Reykjavik, You Have My Heart - Day 1

Well, it’s official. I’m in love with Reykjavik. It’s got to be the quaintest, chillest and hippest national capital in the world. It’s got a hustle and bustle that isn’t overwhelming but isn’t exactly a sleepy town either. There’s so much to do and see, so I needed to kick off my day early, despite only getting four hours of sleep.

I wanted to get to the must-do “touristy” stuff today. I started by hitting a local coffee shop, Reykjavik Roasters (where I may or may not have picked up a special gift for Benj’s birthday). The coffee was amazing.

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Then, it was on to Reykjavik’s iconic and most well-known landmark, Hallgrímskirkja. (Don’t ask me how to pronounce it. Or any other place I mention going forward for that matter.)

I’ve been fortunate enough to see several really beautiful churches and cathedrals, but Hallgrímskirkja takes the prize in terms of uniqueness. It was built in 1945 and is stunning, yet very simplistic. I walked in at just the right time, as the organist was whaling away at the massive pipe organ that’s in the church. Then, I took an elevator to the very top and got an amazing 360 degree view of the city.

Next, I stopped at Harpa Music Hall, which is a fairly new structure in Reykjavik. The geometric glass structure, visible on both the inside and outside, made it one of the coolest buildings I’ve ever seen.

Time for lunch! I stopped at a place called “Pizza with No Name” (seriously, that’s their name) at the suggestion of Emma and Elsie from A Beautiful Mess, a blog I’ve followed for forever. They visited Iceland late last year and also perhaps planted this Nordic non-sense in my head to begin with.

Ok, back to the pizza! I had their specialty pie which was made up of cream cheese (not at all like American cream cheese — so much better!), boiled potatoes, arugula, truffle mayo and their special garlic sauce. Holy yum, I almost ate the whole thing.

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For the rest of the afternoon, I visited the Solfar Sun Voyager sculpture, the National Museum of Iceland and just meandered around Reykjavik’s Old Harbor District. I did a TON of walking today so I didn’t feel so about about nearly devouring my new favorite Icelandic pizza.

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Now, it’s dinner time and I’m sitting at Hressó Hressingarskálinn (LOL — no idea.) where I finished some traditional Icelandic fish stew (mostly fish and potatoes) and an Icelandic Stout — both very delicious. And even better, a jazz band just walked in the door so they’ve got some live tunes tonight (guess who’s sticking around?).

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Whew, what a crazy busy day but I felt like I saw so much and became better acquainted with the city. On the docket for tomorrow is the Reykjavik Art Museum, a puffin excursion and Icelandic Fish and Chips!

Góða Nótt Vinir! (Good Night, Friends!)


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