A day in Reykjavik

posted in: Nordic Adventure 2012 | 0

No matter how well I understand logically that the sun doesn’t set here until almost midnight, when I look outside at 10:30 pm and see bright sunshine, my mind can’t understand why my body is so ready for sleep.

Today I got acquainted with Reykjavik. I walked around on my own, then took a free guided tour that was almost as good as the one in Tallinn, then walked around some more. There were a lot of highlights:

Tjörnin, the pond. Lots of birds and a nice path around it dotted with sculptures.

I especially enjoyed watching the Arctic terns, which hover like hummingbirds before they dive for fish in the lake.  Here’s one not doing that:

The Ráðhús, Reykjavik’s city hall, sits at the top of  Tjörnin and incorporates the water into its design.

It has a really big 3‑D map of Iceland that is very cool.

Hallgrimskirkja, the big white church that is the city’s main Lutheran church.

I think it looks out of place in this city; for some reason, I think it looks like it belongs in Salt Lake City.
I took an elevator to the top of the bell tower for an impressive view.

Lots of very fun and cool public art.

Shopping. Always shopping.

I wish I were more into wool sweaters, scarves, hats, and gloves instead of miniature vases.

A lot of bars and restaurants, including a wide range of ethnic eateries.

I had a late lunch today of beef noodle soup that was delicious. They had a write-up on the wall from the New York Times’ Frugal Traveler column where he mentioned them.


The show at Harpa, How to Become Icelandic in 60 Minutes, was essentially a stand-up comedy act. It was actually quite funny, though there were a fair number of inside jokes. The hall itself is extremely impressive. I learned today that it was being built by one of the bankers who was responsible for Iceland going bankrupt, and after it sat unfinished, the bankrupt government spent a fortune to finish it. The show I went to was in a tiny theatre that probably seats 150 — 200 people, but it has a large main hall (which I couldn’t see). It also has a huge lobby area that’s filled with sunlight this time of year.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming excursions. Tomorrow: the south coast and Þórsmörk.

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