North America, Europe · 6 Days · 68 Moments · January 2018

Reykjavik Iceland

21 January 2018

Iceland Adventure trip has come to an end. My brother in-law was kind enough to take my mother home from my house saving me the trip to Philadelphia and back. Hope everyone enjoyed the blog. Go to Iceland you will love it.
The bakery we visited almost daily is called Sandhold. I was calling it Sandlot. Did want anyone visiting Reykjavik to get confused.
We bought Iceland jam at Sandlot (great bakery) as gifts. I put my three in the checked bag (our bags had to be checked). My mother put hers in her two in her carryon bag. After we checked our bags we realized they would not allow the jam (in my mother’s carryon) past security. There was no place to buy bread so we just had a few spoons of the jams and throw them out. I still have mine.
The Sand Hotel is connected to the Sandlot bakery (same owner). The hotel is a “Small Luxury Hotel” with rooms off-season $225 and high season (Summer) $335. The hotel lobby is a nice place to sit and read or just warm up. They have a good restaurant attached.
Sandlot bakery for our last meal in Reykjavik. Best bread in Reykjavik. The bacon was delicious. I got a Duck sandwich to eat on the plane (assuming it gets through security).
Brennslan coffee shop is a nice place in Reykjavik. The cafe is along a popular shopping street.
Might have already blog this. The Swan Apartment Hotel was great. Nice location with helpful staff. There is a separate bedroom , pullout Coach, and kitchenette. Never used the kitchenette. Separate bedroom is nice when traveling with another person (not counting your spouse or significant other).

20 January 2018

Dirty Burger is a nice place to get a burger or wings. The menu is limited but has reasonable (for Reykjavik) priced Hamburger, fries and soda is $19.99. Hamburger was very good and shoestring fries delicious.
Bjarni Fel sports is a fun place with very funny signs on the front.
Pendon Museum opened in July 2017. The museum has a replica of an Ice Cave. You walk inside the ice cave for about 200’. The ice cave is very real looking and cold. They included ash cloud layers, crevices, holes made from water run off and cold. It is a very cool place to visit.
Pendon Museum has amazing pictures of volcanoes that erupted in 2010 and 2014. There are no currently active volcanos in Iceland. Hopefully my next visit will include seeing an active volcano. We did not see the included pictures.
Pendon Museum (pic 2) roof top cafe has amazing views.
Pendon Museum (pic 1) roof top cafe has good food and amazing views. The museum is built on the highest point in Reykjavik. The sunset is amazing.
Pendon Museum entrance has great views of the sunset
The area above the harbor has many expensive homes and interesting buildings. The area is higher then other parts of the city and has nice views. I took the picture of the guy moving the washing machine because it was funny.
The Settlement Exhibition is build over the actual site of the dig. The exhibit gives you a history of the early Viking settlement in 8701
Cafe Paris is near the old harbor and is setup like a “real” Paris cafe. We did not stop in but I liked seeing it.
Reykjavik Hot Dog is a famous food to try. The best place is Baejarins Beztu Pylsur hot dog stand. The stand is near the harbor just outside the Radisson Inn hotel. The hot dog is similar to a US type. The difference is you get it with Iceland brown mustard, mayonnaise, red onions, fried onions and ketchup. The taste is different with all the flavors. You can ask for it without some of the toppings but everyone gets it with all of them.
Reykjavik Indoor flea market is a fun place to buy food and gifts. The market is near the old harbor and has about 30 stalls. They sell old/new books, breads, jams, fish, vegetables, clothes, gloves and lots more. Prices are good.
Old Harbor views are amazing. There are 5 large boats that offer whale watching and Northern Lights evening tours.
Cupcake Cafe is only a year old but was voted the best cupcakes in Reykjavik. They have 10+ types of cupcakes , several coffee options and the best avocado toast on sourdough bread. The avocado toast comes with olive oil, sea salt and special pepper. It was amazing.

