. There were a few more people out and about than there had been yesterday, but everyone kept to themselves at a safe distance.

Lebowski Bar was virtually empty. We sat in the corner of the one room where we had not yet sat, and had the room to ourselves. They have an afternoon special on burgers and fries. We each ordered the Walter Burger (a bacon cheeseburger) with fries. (Walter is the character in The Big Lebowski played by John Goodman).Craig ordered a Gull beer, and I had Appelsin, an Icelandic orange soda.

As soon as we ordered, I tried to take a picture with my phone. I got an error message that my iPhone was "disabled". Try again in 3 minutes. What? How did that even happen? I waited a few minutes and tried again. Same thing, only now it said to wait 5 minutes. 5 minutes later, still no luck. Wait 10 minutes.

This was literally our only activity today, so we needed photos. I grudgingly rushed all the way back to the hotel (which is uphill), in the pouring rain and wind, and went upstairs to our room to get my camera. I then rushed (downhill this time, luckily) back to the restaurant. I was winded, and of course the food had been delivered in my absence. Craig had been kind enough to wait with the exception of eating a single fresh fry.

The kicker of all of this? By the time I got back to the retaurant, I was able to log into my phone. No idea what had happened or why, and now my whole mission back to the hotel was rendered moot.

By now I had really worked up an appetite, and we ravenously dove into our delicious burgers and fries. Everything was still very hot and fresh. I ordered a Green Toe (a white Russian with creme de menthe, Kahlua, chocolate Bailey's, and cream). It is named after the severed toe with green nailpolish that the nihilists used in the movie to prove that they had kidnapped Bunny Lebowski.

In the absence of live sporting events, the bar was showing comedy movies on its big screens. "Baseketball" had been on when we arrived, and held no interest for us. But then came "Caddyshack." Craig practically lived that movie by working at a country club as a teen. I have only seen it once or twice, and it's been a long time. It was the perfect escapist comedy to keep our minds off the pandemic and our worries about returning to the States.

Craig had a couple more beers, and "Caddyshack" ended, to be followed up by "Ghostbusters." We watched a half hour of that as well; good way to have a few laughs on a dreary day and get out minds off of the current state of the world.

As Happy Hour approached, more patrons started to arrive. People left distance between occupied tables, but we still thought that this was our cue to head back to the hotel.

Once we got back to the hotel, we packed in earnest. We also thought about what we would need once we got home. We had heard that we could order Whole Foods groceries from Amazon, but there were a few other basics that we needed. We ordered a few things from Target, so that they would be delivered to the house soon after we returned.

We went to bed shortly before 9 p.m.
Lebowski Bar

Lebowski Bar

Lebowski Bar

Watching "Caddyshack" at Lebowski Bar

Wisdom from The Stranger in The Big Lebowski

Wisdom from The Stranger (Sam Elliott) in "The Big Lebowski"

See all photos from March 20

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