My girlfriend and I are just back from an unforgettable 3 days in the cold Nordic island of Iceland. I hope you enjoy our adventure as much as we did!
Our journey began with an early hours flight from Manchester airport to Keflavík airport, which arrived at precisely 9AM. From Keflavík, we then took a bus for an hours drive to the capital city of Iceland, Reykjavík. We then arrived at our accommodation for the stay, the Swan House Apartments Reykjavík. The accommodation was fantastic, located right in the heart of the capital, just a 5 minute walk from the high street. The accommodation has stunning views of Esja, the snow covered mountain range which watches over this magnificent city.
Upon first impression, I was highly impressed with what I saw of Reykjavík, it was clean and tidy and everyone we spoke to was polite and spoke great English to answer any queries we had. There was a whole load of graffiti in the city too, but not the bad kind, the majority of it looked professional! From the highly detailed gorilla sprayed onto the fence of a construction sight to a giant squid looking monster on the side of a 3 story building, this really did add to the charm of the city.
Once we had unpacked and got our bearings, we headed on out to explore! Our first stop (after we had picked up some snacks for an on the go lunch) was Hallgrímskirkja, the largest church in Iceland. As impressive as it is on the outside because of its sheer size, its the inside where it’s beauty lies. The inside of the church is truly breathtaking and I would highly recommend anyone with an interest in architecture to pay this landmark a visit.
We then decided we would keep up our tradition of visiting a zoo in every country we visit by going to the Reykjavík family park and zoo. It may be called a zoo, however due to the size and lack of variation of breeds of animals, ‘farm’ is a much more suitable term. Whilst the variety of animals is lacking, all of the animals in the zoo (bar the reptiles) are of Icelandic origin, making for a truly authentic experience. If you are looking for first-hand contact with the animals, then this is definitely the place to come, there are plenty of hand sanitiser’s dotted around the park – allowing for you to get up close and personal. The stars of the zoo are undoubtedly the family of seals who happily swim round in their pool whilst entertaining their hysteric audience.
After the zoo, our stomachs got the better of us so we headed back towards the city centre in search of somewhere for dinner. On the way back, we took the scenic route along the harbour front, taking in the beautiful panoramic views of Esja. For dinner, we kept up with theme of our own traditions by visiting the Hard Rock Cafe. The Hard Rock was where we first discovered how expensive Iceland really is – for 2 drinks each and a burger each, the bill came to nearly £100! You can’t fault the quality however, the food was to die for and Gull, the local beer, was one of the best beers I have ever had.
After we had enjoyed a few more drinks at some of the popular bars on the high street and realising we had spent half of our spends for the holiday in just one day, we decided we would call it a night, ready for the Golden Circle on Day 2!