19 January 2018

The Northern Lights is a very unique and impressive light display. The Northern Light are the result of charged particles of sun light striking earth atmosphere and releasing colored light across the sky. Each night 10 bus loads (400 visitors) go to northern part of Iceland to see the Northern Lights. Some visitors have to return multi times (only charged for 1 trip) to see the lights. We were lucky enough to see a great show on our first visit. The iPhone does not take good pictures of the lights. The good pictures here were taken with a regular camera. The green color is only visible using a regular camera. The naked eye sees white and some limited colors.
Hressinqarask is a good place for local food. The restaurant is in the middle of Reykjavik downtown. Iceland in general is an expensive city for food and shopping. My pizza (good size) was $33 and my mother’s cod fish stew was $35. They have many types of pizzas, fish dishes and delicious lamb soup.
Clip on pictures to enlarge and slide left to see all the posted pictures
Blue Lagoon pic 3
Blue Lagoon (pic 1) is one of the 25 Greatest Natural wonders of the world. It is a large lagoon that is heated to 100 degrees by underground lave flows. The difference in the air temperature (18 degrees) and the water produces a mist. The mist can be so thick you can not see more than a few feet ahead. There is a swim up drink bar and separate mud station. The mud is good for your skin. We stayed for two and half hours. My mother only took a 30 min break mid way.
Blue Lagoon (pic 2)
Danish Embassy in Reykjavik
Sandlot (best bakery in Reykjavik) for breakfast before going to the Blue Lagoon. I had egg and bacon sandwich on sourdough bread. Mom had three pieces of sourdough bread with butter and jam. They make their own jam. There are lots of breakfast pastries for future meals.
Sandlot (best bakery in Reykjavik) breakfast menu. All good options.
Sandlot (best bakery in Reykjavik) has great bread and sandwiches. Tomorrow (Saturday) we will have lunch there. We want to try all the sandwiches. The sourdough bread (had it for breakfast today) is amazing.
To see all the pictures click and slide them. Clicking on the picture will enlarge them.

18 January 2018

Public House menu. Fine hip place in Reykjavik.
Public House is a fun restaurant in the center of Reykjavik. The food is serviced as small plate sharing dishes. The lighting is low with a hip feel.
Nice views on Golden Circle tour
This church was on the way back from the Golden Circle tour. The church is basic Iceland design with impressive stained glass windows. The views from the church are fantastic. The sun just setting over the horizon is impressive.
The Swan House Apartment was a great 1 bedroom hotel room. The couch pulls out to a reasonably comfortable bed. There is a kitchenette (never used). Bathroom had a great (strong) shower. The bedroom has a large comfortable bed. Having a separate room when traveling with another person is nice.
Gullfoss lower falls. This falls is a few miles down river from the main Gullfoss falls. The area is beautiful with the sun starting to set in the back.
Strokkur geyser erupts every 5 to 10 min. The water goes up about 20 feet with steam going much higher. To get to the best view (on the far side) you have cross a stream over small rocks and ice covered snow.
My mother and I considered a snowmobile glacier tour but decided it was to adventurous. It was 10 degrees when we were there.
Gulfoss water fall has a great restaurant in the visitor center. We had traditional lamb soup, banana chocolate cake and chicken baguette sandwich. It was a lot of food but counted as breakfast and lunch. We will have a late dinner.
Gulfolls is a water fall from the Langiokull glacier runoff. They are impressive for the speed of the water. Parts are frozen that makes it more interesting in the Winter. It was only 10 degrees so we did not last long taking pictures.
Thingvellir National Park has a fast moving stream running through it. Viewing the river in the winter is cold (18 degrees) but interesting for the frozen areas.
Thingvellir National Park is the location of the first Iceland parliament in 930 and where two titanic plates are pulling apart. The North American ridge plays and Eurasian plate are moving apart at a rate of 1 centimeter a year. The Park sinks 1 CM each year as the plates move apart. The mountains around the park are amazing.
Gray Line tours is one of the largest tour operators in Iceland. Their bus terminal has a great bakery (lots of bread) and coffee shop. Their Games of Thrones tour is very popular.
Iceland is a little colder today (Thursday ). It is 24 at 7:40 am and warming to 25. Yesterday it was in the low 30’s and walking around was fine. We are here until Sunday evening. The forecast is clear sky’s with the temperature in the 20’s. Today (Wednesday) we are taking an 8 hour bus tour (the Golden Circle) of three natural wonders. We will walk around each location for up to an hour. If we get cold there are cafes at each location to warm up.

