Friday, October 14, 2011

Reykjavik days...

Back to the travel pics!  We spent our next day and a half in Iceland checking out the offerings in town in Reykjavik.  Took more photos of Hallsgrimskirja...  this time of the exterior at sundown.  I found my iPhone pics often turned out better than the camera ones, so as usual, there are many phone snapshots mixed in here.
We wandered the main shopping and eating areas, which were all really close to where we stayed.  
Shops and life in general, seemed to be a nicely edited version of life elsewhere, or at least mine!  There is no crap, no cheapy things that are almost instantly disposable, just a carefully curated selection of things.  Yes, there were multiple souvenir shops, but those are obvious.  As more visitors have been going to Iceland over the past few years, tourism has expanded but it seems to me to be a fairly new business.  You never felt like you were being ripped off and sucked into a tourist trap, which was really nice.  We got the feeling we were visiting the same haunts as the locals.
Checked out the mountain view from the harbour.  Unfortunately, this was one of the clearest moments we got, weather-wise.  Just a light drizzle!  Too bad, as a lot of the sights would have probably been nicer if the weather had been better.  Plus we may have had a chance to see the northern lights if rain clouds were not hanging at all times.  Will just have to go back one day!  Funny how the mind works though...  Last night it poured here in Toronto, and I was nostalgic for our rainy walks in Iceland already!
Above is the 6 room guest house where we rented an apartment for our stay.  It was in a great location and was clean and nicely decorated modern classic Scandi-style and the owners and staff were super nice.  Check out Grettisborg Apartments if you go to Reykjavik!
This is the street we stayed on -- Grettisgata.
One morning we grabbed brunch at Grai Kotturinn or the Grey Cat.
I enjoyed my pancakes -- they were perfectly cooked and the coffee was excellent.  Pancakes and bacon on the menu is perfect for this non-egg eater.  
Popped into this info centre and hostel to book our spots for the famed Golden Circle Tour for the next day!
Then we wandered over to the National Museum of Iceland.  Learned of the settlement history of the country before returning for a bit more perusing of the shops...
and a nice dinner including a traditional meat soup.  
Then we scampered home in the lashing rain for the night.  We had to make sure to be rested for the long tour the next day!

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