A July 2002 trip
to Reykjavik by isewell
Quote: Reykjavik is not only hard to spell, but it's extremely expensive. Our 2 day layover was enjoyable, but was all we could afford. We visited thanks to the "Take a Break" Icelandair offer.
There are lots more pictures of our trip, on our website. The direct link is here.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on October 28, 2002
Reykjavik, Iceland IS108
Hotel | "The Salvation Army Guest House"
They provide breakfast (about $10), and there is a kitchen to make your own food.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 28, 2002
Salvation Army Guesthouse
Reykjavik, Iceland 101
354 561 3203
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 28, 2002
Thrir Frakkar Hja Ulfari
One Woman Restaurant
Attraction | "Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral"
Church of Hallgrimur (Hallgrimskirkja)
There's a cafe (with pretty good cake!) in the building. Prices are reasonable (for Iceland).
National Gallery of Iceland
(+354) 515 9600
Árbæjarsafn Open-Air Folk Museum
Laugardalur Swimming Pool
Attraction | "Golden Circle Tour"
Attraction | "The Blue Lagoon"
The lagoon is a large silica-filled pool with purported healing powers. Everyone rubs these salts over their face and body as an exfoliant. It's the only time you'll see men in public exfoliating! The water is very warm, but not uncomfortably so. We stayed in for quite a while. The facilities are incredibly modern, with electronic passes to open your locker, very clean, and very well organized. There is a boutique gift store that sell a lot of spa type stuff. There is also an expensive restaurant where you can sit and enjoy a view of the lagoon.
Even on a rainy overcast day, this was a great thing to do, as it so warm.
One last tip: even on a very short layover in Reykjavik (less then one day) it may be possible to visit the Blue Lagoon. It is located very close to the airport, and there are a few direct buses from the airport.
Blue Lagoon (Geothermal Spa)
Grindavik lava field, Reykjanes Peninsula
From San Francisco, a direct flight to London on BA was going to cost us $1000US. A flight with Icelandair with a 3 day layover was only going to cost us $1200US, so we figured, why not. The only catch was that we had to go through Minneapolis, with a 7 hour layover. (We pulled out our trusty Let's Go USA, and it turns out the only thing worth doing in Minneapolis is the Mall of America. Conveniently located a 10 minute bus ride from the airport, it was a great way to pass some time!)
On the way there, we got a free upgrade to First Class. We had checked our bags all the way through in Minneapolis, so we figured we didn't need to show up particularly early to the gate. We showed up with 45 minutes to spare. The gate agents were furious, said they had been paging us, etc etc., that it's an international flight, and you have to show up 2 hours in advance. Pretty ridiculous, since our bags were already on the plane! Obviously we were coming back. They probably were just pissed off that we didn't follow the 2 hour rule and kill time in their airport shopping mall rather then the little mall just down the street. Anyways, bottom line is, we got the last 2 seats on the flight, which happened to be first class bulkhead. :)
Icelandair service was average - equivalent to an American carrier, but not at the same level as Air Canada (I'm biased, of course). Even first class wasn't anything that special. We arrived in Iceland at 7am. We had tried to sleep but were mostly unsuccesful (despite having been bumped to first class since we were last ones to check in in Minneapolis - actually, first class probably meant we slept less, as we were so busy taking advantage of all the perks and drinking - I still have the slippers.)
Santa ROsa, California