Iceland is home to volcanoes, scenic landscapes, glaciers and elves. They say that half the people of Iceland believe in these elves. I’ve yet to see or find out the story behind them, but I’m intrigued. With roughly 320,000 people inhabiting Iceland, and a third of them here in Reykjavik, the island and it´s people are quaint. Come with me as I discover Iceland.
Flying out of Toronto last night we flew ahead in time to Iceland´s Keflavik Airport and arrived at 6:30am (Iceland time). From the airport we took a shuttle bus to Reykjavik, a 45 minute ride, to our hotel. It seemed strange, as we were coming out of Keflavik the land looked rocky and barren, with no real trees, but closer to the capital the landscape changed to lush grass, various species of trees and then the mountains. It was like two different worlds. We were surrounded by coastline to the left and beautiful mountains topped with snow to our right. Even the view from our hotel is spectacular with the coastline and mountains in the background. I couldn’t wait to discover Iceland!
After settling in to our room we decided to grab a bite to eat and head out with cameras in hand to explore the city. We strolled along the coastline towards downtown. On the waterfront was a striking sculpture of a viking ship pointed north towards the sea, named Solfar (meaning Sun Voyager) by Jon Gunnar. The way the light hit the steel made it shine as if an image of a dream or a flashblack to the past. With the cool breeze and blue sky the day was fresh – the air invigorating. Peeking our interest was a strange church that we could see from everywhere, so we ventured towards it´s tall peak. Hallgrimskirkja, a Lutheran church, when approaching from the front looked like a giant organ, at 244′ tall, and oddly enough when we wandered inside, on the inner wall was a real massive organ, and a gentleman totally engrossed in playing it. It gave the feeling of being in a fairy tale.
Realizing our lack of sleep and probable jet lag we headed back to the hotel for a nap. After a few hour cat nap, waking refreshed, we headed back into town again. Trekking up steep roads we headed south to the Perlan (Pearl), a huge glass building that not only has a museum and a restaurant but also boasts fantastic views of the city, the mountains and surrounding area. After eating a tasty soup and salad we took to the observation deck. It was breathtaking – and I´m not just talking about the bitter wind – the views are 360 degrees and were like something you´d think were the falsities of manufactured postcards. But this view was real and we had arrived. This was Iceland!