by - Friday, March 16, 2018

Reykjavík... there is so much to be said for this city that feels like a small town. I do not think I'll ever be able to convey just how cool it is, but I will try. While planning our trip to Iceland we decided that spending time in the capital was necessary. We were not disappointed as REK was awesome!  Reykjavík is a very clean and walkable city(in the city center) and has much to do for the tourist. We could have just walked around all day and enjoyed every second. There is so much to see of this charming European town. From the colorful homes with fenced back yards to the many restaurants and cultural spaces. Reykjavík has something for everyone. After spending a couple of days here I actually said to Mike that I think REK could be the only major city that I would actually live in(if I ever thought about leaving the US and not to mention the winter weather...I digress) as it is such a warm and inviting place.

We stayed in an AirBNB not too far from the center of the city. Well within walking distance to everything. It was a quaint studio that provided everything we needed and more. We never met our host but we did stay in communication and we had everything we needed while there. The best way to see REK is to set out on foot. Put on some sneakers and hit the pavement. Walk down through the center of the city, down Laugavegur, and just keep going. Hit the coast or the marina and see the ships and just enjoy the cool crisp air. The street art is unreal. Everywhere you turned there was something cool to look at and admire.

We visited in June, one week before the midnight sun. However because of where the country is located the sun may have set but it was always light! We didn't experience total darkness again until we reached the US six days later! One of the places we stayed did not have black out curtains! I would recommend bringing an eye mask just in case. The locals are extremely friendly and ALL speak perfect English. Do not fear communication in Iceland. The water is some of the purest in the world! Take a water bottle and drink the natural goodness. After a week of filling up our bottles everywhere we went, we forgot to empty them before going through security at the airport. We were VERY upset to drain our bottles of the amazing glacier water we had enjoyed all week. I told Mike we could refill them after the checkpoint but he said "but now it's airport water." It was hilarious and true.

Make sure you head to Hallgrímskirkja, which is a church, and a landmark that you won't be able to miss seeing due to the height of the building. You can pay a small fee and ride up and elevator to the top to lookout(picture from the lookout at the top of the post). Also you can go inside the church and hear the beautiful organ being played. It is a beautiful building, inside and out. Make sure you stop and see Lief Erikson(statue) out in front of the church and get the full Viking effect as you stare up at him. It is quite windy at the top so be prepared for that. While visiting Iceland just plan for every type of weather possible and you'll be good. 

On your walk, make sure to head down to see the Sun Voyager. It is a sculpture of a boat signifying exploration, promise, and freedom. It is a great picture spot that should not be missed. Beware that this place can be crawling with tourists as it is a stop on the local tour buses and also for the cruise ship excursions. We just missed a large group so we quickly asked someone to snap this picture for us! You can enjoy a great view of the cruise ships from here! 

Make sure you head down to Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur and get yourself a famous Icelandic hot dog "pylsur." This was BY FAR the cheapest meal we ate in Iceland. The little stand only sells dogs and drinks so be prepared for that. Order it  "eina með öllu" which translates to "one with everything" if you want to get the full Icelandic experience. It will include a warm, steamed bun topped with raw white onions and crispy fried onions, ketchup, sweet brown mustard called pylsusinnep, and remoulade, a sauce made with mayo, capers, mustard, and herbs. Mike had two all the way. I had mine the same but without the raw onions. They were more than delightful. They were amazing. Filling and delicious. The hot dog snapped when you ate it and everything tasted fresh and interesting in the best way! This is a MUST do! 

Plan a visit to Harpa to see the incredible architecture and as a quick restroom stop(which was very important while I was pregnant)! It is clean and open so it's a good place to go! If you're lucky you might even be able to schedule a concert during your trip! 

Eat all of the Skyr! Seriously, do not leave without trying a few awesome flavors! You will not regret it. Skyr is a great snack or breakfast. We ate some each day we were in Iceland and have since been eating it here in the US!

Mike found our name on the wall of acceptable names from the Icelandic Naming Committee which is the acceptable list of names that can be used in Iceland! This was very interesting to us as here in the US names are completely up to the parents. In Iceland you may of course pick the name but only from the list of appropriate names. 

Reykjavik is such an amazing city. I would book my trip to revisit in a heartbeat! 

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