Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations - Iceland (Hello Darkness, My Old Friend)   View more episodes

Aired at 01:00 PM on Monday, Nov 30, 2009 (11/30/2009)      View all transcripts from this day


00:00:01I'm hungry for more.
00:00:05>> ♪♪ You got to get lost ♪♪
00:00:12♪♪ no reservations ♪♪
00:00:19>> Bourdain: Iceland is out there on its own -- a volcanic island in the middle of the atlantic that sits just below the arctic circle.
00:00:26Steam rising from its hot springs and geysers.
00:00:30Less than 300,000 people live here.
00:00:33It feels extraterrestrial.
00:00:37Hit it in wintertime with only four hours of sunlight a day, and you feel like you're walking on a frozen planet.
00:00:46Wake up, young lovers, wherever you are.
00:00:48What may seem like a dark, dank, suicidal time of year for most people is, in fact, for icelanders anything but.
00:00:57Now, in the first 28 years of my working life as a chef in new york working in largely windowless spaces in the back of restaurants, my way of dealing with those kind of feelings was to get togetr with some chef friends after work and get hammered.
00:01:10And though these days I'm living a marginally healthier lifestyle, I don't think sitting in front of the sun lamp or chugging down fish-liver smoothies will do it for me.
00:01:18So I head to iceland to see what their secret is.
00:01:21I'm told they manage to turn the extended hard day's night into a rollicking good time, eating, ..
00:01:31And pumping iron?
00:01:36Exercise is one of the ways icelanders preserve their health and sanity during the winter.
00:01:41No wonder the world's strongest man for many years was from this country.
00:01:48Athletic facilities, in general, fill me with terror and dread, and I'm really trying to figure out why I'm here in this frozen wasteland.
00:01:57I'm guessing because it's the producer of the show loves seeing overmuscled guys in tiny, little bathing suits.
00:02:03That's really the only reason i can think of.
00:02:05World's strongest man, meet world's weakest man.
00:02:09>> This is 180 kilos.
00:02:11>> Bourdain: You'd expect the locals to be walking around pale, thin, and bleary-eyed.
00:02:15Yet oddly icelanders are among the healthiest people on earth, with a long life expectancy that ranks second only to the japanese.
00:02:22Apparently this country's viking roots remain close to the surface, and a little darkness doesn't turn them soft.
00:02:31>> Take 200 kilos for you.
00:02:34>> Bourdain: I ain't lifting squat, okay?
00:02:36Just the thought of these people pumping away makes me queasy.
00:02:39Stairmaster, anyone?
00:02:41Look, I can't even make it to the gym when it's sunny and the cab drops me off at the front door.
00:02:46I need a little more than the promise of sweaty, ripped abs and better health if I'm going to drag my candy ass out of bed on a cold, dark morning.
00:02:52And there is something more.
00:02:55These healthy lads are some of iceland's elite strong men, and they have just the thing for me.
00:03:02Downstairs in the kitchen, greta, the gym's resident mom and chef, is making up some kjotsupafor the muscle dudes -- a traditional lamb soup made of fatty lamb, rutabaga, onion, carrot, celery, cabbage, leeks, and a fistful of rice to thicken.
00:03:17It's the kind of hearty, peasanty food I really like.
00:03:21This heaping bowl of protein is the feed of choice for the strong guys when training.
00:03:26>> Back in the old days, it was very difficult.
00:03:29So the people who are less strong, the weak people, they didn't survive.
00:03:34Only the strong people survived.
00:03:36>> Bourdain: I'm thinking he could be talking about me, and he's got a point.
00:03:39I don't know if I would survive here.
00:03:45Don't hit me like that.
00:03:48I'm going behind him.
00:03:50>> You have to eat four dishes.
00:03:53One for each -- you know.
00:03:55>> Bourdain: That's going to take a lot of soup.
00:03:58I'm planning on running for governor of california.
00:04:00Just one bowl -- I'm going right " >> you might grow up to be a viking.
00:04:09One day, you eat six bowls of this every day.
00:04:13>> Bourdain: It's too late for me.
00:04:15>> Never too late.
00:04:16>> Bourdain: I like your attitude.
00:04:18>> A real icelandic punch made of this soup.
00:04:24This is real icelandic hands made of this soup.
00:04:27>> Bourdain: Uh-huh.
00:04:29Oh, yeah, nice to meet you.
00:04:31I'm the real american tv host made of alcohol d cigarettes.
00:04:35You eat this before you exercise?
00:04:37>> All the time -- before and after.
00:04:39>> Bourdain: Before and after.
00:04:40Me, I'd eat, like, two bowls of this, and then I'd need a nice, long nap.
00:04:44I wouldn't feel like lifting heavy objects.
00:04:47>> My life is really healthy when I eat the soup.
00:04:52You have to ask about my sex life.
00:04:56>> You have to excuse him.
00:05:01>> Bourdain: Slut.
