A Travellerspoint blog


Final morning walk around Reykjavik

Interesting signs, city icons

sunny -2 °C

Our last day in Iceland was sunny and cold, but with less wind. My morning 8.87km took me past parks and icons.

And some interesting signage. Yes, this museum is all about penises. I wasn’t willing to pay $30 for penile edification, but apparently, there are penis examples from hundreds of species.

This food truck says the Chinese food is delicious, but expensive.

We liked the sense of humour of this restaurant

And the colourful posters and coasters available at this store, which wasn’t open this morning.

We were successful again in bidding on our flight upgrade, so we are looking forward to the lounge and business class on the way home.

Loved Iceland, but looking forward to warmer temperatures (hopefully).

Yummy crème brûlée donuts while we wait for the bus to the airport

Posted by Deb Godley 11:12 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)

Trying new things, Wonders of Iceland, Botanical Gardens

Pakistani and Ramen dishes, Grasagarður Botanical Garden

semi-overcast 2 °C
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Last night, we tried a Pakistani restaurant, ordering Pappadum Nachos and Chicken Tikka with Naan bread. All yummy. This was the Shalimar, not the one with the Victoria Secret pig.

Then, for lunch this morning, we tried the “first Ramen joint in Iceland” and shared a “classic” bowl of noodles, which neither of us liked much, although it is obviously very popular and one of our tour-mates said it was the best ramen ever!

My morning walk took me to the Grasagarður Botanical Garden, which was open and free to enter. It was pretty sparse being April. I expect it’s lovely in June. I had a nice walk around and then back to the hotel.
This might be the Charlie Brown tree
I think they used fir fronds to protect the small plants from the cold.

And from my walk back: a sports stadium and som street art

This afternoon we used the excellent bus service to go to the Perlan Museum (bus #11 & #18)
Views of Reykjavik from the observation deck
Restaurant, where we didn’t eat, but we did have ice cream at a museum kiosk.

At our hotel bar The Kock we finally used the free drink coupons we were given at arrival. Local beers: Flying Kock for Steve and Seagull 67 for me, which is made in Siglufjörður, where we’d been on our tour.

Then headed out to dinner at the Bastard Brew and Food pub. I had excellent tacos and finished with a warm caramel roll with amaretto. It was really decadent.

We commonly find interesting items in our travels to put on our Christmas tree but decided against adding these:

Posted by Deb Godley 21:48 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)

Morning walks in Reykjavik

Grótta Island Lighthouse, Hallgrímskirkja, Einar Jónsson sculpture garden, Ráðhús Reykjavíkur

semi-overcast -4 °C
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I awoke with the sun (despite the room darkening curtains and staying up late last night) and took a morning 11k walk around the Seltjarnarnes peninsula to see the Grótta Island Lighthouse. Lovely walk, mostly on a dedicated walking path next to the dedicated cycling path. A couple of inconsequential snow flurries, but bitterly cold in the wind. One of the pics includes a bird I decided was the Bakkagrandi.

First stop on our later morning walk was the Sea Voyager, iconic in Reykjavik.

On top of a hill called Skólavörðuholt, in downtown Reykjavík, is Hallgrímskirkja, a Lutheran (Church of Iceland) parish church. At 74.5 metres (244 ft) tall, it is the largest church in Iceland (wiki). Its name literally means “The Church of Hallgrímur”, referring to Hallgrímur Pétursson, a priest who lived in the 1600's (Kirkju = church). About $12 per person to take the elevator & stairs up the tower.

The tree on the altar is actually coloured strings. Interesting. It looked very cool from the seats.

Einar Jónsson sculpture garden is just around the corner and the garden area is free. Nice. The style includes a lot of things/people sort of wrapping around other things/people. Interesting subjects and execution.
The left wrestler’s face seemed very realistic to me.

And some pics as we made our way back to the hotel, including Ráðhús Reykjavíkur (City Hall), which is situated by the Tjörnin (City Pond) in Reykjavík. It houses the offices of the mayor of Reykjavík.
This was a gift from Latvia to Iceland to commemorate Iceland’s independence.

And interesting building art

While our room was being cleaned (any excuse), we ordered donuts from the very busy bakery in our hotel. Steve’s crème brûlée donut was filled with cream and they did created the usual caramelized cracked sugar on top with a torch. Very cool.

Posted by Deb Godley 16:13 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)

Grábrókargígar, Krauma, Barnafoss, and back to Reykjavik

Craters, steam & waterfalls

semi-overcast -3 °C
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We started the day with a hike around the Grábrókargígar (Grábrók crater). Lots of steps! but interesting views.

Then some more geothermal activity

And Barnafoss (foss = waterfall)

Oops, we had a flat!

So, while we (18 of us) ate lunch and hung out in Borgarbyggð, Gumy (spelling?), our guide & driver dealt with the tire. Yummy pepperoni pizza. We also bought six beer, but then forgot them on the bus at drop off.

Finally it was back to our hotel. We had dinner and strolled around. Steve looked with envy at the large whale-watching tour boat that had inside areas…unlike ours from the previous day.

Posted by Deb Godley 15:03 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)

Tidbits on Iceland

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Many of our photos show a relatively barren landscape with few trees. The trees that are there tend to be short and look planted rather than a natural forest. Farmers tend to plant a row or two of Icelandic birch between the house and the snow covered hill or mountain behind it. This row of trees provides some protection from avalanches. Trees are also added for wind break around the house and other buildings.

The mountains with the most frequent avalanches have rows of fencing to reduce likelihood and impact of avalanches on the houses and fields below.

There is a joke here that if you are lost in the woods, just stand up :)

The growing season is very short and the sheep and cattle are kept inside during the 6 months or so of winter. Here in April, we saw the remaining bundles needed to last through the next month or so, the hay is bundled while wet and stored in big piles of the plastic covered 1/2 ton bales. The remaining supply at this farm is in the blueish coloured bundles to the left.

Naming conventions in Iceland (our understanding of it):
Reykjavik = Bay of smoke

Vik = Bay

Egilsstaðir = Place of Egili - name of first known farmer in area

Höfn = Harbour

Dalvik: Dal = valley, Vik = bay

Akureyri = Sand bank field (eyri = island or tip of land jutting into the sea)

Siglufjörður: Siglu = sailing, fjordor = fjord

Mývatn: My = midge, gnat, vatn = water

For naming children, they follow three rules per the naming laws:

- The name can not cause harm or difficulty to the child
- Boys must be named male names and girls must be named female names.
- The name must be able to follow Icelandic grammar rules and adjustments.

For the last name, if the father of a child is Kristján, the baby will be Kristjánsson if it is a boy or Kristjánssdóttir if it is a girl

In 2010 the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted, famously creating havoc and grounding flights all over Europe. Icelanders enjoyed listening to international broadcasters around the world attempting to pronounce the name of the volcano. In the US, broadcasters started calling it E15 - a word that starts with an E and is followed by 15 letters.

Here’s how to break it down:


Eyja= island, fjalla=mountain, Jökull=glacier


Posted by Deb Godley 14:24 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)

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