Travel Postcard: 48 Hours in Reykjavik, Iceland

Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:55am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Steve James

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (Reuters Life!) - Reykjavik, with its endless summer daylight, long winter nights, glaciers, waterfalls and geysers, is a photographer's paradise and a great holiday destination.

Reuters correspondents help you make the most of Europe's northern-most capital, which sits on the Faxafloi fjord and offers bargains since the Icelandic kronor is worth up to 30 percent less against the U.S. dollar and the euro, than before the economic downturn a year ago.


8:00 a.m. - Fuel up at the breakfast buffet at the Fosshotel Baron, on Baronstigur, overlooking the fjord. For 1,000 kronor ($8.30) feast on cereals, fruit, cheese, sausage and a sweet Icelandic yoghurt/curd concoction called skyr. Icelanders also love herring (sild) and you can get it pickled, in cream or pungent mustard. The buffet includes a bottle of cod liver oil!

9:00 a.m. - Stroll two blocks to the waterfront drive, Saebraut, to see a stylized viking ship sculpture, "Sunship," its prow pointed out to the sea across which the Norsemen sailed and, according to legend, reached North America.

Walk up the hill to the stark Hallgrimskirkja church, with its statue of Leifur Eriksson staring out to the new world. The church took 34 years to build and was only completed in 1974. Its austere design and concrete construction were very controversial at the time. Take an elevator up the 75-meter (yard) church tower for a view of the city.

10:00 a.m. - Shop on Laugavegur where there are marvelous woolen and jewelry stores and the "66 Degrees North" outdoors-wear shop.

Iceland is famous for its knitwear. The Alafoss wool shop has a city center store and also an outlet in nearby Mosfellsbaer, which is a short bus ride away, where sweaters or cardigans cost as little as 3,500 kronor ($30).   Continued...

<p>Bathers soak in the mineral rich waters of Iceland's Blue Lagoon, near Reykjavik, April 22, 2009. REUTERS/Bob Strong</p>