Our second stop in Iceland on the tour was in Egilsstaðir. We had dinner at our hotel, Icelandair Hotel Herad
Many eyebrows were raised when the servers brought out our appetizer – Reindeer Pate. We were secretly told that it was not actually 100% reindeer, but we weren’t told what else might be in the dish. Their restaurant website boasts that East Iceland is the country’s only region with reindeer, so the meat is highly featured on their menu.
It was ok – of course I’m not very much a meat-lover, but it seemed well-seasoned, just a little chewy. It was topped by what I think was a cranberry sauce, but it didn’t have the flavour I was expecting. There was also a raspberry sauce on the plate, but not enough to offer taste to the reindeer selection.
For dinner we had lamb again. Like the previous night I mentioned that I don’t eat a lot of lamb, so I wasn’t entirely happy with the meat in this dish either. This was very fatty, and I probably ate about half of what was offered since such a large portion was fat. The dish also included cubed turnips and potatoes, and then a slice of stacked potatoes too.
The wedge of stacked potatoes was probably the best part of the meal. It was scalloped potatoes, stacked in a pan, baked again, and then sliced to serve. I don’t normally like scalloped potatoes (usually because of the sauces) but this was quite good.
Another view below of our dinner.
Dessert was very good – but sour! It was rhubarb crumble, topped with ice cream.
The rhubarb was very sour, the crumble was sweet and buttery. The ice cream didn’t have much flavour, but was a nice compliment to the sour rhubarb.
Icelandair Hotel Herad
Booking phone: +354 444 4000
As we pulled up to the hotel, our tour guide advised that it was a short and pretty walk to the “lake”, and suggested we head down before or after dinner. Lagarfljót lake is actually a very wide river, though the ‘lake’ part of it is 25 km long, 2.5 km at it’s widest point, and is glacial-fed, and below seal level. The lake is reported to have a worm-like monster creature in it – not unlike the Loch Ness monster or BC’s OggoPoggo. Sightings of the creature have been recorded as far back as 1345 and still continue today. The local newspaper even offers a nice reward for a photo of the creature which has led to a number of Icelandic folktales.
Well, we didn’t see the lake monster, but instead at the shoreline of the “lake” there were a number of beautiful Icelandic horses. I had expected these horses to be much smaller than they were – they were certainly shorter than horses I’ve ridden in the past, but they weren’t THAT short… They develop long, shaggy fur for the winter, which they shed (mostly) for the summer, and have an unusual trot-type of gait which we were later shown is incredibly smooth – so smooth that a rider didn’t even spill his tankard of ale during a ride! The breed was originally brought to Iceland by Scandinavian settlers during the 9th & 10th Centuries (ei: the Viking Age) and Iceland is so protective of these horses, that no other horses (and their potential diseases which the Icelandic horses have no immunity to) are not permitted in the country. Likewise, an Icelandic horse who leaves Iceland to show, compete, or breed, may never return.