City Visit: Reykjavik, Iceland – Part I

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City Visit: Reykjavik, Iceland – Part I

Since our hotel room at Hotel 101 wasn’t ready at 8 AM when we arrived, we decided to do a little self guided exploring around Reykjavik to help pass the time. I had mentally prepared for an early arrival and the possibility that we wouldn’t get into the room until 4 PM. What I hadn’t reconciled was how long it would be before we could relax and freshen up by getting into our room. It would be almost 6 hours before we could kick off our shoes and relax. I would recommend going straight to the Blue Lagoon next time with a reservation and soaking off your jet lag.

A Walking Tour of the City:

We started off with a meander down Laugavegur, the main pedestrian walking street though Reykjavik. The street was named after the women who had to walk to the hot springs in a nearby town and they paved the road for them.

The streets on Saturday morning were absolutely deserted in the early morning.

Breakfast at Bergsson Mathüs:

We ended up having breakfast at Bergsson Mathüs; a charming café just off the Alpingi, Iceland’s first parliament building. The more and more that I travel, the more that I value a good quality breakfast. My tastes run more towards the proper, authentic breakfast spots as opposed to the boring hotel resort breakfast types. This place was terrific and definitely in my top ten breakfast list. We arrived shortly after 9:30 AM and were lucky to get a seat. There is quite a café culture in Reykjavik with many people coming in and just hanging out for several hours.

I had a Bergsson Breakfast; which was a mix of everything tasty. A soft boiled egg, muesli and yoghurt with a strawberry compote, parma ham with swiss cheese, fresh baked sourdough bread along with a salad.

We explored the area around Bergsson Mathüs, eventually heading up to Tjörnin, one of the large articificial lakes in the city. The lake reportedly ices over for ice skating in the winter. Today it was just windy and cold… …along with some interesting sculpture.

An Inspection of the Harbour:

After a quick stop at Tjörnin, we headed up to the harbour. The harbour was very much a working harbour. Along with the commercial ships, there were puffin and whale watching excursions available for sale from several commercial vendors. Many of the sailing today were cancelled due to bad weather. Being Labour Day, it was also nearing the end of season.

We headed back toward the hotel and managed to check in.

We had dinner tonight at Jaime’s Kitchen, a Jaime Oliver restaurant. It was a bit of a mainstream choice, but a good one indeed. I had a pleasant comfort food oriented penne carbonara half order along with a Viking Lager beer.

After dinner, since it was Saturday night, we went out to for drinks. The Reykjavik night culture is ever present on Friday and Saturday so it was all the more necessary to take advantage.

We ended up at The Lebowski Bar – one of the favorites on the strip. The bar is supposed to be modeled after the Big Lebowski movie of 1999 but I can’t say that it is any different than any Saturday night party spot. We go mingled among drunks from Russia and other European countries as we had a $13 USD beer. I left my big camera at home so no terrific bar star shots here.

We headed back to the hotel and were crashed out around midnight. Sleepy!

4 Comments on “City Visit: Reykjavik, Iceland – Part I

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