Bye bye Vanesa. Hello Reykjavik.
After sending Vanesa off back to Slovenia in the morning, I had a few more days in Iceland by myself. Lots of people came and gone in the hostel but I had yet made a friend like Vanesa. I was missing her company. Sometimes you get used to people so quickly especially when you have gone through a life or death experience together. During the few days alone, I spent sometime walking around Reykjavik, I joined a couple day trips and I planned the next couple weeks of my trip.
I left to Iceland with only my first three days of hostel and a plane ticket from Reykjavik to Oslo booked. One gloomy chilly afternoon I grabbed my laptop and went to a bookstore to do some trip planning and people watch.
Reykjavik is the quietest capital city in the world.
It was actually kind of spooky, almost like a ghost town. There was never a lot of people walking on the street even in the city center. I walked around the city a lot and often times I was the only pedestrian on the block I was walking on. It is definitely a charming place. I love how colorful the city was. Roofs were all painted in different colors and so were the walls. I caught the only cleared sunny day when I was there to go to the one of the landmarks of Reykjavik, Hallgrímskirkja. Hallgrímskirkja is the biggest Lutheran church in the city with an observation deck that allows you to view the whole city from all angles. (Fun fact: Reykjavik is the northernmost capital in the world.)
I spent a couple days just walking around the city and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere around me. It took no more than 2-3 hours to walk all the way across the city from North to South from East to West. I went up to the Perlan for the views. I went to the city pond and fed some birds. I walked around neighborhoods and checked out people’s houses.
Food in Iceland
I rarely ate out when I was in Iceland due to the fact that I was traveling on a backpacker’s budget. But the few times that I did, they weren’t that impressive. Icelandic food is somewhat bland. They do have really fresh fish and almost the best hotdogs I have had. (Also the cheapest food I could find in Reykjavik, about $2.50 for a hotdog, buy two if hunger strike.)
I did had some really delicious fish kebab from Sea Baron next to the harbor in Reykjavik. It was fresh caught butterfish grilled on a stick drizzled with lemon juice. I also ordered a lobster soup on the side since it was freezing cold that day.
The one tangible thing I bought during my time spent in Iceland was a cookbook of Icelandic cuisine in Icelandic, can’t wait to try to make some of these tasteless recipes tasty.
The infamous Blue Lagoon
It was cool. It was dreamy. But it definitely wasn’t the best $50 I have spent. I am not a spa person but insisted I should at least go check out the Blue Lagoon since I was already in Iceland. The first impression most people have when talking about Iceland is the Blue Lagoon, a man made geothermal spa outside of the city of Reykjavik. I already returned the rental car so I got a shuttle service through Icelandic Excursion. They have a few buses a day and you can go or leave whenever you wish according the bus schedule. I am sure whoever are into spas would love this place, it was just not my thing. I got lucky with the weather thought. The most enjoyable part of the Blue Lagoon was I met a couple like minded travelers. One of them was also an American girl who quit her job to travel full time and has been doing it for a year. I love meeting people like her, they reminded me that I am not alone in this seemingly insane “quitting my job to travel” dealio.
Journey to Iceland
Part 1 – One car, Two strangers
Part 2 – Golden Circle Roadtrip in Iceland
Part 3 – From Snefulnese onto the Westfjords
Part 4 – Failed attempt to Westfjords Iceland
Part 5 – Reykjavik is the Spookiest Capital on Earth
Part 6 – Glacier Hiking