As our cruise with Celebrity came to an end we settled into Reykjavik for a week of tourist activity, which included diving the iconic
Silfra Fissure. As the worlds northern most national capital it has a unique distinction.
Probably the best known sight in Reykjavik is the dominating spire of the Lutheran church, Hallgrímskirkja. Taking 40 years to complete, it is the tallest structure in Reykjavik. Like nearly every other building less than 100 years old here, it is constructed of concrete.
The view from the top gives one an excellent grasp of the size and layout of this city of approximately 135,000. All of Iceland has a population of 376,000.
Looking the other way up the central road in the last photo.
Fortunately for us we landed in Reykjavik the day before the biggest celebration of the year, Culture Night
Around nearly every corner there was some type of entertainment going on throughout the city centre.
All the streets were closed to vehicles in the core and the streets were packed with families throughout the afternoon. It culminated with an outdoors concert in the centre of town where thousands gathered to celebrate Icelandic music and musicians.
After Culture night and scuba diving, we spent the balance of our time just wandering around town taking in the sights and enjoying some of the local foods we had been advised to check out.
I had mentioned in my previous blog about the use of hot water to keep the streets clear of snow and ice in the winter. You can see here where the plumbing was being laid for a new plaza being built.
The Sun Voyager art work on the walkway along the harbour celebrates their heritage and an ode to dreams and freedom.
We came across this uniquely Icelandic hazard in the city. Scalding water that just seeps out of the ground. We did wonder at the prevalence of scald injuries to children in Iceland. Though I imagine they learn quickly to be cautious around any water.
You didn’t have to travel far out of the city centre to come across ruins of abandoned settlements. They gave a wonderful connection to the past and comparison to modern life.
If you have ever Googled Iceland, The Blue Lagoon no doubt came up in the search results. However a new hot pool has opened much closer to Reykjavik and is much more reasonably priced so we decided to check out Sky Lagoon. You can take your camera in, however I wanted to relax and enjoy so to give you an idea you can watch this Youtube video from “Island with a View” to get an idea of what it is like. https://youtu.be/NDdeWRc_Cfc . We found this site to be a wealth of information when we were planning our stay.
I did bring the phone in just to grab a couple of shots to prove we were there but then put it back in the locker and just enjoyed. It was glorious.
The last bit I wanted to share was the food. Yes, Iceland does have some weird food like fermented shark that tourists can be lured into trying, however, just like when we were in SE Asia, I have no interest in freak show food and was more interested in what people actually consumed.
The most successful restaurant in the city. This hot dog stand is open between 16 – 18 hours a day a rarely does not have a line up. First opened in 1937 it is now more popular than ever.
Ordering is simple. One, or two, with everything. They are very good and quite reasonably priced. They are made mostly from Icelandic lamb, along with pork and beef.
Right across from the Hallgrímskirkja, this cafe offers tasty dishes that nearly all have their delicious rye bread involved.
Meat soup with rye bread.
Baldur which is rye bread topped with mashed fish or egg and herring. Way tastier than it sounds.
And to finish off, Rye Bread ice cream. Apparently the only place in the world you can get it. It is lovely. Similar in consistency to cookies and cream ice cream.
The mashed fish, or Plokkfiskur, is actually a stew and a wonderful comfort food that I tried at a few establishments. I really enjoyed it.
Though Iceland is not the most convenient place to get to and is quite expensive, it is well worth the time and money to go there. We would have loved to explore more of the nature beauty around the island as well as check out more of the great restaurants in Reykjavik. However, we gave it a solid effort and are happy with the results. Thank you Iceland.
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So interesting and I love the pictures!
Looks like you guys had a fantastic trip.
It was very good. Glad we went there.