Reykjavik (and the rest of Iceland) truly feels like a world apart. For starters, when you land in Keflavik airport, it feels like landing on an alien planet. The cool weather, the out-of-control wind, the nearly incessant daylight, and the other worldly scenery add up to an alien sensation – but in a good way.
Reykjavik is a small city, and we easily explored most of it in two days. Sitting on the edge of the water with massive mountains looming overhead, the scenery is beautiful.
We started with a walk through central Reykjavik, taking in the colorful houses, the street art, and the quirky signs. We saw Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavik’s hard-to-miss church with a bird’s eye view of the city, attended a concert in Harpa, and took a short puffin tour. We even stopped at the eccentric Laundromat Café to do our laundry – the only laundry game in town.
Iceland strikes me as a country that prides itself on individuality and humor. Unlike mainland Europe, it’s architecture is modern; its vibe is fresh – even hip; and it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
I could get used to this… even with the 25 mph wind gusts… except for those damn prices.
Sure, it is now possible to get to Iceland on the cheap thanks to discount airlines and possible to find affordable lodging thanks to hotel points, but there is no getting around the fact that EVERY SINGLE PURCHASE feels like you are one dime away from declaring bankruptcy. Part of the fun of vacation is splurging a little, buying a coffee or diet coke on the go, but every time I forked over my credit card I cringed. Four dollars for a diet coke??? Six dollars for a coffee? Fifty dollars for a one-hour boat tour??? Eesh. And forget about the alcohol which is singled out with an exorbitant tax.
Iceland in the spring and summer is really amazing, and I’d love to come back to see the northern lights. But I might wait for the Krona to sink a bit before I hop on a plane.