00:05:11>> Bourdain: Ah, mental note.
00:05:13Do not sauna after lunch.
00:05:16>> Two minutes, you have to take arm-wrestling with him.
00:05:20>> Then we'll see how much good the soup is doing for you.
00:05:24>> Bourdain: I'm taking this punk downtown.
00:05:27This is exactly why I never set foot in these places.
00:05:30The smell of sweat and testosterone -- magic.
00:05:33I see richard simmons, I am out of here.
00:05:37>> Ready.
00:05:40>> Bourdain: Gee, no, I can't believe .
00:05:42He's cheating.
00:05:43>> Need more soup?
00:05:45>> Bourdain: They say this soup makes you bulky and strong.
00:05:48I've had three bowls, and I'm getting nowhere.
00:05:50Here we go.
00:05:53Get this over with.
00:05:55>> Finger wrestling.
00:05:57>> Bourdain: Finger wrestling?
00:06:00Yeah, can I use my whole arm?
00:06:02>> No.
00:06:02Just try to hold your finger.
00:06:03>> Bourdain: Just try to hold it.
00:06:11Yeah, that's going -- still there.
00:06:14>> Nice to meet you.
00:06:15>> Bourdain: Nice to meet you guys.
00:06:18Thanks for the total emasculation, guys.
00:06:22Does hanging out at the gym and eating with muscle dudes constitute a workout?
00:06:25Because I'm feeling a little beat.
00:06:27All right, maybe what I need is some fresh air.
00:06:29Next stop in curing that winter depression -- a glacier picnic and a lung full of blizzard.
00:06:34The icelandic countryside is calling me.
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00:09:04>> Bourdain: Oh, yes.
00:09:05Nature is a cruel mistress.
00:09:07Life on the tundra is hard and difficult.
00:09:11Only the strong survive.
00:09:12Don't let the harsh conditions fool you.
00:09:15Icelanders make the most out of the dark, wintry conditions.
00:09:18People in this country don't hibernate.
00:09:21They strap on their boots and head outdoors.
00:09:24It's a big, ugly hole in the ground.
00:09:27What better way to make up for my total "wussification" yesterday with the muscle dudes than a picnic on the icelandic tundra?
00:09:35My friend siggy, chef at the nordica hotel's very fine restaurant, vox, is hooking me up with some picnic eats.
00:09:42No ham-spread, peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches on this picnic.
00:09:47What do you got for us?
00:09:49>> Smoked puffin.
00:09:50>> Bourdain: Puffin?
00:09:51>> Yeah, this is the only place in the world you can hunt it.
00:09:54>> Bourdain: Isn't it, like, a cute, little bird?
00:09:56>> Yes.
00:09:59>> Bourdain: That looks good.
00:10:01>> Then we have organic lamb chopped with barley.
00:10:05>> Bourdain: Oh, nice.
00:10:06Oh, they're cute.
00:10:06Look at that.
00:10:07>> We season them with fresh dill and dill oil.
00:10:11>> Bourdain: Cute, little lamb chop.
00:10:14Oh, I'm eating well.
00:10:16>> These are all icelandic ingredient we could go much further with this.
00:10:20>> Bourdain: No, no, my god, this is quite a spread.
00:10:22>> I was thinking about starting fresh blinis now so they will be nice.
00:10:27>> Bourdain: Beautiful.
00:10:28Siggy gets to work on some blinis, little pancakes to accompany the caviar and pickle dishes.
00:10:33So what do chefs do after work here?
00:10:35>> A lot of times we go out and have fun.
00:10:38>> Bourdain: Is there a chef bar?
00:10:40>> Yes.
00:10:41>> Bourdain: What do you do on friday or saturday nights?
00:10:44>> Probably going to the chef bar.
00:10:46>> Bourdain: Outstanding.
00:10:47>> Want to come with us?
00:10:48>> Bourdain: I am so there.
00:10:49>> Okay, that's good.
00:10:50It's gonna be good to have you by my side, kick some asses.
00:10:53You're bigger than me.
00:10:54>> Bourdain: I'm famous for my lumberjack physique.
00:10:57>> You can decide how much rum you want in there.
00:11:01>> Bourdain: A lot.
00:11:02>> A lot, yeah?
00:11:03>> Bourdain: Yeah, mom used to make hot chocolate just like this.
00:11:07But then mom was an alcoholic.
00:11:08Just kidding.
00:11:13Oh, yeah.
00:11:14" no wintry picnic would be complete without the traditional icelandic brew, brennivin, also known as "black death," a sort of schnapps made with potatoes and flavored with caraway.
00:11:27It's going to be really cold where I'm going, right?
00:11:29So this could save my life.
00:11:30>> This could save your life.
00:11:31>> Bourdain: Anything called "black death" has got to be good.
00:11:37Okay, picnic on the frozen tundra, here I come.
00:11:44Oh, yeah, the great outdoors.
