Hotel #1 – Stracta Hotel Hella

Day 1 & 2 – August 30 – August 31, 2016

Our first hotel! I forgot to grab photos of the hotel room, but this place was serene. A large hotel among gigantic fields and pastures. Along with the barrel saunas, there were two hot tubs.

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We had our first Icelandic dinner at the hotel restaurant, along with our first taste of Icelandic hospitality.  After welcoming us to the hotel the bartender gave us a free shot of tequila, which gave me the liquid courage to order the cured horse meat salad with goat cheese.

Being an owner of four horses, it felt like cannibalism, but the horse was FANTASTIC, and the gigantic wheel of goat cheese was rich and delicious. We had some of the local beer on the menu. Everything was superb, but (as was true with most meals over the course of our journey), it was very pricey.  In addition, there was only one other restaurant in the area, and it was closed by 8PM, so our options were limited.

We asked the waiter about horse meat. He explained that his grandfather owns a family farm where they raise meat horses.  To them it is no different than eating a cow or lamb. Clearly the waiter had been asked about this a lot, and was very earnest in answering our questions.  In addition, he explained that tips are not required (or customary), as waiters are all paid very well. Any tips they do get go in to one big jar, and they use the money to go on team building trips.

The hotel room itself was tiny. Our queen-sized bed was two twin beds pushed together. There was a small TV on the wall, with limited channels. The bathroom was also tiny – with two glass doors that folded out from the wall for when you wanted to take a shower. No matter how hard we tried, we almost always got water EVERYWHERE in the bathroom. This particular hotel required your room key to turn on any of the power, so when you left the room (taking your key), all the power would shut off. Great way to save energy!






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