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Reykjavik, Iceland

Written on: Tuesday April 14th, 2009

A journal entry from: Greenland and Iceland

Ivan and I arrived in Reykjavik on April 5th which was a Saturday. We quickly checked into our hotel (which was similar in price to a hostel thanks to Icelandic banks) and rushed to check out the fabulous nightlife that we'd heard so much about. Confused and slightly disappointed, we arrived at a rather empty pub in the middle of the main street. It was about 11pm so we ordered some drinks and settled into the corner of the pub and sulked a bit. At around 1am, the place started filling up and by 2, it was completely packed. Lesson learned. Don't go out before midnight in Reykjavik. We met some underage Icelanders and had a great time. Everyone was very friendly albeit some a bit too friendly but we had a great time. And I guarantee you will too, if you go. Just be sure to take a nap beforehand. The bars stay open and busy until about 5am on weekends.

For the next three days, we rented a car and did day-trips around Iceland. We saw geysirs, waterfalls, little houses in trees, and flat mossy ground that extended into some really awesome snow covered mountains. I'd almost say that it reminded me a bit of western Canada, except with less trees. We drove down to south Iceland where there is a really nice black sand beach. Not the type of beach that you want to sit on as it was quite windy and damp but it certainly justifies Iceland's reputation as one of the most beautiful places to visit. On one of the days, we hiked up a local mountain called Mt. Esja. It is a pretty relaxing hike (it took us about 2 hours going pretty slowly) but the view was really awesome. I think Ivan and I both agreed that it was the best scenery of the Iceland part of the trip. Unfortunately we couldn't actually reach the summit because it was really steep and snowy and some man strongly advised against attempting without proper gear. Also accessible by car was a geothermal pool thing called the Blue Lagoon. It was a bit pricey and they had a lot of locker room rules but it was very clean and relaxing unlike the Banff hot springs. They even have mud that you can put on your face to make your skin smooth. Just don't get it in your eye. It really hurts. Doesn't taste so good either. If you want tasty food, a few of the restaurants in Reykjavik offer puffin and whale. I was not a fan but Ivan seemed to like both.  

We booked ourselves in for a caving adventure (caves formed by lava hardening on the surface and hot lava flowing through) which was very neat but we definitely overpaid so be careful when booking yourself on tours. Icelandic tour companies seem to thrive on rich tourists. Which we are not. So again, I sulked a bit.

Our last day in Iceland was Good Friday and most shops and restaurants were closed. If you want to picture the city of Reykjavik, think of Victoria. The two have a lot of similarities. On Friday, the bars all opened at midnight. Ivan and I had some really interesting adventures (I think Ivan might still be a bit traumatized) but those stories are better left to tell in person.




From Susan on Sep 9th, 2012

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