Reykjavik

Iceland Day 6 by Julian Chokkattu

The final day! I woke up early in the morning (we slept on the side of the road) and continued towards Snaefellsnes peninsula. Along the way, we saw cows! DSC_7387DSC_7391DSC_7404DSC_7441

We reached the peninsula! There was so much we could do, but we decided to do a cave tour and see the coastline. This area was about 10 minutes from the visitor center.

DSC_7449

Birds along the cliff edge.

DSC_7459DSC_7461DSC_7422DSC_7424DSC_7435DSC_7463DSC_7419

Yeah this is tame compared to the time I cleaned the car in Seydisfjordur.

DSC_7414

Rainbow!

DSC_7476

This cave, Vatnshellir, was created from a volcanic eruption from Mount Snaefellsjokull. There's an Icelandic myth about a troll called Bardur to go along with it. Mount Snaefellsjokull was the inspiration for Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth. So was this cave. In the book, when you go through the cave, through the earth, you come out in Stromboli, Italy. Apparently, that's true.

DSC_7502 DSC_7541 DSC_7538 DSC_7515

Apparently, 8 types of rare bacteria live in this cave. When you point your light, this bacteria, which is eating the cave, shines.

DSC_7503

Further down the rabbit hole we go. Eventually, we got to a point where the tour guide told us to turn our lights off, and we experienced true darkness. He told us to be quiet and we heard the sounds of the cave, which was basically water droplets falling.

DSC_7547

We stopped to go through this mountain. It looks like two fists.

DSC_7557 DSC_7598

Narrow spaces!

DSC_7587 DSC_7566DSC_7600

We then drove straight to Reykjavik, which was about 2 and a half hours away. We parked and first headed for the Settlement Exhibit, which was really cool. It showed us artifacts from the settlement age, and the history and genealogy of the vikings. Most Icelandic people have Nordic and Celtic blood in them.

DSC_7615

I really like the runes Vikings used to write. Here's a passage from The Book of Settlement.DSC_7619DSC_7627DSC_7635

We ended up eating at Icelandic Fish and Chips, which again, was pretty delicious. Afterwards we headed back to our AirBnB host, where we crashed for the night. We woke up early the next day to catch our flight and said goodbye to this wonderful country. We keep talking about going back to live in Seydisfjordur or Akureyri for a few months or so. Who knows. No matter what, I'll definitely see you again, Iceland.

Reykjavik, Iceland by Julian Chokkattu

wpid-dsc_6044^fd20.jpg.jpg

Why Iceland? Well, I'm a sucker for cold weather, so escaping the humidity and heat in the Northeast U.S. for a week is a welcome change. But Iceland is also a great place to do a road trip, and so Ms. Chan and I plotted a route along the Ring Road (more or less) and booked our flight and car. We landed in Reykjavik on Wednesday morning and we spent most of the day driving around the city. Thankfully, everything we wanted to see was in the same vicinity. Note: Most of these photographs were uploaded and edited on my tablet, which is something new that I'm trying. Forgive me if the quality isn't as up to par as my previous posts.

image

image

image

When we began planning, most people advised to stay in Reykjavik for a day and then move on as it can be a bit dull. The city is really colorful and calm, with abundant speed bumps and nice people, but after our day driving around, I would agree and say only spend a day or two here. We definitely had a lot of fun driving around the city and we'd recommend not to skip the city at all. We hit everything we wanted to see and we still had plenty of time left.

image

image

Most of the city's architecture is also a nice change of pace from the boring monotonous stack of buildings back in Jersey. But it doesn't mean it's all bright and clean. There are always a few rough spots.

image

And a lot of graffiti and murals; most of them were really beautiful.

image

image

Our first stop was Hallgrimskirkja, a majestic, old church.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

The top of the church provided 360 views of Reykjavik.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Buildings are strikingly varied in Reykjavik, and one of the prettiest we came across was the Harpa Concert Hall.

image

image

We also had to stop at the Iceland Phallological Museum, of course. It houses a collection of penises from various animals, ranging from men, to bulls and orcas.

image

image

This is another famous church called Landakotskirkja that we stopped by. Afterwards, we hung out by a lake called Tjornin nearby.

image

The high ceiling of Landakotskirkja.

image

We made our way downtown and had dinner at Fishmarkadurinn. We had a tasting menu and tried puffin (pictured above) and minke whale, along with various other local delights. Puffin is delicious!

Tomorrow we actually begin the road trip by heading out onto the Ring Road. Wish us luck!