Reykjavik Journals

Go North: Reykjavik, Iceland

A September 2004 trip to Reykjavik by Jenn126

Golden Falls (Gullfoss) Photo, Iceland, Europe More Photos
Quote: Iceland is a small country (roughly the size of Kentucky--nestled in the northern seas and straddling the Artic Circle). It's closer than you think--and it's mysterious, welcoming, and beautiful.

Go North: Reykjavik, Iceland

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Overview

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Compared to other European capitals, Reykjavik is minuscule - only a few miles of civilization in the middle of a country that is green, black and clear ice. But this is part of it's charm, and it is one of the most beautiful little places on earth.Reykjavik is small streets with little houses, grays and whites and blues, with red, green and yellow rooftops. The city would almost glow if it didn't rain so much - but that's just Reykjavik, it's often drizzly, cold and gray. Still, I never minded. It is wonderful to go out on a Reykjavik balcony first thing in the morning and breathe in the cool air. It is refreshing to soak in a jacuzzi in the cold night wind - and let your shoulders com...Read More
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This is a fabulous place to stay. These are apartments that can be rented for pretty much any length of time. They are modern, and most rooms feature leather couches, TVs, DVD players (they even provide DVDs!), stereos, and so on. Many rooms have access to two outdoor decks and the Jacuzzis on them. Rooms sleep anywhere from two to seven people depending on which one you book, and the owner, Arni, is most accommodating. If you arrive in the morning and your room is not ready yet, he will give you another room to rest in while you wait for yours. He also was gracious enough to rent us his van one day when we wanted to sightsee the country. Rooms are made daily by a maid service. This hotel is l...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 2, 2005

Room with a View
18 Laugarvegur
Reykjavik, Iceland
+354 896 2559

Blue Lagoon (Geothermal Spa)

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Attraction | "The Blue Lagoon (Bláa Lónið)"

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The Blue Lagoon is a surreal experience. Voted the best medical and thermal spa by the readers of Conde Nast Traveller magazine, this spa is certainly worth one, if not several, visits. Light blue steamy water laps against dark volcanic rocks, and steam comes off the lagoon, drifting over mossy green mountaintops. To enter the lagoon, first you must shower in the nude - the waters are not chemically treated, so all patrons must do this. Afterwards, you pull your bathing suit back on and move outside. The air is often cold - and it hits your bare skin quickly. Move into the lagoon and feel its healing warmth close around you. One of the biggest benefits of the Blue Lagoon is the si...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 2, 2005

Blue Lagoon (Geothermal Spa)
Grindavik lava field, Reykjanes Peninsula
Reykjavik, Iceland

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You can see this church from nearly anywhere in the city, as the tower rises up and the churches jagged design makes it one of the most unique churches anywhere. The view from outside is impressive, but you'll need to stand across the street to get a full shot of the church. Inside the church is fairly ordinary, though there are some display boards that feature the church's history and facts about the birth of Christianity in Iceland. You can go up to the top of the tower for a fee (about $3), and tickets must be purchased from the church office to do so. Up in the bell tower, various windows give excellent views of Reykjavik and the bay.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 2, 2005

Hallgrimskirja Church

Reykjavik, Iceland

Golden Falls (Gullfoss)

Attraction | "Gullfoss"

Golden Falls (Gullfoss) Photo, Iceland, Europe
Quote:
Gullfoss is a mighty gray waterfall that is massive in width. You can hear the roar of it before you can see it - this only adds to the anticipation. And anticipation will have built considerably by the time you reach it, as Gullfoss takes a few hours to reach from Reykjavik by car, especially if you stop to see sights like Geysir and Pingvillir National Park like we did. You can park your car in a lot and then work your way down the road towards the falls. The falls rush gray and white over rocks and spill down into a shadowed canyon, adding mystery. Good photographs can be taken at the overlook, and then if you want close-ups, stroll down the gravel road and stand out on the rocks. You'll fe...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 2, 2005

Golden Falls (Gullfoss)
White River
Geysir

Cafe Paris

Attraction

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Cafe Paris is a small but bustling coffee shop right off the main square, Austurstræti. It is warm and welcoming, a great place to get coffee or hot chocolate when it is cold or rainy outside. Watch out for celebrities! We spotted Forrest Whitaker having coffee there one Tuesday afternoon when we were in there in September of 2004. The macchiato lattés are highly recommended.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 2, 2005

Cafe Paris
Austurstræti 14
Reykjavik, Iceland 101
+354 551-1020

Whale Watching

Attraction

Quote:
Whale watching is a great outdoor activity to take advantage of while in Iceland. Since it's so far north and surrounded by water, Iceland's ocean waters are filled with different kinds of whales including but not limited to orcas, blue whales, sperm whales, and humpbacks. Whale watching is very easy to do, just walk down to the Reykjavik Harbor and if you're near Cafe Paris just head towards the bay. There is a ticket office right on the dock where you can purchase tickets for whale watching tours. Boats leave two or three times a day—usually in the morning at around 9 and in the early afternoon around 1. Tickets are expensive—we paid around $60 for our tickets—but Iceland is an expensive ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 26, 2006

Whale Watching
Reykjavik Harbour
Reykjavik, Iceland