00:11:46Rarely do I feel more calm and comfortable and confident than when I'm staring straight into mother nature's slavering maw.
00:11:55With my basket of indigenous goodies being delivered by jeep, I'm off to the picnic spot in a more environmentally sound way.
00:12:01Saddle up.
00:12:04[ Barking ] when I'm traveling in between fine meals, I always like to use the most modern and yet fuel-efficient method of transportation.
00:12:31Can they all take a piss break at once?
00:12:35Or do we have to stop each time?
00:12:4030 Minutes outside of reykjavik, and it feels more like 30 million miles from anywhere.
00:12:49I hope they get plenty of scooby snacks for this.
00:12:58The dogsled drops me off near the glacier picnic spot, but I'm instructed to stay put and wait for the food basket to arrive by jeep.
00:13:07They said don't wander, but I'm wandering.
00:13:13I mean, you're in a strange land.
00:13:15That's what you're supposed to do is wander, right?
00:13:23Okay, that's not good.
00:13:24The wind seems to be picking up a little bit.
00:13:31I hope siggy didn't pack paper plates in the picnic basket.
00:13:42Hey, should snow be falling sideways?
00:13:47Holy crap, this is a full-scale blizzard.
00:13:50If my time in the boy scouts has taught me anything about cold-weather survival, it taught me this.
00:13:58Hypothermia, bad.
00:14:00Shelter, good.
00:14:09And remember, kids, when making your own travel show, insist on warm climates.
00:14:15Also, when speaking to producers and you say, "january, is that a " stick by your guns.
00:14:26One tropical location is all i ask, you know?
00:14:30Maybe the color blue could appear in the show once.
00:14:32You know what I mean?
00:14:34Some boat drinks.
00:14:34You know, banana-sling speedos.
00:14:36Not that I'd wear one, or like looking at them.
00:14:41Eh, never mind.
00:14:42It really is quite beautiful.
00:14:43And I did bring a little friend along.
00:14:46A picnic pointer -- never pack your alcohol.
00:14:49Keep it on your person at all times, just in case you and your ba I learned that one from martha.
00:14:56When you're freezing to death in a cave in the middle of a ..
00:15:00In iceland, I always go for a little black death.
00:15:07When death's coming your way anyway, drinking too much is not something you need feel guilty about.
00:15:18I'll just sit here and drink this and wait for help to arrive.
00:15:24I'm sure someone will come along eventually.
00:15:35My thumb is black colored.
00:15:37Is that a bad thing?
00:15:38I can't feel my penis.
00:15:42I'm thinking of peeing in my pants just to warm up.
00:15:53Do you hear music?
00:15:54I hear music.
00:15:57[ Mellow instrumental plays ] say, that sounds like the comforting music from the icelandic tourism film I saw.
00:16:06>> There is a country in europe that offers some of the purest ..
00:16:10Where the exquisite lamb is free from hormones and roams wild.
00:16:17The icelandic horse, purebred for centuries, perhaps best symbolizes the compelling appeal of this small, unspoiled nation.
00:16:28A beautiful church becomes a setting for a musical experience.
00:16:36Because of the moderating influence of the gulf stream, weather is cool in summer and surprisingly mild in winter.
00:16:45For outdoor enthusiasts, there are magical moments that will remain forever in memory.
00:16:52Iceland -- the way life should be.
00:16:59>> Bourdain: The weather's cleared up a little bit.
00:17:01We can do the picnic scene, right?
00:17:04Oh, yeah.
00:17:06It looks good.
00:17:09Negative temperature, 60-mile-an-hour winds, and nearr zero visibility?
00:17:14This episode's special effects, well, they're free.
00:17:20Maybe I should have stayed put as instructed.
00:17:25Eh, icelanders are a caring lot.
00:17:27My picnic buddies will be along soon.
00:17:30[ Horn honking ] there will be no spreading out the picnic blanket in this blizzard.
00:17:38Even my guides, hardy descendants of vikings, feel today is a day to move the picnic indoors.
00:17:45Time to seek refuge in a snow hut.
00:17:51Had you been here saturday night, this would have been a thriving hub of activity filled with gyrating, naked woman all in the throes of sexual frenzy.
00:17:59Also, it would have been an unbroken vista of clear blue, steam issuing from volcanic fissures.
00:18:05It would have been a great show.
00:18:07Instead of freezing my nuts off, sitting around with a bunch of guys getting drunk and eating well.
00:18:11How do you say cheers around here?
00:18:14>> Bourdain: Oh, I can do that.
00:18:17Okay, this is not what I planned exactly, but it's good to come in out of the cold.
00:18:22And I was able to recover my picnic basket.
00:18:25My new pals seem happy.
00:18:27Beats the cold sandwich and "sharkcicles" these guys usually suffer through.
00:18:31So this puffin thing -- let's check that out.
00:18:33This is the cute, little bird?
00:18:35>> Women really like this bird.
