Sun sculpture over the entrance
to the mall in Reykjavik

Reb and Stef
visit Iceland

We visited Iceland in October, 1994. When we left home, Stef did not know we were going to Iceland. In fact, we took a train to Baltimore, MD and flew Icelandair from there to Iceland.

Upon our arrival at Keflavik airport, we took a bus to the hotel Esja, in Reykjavik. We checked in, cleaned ourselves up, and went out for a stroll.

The main shopping street in Reykjavik is Laugavegur. It has many interesting shops, restaurants, and cafes on it. We stopped for a wonderful lunch at the Solón Islands cafe.

In the center of Reykjavik is Tjörnin Lake, with hundreds of ducks and geese in it. Next to the lake is Raðhus, the city hall. In the background of this picture, you can see Raðhus on the right.

There were always small planes flying over the city. No matter where you looked, they were there. You can even see one at the top of this picture. For reference, the ducks & geese are across the lake, at the extreme right portion of this picture.

At one of the highest points in the city is Hallgrímskirkja (Hallgrim's Church). It is a beautiful building, and it can be seen from most everywhere in the city. The tower is 210 feet tall. The building was completed in 1986, after 40 years of construction.

In front of Hallgrímskirkja is a statue of Leif Eiricsson, discoverer of what he called “Vinland” and what we now know of as America. The statue was a gift of the U.S. Government on the one thousandth anniversary of the discovery.

The view from the tower of Hallgrímskirkja is quite magnificent. There are windows on all four sides of the tower, just above the clock face on each side. In this picture, out the front side, you can see the Leif Erricson statue in the foreground.

Near the Reykjavik docks, we found Bæjarins Betzu, the most famous Icelandic hot dog stand. While numerous locals told us of other stands which had better prices, we followed the crowd and the guidebooks to this one. We were not disappointed. The stand is barely big enough for the salesperson inside, but it does quite a brisk business. I have no idea what was in the special Icelandic hot dog sauce, but it sure tasted good!

The docks are quite fascinating. We were lucky enough to see a fishing ship unloading its cargo. In order to speed the catch on its way, the fish are caught, packaged, and frozen right on the ship. What is unloaded are pallets of boxes of fish, ready to be taken to the airport, or a larger ship for export.

While walking down a side street in Reykjavik, we ran into a man who was getting into a car with US (Virginia) license plates. We spoke with him briefly, and told him of our plans to drive into the countryside the following day. He suggested we register with the U.S. Embassy, and since he was going there anyway we walked with him a blocks or so to it. It was quite small, and the bullet-proof glass in front of the receptionist seemed quite out of place.

Reykjavik has one shopping mall. It is quite small by U.S. standards, but it has many interesting stores and it is very beautifully decorated. It has wood floors and there were beautiful sculptures hanging from the ceiling. It also has one of the only escalators in the country.

The town of Hveragerði is known for its roses. They are grown in geothermically heated greenhouses. It's a sight to see, as this facility is quite large.

Thingvellir is where the American and European continental plates meet. It was an exciting place to be. It is also a place of historical significance; the ancient parliment met here each summer. The leader of the parliment would recite all of the laws from memory.

No visit to Iceland is complete without a stop at the Blue Lagoon. Why not stop in yourself, we did. Besides, we even bought a ticket for you!

Back to the Café

Send comments to [email protected]
©1998 Technical Advisors, Inc. All rights reserved