07.07.2015 - 09.07.2015 15 °C
My 3 hour flight from Nuuk is over and I'm in Iceland getting ready to start my stay in Europe. I arrive in Reykjavik at 9:00AM. The hotel I'm staying in while here in Iceland is the CenterHotel Skjaldbreid, this hotel is a 4 star hotel that is right in the heart of Reyjavik, it cost $226 CAD a night to stay here. There is a restaurant and bar/lounge as well as an airport shuttle, front desk safe and a computer station, which is were I'm typing this right now.
The first thing I'mgoing to do while in Reykjavik is take a walking tour. The tour is 2 hours and it goes around the centre of Reykjavik. The tour is also complete free but donations are welcomed at the end of the tour, which is run by local university graduates. Next I am going to visit Hallgrimskirkja Church. This church was completed in 1986 and is the largest church in Iceland, it is one of the city's best known landmarks and can be seen from anywhere in the city. While here I take a elevator to the top of Hallgrimskirkja where you can see a beautiful view of downtown.
Next I go to a hot dog stand called Baejarins bestu, which means "The Towns Best", for lunch. The stand is near the habour and it is said to sell the best hotdogs in Iceland. The line is long but it was worth it, the hot dog really is one of the best I've ever had. Next, since I am at the harbor I decide to go whale and bird watching tour. The most common whales to see are minke whales, humpbacks, porpoises and dolphins. During the tour we visit some of the islands off of Reykjavik shore. Many birds live on these islands, such as gannets, gulls, cormorants, the artic tern and puffins. I've always wanted to see puffins because I thought they were really cute and I go to see them today and they really were as adorable as I thought they would be. I return back to the main city and decide to go shopping before finding somewhere to eat for dinner. I go shopping on the main streets of Laugavegur, Austurstraeti, Laekjargata and Skolavordustigur. It is said that these streets are the best place for shopping in Iceland. After shopping I go look for somewhere to eat for dinner, I go to Grillmarkadurinn, which is The Grillmarket, in English. This restaurant opened in the summer of 2011 but it is considered one of the best restaurants in Reykjavik. The décor in this restaurant is made up of natural things such as lava, fishscales and wood. The kitchen is open, so I can see the chef as he cooks the meals. People have recommended to have the taster menu while here, so that you get to have a little bit of everything, the also recommend the burgers, which are different from most burgers I've had before. They have Minke whale, reindeer and lobster burgers. Another cool thing about this restaurant is that they serve their food on a flat stone to keep with the nature theme that this restaurant has.
Hamburgers on a flat stone
After dinner I go to the National Museum of Iceland. There are many exhibits and the main one has over 2000 artifacts found in various spots around the country. There is also a exhibit about the Vikings settlement in Iceland. The exhibit in the museum that people like the most though is the Valþjófsstaður door, which has medieval engravings in it show scenes from 12th century knight's tale Le Chevalier au Lion. I stay at the museum for 3 hours and it's dark when I get out so I decide to go back to my hotel to go to sleep, there are many more interesting things to see tomorrow in Reykjavik.
National Museum of Iceland
I wake up and go to have breakfast at Pallett Kaffikompani. Here I get a coffee and a blueberry muffin. After breakfast I go on a tour around the Golden Circle. At 9:00AM a Mercedes-Benz minibus comes to pick up me and a few other people to bring us to the Golden Circle. During the drive the driver comments on the landscapes and history of the island as we drive through it, also during the drive we stop to see the Iceland horses that were brought over from Norway when the Vikings settled in Iceland. We go to see the Geysir, which is also known as The Great Geysir and is the first geyser written about and known to modern Europeans, the water inside of it is 100 degrees Celsius and very blue. After we see the geyser we go see a water fall called the Gullfoss, this is said to be Iceland's most popular tourist attraction. You can climb to the top of the waterfall or stay at the bottom.
We return to the main city at 5:00PM and after looking at the geyser and climbing the waterfall I'm really hungry so I go find somewhere to eat for dinner. I go to Fiskmarkadurinn, which means The Fish Market. The restaurant is located in one of the oldest buildings in central Reykjavik. Like at the restaurant I went to for dinner, this restaurant has a raw bar so I can see the chef while they cook. After lunch I go see Reykjavik City Hall, which is in the centre of the city and is home to the mayor and other executive officials. The building was build in 1992 and is also used as a gallery that has new exhibits all the time, the most popular exhibit is one that has a big map of Iceland for people to look at. Next I go for a walk along the path around the Atlantic ocean and look at the Solfar Sun Voyager. This is a steel sculpture which is supposed to resembles a Viking ship, but is actually a dream boat and ode to the sun, from the sculpture you can see Mount Esja which makes a great picture. After my walk I go back to my hotel and to sleep and pack because tomorrow I'm leaving for London, England.
I wake up at 7:00AM to get ready for my flight that leaves at 9:00AM. For breakfast I go to Sandholt Bakery. It is one of the oldest bakeries in Reykjavik and is family owned, it's been opened since 1920. Sandholt is a bakery/chocolatier/ice cream shop. I get a pastry called snúður when I'm here, which is a rolled up bun with chocolate or toffee on top of it. After breakfast I go to Reykjavik Airport, from here I leave for Heathrow Airport in London, England. The weather in Nuuk and Reykjavik are very similar, as both of their weather is colder then I'm used to in the summer, but now I'm going to London, which will have weather that I'm more used to in the summer.