00:18:38>> Bourdain: To eat, or -- >> no, just to look at.
00:18:41>> Bourdain: Just to look at?
00:18:42But they are delicious.
00:18:43>> They are.
00:18:45>> Bourdain: That's a problem.
00:18:47If you're slower than me, stupider than me, and you taste good, tough [bleep].
00:18:51These lamb chops, by the way, are amazing.
00:18:53They look cute, too.
00:18:54It's good to be a chef.
00:18:56My friend siggy from the hotel really hooked me up here.
00:19:00Nice spread.
00:19:03[ Cellphone rings ] it could be another tourist calling for help.
00:19:07Yeah, I'm sure they'll be fine.
00:19:09Tell them to just try to stay warm, drink their own urine.
00:19:12[ Laughter ] when we're done with the lamb chops, we'll go bail them out.
00:19:16Just how cold was it, and how long did it take for that south american rugby team to start eating each other?
00:19:22Luckily I won't have to find out the answer on this trip, as my intrepid pals have 4x4 super jeeps with satellite navigation.
00:19:30Back to the warmth and security of my hotel.
00:19:32I better call siggy and have him make up more of that hot chocolate, 'cause I got a big day coming.
00:19:38Tomorrow kicks off an annual viking feast of frightening proportions.
00:23:37>> ♪♪ No reservations ♪♪
00:23:44>> Bourdain: I survived my time in the wilderness, and I'm starting to get sensation back in my extremities, but this whole late sunrise thing is making me a little lethargic and cranky.
00:23:52How the hell do these people do it?
00:23:54I need a less aerobic way of experiencing the icelandic winter.
00:23:58How about a midwinter feast?
00:24:00Hey, you know what I feel like doing?
00:24:02I feel like seeing people cooking the nether regions of various animals that have been cured in lye.
00:24:10Hey, I feel like some fermented shark.
00:24:12Come on!
00:24:15Iceland's rugged terrain has forged a resilient and independent culture fashioned over the years by the descendants of farmers and warriors who fled the tyranny of evil scandinavia.
00:24:25This original lot was a tough bunch.
00:24:27And haute cuisine wasn't necessarily the first thing on their minds.
00:24:31But the ancestral viking culinary root has not been forgotten and is honored each year.
00:24:38What's it called, the big party, the festival?
00:24:41>> Bourdain: And how long have you been preparing for this?
00:24:43>> It's been laying since september.
00:24:47>> Bourdain: That's, like -- >> six months?
00:24:48>> Bourdain: Six months.
00:24:50John and his cohorts have spent the last half year prepping for this feast.
00:24:54It's big business in iceland.
00:24:56So big thatthorrablot"to go" packs are shipped to homesick vikings around the world.
00:25:02Yummy sheep's head.
00:25:03How many of these you got ready to go?
00:25:06Oh, he's cute.
00:25:07>> We've got about maybe 900 heads going on.
00:25:11>> Bourdain: 900 Heads.
00:25:12That's a lot of head.
00:25:14That's the famous shark?
00:25:15>> That's the shark, yeah.
00:25:17>> Bourdain: The famous shark.
00:25:19Buried underground and allowed to basically rot for six months.
00:25:23A treasured national treat.
00:25:25The meat is poisonous early in the preparation.
00:25:28Maybe that's why it's handled with rubber gloves.
00:25:30Or maybe because it simply stinks.
00:25:33See the sheep's testicles.
00:25:35Oh, yeah, breakfast of champions.
00:25:37Thank you.
00:25:41..sheep testicles.
00:25:43That's not bad.
00:25:45>> Here's where it all started.
00:25:47That's the head cheese.
00:25:48>> Bourdain: That's a head cheese.
00:25:50Sheep's head.
00:25:52All the meat is stripped off, the tongue.
00:25:55>> The eyes, everything.
00:25:56>> Bourdain: I mean, it's, like, testicles, head cheese, the fatty part of a lamb, blood sausage, sheep's head.
00:26:03Is there anything in there -- there's nothing normal?
00:26:06By the way, what's it going to be like tonight?
00:26:09Is this going to be a serious, insane, little party?
00:26:11>> Oh, my god, there's gonna be a lot.
00:26:13>> Bourdain: I really don't like it when somebody from iceland is " really?
00:26:18Completely insane behavior.
00:26:23Let's get the party started.
00:26:28Okay, maybe this is not the most exciting bunch in iceland.
00:26:32But they're nice.
00:26:33They're fun.
00:26:37In their fashion.
00:26:38You can really cut the excitement in here with a knife.
00:26:45Welcome, minnesota orthodontists' society.
00:26:48Thanks for coming.
00:26:49Today we'll be discussing a painful and prolonged surgical procedure.
00:26:54And it only heats up from here, folks.
00:26:57..have not shown up yet.
00:27:00I think they died of boredom after last year's event.
00:27:04Either that or they fell victim to a vicious butter-knife clash ..
