Iceland is pretty small when compared to the U.S. Of its approximately 300,000 citizens, something like 70% live in the city of Reykjavík. One of the coolest facts I learned during my research was this: Of all the magma that has surfaced on the planet in the last 500 years, ONE THIRD of it has emerged in Iceland. Awesome. But this page is about Reykjavík, not liquid hot magma.
Downtown Reykjavík, as seen from a big domed restaurant that slowly rotates. I read in the airline magazine that Reykjavík is on par with any modern European city, but since it’s the only European city I’ve visited, I can’t really offer an opinion on that. I did think it was quite nice.
Pretty flowers, and corrugated metal siding, which is quite common.
This statue of Leif Eriksson looks out over Reykjavík. The text on the monument reads:
Leifr Eiricsson Son of Iceland Discoverer of Vinland The United States of America to the People of Iceland on the one thousandth anniversary of the Althing AD 1930
I guess whoever carved it wasn’t really into the whole “punctuation” fad yet. The Althing was the first parliamentary organization in the modern world.
We went out to this lighthouse late in the evening on our first night in Iceland. I was jet-lagged and disoriented, but this was still a pretty stunning scene.
The edge of the ocean, tidal smell and all. Reminded me of Portland, Maine.
A sculpture on the coast of Reykjavík at night
I don’t really know the story here, which is kind of why it fascinated me. In the middle of this pile of rubble (apparently where a house used to be) was this basically unscathed frame of lumber with “Bless Bless” written on it in marker. “Bye Bye”.
Again, kind of reminds me of Portland.
I wasn’t able to make much sense of this graffitti, but it seemed to be your basic combination of political overstatement and disaffected youth. Some things are universal.
Just one section of the downtown area
I took this photo of the Reyjkavík shorline on my last day in Iceland. I had stopped at a bakery and gotten a little loaf of warm bread (yum) and sat on a bench enjoying the city’s commotion and calm. What you can’t tell from this photo, though, is that it’s rather cold and very windy, so after sitting on the bench and following the adventures of Ari and Ása for about 40 minutes, I had to go back to my tent at the youth hostel to thaw out.
Back to Iceland 2005