For a very long time I have wanted to visit Iceland and recently my dream came true. Early on Saturday morning our plane landed at Keflavik International Airport and our Icelandic adventure started. It was cold ( though not as cold as I imagined it would be!) and damp but our spirits were high as we made our way to the capital city of Reykjavik. I thought I would write a short post about each day we spent there ( three days in all ) so here is the first. 🙂
After checking into our room ( we stayed quite centrally at Hotel Klettur) , we walked down to the harbour, purely because I’m always drawn to the sea. Just before the shimmering glass Harpa Concert Venue is the beautiful Solfar ( Sun Voyager) sculpture , looking out accross the ocean. It is said that this art work symbolises hope, light and freedom. Another interpretation is that the Sun Voyager is a vessel that takes dead people’s souls out to sea. Anyway it has the perfect location and I’m glad we saw it. 🙂
Further down from the sculpture is the Harpa Concert Hall looking resplendent in all its glittering glass glory. I wish I had taken more photos now as none I have do it justice. There seemed to be a multitude of monster trucks outside in the car park !
The harbour area has various cafes and bars, fishing boats, whale watching boats and two whale hunting vessels. Although whale hunting is practised in Iceland’s waters , they do seem to have a ‘Meet the Whales, Not eat the Whales’ attitude going on. 🙂
Not far from the Harbour we came across Reykjavik’s famous Hot Dog stand. Tourists and locals flock here for Baejarins beztu pylsur ( the best hot dogs in town) and the business has been doing a roaring trade since 1937 apparently. Not sure why the stand is such an institution….but it is incredibly cheap for Iceland , about £3 for a hotdog with the works. And yes they are tasty with crunchy onions, raw onions, mustard, ketchup and a sweet onion sauce.
Next we headed for Hallgrimskirkja, the largest church in Iceland. Its rocket like appearance is easy to spot all over Reykjavik, so its a good place from where to get your bearings. We took the lift up to the top of the church tower and were rewarded with gorgeous views of the cities colourful rooftops. 🙂
After we walked to Tjornin which is the city pond and a favourite haunt of ducks, geese and swans.
As you can see it was a bit of a damp and drizzly day, so time to get toasty with a brew and cake. We found a fab place called Laundromat Cafe in Austurstraeti 9 which is a laundrette/cafe with a library and board games and friendly and cozy atmosphere. By night it turns into a bar.
On our way back to the hotel to get ready for our Northern Lights trip, we passed the Icelandic Phallological Museum which I totally forgot to photograph in my infantile fit of giggles.It houses over 200 penis specimens ( mostly mammals) and has a gift shop too…..
Saturday night we went in search of the Northern Lights with Grey Line Tours , who took us out of the city and away from any light pollution. Unfortunately the lights are unpredictable and I guess the cloudy weather was against us. 😦 Grey Line tours , to give them their dues tried their very best for us, chasing ahead of the clouds as if chasing twisters! It wasn’t to be though. 😦 They do offer to take you out again for free if you don’t see them. Unfortunately the weather was against us this time.
I enjoyed my Northern Lights cocktail in the hotel bar though! I will post about Day Two of my Icelandic adventure very soon. 🙂