00:27:08[ Mumbles unintelligibly ] do these things ever, like, break out into senseless butchery and violence, long-simmering feuds?
00:27:15Do any of these towns have, like, local rivalries?
00:27:18>> From looking at this age group, I don't think so, no.
00:27:21>> Bourdain: My friend maria is from these parts thankfully, and she's a seasonedthorrablot veteran.
00:27:25So hopefully she'll explain theul finer details of the festivities.
00:27:29>> It is once a year.
00:27:30It's a time period from january to march where icelanders are basically celebrating how we used to store food in the old days.
00:27:37>> Bourdain: So it's something you really only have to do once a year.
00:27:40>> Yes.
00:27:40>> Bourdain: Sort of like a prostate exam.
00:27:42What did my old pediatrician say?
00:27:44This will only be uncomfortable for a minute, followed by, "that " yes, yes, it was.
00:27:57Now here's a buffet you're not going to find in las vegas.
00:28:00The lower jaw is supposed to be the good stuff.
00:28:02Let's find a cute one here.
00:28:04Yeah, he's looking good.
00:28:07Smoked lamb.
00:28:08A little head cheese.
00:28:10Mmm, testicles.
00:28:13All good?
00:28:16Oh, yeah.
00:28:18Yeah, everyone's pointing at that, yeah.
00:28:20Watch the american guy eat the fermented shark.
00:28:24One is strongly advised to drink brennivin, lots of brennivin, presumably to wash out the taste of stinky shark.
00:28:32They told me I shouldn't touch the shark with my fingers.
00:28:35Now, this is food I'm expected to put in my stomach, but they don't think that I should touch it with my fingers?
00:28:40>> I've actually never heard that before.
00:28:44>> Bourdain: Oh, man.
00:28:47>> That is unspeakably nasty.
00:28:50This is probably the single worst thing I have ever put in my mouth.
00:28:56Cheers to that.
00:29:01[ Speaking in native language ] >> Bourdain: His brother, bjorn, was so ugly when he was a child, they had to tie some fermented shark around his neck so the family dog would play with him.
00:29:27>> They're telling everyone now that everyone here is going to be world famous because they're on the travel channel.
00:29:32And that it's not a joke.
00:29:34>> Bourdain: Show us your breasts.
00:29:36" I was expecting, like, some out-of-control renaissance festival -- haunches of meat,me drunken bar wenches, ax-wielding vikings, belligerent trolls.
00:29:48No one mentioned assigned seating or, god help us, singing.
00:29:52[ Singing in native language ] yes, icelandic doo-wop.
00:30:08I'm putting this on my ipod.
00:30:19[ Crowd applauds ] " " lest you think I'm a total ingrate, I do think the fun boy three really had good voices, and all the folks at the celebration were very kind.
00:30:33And the meal?
00:30:34That was -- all right, let's call it what it was.
00:30:37Worst meal ever.
00:30:43It's not all hooves, snouts, and [bleep] in this country.
00:30:46There are some really fine chefs doing really good work.
00:30:49And I'm going to go find them.
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00:35:25>> Bourdain: In iceland, I don't limit my means of travel exclusively to doggy power.
00:35:29Did you know that I was a champion equestrian?
00:35:33I miss those days on the riding circuit.
00:35:35As an outdoorsman, a rough-and-ready, rough-and-tumble sort of a guy, with a deep feeling for nature and livestock and the smell of animal feces, this was, of course, always my preferred method of transportation.
00:35:53Ho, ho!
00:35:55Trouble in town, ma'am?
00:35:58No problem.
00:36:00[ Neighs ] that better be a ham sandwich in your pocket, my friend, because you're going to have to eat it.
00:36:05Go on!
00:36:08Come on, buttercup.
00:36:09Let's move.
00:36:10Come on, rumsfeld.
00:36:16That's good.
00:36:17Oh, yeah.
00:36:18You smelled my [bleep].
00:36:20I rode on top of him.
00:36:22We had a bonding experience.
00:36:28He looks just like sarah jessica parker.
00:36:31How old are you?
00:36:35There's no way you can survive these winters on putrid shark alone.
00:36:39There are plenty of good chefs in this country keeping bellies full and happy.
00:36:44A friend suggested I meet their associate, sigmar, and he would hook me up with a really good meal.
00:36:49Sigmar, I'm cold, tired, hungry.
00:36:52I need a drink.
00:36:53Where you taking me?
00:36:54>> To a small restaurant whose name is three frenchmen.
00:36:58>> Bourdain: Oh, that's good.
00:37:00>> But there is no frenchmen.
00:37:02>> Bourdain: Oh, that's bad.
00:37:03>> But in icelandic, it also means three overcoats.
00:37:06>> Bourdain: But in this case it means some good eating.
00:37:09Now, there's something familiar.
00:37:12>> Brennivin -- it's kind of mandatory.
00:37:16>> That's healthy, especially with the shark.
