Sunday, May 20, 2012

Stroll Around Reykjavik

Obviously we packed quite a bit into our Iceland long weekend, including two different day trips. But we also had a fair amount of time to stroll around the capital city of Reykjavik. It's small enough to cover in a day but there is more we'd like to get to next time.

Our first stop was at the Hallgrims Church, or Hallgrímskirkja, for gorgeous panoramic views of the city, harbor and mountains.
I loved the blue and red houses! They are so cheery and really reminded me of Norway. I didn't expect to get so much of the Scandinavian vibe here but that is absolutely what it is.

We had a nice walk around town, stopping for lunch and then making our way on a little self guided tour. We kept seeing small groups of teenagers dressed in crazy animal costumes. And then we saw a whole park filled with them. Was this a country obsessed with Furries? I finally asked someone what was going on and he explained that it was traditional for graduating seniors, a sort of "skip day", Icelandic style. Uh, ok then.
Right in the center of town is House No 10, said to be the oldest wooden house in the city, and inside is a nice selection of shops with local crafts and delicious chocolate. We briefly stopped into the Settlement Exhibit, which looked really interesting but as they were closing we mainly glimpsed at the excavation of one of the first houses in Iceland. I'd like to go back and take more time there.

We walked along Tjornin lake, teeming with swans and ducks, and did a bit of shopping on famed Laugavegur street. Believe me when I tell you that clothes are crazy expensive! We went into the local 66 North store where I saw this really cute jacket only to do the conversion and realize it was $500!!

Next time we're in town I'd like to go to the National Museum and National Gallery. But these are just two of countless reasons to go back to Iceland!
Iceland photos