Iceland: Reykjavík

Michele Moricci

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND | DAY #09 Early in the morning we move again, this time heading to the capital city, Reykjavík. The journey is long and we coast along the coast road that overlooks the fjords. As always, the pristine landscape surrounds us and the soundtrack of our Ipod lead us in this crossing. We stop at Varmahlid, where there is another historic site where the Glambaer Museum is located. The houses have grass roofs, are white and have yellow trim. On a sunny day the colors stand out in strong contrast with the natural vivid green and the intense blue.

In the afternoon we arrive in Reykjavik and it starts to rain. Although this is not the best way to start discovering the city, curiosity pushes us towards the center. Minimal buildings and a long man road lead us from one side of the capital to the other. We take the rest of the day to wander aimlessly. As peculiar and atypical as a metropolis, we immediately realize that we must reformulate our expectations and enjoying it so small and unlike all the other Nordic capitals to which we are accustomed. Returning the car near the port we pause to observe the elegant Harpa, the concert hall, which with its architectural beehive made of glass is reflected in the fjord.

Late in the evening it was time to enter our home for this last Icelandic stop. Located a few steps from the Kjarvalsstadir art museum, it is warm and welcoming, furnished in a striking style. Just what we needed to feel, once again, at home.

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DAY #10 We start our day with a visit to the Kjarvalsstadir museum, which is spacious and minimal, reminiscent of a building of the ’70s, inside there are splendid works of local artists ranging in visionary representations or simply narrative. The bar with clean lines serves coffee and typical cakes, the windows look to a large park. We continue straight into the city and we take a look at the numerous shops of trinkets to find the latest magnets to hang on our fridge. We arrive at the elegant Town Hall, built on concrete columns immersed in the icy waters of the Tjornin pond frequented by ducks and gulls. On the other side there are the beautiful terraced houses in bright colors.

The gray sky gives us respite (for a while) and so we queue up to appreciate the whole city from above. To do this we climb the 76 meters of the famous symbolic church of Reykjavik, Hallgrimskirkja. While inside plays the famous organ positioned in 1992, we look out of the windows to capture with a click the typical and colorful roofs of the Icelandic houses. We continue with our tour heading to the Listasafn contemporary art museum, we get lost on the old streets of the city and once again arrive at the port.

It’s lunch time so we warm up at the table of The Laundromat Cafè. We order a vegetarian burger and salmon with vegetables, the bill is very high but after all the sandwiches on the road we had, we decided to give us this award. Then we get on a bus to the imaginary house museum of the local sculptor Asmundur Sveinsson, the Asmundarsafan. Small but bewitching, the building consisting of geometric elements is totally white and recalls typical Mediterranean buildings. The dome observes the surrounding garden populated by statues that trace the artist’s artistic journey.

We take another bus to reach the second symbol of the city, Perlan. A futuristic glass observation point from which to observes the city in the distance. The air starts to cool off and we perch warmly to watch the landscape warm our hands together. We return to the port to watch the sunset and take some pictures with the symbolic sculpture of the city of Reykjavik. The famous Solfar (Sun Voyager) overlooking the promenade and welcoming travelers. We order a takeaway pizza at Domino’s and eat it in the warmth of the house.

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LAST DAY  In the morning the alarm rings early, we head to the bus stop to get on the bus to the famous Blue Lagoon. We will spend here our last day in Iceland, to warm up in the thermal water and to make beauty masks with the local natural mud. We squeeze in the water, enjoy the excellent fresh juice and enjoy the icy air that contrasts with the heat of the vaporing water. We can not resist the idea and we let ourselves be immortalized in a very bad souvenir photo.

More than four hours passed, our fingers look like raisins and so we go back to the city. We have lunch, we have a very expensive snack at Te & Kaffi and we walk around to enjoy the whole atmosphere of Reykjavik one last time. The sun goes down launching its bright orange light against the clouds that run undisturbed through the sky. The city is tinged with a thousand colors and the lights on in the houses make the whole landscape more evocative and characteristic. It’s 9 pm, the restaurants and bars are full, we come back to the harbour once again to watch the dusk. Luggage awaits us and the alarm will sound in the middle of the night. We will return home with a much bigger emotional baggage.

Discover the whole journey…


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Michele Moricci