00:37:18>> Bourdain: Huh?
00:37:19Here's a traveler's dilemma.
00:37:21Do you risk insulting your proud host saying you'd rather have a pack of razor-toothed ferrets gnaw your toes off than eat that stinking shark one more time, or do you keep quiet and eat?
00:37:30I say, reluctantly, eat it.
00:37:38Oh, good.
00:37:38>> You look better, you know?
00:37:39Some color in your face.
00:37:41I don't know if it's the brennivin or the shark.
00:37:43>> Bourdain: Maybe another one of these.
00:37:45That was good.
00:37:46I kind of liked that.
00:37:47So what should I eat here?
00:37:48>> Fish stew.
00:37:49It's our traditional -- >> Bourdain: Your signature dish.
00:37:52>> Yeah.
00:37:52>> Bourdain: I'm going for that, then.
00:37:57>> Traditional fish stew.
00:37:59>> Bourdain: What kind of fish you put in here?
00:38:01>> Cod.
00:38:02>> Bourdain: All cod?
00:38:03>> Yeah.
00:38:03>> Bourdain: So it's cod, onions, potatoes, and a béchamel sauce spiced with curry.
00:38:07It's calledplok fiskar.
00:38:10Oh, man, that's good.
00:38:11Oh, yes.
00:38:12>> You see, if you're an icelandic person, and you live abroad, the first thing you have when you came home is this.
00:38:21>> Bourdain: This is pretty damn good.
00:38:24So where does everybody come from in this country?
00:38:27Is everybody descended from vikings?
00:38:29>> We are a mixture of vikings and irish.
00:38:32Because the vikings, they came to iceland because they didn't want to pay taxes at home.
00:38:37And scandinavia, there was one strong guy, harald, but he runs the whole norway.
00:38:42The vikings, they said, "no, not paying you anything.
00:38:46" then, on the way, they say, "well, we don't want to work.
00:38:50So let's pick up some slaves in " and then when the viking was picking up the slaves, they saw some beautiful irish girls.
00:38:59So they came home with 7 guys but 11 girls.
00:39:02>> Bourdain: Right.
00:39:03>> So that's the icelandic nation.
00:39:05>> Bourdain: Cutest irish babes and the laziest vikings.
00:39:08>> Yeah, true, true.
00:39:09>> Bourdain: That sounds pretty damn good to me.
00:39:13That was awesome.
00:39:13>> It's good.
00:39:14>> Bourdain: This is what food should be.
00:39:16>> I have many, many guests over here.
00:39:18Sometimes, you know, some people do not like to eat fish.
00:39:21For instance, we have whale meat.
00:39:23Many americans say, "oh, I never " >> Bourdain: I'd be happy to take care of this diplomatic situation.
00:39:29I'll be the official greeter for iceland.
00:39:32If you don't like fish, you're some kind of a vegetarian, and you've got some sort of weird notions about -- well, get your candy ass back on the plane and go to disney world.
00:39:42>> Thank you.
00:39:44Thank you very much, tony.
00:39:45You'll be near our hearts forever for that.
00:39:48>> Bourdain: So there you go.
00:39:49I'm going to be the held in the bosom of all icelanders.
00:39:52Mom will be so proud.
00:39:56Iceland makes the claim that its inhabitants lived the longestta lives on earth.
00:40:01And well, I haven't seen anybody die since I got here, so it's got to be true.
00:40:05It's all in the mud and rub spa culture -- iceland style.
00:40:11Okay, this place has all the " I was kind of hoping for a hip, swinging spa.
00:40:18This is kind of a bummer.
00:40:23This is actually a clinic that combines modern medical science with icelandic health-care traditions.
00:40:29What's the thick rubber glove for?
00:40:31I hope that's for my producer.
00:40:35He's into rubber.
00:40:37>> Do you mind if I massage your glutes?
00:40:40>> Bourdain: What's a glute?
00:40:43With my glutes nice and tenderized, I'm ready for the main event.
00:40:54Ah, okay.
00:40:55Slide in?
00:40:56>> Yeah.
00:40:57>> Bourdain: Lean back?
00:40:58>> Yep.
00:40:59>> Bourdain: Oh, yeah.
00:41:06Certain element of trust is required in this operation.
00:41:10If this dried out, it would be basically solid, wouldn't it?
00:41:14>> Yes.
00:41:16You can see it.
00:41:17>> Bourdain: Yeah?
00:41:18So if you forget and, like, leave me in here, that would probably not be a good thing?
00:41:23>> No, that wouldn't happen.
00:41:26>> Bourdain: You would say that.
00:41:30Now, before you go shoveling a bunch of dirt into your bathtub, this is therapeutic mud, special mud made with icelandic volcanic ash and a splash of geothermal water.
00:41:41Satiny smooth after this.
00:41:43My skin will be lovely and ..
00:41:47Soft, supple, and moist.
