We arrived in Iceland after a 6 hour flight from Minneapolis. We were heading to Scotland, and opted to take Icelandair’s free “stopover” for 7 nights. The flight from Minneapolis wasn’t too long, but in our case, that was actually not a good thing. The flight was “overnight”, leaving at about 8pm CST, and arriving at 7am in Iceland. So – we only got a few hours of sleep (at best) on the plane, and arrived with a whole day ahead of us. Luckily, Reykjavik is a lovely walk-able town, so we enjoyed walking around it like zombies!
We rented a nice 2-bedroom apartment in downtown Reykjavik, close to the Hallgrimskirkja church, so we got to visit there a few times.
The ceiling had a wonderful ribbing pattern and the church was very Lutheran minimalist, compared to the elaborate Catholic churches in Europe.
We took an elevator up to the top, where we got views of all of Reykjavik.
And, of course, the boys did what they do, and climbed up and down rocks and hills and chased pigeons around the outside of the church.
We also walked down to the coast and saw the famous Sun Voyageur sculpture.
After the Sun Voyager, it was finally acceptable to go back to the airbnb and go to sleep (so like 4:30pm or so 😉 ), so we went back, drowsily ate dinner, and slept for 12 hours or so! L and I were the first ones up in the morning and we headed to the local bakery, where we saw cinnamon rolls being made, so we had to buy it!
then, caught a morning glimpse of Hallgrimskirkja (I told you it was close!)
After breakfast (like 11am – everyone else slept in!), we headed to a Laugardalslaug, one of the many outdoor geothermal pools loved by the locals.
Before getting into the pool, you are required to shower naked, to make sure everyone is clean going into the pool. The sign below explains to us foreigners exactly what to do 🙂
After our cleansing showers, we threw on our swimsuits and headed into the pools! The main pool was nice and warm (years of swim team has given me an aversion to getting into cold pools – this was even warm enough for me!). In addition to the nice, warm water (heated by Iceland’s geothermal energy), it also had slides, and obstacle course for kids, and lots of fun floats in the water for anyone to use. They also had a few smaller, warmer pools that were relaxing to hang out in as well.
The boys had a blast (this ended up being their favorite thing of the whole trip!) and C and I enjoyed relaxing.
After the pool, we headed back into the city for a famous Iceland hot dog. It was decent, and certainly the cheapest meal we would have at only about $4.50 per dog.
After that, we walked to get some Icelandic ice cream. I told A that he could get a double scoop if he got a favorite Icelandic flavor, licorice. Yuck! But he liked it.
Then, because a hot dog and ice cream wasn’t enough for C, we stopped and got a fish ‘n chips to share (so maybe, after all, it wasn’t such a cheap meal!)
We also got to a nice view, walking along the harbor and seeing all the big fishing boats.
Then, later that night, we stopped before bed (remember – far north in the summer = very late sunset!) at Hallgrimskirkja for one last treat – sugar waffles!
Reykjavik was a lovely city, but we had more of Iceland to explore, and only 5 more days until our flight to Scotland, so off we went!