Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A Capital day in Reykjavik

Day 9/10

Couldn't blog yesterday cos the cost of wi-fi in the hotel was clearly designed to restore the economic fortunes of Iceland in one go! Found a lovely bookshop with coffee and free wi-fi now, so I'm almost in heaven.

The journey to Reykjavik yesterday was uneventful and with our Icelandic Sat Nav (via iphone) we found the hotel with no problem. The city is a mix of mostly new buildings, with some older dotted here and there. Clearly there are not too many planning restrictions as there is a complete mix of styles and residential housing in the midst of commercial. I love this - it feels natural and has a sense of fun and at times the ridiculous.

We visited the Maritime Museum which was great - put me in touch with my roots, having a forbear who is a famous whaling captain has always been a matter for mixed emotions. Whaling is not a good thing, but the courage and grit of those who were in the industry in the 18th and 19th centuries was remarkable. There was also a brief and not necessarily balanced account of the Cod Wars - neither side was covered in glory.

We did lots of window shopping yesterday and today it has come together in me having a new wedding ring! It's a lovely silver ring and I am going to enjoy wearing it for lots of reasons.

We also visited a huge and very elegant Lutheran church (Hallgrimskirkja), built to honour a priest who was a spiritual poet and wrote many hymns that are still sung in Iceland and around the world today. Iceland's answer to Charles Wesley. The church is beautiful, making the most of simple lines and stunning Icelandic sunlight. We took the lift to the top of the tower (far less painful than the climb to the top of St Pauls) and enjoyed stunning and wide views across the city.

More window shopping ensued and then we went to a restaurant famed for its cooking of langoustines - and both had the 'langoustine feast'. Beginning with a soup made from - you've guessed it - langoustine, followed by a main course of langoustine cooked in three different ways and a desert of..... ice cream and sorbet (don't be silly - who would have shell fish for dessert?!!!).

Today we are wandering around, wondering whether to fit in a last whale watching trip and trying to prepare for leaving at 4am tomorrow morning to catch our plane home.


  1. Reading your holiday posts has made me intensely jealous! We went to Iceland in 1990 (just before the adventure that was Queens College) and I've been longing to go back since. You've renewed my determination.

  2. winding my way thru various blogs have found your lovely surprise ~
    my return from scotland via gatwick had a stop over in reykjavik iceland before the airline's maiden voyage to my home, the icelandic capital in canada. plus caring for an older icelandic cousin, your overview has provided interest and enjoyment..
    the stamp in my passport is now much more meaningful :)
    Thank You !