00:41:56What is with the rubber gloves in this place?
00:42:03>> Yeah, it's done.
00:42:04>> Bourdain: I feel like a loaf of well-baked bread.
00:42:12I can't go home like this?
00:42:13I feel like I'm in the blue man group.
00:42:20Now I feel kind of like a zagnut bar, a little crunchy in inappropriate places.
00:42:34[ Flute plays ] when in doubt, wrap the tourist in sheets and blankets, put him in a dark room and play him the miracle pan flute of zamfir.
00:42:48Here's mud in your eye and up your ass.
00:43:02That was nice.
00:43:06Ready for a cigarette and a beer.
00:43:07Oh, yeah, that was a great scene -- riveting.
00:43:10You get to see my scrawny ass and bony, concave chest again.
00:43:13Wasn't that fascinating?
00:43:15See tony lie in mud, see tony wallow in mud.
00:43:18Oh, that was just magically invigorating and healthy.
00:43:21Next scene you get to see a high colonic.
00:43:23Hey, maybe you'll get to see me clean a bed pan.
00:43:27Healthy, organic, and pure.
00:43:29You'll notice, by the way, any time you hear the word "purity" come up too often in conversation, the sound of jackboots can't be far behind.
00:43:40Who knew mud baths would make me ..angry?
00:43:43I feel like drinking just out of spite at this point.
00:43:48Hey, health boy, suck this!
00:43:52There's still hope we could run over richard gere on the way back home.
00:43:56I've had my fill of healthy.
00:43:57I'm looking to go unhealthy, spitefully unhealthy.
00:44:01Mmm, that's good tobacco!
00:48:13>> ♪♪ No reservations ♪♪
00:48:16[ alarm blares ] >> Bourdain: What time is it?
00:48:25Who knows?
00:48:26Who cares?
00:48:27It doesn't really make any difference, does it?
00:48:34That's not good.
00:48:38[ Laughing ] I will not deny that the lack of sunlight alters one's state of ..
00:48:46Which may explain the fact that 80% of icelanders accept the possibility that elves, gnomes, and pixies exist.
00:48:54Or were those trolls?
00:48:56Suddenly I feel like a tollhouse cookie or a tom cruise movie.
00:49:01He's a short, little fella.
00:49:05Now, I'm not a huge fan of many traditions, but iceland does have a little social activity that's key in surviving the winter.
00:49:11It's calledruntur.
00:49:14A marathon bar, nightclub crawl that's a saturday night must.
00:49:18Now, this is a tradition I can get behind.
00:49:23Up all night and drinking -- i can do that.
00:49:26Yes, I'm good at this.
00:49:28The fermented shark here, do you eat it?
00:49:31>> I've tried it.
00:49:32>> Bourdain: Do you like it?
00:49:33>> It's good.
00:49:34>> Bourdain: You're a lying sack of [bleep].
00:49:39This guy's telling me the shark meat's alarming taste has something to do with the high concentration of waste product in the animal's tissue.
00:49:46So it's basically marinated in urine?
00:49:48That's what you're telling me?
00:49:50Ah, that explains the taste.
00:49:55The chefs at the hotel have put up some kind of announcement on the national chef website.
00:49:59So every culinary guru, chef, and cook seems to have shown up to get hammered, gossip, and behave badly.
00:50:09Hey, there's my old friend siggy, from vox restaurant.
00:50:12And there's bjorn.
00:50:13Hey, there's john, the thorrablotguy.
00:50:17After hauling fermented fish and testicles out of vats of acid all day, I'll bet he needs ..
00:50:22Or seven.
00:50:24>> Goodbye, america.
00:50:30>> Bourdain: Oh, yeah, he's looking fresh.
00:50:32Siggy may work at one of the best restaurants in the country, but he knows where to find the good stuff after a few cocktails.
00:50:38You work at the best restaurant in iceland.
00:50:40But what's the most popular restaurant?
00:50:42>> It's probably the hot-dog place.
00:50:46>> Bourdain: Ah, yes, in the midst of a heavy night of drinking, I'm glad to see that even icelanders seek out the comfort of a good, old hot dog.
00:50:54What do I say, I want a hot dog with everything?
00:50:59You're ordering for me.
00:51:01>> Yeah, okay.
00:51:03>> Bourdain: It's mustard, curry sauce?
00:51:06>> Remoulade.
00:51:06>> Bourdain: Remoulade and ..
00:51:09>> Yeah, you're gonna say, "with " you're gonna love it.
00:51:11>> Bourdain: With everything.
00:51:13That's a good-looking dog.
00:51:16Cheers, dude.
00:51:20Oh, that's good.
00:51:21>> These are not only good.
00:51:22These are the best.
00:51:27>> [Bleep] lunatics.
00:51:29>> Bourdain: Are you kidding me?
00:51:31Paris hilton got famous doing that.
00:51:33Our former president clinton ate here two weeks before his heart blew a gasket, and he had to have open-heart surgery?