17 January 2018

Lebowski Bar is a fun bar/restaurant based in the movie The Big Lebowski (very funny movie). They have great shakes and burgers. There is a classic comedy movie playing in several large screens (Caddy Shack when I was there) throughout the place. Items on the menu have names from The Big Lebowski.
Vinherd is a nice chocolate store in Reykjavik. The store is not at the level of Paris Chocolatiers but has good stuff. The truffles are amazing flavors.
Reykjavik town center has several vinyl Record stores. It is surprising they all survive selling records.
No two stores/buildings look the same in Reykjavik. There are numerous retail stores, restaurants, pubs and cafes. The feel is European with a Nordic focus. The City was settled by Vikings from Norwegian and Scandinavian in 874. The “no two alike” building makes walking around interesting.
There are two main tour companies in Reykjavik. Gray Line and Reykjavik Excursions. Both have locations in Reykjavik. There are several private tour companies that have locations in Reykjavik and will book your tour with Gray Line and/or Reykjavik Excursions. They claim there is no markup. I would rather deal directly with the tour company.
Reykjavik has three to four major building projects going on around the city. The economy is doing well. Tourism reached 2 million in 2017. The population is 338,000 with 215,000 living in Reykjavik.
Sandlot (part 1) is considered one of the best Bakery’s in Iceland. They have great break and sandwiches. The kitchen is visible from the seating are.
Sandlot (part 2) is one of the best bakery’s in Iceland. They have great desserts, coffee and rich got chocolate. The seating area is great place to eat and drink.
Iceland has a lot of building art. Some murals go around the side and front of the building.
Hallgrimskirkja church has amazing views from the top (80’ high). The snow covered mountains have no snow in the summer. This is a great place to see Reykjavik from all sides.
Hallgrimskirka church was started in 1945 and completed in 1986. The church is 80’ high and very impressive. The design is simple and modern looking. The inside is smooth walls and tall peaks.
Reykjavik has several Viking theme stories. Some just sell tourist souvenir stuff (reasonably cheap). Some have impressive displays and high end products. Reykjavik embraces their Viking heritage.
Geiri Smart restaurant (pic 1) is a great breakfast place near the hotel. They have a buffet costing $30 but it is amazing. Pictures here are French Toast, Quiche, bakes salmon on pita bread, hard boiled eggs and tuna.
Geiri Smart restaurant (pic 2) is a great breakfast place near the hotel. Pictures here are blueberry parfait, organ get juice, cereal station, granola station and jam
Geiri Smart restaurant (pic 4) is a great breakfast place near the hotel. The bacon was the BEST I have ever had. In addition, every piece was cooked perfect. I could have eaten 10 pieces (but only had 4).
Geiri Smart restaurant (pic 3) is a great breakfast place near the hotel. Pictures here are great bread station (including gluten free), jams, salmi
The bus from the airport stops at the Reykjavik Excursions Terminal so passengers can change to smaller buses that go into the City. The Terminal is small but has a restaurant and tour information.
Coach bus from airport to hotel. It is a 45 min ride from the airport to central Reykjavik. There are lots of hotels in central Reykjavik. The cost is $$33 per person each way.
This is the ATM at the airport. The Iceland currency is the Krona. The exchange is about 1 USD to 10 Krona. At the ATM they had preset amounts. The highest was shown as 150.000 Krona. I assumed this was just $15 because the three 0 after the . was confusing. I entered the amount I wants (rather than using the preset). I entered 5,000,000 Krona and was told it was not allowed to give out that much. The amount would have been $5,000. I want with the 150.000 that was $150.
Arrived at Reykjavik airport. Nice Dublin Donuts with american coffee and Iceland bacon wrapped hotdog.

16 January 2018

I am flying with my mother to Reykjavik, Iceland tonight at 7:45 pm. We are going because Iceland is a very interesting place and roundtrip ticket was $248.