Reykjavik, Iceland

2018 HAL Voyage of the Vikings

Sunday & Monday, July 29-30, 2018

 

Established in 874 AD by Norsemen, Reykjavik is believed to be the first permanent settlement in Iceland.  It had a government and parliament by 930 AD.  It remained an agricultural community until 1762 when it was chosen by the King of Norway to participate in the De Nye Indretninger (New Enterprises) project.  These enterprises were meant to modernize the Icelandic economy by means of industrial development and improved craft skills.  Fishing, sulphur mining, agriculture and shipbuilding were undertaken by the Indretninger.  But the wool industry was the primary employer in Reykjavik for decades.  In 1786, when Reykjavik was granted an exclusive trading charter, it was established as a city of importance.  In 1874, Iceland was given a constitution and limited legislative power.  Reykjavik was named the capital.  Home Rule was granted in 1904.  On December 1, 1918, Iceland became a sovereign country under the Crown of Denmark.  Today, Reykjavik is a bustling, busy city.  The tourist trade is booming, and construction is rampant.  Volcanic activity provides Reykjavik with geothermal heating systems for both residential and industrial districts.  By 2008, roughly 90% of all buildings in Iceland were heated with natural hot water.

We have been to Iceland before and spent many days touring in and around Reykjavik.  The Golden Circle Tour (see description in the Corner Brook post) is quite comprehensive, the Blue Lagoon is an experience, and the puffins are just too cute for words!  The local HOHO is very convenient and economical.  But this time, we simply took a cab to the Kolaportid Flea Market on Sunday morning; walked the Old Harbor area; ate lunch at a local pizzeria; and rode to the top of the tower at Hallgrimskirkja for a fabulous view of the entire city.  Then on Monday, we toured the Settlement House (free to all over 65 yrs old!), the oldest house in Reykjavik, and explored more neighborhoods.  We find all of Iceland (but Reykjavik in particular) to be charming and engaging.  We will, most certainly, return again and again.

