Reykjavík, Iceland

Monday, May 22, 2017

Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland, is the world's northernmost capital city. It's a fun, quirky town with colorful buildings, funky modern architecture, and serves as the gateway to the rest of the country.
Our first stop in exploring Reykjavik was the Hallgrimskirkja church, which was literally out the front door of our airbnb.

This immense concrete Lutheran church was built beginning in 1946 and completely dominates the skyline of the city.
Being a Lutheran church, the inside is very reserved with limited decoration.
For a few bucks you can ride an elevator up and then climb the last few floors to the observation deck at the top of the nearly 250 foot tall tower.
Views! You can see our airbnb building with the white roof in the center-right of this picture. Great location!
Quintessential Reykjavik views. I LOVE the colors!
THE view of the city looking down Skolavordustigur street towards the old harbor. Google "Reykjavík" and this is what you'll see.
Across the bay.
Out front, a statue of the Viking explorer Leifur Eiriksson, the first European discoverer of North America, stands proudly. The statue was a gift from the US to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of Eiriksson's voyages.
Then we walked into the heart of town.
Colors everywhere! It looks like a Mondrian painting.

Strolling down one of the main shopping drags, Skolavordustigur.
Snippets from our walk.
Jane. This girl is somethin'!
Town details.
Down in the center of the old town is the Tjornin lake. The area is a magnet for birds with more than 40 species visiting at different times of the year including swans, geese, terns, and of course, ducks. Ducks trump all.
Nearby is the Domkirkja, Iceland's main cathedral. It's a modest little church but it played a vital role in the country's conversion to Lutheranism.
The inside has a lovely wooden interior with hints of gold.
Hotel on the Austurvollur green with a restaurant by Jamie Oliver inside.
Main square.
Unsurprisingly, we've never seen an Iceland plate on a car as we've driven around continental Europe. Iceland plate - check!
Jane started feeling a little sick, but she's a trooper.

The Harpa is an example of some of the cutting edge, modern architecture that is springing up in Reykjavik. The building is a concert hall and cultural center located right on the water's edge.
In the afternoon we booked a puffin tour so we walked down the gangway in the Old Harbor to hop on our boat.
From the boat looking back towards the Old Harbor.
From the harbor you have tons of options for tours, many of which are whale watching since the waters around Iceland are rich with marine life, including the humongous Blue Whales.
Our kids didn't last long on the tour before the hum of the engine, the rocking of the water, and the coziness of the life jackets put them to sleep.
Our tour was a success! We saw puffins!
On coastal cliffs and islets all around the country, puffins return year after year to nest and hatch their young. The puffin season was just starting so we were lucky to get some glimpses of these cute (and fast!) birds.
Thankfully, the weather held and the only reason we got wet was from the spray of the ocean as we sped around.
Back on dry land we walked up Laugavegur street, another popular shopping area.
This shop advertised itself as the cutest shop in Iceland. I agree!
Fox loved the robot mural.
Hello aqua house!
We don't travel lightly.
The next morning we woke up at 3:00am (we tried to stay on Germany time though so it "only" felt like 5:00am) to make our way to the airport. Reading material states: "Earthquakes, fires, volcanoes, floods, neglect, and pestilence." All things Icelanders have had to overcome.
Flying back into Germany, we passed over the bright yellow rapeseed fields that dot the country every spring/summer/fall.
On the drive home we spotted this bright pink Fiat. GIMME!!
Little clips of walking around Reykjavík and the puffin boat tour:
Our family in Reykjavík, Iceland on Wednesday May 3rd 2017.

And that concludes our trip to Iceland! Next trip: Oslo, Norway!


  1. please make sure you go to Vigeland park in Oslo. you will love it. Its a photographers/scrappers

  2. Wow!!!! What a beautiful city!!! That first church is MASSIVE!!! WOW!!! And I wanna live in that rainbow building!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. So awesome!!! I have wanted to go to Iceland since I was 15 but as I live in Australia it is literally the other side of the planet. I did get to Europe but we could swing it there at the time...hopefully one day. And puffins!!!! I have wanted to see them since reading Enid Blyton books at an even younger age!! So glad that you got there and thanks for sharing with us!!!


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