Reykjavik

During my time in Iceland I was staying with Joon and Marín in their small apartment in downtown Reykjavik; Iceland’s biggest (and pretty much only) city. Most of cool things we did involved getting in a car and driving to see some bizarre natural phenomena. But I also hung out and did some fun things in the city itself.

I realise that I haven’t written much about all the other Nordic cities I’ve visited. That’s partly because I didn’t do much tourism in them, and partly because there isn’t too much to say. They’re just nice. Everything is extremely functional, the people are really nice and the general living standard is just super high. They’re quite obviously great cities to live in. Copenhagen felt particularly attractive to me, but that’s possibly because of the thriving games scene that they have.

What about Reykjavik then? Reykjavik is cool. I like Reykjavik. Reykjavik could stay at my house and pet my dog if I had either of those things. Reykjavik felt a lot like the other Nordic cities, but feels more American than traditional European. Everyone is well off and speaks good English. The problems that Reykjavik has all seem like distinctly first world problems; a far cry from home.

It also feels cozier than most cities. Downtown Reykjavik feels manageable, but not so small that you know everyone and their dog.

Iceland is quite isolated (for obvious reasons), which would get to me (it does in SA already) and would probably cause a fair amount of FOMO if I was living there. But Reykjavik is also the only place to be in Iceland. There’s something comforting in knowing that if anything is happening in Iceland at all, it’ll be in Reykjavik.

Anyway, in no particular order here’s a photo-essay of Reykjavik:

This is actually the main reason that people choose to visit Iceland by plane rather than driving.

This is actually the main reason that people choose to visit Iceland by plane rather than driving.

Celebrated Icelandic independence day with Marin's family. Eat cake and punch a Dane if you see one!

Celebrated Icelandic independence day with Marin’s family. Eat cake and punch a Dane if you see one!

Watched Iceland play their first ever game in he Euros. This was a good hour before the start of the match! So much energy in the city!

Watched Iceland play their first ever game in he Euros. This was a good hour before the start of the match! So much energy in the city!

Spotted the day after the Orlando tragedy.

Spotted the day after the Orlando tragedy.

National history museum. Very Icelandic. Very good.

National history museum. Very Icelandic. Very good.

Tasty noodles demand appropriate facial expressions.

Tasty noodles demand appropriate facial expressions.

Still better than chukker road. Despite also being an actual road.

Still better than chukker road. Despite also being an actual road.

Went to the top of Hallgrímskirkja, the famous but rather ugly church.

Went to the top of Hallgrímskirkja, the famous but rather ugly church.

Reykjavik from the top of Hallgrímskirkja.

Reykjavik from the top of Hallgrímskirkja.

Went swimming in various Iceland swimming pools. Which would be considered water parks in South Africa. Also, you have to shower naked before entering, which I think is a socially healthy practice.

Went swimming in various Iceland swimming pools. Which would be considered water parks in South Africa. Also, you have to shower naked before entering, which I think is a socially healthy practice.

Bouldering right in the city! Gro demonstrates the high-step.

Bouldering right in the city! Gro demonstrates the high-step.

You picked the wrong guy to mess with, Lupines.

You picked the wrong guy to mess with, Lupines.

The Harpa! Really cool building that hosts plays and screenings and things!

The Harpa! Really cool building that hosts plays and screenings and things!

Owen, Joon and some pretty guy having lunch in Reykjavik.

Owen, Joon and some pretty guy having lunch in Reykjavik.

Icelandic architecture has a fondness for grey concrete.

Icelandic architecture has a fondness for grey concrete.

We climbed this giant grass tennis ball.

We climbed this giant grass tennis ball.

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