If you happen to find yourself in Reykjavik, participate in the Runtur—the Saturday night pub crawl—and make your way to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa for a good soak just a few miles away from the world’s northernmost capital city. By no means, however, should you leave the Bus Hostel Reykjavik off your itinerary.
For it is at the Bus Hostel that the very last McDonald’s cheeseburger and fries purchased in Iceland is on display—more than five years after the fact.
Hjörtur Smarason purchased the combo on Oct. 30, 2009, the day before the last McDonald’s in Reykjavik was scheduled to close its doors following Iceland’s economic crash in 2008 (At its peak on the island nation, McDonald’s had a total of three outlets). However, Smarason didn’t buy the burger to eat it. He purchased it to keep it for posterity—in its clamshell case, stored in his garage.
Eventually, Samarason’s cheeseburger found its way to the National Museum of Iceland, where it has been displayed proudly for the last year.
Details about how the iconic cheeseburger found its way to the unprepossessing Bus Hostel are a bit murky, but it now resides there, on display under glass in the lobby.
Smarason is proud of his purchase, which has survived several moves and the disdain of a specialist from Denmark who informed The National Museum of Iceland that the burger couldn’t be preserved and that it should be thrown out.
“I think he was wrong because this hamburger preserves itself,” Smarason said.
The cheeseburger reportedly has shriveled a little bit—and several French fries appear to be missing—but neither the burger nor the bun has any mold, Smarason explained.
But in case you can’t travel to Reykjavik, or can’t find the hostel when you’re there, the Bus Hostel has set up a live video stream of the cheeseburger and fries, where viewers can sit and watch it decay on camera.
Just one caveat, “you will have to be patient to see any changes in its appearance,” the site warns.