Iceland has been on my travel-wishlist for a while: the rough landscapes (barren at times), the dramatic coastline, the geysers, the cute and tough Icelandic horses (I can probs fold my legs around their belly and have my feet touch each other, but they’re still cute), really spoke to my imagination, and the pictures I had seen were really captivating. The Hobbit had been before, and he loved to go back, so when we were deciding on our Christmas getaway for this year, we soon agreed on Iceland.
The first thing I noticed was that every one speaks very good English. I know that’s the reputation the Dutch have too (#prouddutchgirl), but the Icelanders (and Scandi’s too, credit where it’s due) are defo on a par with us! So that’s your first excuse out of the window.
Iceland has 32300 inhabitants in the entire country, meaning that the capital city, Reykjavik, feels more like a capital town. The lovely colourful buildings and small streets with cute boutiques make for a great atmosphere.
We stayed at the very new Canopy by Hilton lifestyle hotel in the heart of the city centre. The location was perfectly central and I just loved the urban interior decor of the hotel. The rooms were not overly big but very comfortable and nicely decorated. The coffee bar at the reception had the most delicious treats, and the upstairs bar area (with great staff) proved to be a great place to meet new people during happy hour.
For dinner we went to a place called Laekjarbrekka with great atmosphere and great food.
Husband tried a ‘tasting platter’ for his starter, which included a few bits of shark which smelled horrendous and had to be washed down with the local spirit Brennivin. If you’re an adventurous eater, this might be for you but it wasn’t for me; the ‘normal’ dishes I picked were delicious though, including this lovely dessert called Eyjafjallajökull (I know; I’m lost on Icelandic pronunciation too..), named after the volcano that single-handedly shut down air traffic in 2010.
Iceland isn’t cheap people. It’s worth it, but be mentally prepared for high restaurant bills… Luckily, a lot of the things worth seeing here don’t require an entrance fee, like the Sun Voyager. This piece of art represents a dreamboat, an ode to the sun, aspiring to the adventurous spirit of the Icelanders, the promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress and freedom (according to my friend Wikipedia 😉 )
Another thing that’s hard to miss is the Hallgrímskirkja; it’s a beautifully designed church and one the tallest buildings in the country.
After a great time in this magical place, we moved on to our remote cottage in the North East part of Iceland, which I will tell you all about in my next post! Standby! 🙂