Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Roaming 'Round Reykjavik, Iceland

We had only two short evening and one long morning to explore Reykjavik, but that was plenty of time. It's a small city -- only 120,000 people live there -- and most things to see and do are concentrated along two streets: Laugavegur and Skólavörðustígur. Luckily, our hotel was only one block from the former.

The streets aren't that long, but there are plenty of stores, galleries, bars and restaurants to explore. Once you're tired of that, you can visit Hallgrímskirkja (church of Hallgrímur) standing proudly at the end of Skólavörðustígur. Or walk a few minutes in the opposite direction and wander along a pleasant path abutting the Atlantic Ocean.


Yes, we shopped. Yes, we ate. Yes, we even went into the church, although we were all but churched out at this point in the vacation. But mostly we just spent our time in Reykjavik meandering about. We walked along the waterfront, taking a closer look at the Sun Voyager sculpture and the ultra-modern Harpa convention center and music hall. I took photos down streets and around corners.

Along the waterfront

Sun Voyager sculpture

Looking out from inside Harpa

Iceland was both beautiful and relaxing. It seems that this is where all of nature converges -- ocean, mountain, greenery and even fire in the form of the lava rocks we so often saw. One could easily spend more time in Iceland, exploring the other corners of the country. Maybe even one more day in Reykjavik if you wanted to go whale watching, go puffin watching (we were too late in the season) or take a Northern Lights tour.

Overall, however, I was pleased and pleasantly surprised with this last stop of our trip. It was the perfect way to wind down from the big cities, long lines and aching feet we'd become accustomed to over the previous two weeks.

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