00:51:40>> Yeah.
00:51:41>> Bourdain: That's the mark of quality.
00:51:42I feel a little pain in my chest.
00:51:44It hurts so good.
00:51:47That's one serious dog.
00:51:50 and things don't seem to be slowing down.
00:51:54[ Singing in native language ] so do all the chefs in iceland know each other?
00:52:03>> Yeah, pretty much.
00:52:06>> Hey, guys, don't you know this guy?
00:52:08Alain bourdain.
00:52:09>> Bourdain: Well, close enough.
00:52:11In case you haven't noticed, people like to drink in this country.
00:52:14>> What's up, man?
00:52:16>> Alain bourdain.
00:52:18>> Bourdain: For example, this guy.
00:52:20This guy likes to drink in this country.
00:52:22So I kind of lost counterparts at this point.
00:52:25I get the general impression from my fellow solid citizens, it's going to be a long, long, long night.
00:52:36And so we're almost at the point where we say adieu to iceland.
00:52:41Let us only hope that the last scene on this show is not me curled up in a shivering fetal position on a cold tile floor.
00:52:53arthritis I just want fewer pills and relief that lasts all day.
00:52:58Take 2 extra strength tylenol every 4 to !?
00:53:04And if I take it for 10 days -- that's 80 pills.
00:53:10Just 2 aleve can last all day.
00:53:15Fewer pills thanextra strength tylenol.
00:53:17Just 2 aleve havethe strength to relieve arthritis pain all day.
00:53:22house,not ..
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00:56:00>> Bourdain: This country is rife with volcanic activity and steam vents.
00:56:04And I say that's a good thing, a very good thing, because icelanders have harnessed all that hot goodness and have been hot-tubbing longer than any other people on earth.
00:56:12And, well, swimming hole number one is the blue lagoon.
00:56:16I'm anthony bourdain from " come on in.
00:56:20You and me and peter lawford and bill cosby used to hang out over at hef's place, swinging.
00:56:30Hef has nothing on these folks.
00:56:32Made up of two-thirds saltwater and one-third freshwater, the water in the blue lagoon is high in silica and algae, substances known for their natural healing powers.
00:56:42It's 104 degrees of simmering goodness.
00:56:45You wake up, feeling like you're really just not sure whether you want to curl up into a fetal ..
00:56:55Projectile vomit, or hang yourself in the shower.
00:56:58The icelandic thing to do is go to the blue lagoon, marinate in volcanic hot tub heated by a geyser.
00:57:09And drink more.
00:57:11Conveniently located on the way to the airport, by the way.
00:57:15Okay, I'll get a beer in me.
00:57:17I just might make it onto that plane.
00:57:19Oh, waiter?
00:57:20It's santori time.
00:57:39Life would be just perfect if only I had a floating beer caddy.
00:57:45Keep these coming.
00:57:46I had a great time here, but it wasn't exactly what I was expecting.
00:57:51I have a couple of changes for that tourism film.
00:57:55>> There is a country in europe.
00:57:57>> Bourdain: Yeah, and it's called iceland for a reason.
00:58:00That mild winter weather sometimes interrupted by ferocious blizzards.
00:58:04>> Sorry about that.
00:58:05>> Bourdain: Hey, no problem.
00:58:07There's fun to be had.
00:58:08Dog-sledding on glaciers, horsey rides across the frozen tundra.
00:58:14Right in the nuts.
00:58:17>> And don't forget about the exquisite lamb.
00:58:20>> Bourdain: Oh, yeah.
00:58:21I think I ate that guy's [bleep].
00:58:23>> A true icelandic delicacy.
00:58:26>> Bourdain: Not to mention some of the more tart nuts available on the planet.
00:58:30This strong man trained by day, and the beer flows freely at night.
00:58:35Practically threw up on the breakfast nook.
00:58:38A kill-yourself hangover?
00:58:40No problem.
00:58:42Take a refreshing dip in the blue lagoon.
00:58:48The way a cold, dark, wintry, short vacation should be.
00:58:54Welcome to iceland.
00:58:56Vacation wonderland!
00:58:59>> I'm glad you enjoyed it.
00:59:01>> Bourdain: Actually, I did, immensely.
00:59:103 2 F1 Zimmern:..
00:59:13Going to extremes, from a mayonnaise milkshake ..
00:59:20Reptile blood's very clean.
00:59:22...The freshest possible seafood...
00:59:24They're delicious, though.
00:59:27...To ancient sushi...
00:59:28This is probably one of the foulest-tasting things I've ever eaten.
00:59:33...Tuna eyeballs...
00:59:34To raw goat testicles with attachments.
00:59:37They leave the testicular sac attached to the balls themselves.
00:59:41There's no place like japan for experiencing food as fine art, pop-culture kitsch, and sporting challenge.
00:59:4980 Bucks a pound?
00:59:50That's not bad for something that could kill you.