Looking out the window at 9am, it was still pitch black, and again, my mind boggled at this. Day 2 in Reykjavik was a day to ourselves discovering the city. We joined my parents for breakfast and then were let loose in the city for the day!
One thing to look out for in Reykjavik is the graffiti art that covers the city. Artists have to be invited to paint or ask permission before arming themselves with their spray cans and taking to the streets. This means the quality of the art is exceptionally good.
The Icelandic Phallological Museum
Yep. That is what it sounds like. A museum of penises. So… I found of this was in Iceland a couple of days before I left and we all had a bit of a giggle about it. We saw it on our walk back to the hotel on day 1 and hubby immediately said that we would be going to look around. So we decided this would be our first stop – sightseeing in Reykjavik at it’s finest! Admission is 1500 ISK which is roughly £10 per adult. We walked inside and were given a booklet to read about each item in the museum. It’s pretty small inside but houses a collection of over 200 penises and penile parts belonging to almost all the land and sea mammals that can be found in Iceland. It’s well worth a visit if you have an hour spare and can stomach the smell of formaldehyde..!
This is possibly one of the most iconic buildings in Iceland this church is outstanding and can be seen from pretty much anywhere across the city. The design resembling the basalt lava flows of the Icelandic landscape took 41 years to complete. We approached the church and we were astonished at the sheer magnitude of it’s size.
We snapped some selfies out the front and walked in through big doors. Inside is unlike any other church I have ever been in. The clean cut white lines, a reminder of Scandinavian design, the pipe organ which has a mere 5275 pipes all glistening and in pristine condition and the most beautiful modern font for baptisms. It was quite busy in the church with a rather long queue to go up to the top but it was peaceful. It was calm and relaxing, a perfect place to stop by for some thinking time.
We bought our tickets to get the lift up. This cost roughly £6.50 each. We joined the queue and waited to go up to the top. The lift drops you off and you have a further couple flights of stairs to walk up to get to the top. The force of the wind at the top was incredible. Breath taking. Literally. It was so strong you struggled to breathe when looking out of the west side of the tower. The view is well worth paying the money for, especially on a clear day, you get to see so much.
Statue of Ingolfur Arnarson
We saw this on our first evening but it was too dark to make any of the statue out so we decided to return and see it. Ingolfur was among the first permanent settlers in Iceland and named the place Reykjavik which translates to smoke cove. In the statue Ingolfur is standing by his high seat pillar decorated with a dragons head and to one side is the god Odin and his two ravens. You can also see the mythological tree Yggdrasil, the Worm of Midgard and Odin’s 8 legged horse Sleipnir.
I literally squealed when I walked past this place. The bright pink interior and the beautiful displays of cake. We did at first walk past as Mr M was suggesting we go to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch but who doesn’t want cake for lunch!? We turned around and headed in. Choices. So.Many.Choices. I chose a beautiful caramel cake which was the size of my face and a hot chocolate. Mr M opted for a shortbread covered in chocolate with a coffee.
Reykjavik Old Harbour & Bay
On our way back to the hotel we took a route via the colourful harbour and bay. It was around 3pm so it would be dark pretty soon. There are some highly recommended restaurants down the harbour and some amazing photo spots along the bay. One of the restaurants we visited on Day 3 of our trip.
The harbour is where you’d go to book any of your sea excursions, you can go find the puffins, try a spot of whale watching or even go out on a late night cruise to see the Northern lights. Unfortunately the weather was so cloudy every night, we didn’t get to see them. Disappointing but it does mean that we are going to go back! Along the Old harbour you will also find the Viking Maritime museum, a farmers market and stunning views across to Mount Esja which dominates the view along the harbour and bay.
Solfar – Sun Voyager: daytime
The Sun Voyager is on the way back to the hotel so again we stopped for some photographs. I was pretty amazed when I was going through my pictures at some of the ones Mr M had taken. I allocated him my DSLR for the trip as I had my new compact Olympus Tough TG-4 and my iPhone to take care of.
Odin the mini snowman
We walked further along the bay than we had done previously and sat smiling was this tiny snowman someone had made. We took advantage of this for some great pictures and headed back to the hotel before dinner.
I had been excited about visiting here long before I got on the plane. This was recommended to us by our masseuse who had stayed in Reykjavik a couple of years ago. The concept? Soup in a bread bowl. Genius. No washing up! We got in at just the right time 6:45pm and managed to grab the last table. After we’d sat down a flurry of people tried to get in but were turned away as it was full. It’s not too big and the tables are small. All they were serving is their soup and we had a choice of Mexican meat soup or curry vegetable soup. Mr M and I opted for the Mexican, my parents the curry veg. They were amazing. So.so.so.filling and then you had to eat the bread bowl?! I managed about half of it. Mr M was a trooper and devoured the lot! The soup plus beer will set you back around £21 each.
The Beer Garden – Fosshotel Reykjavik
We probably wouldn’t have visited the hotel beer garden if our TV in our room was working. What?! I hear you say! When we got back to the room, the TV was stuck on 1 channel. ITV. Much to Mr M’s disgust. We popped to reception and someone came up to have a look at it. They changed the batteries in the remote, fiddled with some cables and said an engineer would come and fix it the following day but in the meantime they’d offer us a free drink each at the bar. Now you may think this isn’t much but when the average beer price is between £10 and £20 per pint you’re very grateful! We nipped down after dinner to see what they had on offer. The food looked amazing and the decor and atmosphere was relaxed.
The brews on offer were vast and we had no idea what to order so just picked ones that sounded good. I went for a ‘Sleipnir’ which came in at £13.50 a pint and Mr M had a ‘Boli Doppel Bach’ which was £16 a pint a dark ale which he wasn’t a fan of but we weren’t going to waste it at that price. We grabbed a table by the bar and played some cards. We glanced over at another blackboard behind the bar and saw the ‘Rare and noteworthy brews’ and were gobsmacked at the prices. One brew called ‘Angel’s Share’ by The Lost Abbey – 12.5 ABV came in at 6750 ISK which converts back to £48. Yep for a 375ml bottle. Insane! We finished up and went to bed ready for our Day 3 adventures: The Blue Lagoon!
Enjoying my Icelandic adventure diary? Tweet me @xxmissbirdyxx or leave a comment below!