Destination: Reykjavik, Iceland (Part 1)

Iceland had on my bucket list of places to visit for some time, but I never had the money to go. It wasn’t until this year that I decided to really save up and *finally* book my flight to Reykjavik. With that, there was no turning back!

A week after the end of my semester of teaching, I bused myself to Paris where I then caught my flight out to Reykjavik. Journey time took about 3-1/2 hours, and soon enough I landed in Keflavik Airport around 20:00. After paying for the shuttle to Reykjavik city center, I hopped on the bus into town. It was still light out as we drove through the volcanic-based earth, both mountainous and mysterious, as if on a different planet.

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Landing in Reykjavik.

I arrived at the shuttle’s terminus and headed over to my hostel about 15 minutes away. I would be staying there for two nights before moving to stay with a Couchsurfer in town for the remainder of my time in Reykjavik. I was much too tired to do anything that day besides check in, shower, have a drink at the hostel bar, and go to bed– after all, I would have the next day to explore town.

Heading out around 8:15 the following morning, I went into the city center, which was about a 15-minute walk. I started at the Hallgrimskirkja, the iconic church that’s modeled after the coastal rock reliefs of the country. It wasn’t opened yet, so I checked out the Einar Jonsson Sculpture Garden just next to it, which was a small square with a few cool sculptures of Icelandic history to view– plus, it was free!

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Hallgrimskirkja with Leif Erikson statue.

I then went down to Tjörnin, the city lake where the tourist office is located. Saw a bunch of ducks and other birds hanging about the shores, all the while getting a decent view of Reykjavik from the tourist office. I soon returned to Hallgrimskirkja once it opened, and checked out its interior. The inside is very much minimalist (as it’s a Protestant church), but I found the views from the top of its tower rewarding, as I could see the cute, colorful houses, i.e. the entire city, down below.

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View from Hallgrimskirkja.

After my visit, I went down to the coast, strolling the seaside while passing by the Sólfarið (“Sun Voyager”), a boat statue meant to symbolize new discoveries, and the Harpa Concert Hall, whose glass architecture is dazzling to behold both inside and outside.

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Sólfarið.
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Harpa Concert Hall.
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Inside the Harpa.

Getting rather hungry, I headed to Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, a well-known food stand famous for its Icelandic hot dogs. While it doesn’t sound anything special, the Icelandic hot dog is a food staple in the country, known for being inexpensive at 5 euros and perfect as a snack or late-night bite. The fried onions on top are a life-changer, and despite it being small, it was worth a taste!

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Icelandic hot dog.

More adventures in Iceland coming soon– stay tuned for Part 2!

— The Finicky Cynic

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