Reykjavik is the capital city of Iceland and the largest municipality where the majority of Icelanders live in. The Land of Fire and Ice is also home to more than 30 volcanic systems or 100 over volcanoes! In which, many are active and produces plenty of volcanic activities all the time. Iceland itself was formed by all these volcanic eruptions in the past. In fact, there has been a volcano eruption happening every 4-5 years on average so the threat of encountering one is very real. But the industrious Icelanders have been living with this environment for the longest time while harnessing the geothermal energy for various purposes. This Icelandic climate has also carved out a unique landscape that has never failed to captivate its visitors. Yours truly included.
Reykjavík, the world’s northernmost capital city, is probably the starting point for most travellers with their flights arriving at Keflavik International Airport. I was on an Icelandair flight departed from Oslo.
The aerial view of this island country looks so amazing!
Keflavik Airport was not especially crowded during arrival and I am happy to spot the CityCarRental.is employee waiting at the carpark. I have requested for a 4×4 with automatic transmission for the trip but right in front of me was a manual version of Suzuki Grand Vitara. Meh.
The friendly dude then drove me to their office and gotten me the only 4×4 with automatic transmission left on that day – one petrol-guzzling Hyundai Tucson 2.7 (A) 4WD. I spent 8 days driving around in this Hyundai SUV with a nicely powered V6 engine and a big 65 litres fuel tank. From then on, I found myself swearing at almost every petrol kiosks LOL. Most times, the Low Fuel Warning Light will come on with the trip meter showing less than 400 km from the last top-up. The fuel consumption is a mind-blowing average of less than 7km per litre!
The Iconic Hallgrimskirkja and Harpa
It’s a short drive from the Airport to Guesthouse Sunna where I will be staying for one night before my road trip. The first iconic landmark to visit was Hallgrimskirkja Church, which is right across the road. This Lutheran church is one of the tallest structures in Iceland and can be seen at almost anywhere in Reykjavík. Its designer was said to be inspired by the basalt columns found around Iceland. But honestly, the modern-looking exterior reminded me of a spaceship in those Sci-fi movies instead.
The church’s interior is rather minimalist but one highlight is the huge organ that echoes brilliantly throughout.
I paid for the bell tower’s entrance fee and took the lift up to the top, which is around 74 metres high. And in exchange, I was rewarded with a stunning view of Reykjavík. I can also see the sea and snow-capped mountains in the distance.
The Sun Voyager situated along the waterfront is relatively near to Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre. It’s worth stopping by to grab some pictures of the sculpture while enjoying the stroll alongside the sea.
And finally, the landmark that is affectionately known as Harpa by the locals. The impressive building with hexagonal shaped glass panels is such a joy to look at. And it glows gently with various coloured lightings once the night falls. Nice!
The impressiveness continues well on the inside with the hexagon-shaped mirrored ceiling. And the long stairs which bring people closer to the huge glass panels which front the building. I spent a great deal of time here even though I was not attending any concerts that evening. It’s just so mesmerising.
STAY: Guesthouse Sunna Reykjavik
I have chosen Guesthouse Sunna for its excellent location which is near to almost everything I would visit in Reykjavik. The cosy single room is simple and adequate for a good night rest. I must also mention that the shared bathroom is really clean. The breakfast provided was ok but there isn’t a wide variety of food to choose from. But still, I would probably stay here again.