Velkomin til Islands: Part One
Four days ago we landed in Keflavik, Iceland! After a 2h40m flight where I was lucky enough to score a front row seat (hello leg room) we flew over the northern island giving us a great view of the country. From there, we picked up our rental car and drove to Reykjavik- one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen.
Located right along the coast, Reykjavik was Iceland’s first city and remains its capital today. Founded in 870 AD by a Nordic Settler, the city has reached well-settled heights today. We strolled through the streets the first day, checked out the shops and looked at the water. Reykjavik is actually pretty hipstery but super cool. If you ever go, I suggest checking out Foa.
My favourite part of the city however, was the view from the top of Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral. After taking the elevator up eight floors and then climbing a flight of stairs, the view from the tower allows one to see the whole city! This cathedral is named after a famous hymn writer, Rev. Hallgrimur Petuisson who wrote fifty hyms of the Passion. Designed in 1937, by state architect Guojon Samuelsson (designer of the University of Iceland), the church towers over the city and acts as a fantastic landmark to view the city.
Christianity in Iceland has been around since its founding and is a large part of the survival of Icelandic Language. The translation of the bible into Icelandic in particular, is credited with this.
The Northern Lights at Grotta Island Lighthouse
Photo by Ryan Mueller
Finally, our group of six ended the day with a visit to Grotta Island Lighthouse- about a twenty minute drive from where we were staying in Rejkavik. Here, we were able to see the northern lights more visible than ever before (we’re all from Canada). The colours were very green and completely spectacular. We also met a new German friend named Meddy (first of many shout outs to new friends I hope)!
On an adventurous note (mom, you should stop reading here), while we were out at the island, the tide came in. Since we can’t read Icelandic and it was dark out, we didn’t see this coming. We had to climb across the rocks for about a half hour to get back to the shore. Alas, freezing and excited we made it back.
Overall, the first day was amazing and only the beginning.