1
The Kolaportid Flea Market. Open Saturdays and Sundays 11:00am-5:00pm. Located in the Old Harbor area.
2
It’s a typical flea market with old books, clothes, jewelry, household items, military memorabilia, and STUFF! There’s a food market and a cafe.
3
The candy stand has lots of chocolate and marshmallows and nuts. But it is known for its licorice!
Lots of the books are in English.
Lots of the books are in English.
5
The famous Icelandic “Lopapeysa.” Made from lamb’s wool, this one costs $169.00. I saw the exact same sweater in a shop on Tryggvagata for $130.00, new! So much for flea market bargains!
These are cheaters--they all have lenses  for the aged and visually impaired!
These are cheaters–they all have lenses for the aged and visually impaired!
7
This little hot dog stand is world famous. “Baejarins Beztu Pylsur” sells the BEST hot dogs in town! It’s located just around the corner from the Kolaportid Market.
Everyone enjoys these hot dogs!
Everyone enjoys these hot dogs!
9
Ah, now take a look at the line for hot dogs! Enticing even in the middle of a construction zone.
A Reykjavik street view.
A Reykjavik street view.
Aw, aren't they cute!
Aw, aren’t they cute!
12
The Harpa (City Concert Hall) is smack dab in the middle of a lot of new construction at the Old Harbor.
13
Trains such as this were used in the construction and operation of the Old Harbor.
14
The Monument to the Unknown Bureaucrat , 1993, by Magnus Tomasson in front of City Hall
Capital and City Hall on Tjornin Lake
Capital and City Hall on Tjornin Lake
Frikirkjan i Reykjavik Church On Tjornin Lake
Frikirkjan i Reykjavik Church On Tjornin Lake
Frikirkjan i Reykjavik Church
Frikirkjan i Reykjavik Church
The Pearl (Perlan).  An unusual restaurant atop the water towers!
The Pearl (Perlan). An unusual restaurant atop the water towers!
The sculpture "Sun Voyager" on the Reykjavik waterfront.
The sculpture “Sun Voyager” on the Reykjavik waterfront.
20
I believe this is the restored building of the King of Denmark’s falconry. I believe those are the original carved falcons on the roof. Today, it houses several different commercial operations.
Lunchtime for us.   Pizza Margherita and Viking beer was just perfect.
Lunchtime for us. Pizza Margherita and Viking beer was just perfect.
In Iceland, they are very progressive.  And they will not give you straws!
In Iceland, they are very progressive. And they will not give you straws!
Hallgrimskirkja and Lief Erickson (Leifur Ericson)
Hallgrimskirkja and Lief Erikson (Leifur Ericson)
The Leif Erikson statue in front of Hallgrimskirkja (Lutheran Parish Church).
The Leif Erikson statue in front of Hallgrimskirkja (Lutheran Parish Church).
Leif Erikson
Leif Erikson
26
Lief Erikson sculpture donated to the people of Iceland by the United States of America on the 1000 anniversary of the Althing (Icelandic Parliament) in 1930.
27
The Hallgrimskirkja. The church was conducting service when we visited, so we were unable to take photos of the nave or altar.  We did, none-the-less, ride the elevator ($10:00/pp) to the top of the tower for some wonderful views!
28
Overlooking the roof of the Hallgrimskirkja. First conceived in 1929, started in 1945, and completed in 1949, it was expanded with this addition in 1974.
The "Votive" exhibit is displayed in the Entry Hall of Hallgrimskirkja.
The “Votive” exhibit is displayed in the Entry Hall of Hallgrimskirkja.
30
The exhibition, “Votive”, is in recognition of the “offerings” used in the churches of most cultures. Men have always felt the need to ask or give thanks for something important in life. In Christianity, the votive custom peaked during the Baroque era
Art display inside the Hallgrimskirkja by artist Inga S. Ragnarsottir.
Art display inside the Hallgrimskirkja by artist Inga S. Ragnarsottir.
32
The artist uses stucco marble (a mixture of plaster, animal glue and pigments.) First used as a substitute for real marble, it emerged as a medium of aesthetic value, allowing for color combinations not found in nature.
The Reykjavik Domestic Airport, right in the middle of the city!
The Reykjavik Domestic Airport, right in the middle of the city!  The Keflavik International Airport is outside of town.
0034
Tjornin Lake, often refered to as “The Pond” , seen from atop the tower of Hallgrimskirkja.
35
From the Tower of Hallgrimskirkja, looking Northwest. That is the Leif Erickson monument directly below. Have you noiced the wonderfully colorful roofs!
36
The Settlement Exhibit very kindly allows patrons over the age of 65 to enter for free. Inside, an excavated home from the 9th century is on display. Modern technology and an interactive format makes this a very interesting museum.
The oldest house in Reykjavik
The oldest house in Reykjavik
38
The house is two rooms wide and only one room deep with a center hall and second story. A modern addition behind this house tells the story of the year 1918. Momentous because of the severe, icy winter; the Spanish flu; and Icelandic independence.
39
Visitors are not allowed to visit the 2nd floor but there is a gift shop at the entry.
The old water fountain is across the street from the oldest house in Reykjavik.
The old water fountain is across the street from the oldest house in Reykjavik.
Now this is funny!
Now this is funny!
But how effective could it be?  No one is giving it a try!  We didn't either!
But how effective could it be? No one is giving it a try! We didn’t either!
We decided to try Egill Jacobsen's.
We decided to try Egill Jacobsen’s.
We had Chicken Nachoes, a beer and a wine.
We had Chicken Nachos, a beer and a wine.
This was a $50.00 snack!  And ended our day in Reykjavik.
This was a $50.00 snack! And ended our day in Reykjavik.

 

We now have a couple of sea days as we make our way to Alesund, Norway.

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