Walking around Reykjavik
As much as I hate being cold and dark, and cold, it’s really hard not to love Reykjavik or any other part of Iceland. The people are just so calm and friendly. They established a parliamentary democracy over a millennium ago, and today write, publish, and read more books per capita than any other people on earth. The country is still one of the world’s best to live in,based on life expectancy, education levels, medical care, income, and
other U.N. criteria. And even with barely 4 hours of sunshine a day, you couldn’t help but love the city.
The view from our hostel allowed us to see the nearby snow capped mountains in the vicinity Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a cheap place to visit. A single room at a hostel, not even a motel but a hostel, cost me and Tony about 8,000 ISK (about 35 USD) and a bowl of soup that isn’t even that meaty was about 1,300 ISK (about 11 USD). But every place we ate at had a certain warmth and coziness that I haven’t felt a lot while traveling.
Compared to the rest of Europe there’s isn’t much old architecture to drool over. It lacks grand buildings and the picturesque old quarters. Instead it has come to resemble American cities with their sprawling suburbs and big motorways, as was recommended by the urban planners of the post-World War 2 era. Essentially a concrete jungle that I normally despise and want to vomit over. However Reykjavík has a charm of its own, quite unique, “shaped by the dualistic nature of this place which still doesn’t seem to have made up its mind on whether it’s a small town or a big city.”
The city is also filled with a lot of really cool street art. This is one of the bigger areas, I think it’s a kids’ playground.
The Hallgrímskirkja, a Lutheran church is the 6th tallest building in Iceland and an interesting look compared to the usual grand cathedrals I have seen. I was however surprised that it was more lit up at night. There was some lights but nothing too exciting to gravitate towards.
You can take an elevator to the top for a small fee and get an awesome (but very windy) look of the city and the colorful rooftops.
I highly recommend stopping by for some coffee and Kleina (Icelandic donut) to warm up before more darkness to walk around in.
We walked around the refreshingly crisp cold dusk before returning to walking around Laugavegur, the commerce street with all the cool sheep clothing.
Have you ever been to Iceland or anywhere else that only has four hours of daylight? What did you do?