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  • Writer's pictureDia KL

02.Reykjavik - Iceland (2006)

Updated: Feb 23, 2023

My accommodation in Reykjavik was the Reykjavik campsite, situated a bit outside the city center, for 800kr/night (price of 2006).

Tent in Reykjavik campsite, year 2006, Iceland
My tent in the campsite

Reykjavik campsite, year 2006, Iceland
Campsite view

The campsite was really beautiful! What stroke me during my first "night" in Iceland was the midnight sun, it didn't really become night at all! Maybe just a bit of a twilight zone but still, not dark. I woke up at 3am with full light because the birds were singing... which made me wonder how do the animals cope with this? When do they actually sleep since its never really night?

Side road by the sea in Reykjavik, year 2006, Iceland
Lovely side roads by the sea going towards the center from the campsite

Reykjavik sculpture "The Sun Voyager", year 2006, Iceland
The Sun Voyager

An iconic Reykjavik sculpture, "The Sun Voyager", a boat of stainless steel that stands on a circle of granite slabs. According to the artist Jón Gunnar, it contains within itself the promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress and freedom. In 1986, Jón Gunnar won a competition for a new outdoor sculpture to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the city of Reykjavik, his small model presented to the city for enlargement. Sadly, Jón Gunnar died from leukemia one year before the full-sized Sun Voyager was eventually unveiled on the birthday of the city of Reykjavik, August 18th, 1990.

A block of flats in Reykjavik, Iceland, year 2006
Block of flats near downtown

Colorful houses in Reykjavik, Iceland, year 2006
Colorful houses

No matter a modern block or sweet colorful houses, the buildings in Reykjavik blended beautifully with the landscape.

Graffiti house, Reykjavik Iceland 2006
A house covered in graffiti!

Graffiti house, Reykjavik Iceland 2006
The same graffiti house viewed from the front side

Hallgrimskirkja church, Reykjavik, Iceland 2006
Hallgrimskirkja church

Going around the center of Reykjavik I visited another landmark, the largest Lutheran church in Iceland at 74.5m high, Hallgrimskirkja. I was struck by the shape of it as I haven't seen anything like it before.

Hallgrimskirkja church, Reykjavik, Iceland 2006
Hallgrimskirkja church

Hallgrimskirkja was designed by state architect Gudjon Samuelsson in 1940 and took 41 years to build, construction started in 1945 and ended in 1986. There is an observation tower at the top, you can take the lift up to the viewing deck and view Reykjavik and the surrounding mountains for 300kr (price of 2006). At the time of my visit the lift was out of order so I couldn't go up.

Hallgrimskirkja church interior, Reykjavik, Iceland 2006
Hallgrimskirkja church interior

With an interior of 1.676 square meters humans look small in the photos. Was surprised to find church icons very similar to the Greek churches, they even had Greek inscriptions on. Very peaceful and relaxed atmosphere.

Hallgrimskirkja church pipe organ, Reykjavik, Iceland 2006
Hallgrimskirkja pipe organ

An interesting feature inside the church is its large pipe organ by the German organ builder Johannes Klais. It has electronic action, the pipes are remote from the four manuals and pedal console. With 102 ranks, 72 stops and 5275 pipes, it is 15 meters tall and weighs 25 tons! Unfortunately there was no mass at the time of my visit so I could't hear its sound.

Leif Eriksson explorer statue, Reykjavik, Iceland 2006
Leif Eriksson statue

The statue of explorer Leif Eriksson in front of the church was there before its construction. Leif Eriksson was a Norse explorer from Iceland and the first known European to have discovered continental North America, before Christopher Columbus.

Leif Eriksson statue inscription, Reykjavik, Iceland 2006
Leif Eriksson statue inscription

The statue was a gift from the United States in honor of the 1930 Althingi Millennial Festival, commemorating the 1000th anniversary of Iceland's parliament at Thingvellir  in 930 AD.

Iceland flag and Leif Eriksson, Reykjavik, Iceland 2006
The Icelandic explorer with the nations flag

Reykjavik Town Hall, Iceland 2006
Reykjavik Town Hall

Reykjavik city hall is situated at the city pond (Tjornin). Opened in 1992, it now houses the Mayor and other executive officials of Reykjavík. As of 2017 the official tourist information can be found here as well.

Birds at Tjornin, the city pond, Reykjavik, Iceland 2006
Birds at Tjornin, the city pond

This is life in the capital of Iceland! Some beautiful houses surrounded by trees on the other side of the city pond with birds resting in the center.

Reykjavik, Iceland 2006
Teenagers relaxing at the park

Icelanders are definitely tough when it comes to cold, I was very embarrassed to watch these teenagers with t-shirts and shorts while I was dressed as if I am going to a polar expedition.

Perlan, Reykjavik, Iceland 2006
Perlan from afar

Walked to the top of hill Oskjuhlíd to visit futuristic Perlan, a hemispherical structure placed on top of hot water storage tanks, one more of Reykjaviks landmarks.

Perlan, Reykjavic, Iceland 2006
Perlan close up

When I visited Perlan in 2006 there was a rotating restaurant on top (which as far as I know moved out to merge with another restaurant in the center of Reykjavik in 2017), a small man-made geyser, a photo exhibition, some shops and a nice viewing deck. 

Perlan viewing deck, Reykjavik panoramic view, Iceland 2006
Panoramic views of Reykjavik from Perlans viewing deck

Perlan viewing deck, Reykjavik panoramic view, Iceland 2006
Panoramic views of Reykjavik from Perlans viewing deck

Reflection games

The blue sky and clouds were reflecting beautifully on the glass dome of Perlan. Didn't spend as much time as I wanted in Reykjavik because I was eager to go explore more of the wild nature Iceland is so famous of.

*All photos taken with a Canon Powershot S1 IS, 3.2 megapixels, my 1st digital camera.

Additional information

GPS coordinates for places in this post, click on them to be redirected to the exact point in google maps. Click on the names to be redirected to their official websites (if applicable).

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