September 20, 2015 – Day 4 – Iceland Trip
We planned a trip outside of Reykjavik for every other day. This allowed us time to recover and to explore the city. So, day 4 was an explore day!
As I’ve mentioned a few times now, Reykjavik is a quirky city. It is small, but we found a lot to do.
First up: Kolaportið, a weird little indoor flea market. Several different lists we found online told us we needed to go to here. It’s only open on Saturdays and Sundays, so it was lucky that we were able to go. It is located in a very nondescript building with only a small sandwich board sign to tell you where to go. We almost missed it. Would I recommend that you go to this flea market? I… don’t… know… It’s not that it was a bad experience, it’s just that it was a flea market. It might be that the people that love it don’t have the chance to go to flea markets very often, or it might be that I like shiny new things. They sell pretty much what you’d expect to find at a flea market: old lamps, nostalgic items, old books, etc. If you are in the market for an Icelandic wool sweater, you might be able to find one at a steal. We ended up finding an older Superman comic book in Icelandic. We also found a bunch of food that we were scared to try.
Next stop: Harpa (concert hall). Harpa only opened in 2011. It’s a beautiful venue and fits in perfectly with the rest of the city. It’s a giant steel structure with little geometric windows covering all of its sides. It sits on the harbor with a great view of the ocean. On this day, we were just visiting Harpa to see the inside of it. We did end up coming back for a performance later in our trip.
Next up: The Sun Voyager. It’s just a statue on the harbor, but it’s a pretty statue. It’s shaped like an old Viking long ship.
Next stop: Hallgrímskirkja. This Lutheran church is in the center of downtown, and can be seen from all over the city. It is a beautiful structure. For just a few dollars, you can take an elevator to the top of the observation tower for a 360 degree view of the city. In front of the church is a statue of Leif Eriksson, a gift from the United States in 1930 commemorating the 1000th anniversary of Thingvellir.
Lunch stop: Icelandic Fish and Chips. Cute restaurant. Amazing fish and chips.
Next stop: Saga Museum. The Icelandic Sagas cover the important bits of Iceland’s history. Icelandic children learn the Sagas in school, and the stories go back to the 9th century. The Saga Museum covers the most important Sagas that led to the founding of Iceland. After paying the entrance fee, you are given a headset (available in several languages) to guide you through the sometimes-creepy wax museum. I won’t spoil the story for you. After walking through the museum, you can dress up like a Viking and take pictures. In the end, we thought it was a cute museum, and we were glad we visited.
Beer stop: Frederiksen Ale House.
On our way to dinner, we came across this sign. I grew up not too far from Seneca Falls.
Dinner stop: Public House Gastropub. Another adventurous meal – this one was small plates. We tried puffin 🙁 The puffin was stringy, chewy, and smokey and not all that appetizing to either one of us. Also included in the meal: arctic charr, reindeer, and lamb. The rest of the food was great. And with that, we made our way back to our hotel, exhausted but having had a great day in the city.