Reykjavik

The pond, Tjornin (it means 'pond'

The pond, Tjornin (it means ‘pond’

I ended up in Reykjavik by default. The cheapest flight to Seattle that I could find was on Icelandair, and involved a 17-hour layover in Reykjavik. So I played about with dates and times to get myself four days here instead.

The weather hasn’t been great. I think this is pretty standard though. Maybe there’s one super-sunny day, sometime in July, and everyone rushes out and takes photos of the lovely blue sky and the people in their t-shirts and these are the photos that get used on all the promotional literature and travel brochures. The rest of the year is pretty much like this, with the odd sunny spell interspersed with rain showers and a constant damp drizzle.

It’s not so bad though, if you just resign yourself to it and get on with things.

Here are some things I found to do, despite the weather:

You can take the ferry out to Viðey, a mostly uninhabited island with just a little cafe and a lot of wildlife.

On Viðey

On Viðey

Viðey is also home to the Imagine Peace Tower, Yoko Ono's memorial to her late husband.  It sends a beacon of light that can be seen for miles, or so they say.  It doesn't get switched on until October so not much to see here.

Viðey is also home to the Imagine Peace Tower, Yoko Ono’s memorial to her late husband. It sends a beacon of light that can be seen for miles, or so they say. It doesn’t get switched on until October so not much to see here.

Hallgrimskirkja church

Hallgrimskirkja church

You can visit the Hallgrimskirkja church, which offers great views over the city….

Like this one…..

View from the church

View from the church.  A lift takes you up.

You can go to the beach.  Seriously?  Yes during summer they pipe in hot water and make a little pool in the ocean with the water staying at around 20 degrees.  Still a little cold for me but I gave it a (brief) go.  There are refreshments and a place to store valuables, plus some little hot baths dotted around.

Nautholsvik Thermal Beach; it's a bit of a trek to get there and the rains arrived about 20 mins after I did.

Nautholsvik Thermal Beach; it’s a bit of a trek to get there and the rains arrived about 20 mins after I did.

This is how I feel lugging my bag up to the top floor

This is how I feel lugging my bag up to the top floor

There are also lots of sculptures hanging around the city.

Reykjavik marathon

Saturday was Reykjavik marathon.  Reykjavik is so small they can’t find 26 miles to run through the city so instead they run to a nearby town and then come back again.

Finally, a weekend flea market.  Good for reading glasses, LP records and anything woollen.

Weekend flea market. Good for reading glasses, LP records and anything woollen.

Finally, Sarah’s useless Reykjavik fact: the first settlers gave Reykjavik its name, on account of the steam rising from the hot springs (it means ‘smoke cove’).

6 replies »

  1. Oh I love that sculpture and look at the houses so colourful. I guess that brightens up the horizon. I did giggle at their marathon, quite sweet really. It looks lovely but I don’t think you have sold it to me; unless I go that one day in summer when the sun shines.

    Happy travels my friend x

    • It’s easy to see what a good lifestyle there is in Iceland; free medical, free university, vibrant live music scene, lots of space and so on. But no I’m afraid the weather is a serious downer.

    • Thanks 🙂 It is a nice place, just depends how well you deal with constant drizzle.
      I was quite disappointed by the peace tower thing; I was expecting something bigger. They light it up in winter, so maybe it’s more spectacular then.

      • Being from a temperate rainforest, I deal with constant drizzle fairly well, though these days we’re experiencing near-drought conditions. In any case, re the peace tower, I bet in the long dark northern winters any kind of extra light source would be uplifting.

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