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Say hello to Reykjavik, the gateway to Iceland!

Posted by on August 4, 2018

Yes, Reykjavik…. I know that it’s impossible to spell out or pronounce. It took awhile to get used to it as well. But it’s pronounced “Rey-fla-vik” or something like that. I think the local people understand you if you’re close enough. The good thing is that almost all Icelanders understand English quite well as they’ve gotten used to the amount of foreigners particularly tourists who go to Iceland. You can’t expect a native population of 350,000+ to have foreigners/travelers to Iceland learn Icelandic. Not really going to happen. It’s probably better this way for Icelanders to know English as they can cater to the tourists (knowing that it brings in cash) and they’re subject to a lot of American and British culture thanks to being in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and in-between Canada/United States and the British Isles.

ships reykjavik marina harbor boats barcos barcas pier tourists tours

Iceland is an oceanic country so its culture has revolved over the centuries and years around it along with some farming and ranching. You have to remember that all of that was required in order to survive such hard times in the past and even today, it has left its mark particularly on its culture and food.

jellyfish man of war marina pier harbor iceland atlantic ocean

I thought this was interesting as I took this picture since no one was looking at it like I was. There were just tons of jellyfish in the marina. Tons!

When do you decide to go to Iceland, most likely you will fly into Keflavik International Airport, which is about a 30-40 minute ride from Reykjavik itself. You have different modes of getting into the city (or elsewhere) but you will likely have to take a taxi (very expensive) or take a bus. I recommend the bus option because you can also input your return trip as well, saving you the hassle of going back to the airport.

Tip: Note that this place is quite wallet-breaking as the prices here are quite high. Not as high as Copenhagen, but be ready to break a lot of large bills to make this trip to Iceland work. A good idea is to get some of the local currency from the ATMs or exchange your money. Some places in Iceland don’t accept credit cards; some might accept US dollars and/or Euros but don’t count on it.

cathedral icelandic iceland island iskander church christ atlantic nation

This place is called Cathedral of Christ the King. Interesting building but not as distinct as the next one…

iceland pond city hall water fresh park

This is Tjornin, basically a pond from which the city hall looks out to.

iceland cathedral dom iglise viking norse church christianity explorers travelers viajeros

So this is the more interesting building of all – Hallgrimskirkja. In addition to the Leif Erikson (founder of Vinland aka Greenland) statue, this building is just unique in its own way.

Reykjavik in itself doesn’t have a lot of stuff to see. Instead, the capital is best used as a launchpad for doing some amazing tours. I could care less about whale tours or going pub crawling, but there are some tours that might interest you, especially if you’re into the outdoors scene.

prime minister office oficina de ministero primo leader government icelandic capital top

Unlike the Oval Office in the US, you can easily see the Prime Minister of Iceland’s Office in clear view for everyone to see. Just don’t walk up to UN-intruded – you’ll just get whacked in the face and handcuffed away.

memorial vikings norse travlers vinland settlers Iceland history conquerers

Called the Sun Voyager, I think it’s a memorial for all the Norse Vikings that have traveled and founded Iceland. In the shape of ship bones, it’s kind of unique.

scallops salmon fish meat vegetables grilled asado mariscos asados

Gotta love the seafood especially if it’s a historically seafaring nation. I got this seafood all grilled up and ready to be eaten. And yes, it’s fresh. All to be expected from a country like Iceland.