Reykjavik is a small town by international standards but the largest city in Iceland. As the capital, it’s an obvious must-see and after our Blue Lagoon adventure it was the next planned stop.
As we drove along the ”highway” to Reykjavik I had my first vision of how small Iceland is as a country. Maybe not in terms of land mass, but in terms of people. There is a multi-lane road, but it’s a short stretch just outside the capital. The asphalt is not in its prime condition and loose rocks are scattered around making me wish we’d paid for gravel road insurance.
As we approached the city Ella rightfully fell asleep. We’d gotten up at an ungodly hour to catch the flight earlier that same day. I kept an eye out for food, following the GPS which by mistake I’d set at an off point in the wrong end of town. It wasn’t until we’d driven back and forth a few times along the highway that we finally stopped at a local burger place.
We just needed fuel for our bodies, we weren’t in the country to enjoy the cuisine. Quick stops at non-fancy food places like this became a routine during the entire holiday. I think we both appreciated the fact that neither was there for the food – it gave us more time for everything else, and I’m surprised at how like-minded we were in terms of what we wanted to see and do.
After lunch we drove to the famous church in the center of the capital, parked the car and began exploring by foot. A large group of people in fancy clothing were waiting outside the church – a wedding, a funeral or other reason to gather. We walked down hill and stopped by the tourist information, a very cute book shop, enjoyed the sun and took a walk around the harbor. It was chilly but sunny.
We soon ended up in a coffee shop with old-school icelandic decor and a Star Wars decorated bathroom. Loved it!
As the evening approached and we felt that we were done with the city – I’m sure we missed out on something but I’m glad we both agreed that museums and such were not our thing – we went back to the car and took off. It was time for a one hour drive through our first proper encounter with Icelandic landscape before we would reach our hostel for the night.