Published June 17, 2011
I thought I would write down some handy tips on how you can ‘make the most of your stay in Reykjavík and Iceland’. Why? Well, I imagine some of you reading this are tourists (this seems logical enough) and those guys often need help with stöff. It is only natural, quit feeling so ashamed, no one starts off knowing everything about everything (except maybe god if he exists, but, then, when he started knocking about (i.e. somehow came into existence) there was nothing to know everything about so he must have started off by knowing everything about nothing, which seems easy, and then had to make everything up. Thus it is quite natural that he would know everything about everything, since he made it all up. You probably know everything about most of what goes on in your house, especially if you built it. So quit giving yourself a hard time about not knowing everything. It’s not like you’re some sort of god or anything).
At least I know that whenever I assume the role of tourist I often end up furiously scratching my head in bewilderment and looking all confused on some dark street corner in the type of neighbourhood where you really should strive to look like you know what you’re doing because if you don’t people will notice and they’ll probably want to forcefully take all of your stuff, including your passport and your new iPod that your mom got you for your 27th birthday (Reykjavík has a couple of such neighbourhoods, but I thought it would be fun to not tell you which ones they are, so you can enjoy finding out for yourself (hint: Laugardalur is not one of them)).
OK. What were we talking about? Yes, ‘some tips and tricks on enjoying your stay in Iceland’. Those ought to come in handy. Here’s the first tip:
Venture outside of Reykjavík, if only for a day
Reykjavík is an alright town, for sure. There’s music, nightlife, museums, gyms, tanning salons, shopping malls, weird road construction, crime, puffin stores, the pond and its seagulls, ‘The Pearl’, where you can probably still get ice cream and look at waxy Vikings, as well as a bunch of video stores (the best ones are Aðalvídeóleigan in 101 Reykjavík and Laugarásvídeó in 104 Reykjavík).
But what’s probably best about Reykjavík is how close it is to things that aren’t Reykjavík. Like Mosfellsbær, for instance. That is a nice town that’s only a 20-minute bus ride (give or take) away from downtown Reykjavík. It has a really nice bakery, some nice views to look at and the biggest KFC in all of Europe (no kidding!). The band Sigur Rós like it enough to have recorded a bunch of their music there. And there are horses.
But Mosfellsbær isn’t the only thing in Iceland that’s not Reykjavík. Hveragerði, for instance, is a quaint little town that’s a very manageable distance from Reykjavík (it’ll take you around thirty minutes to drive there, you can also take a bus). On the way there you’ll see some stunning sights (like, Bláfjöll and Hellisheiði and that crazy power plant that’s absolutely not spewing sulphur and weird fumes into the air and thus potentially harming folks that live in its vicinity).
From Hveragerði you can hike up some nice mountains towards some natural hot springs that are really nice to bathe in. You can also continue a little ways and venture to Selfoss (legendary birthplace of the ‘hnakki’ and ‘skinka’ cultural phenomenon) or to Eyrarbakki, where you can sample some really nice lobster at Dave Grohl’s alleged ‘favourite Icelandic hangout’.
And, you know. There’s a whole country beyond that. Ísafjörður, Akureyri, Hella, Arnarstapi, Látrabjarg, Grenivík, Seyðisfjörður, Þórshöfn, Kópasker, Reyðarfjörður, Ásbyrgi, Landmannalaugar, Súðavík, Patreksfjörður, Lots Of Pure And Unspoilt NatureTM, Kárahnjúkavirkjun and Bolungarvík.
So get out of Reykjavík for a while, if you have the chance For ideas and inspiration, you can for instance check out our fancy ‘OUTSIDE REYKJAVÍK’ supplement. If you’re into it.
Wait. That’s only one tip? That’s pretty lame. Oh, whatever.