Series so Far  

  1. Jet lag recovery: Bordeaux, France
  2. Basque Country Tour: Bayonne, France; Pamplona, Spain;  San Sebastián, Spain; Bilbao, Spain
  3. Scotland, pt. 1Edinburgh, St. Andrews,  and Inverness. 
  4. Scotland, pt. 2: Isle of Skye, Oban, Stirling, and Glasgow. 
  5. Reykjavík. You’re reading this right now!

October 13th, 2016 – October 15th, 2016

The last post is finally arriving! It’s been almost six months since we actually visited Reykjavík! I’ve only visited Iceland once before in 2012 for a brief 24 hour interlude, and since Tracey has never visited we decided to take a nice two night siesta in the city on the way back from Europe.

Reykjavík isn’t a particularly large city, only around 120,000, nor is it a particularly tall city: the most prominent building is the Hallgrímskirkja.

All roads lead to god
All roads lead to the Hallgrímskirkja

We basically had two main objectives while in the city: drinking plenty of hipster coffee, and getting Icelandic wool products. This could easily be accomplished in a day and a half of sightseeing, as the sights are compact.

Reykjavík skyline

Iceland has been populated for centuries, but never has sustained a very large population. Although their parliament no longer meets in the fields of Þingvellir, it’s still housed in a humble building near the center of the city.

In case you were wondering, the Þ, or thorn, is an archic letter that still survives in modern Icelandic: it’s pronounced ‘th,’ more or less.

Icelandic Parliament, or as they call it, the Alþingishúsið. It’s such a cute building.

Wondering through the streets, there’s a striking amount of color that pops through the concrete grey of the city. When even a slight amount of sun is shining, it pierces through the shroud of grey.

Icelandic Church Light
The Lutherans aren’t the only ones in town.

Street art is found on almost every empty wall. It’s heavily skewed towards contemporary art rather than the more graffiti inspired art that’s found in many American cities.

Building Creature
Street art seems to be a critical component to combat the plume of grey that surrounds the country.

Locating the Handknitting Association of Iceland, we stuffed our bags with sweaters and blankets. The Icelandic sheep produces a dual coated fleece that’s combined into a wool called Lopi. Unspun, it combines both the longer weather-resistant outer layers with the shorter insulating fibers. The result is a fairly rough product, but it’s fairly effective at resisting water, wind, and cold.

We then set off in search of supposedly the “most popular” place to eat in the country: a hot dog stand called Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur.

It was a fairly normal boiled hotdog in the Scandinavian tradition, but it had peculiar toppings: crispy onions, raw onions, sweet mustard, and rémoulade.

Eatin' hot dawg
Eschewing my vegetarian ethics for an Icelandic hot dog. It was fairly good.

Finished with Iceland, we flew back home to Seattle and took the traditional light rail from the airport while ordering take-out Thai from our favorite vegetarian restaurant. Between Global Entry and the train to Capitol Hill, we were back home faster than ever!

Sleepy on the link


Everything is written from this trip! You can see my other photos from Iceland on my Flickr. I plan to write another post wrapping everything up with a heavy dose of planning and packing analysis. It’ll sure to be devoid of thrills and fun.

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