Iceland and the truth about Reykjavik.
For this holiday I had taken a back seat as it was all a surprise for my 30th, I knew the destination but nothing else which was exciting and scary in equal measure.
We arrived at the airport and wandered casually through security and duty free, excited for breakfast we stopped briefly so Peter could check the gate. It was here that he realised the flight was in 25 minutes not an hour and 25 minutes and the gate was closing! We legged it through and just made it on to the plane. I thought it was hilarious.
The rest of the journey was uneventful and we arrived in Iceland! The airport is actually around a 45 minute journey from Reykjavik so we got on one of the many bus transfers which are….as we would soon learn with most things on the island massively overpriced. Around £30 each for a 45 minute bus journey I didn’t want to imagine what a taxi would cost. We waited for the bus inside and got a donut and coffee.
The bus journey was pretty cool as the landscape is very different with old lava fields spread out for miles and the misty shadows of mountains in the backdrop. We arrived in the centre of Reykjavik and had a little walk around while we waited for our air bnb host to pick us up. We even had time to explore the theatre with it’s honeycomb-like glass walls it’s very striking and an interesting design.
Our host picked us up and gave us a quick tour of the main high street…which included lots of recommendations of friends establishments. Then we headed over to our home for the next few days. Stopping off to pick up some bits we were again shocked at the price, even in a supermarket things were vert expensive. A few croissants, carton of juice, crisps, water and a bottle of coke came to around £20! It definitely wasn’t possible to do Iceland on the cheap like other countries. Not letting it bother us we got settled in the room which was the basement of our hosts house. It was nicely decorated but about 15 minutes drive from the main part of Reykjavik isn’t city centre in my mind.
We were dropped off by the main street and we wandered around checking out a couple of the sights, we saw the famous Hallgrimskirkja church which was quite cool and a nearby museum of a famous Icelandic sculptor. The weather was atrocious so we took shelter in a bar, paid the expected 6/7 pounds each for a beer and warmed up a bit. I had downloaded an app called appyhour which told you all the nearby bars/restaurants that had a happy hour or offer going on. We stopped at one such place called apoteka which had cool sounding cocktails but we stuck with the cheaper option….even happy hour beers were a fiver each.
In here we planned where we would go to eat and decided on a seafood restaurant seeing as we were surrounded by the Atlantic.
The food was incredible, fresh mussels the size of my hand, ceviche salmon, prawns and clams and loads of other types of fish. They also had fermented shark which I had to try, they ferment it for up tp 6 months and you eat it with a shot of brennivin a vodka/schnapps type drink.
There was even a dessert buffet!
We made sure we got our moneys worth as it was £50 each! Iceland is definitely a pricey place so be prepared. Afterwards we used appyhour to find a pub and a bonus it was showing the Wales-Ireland game so we watched that with the Iceland game ob behind us too. After the Euros last year I feel like the Welsh and Icelandic are kindred spirits. We went for one more drink after and decided to go back as the weather was horrendous and we couldn’t justify spending the money on beer.