Day 1 – After an uneventful 8 hour flight, we arrived around 2pm, caught the FlyBus to Reykjavik, settled into our AirBnB to relaxed for a bit, then headed out to explore a little before dinner. With only ~330,000 people in the whole country, and 70% of them living in Reykjavik, it still feels like a small city. There are only a few buildings over three stories in the downtown area, which made the whole city feel cozy and easy to get around. It sprinkled most the day as we walked along, checking out all the great street art on the walls.
We ended up eating at Hofnin, a nice two story restaurant with a nice view of the harbor. The food was excellent, I ended up ordering lamb curry, with bananas and turnips. We walked backed, stopping for coffee and tea at Kaffihús Vesturbæjar, a bustling cafe just around the corner from where we were staying.
Day 2 – Katya and I took a bus tour of the Golden Circle.
Day 3 – We spent most of the day exploring Reykjavik. Starting with breakfast at kaffitar, we walked along Bankastræti, hanging a right onto Skólavörðustígur, checking out shops, art, and making our way up hill to Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik’s Iconic modern cathedral. Unfortunately there was a lot of exterior maintenance going on so trying to get a decent photo was hard. You can buy a ticket to go to the top of the top, but the views are so-so and I didn’t feel like it was worth the price. There is also a large statue of Leifur Eiríksson out front, which overlooks the city.
We headed north from the cathedral , weaving our way across the different streets til we got to the harbor, turning west, we strolled along the walking path til we got to Sólfarið (Sun voyager). It’s a huge 1990 stainless-steel sculpture of a boat by Jón Gunnar Árnason, set on granite beside the sea. It’s in a beautiful spot and it really stands out when the sun is hitting it.
Continuing west, we ended up at the Saga Museum, creepy life like statues, murder history, dress as Vikings! Guided by an audio tour, the museum takes you along the unique, and bloody, history of Iceland. After the tour you can head over to their costume area and dress up in armor and grab some weapons for some serious, or not so serious, photo ops.
We worked our way back towards the main drag, grabbing lunch at Dirty Burger and Ribs. Though a touristy spot, the burgers were quite good and the fries were excellent, it was also one of the most expensive meals we had in Iceland. After lunch Katya wanted to get her fill of Iceland art so we headed to the National Gallery of Iceland. It was smaller then I’d imagined, and had a lot of weird art. There were a few pieces I really enjoyed though, and it was a nice break from walking all over the city.
That evening Karen and Jon treated Katya and I to a fancy dinner at Grillmarkaðurinn. The dinning room was in the basement, with moss on the walls, and fish skin decor. It felt like a musty cave in there, and didn’t really have the vibe you’d normally expect of a upscale restaurant. Luckily the food was delicious. I went with the rack of lamb with garlic potatoes, and the fried squid appetizer was excellent. We headed back to our place, the air crisp and clean from a fresh shower.