Downtown Reykjavik - Hallgrims Church, Museum of Iceland, The Pearl, Viking Ship, and Hofdi House
Reykjavik Travel Blog› entry 6 of 12 › view all entries
This morning we booked today's trip with Reykjavik Excursions "Reykjavik Grand Excursion". It was a two and half hour tour. It's a good way to get an idea of what you want to see. Then go back on your own and spend the amout of time you like at each stop. The tour was a little rushed.
Our first stop of the tour is Hallgrimskirkja Church.
The Hallgrímskirkja (literally, the church of Hallgrímur) is a Lutheran parish church in Reykjavík, Iceland. At 74.5 metres (244 ft), it is the fourth tallest architectural structure in Iceland after Longwave radio mast Hellissandur, Eiðar longwave transmitter and Smáratorg tower. The church is named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614 to 1674), author of the Passion Hymns.
The church houses a large pipe organ by the German organbuilder Johannes Klais of Bonn. It has mechanical action, four manuals and pedal, 102 ranks, 72 stops and 5275 pipes.
The church is also used as an observation tower. An observer can take a lift up to the viewing deck and view Reykjavík and the surrounding mountains.
There is a statue of the explorer Leifr Eiriksson in front of the church, predating its construction. It was a gift from the United States on the 1930 Althing Millennial Festival, commemorating the 1000th anniversary of Iceland's parliament.
Our next stop was The Pearl. Perlan (English: The Pearl) is a landmark building in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. It is 25.7 metres (84.3 ft) high. It was originally designed by Ingimundur Sveinsson.
There are three shops in Perlan, all on the fourth floor. They are the Gourmet Shop, the Souvenir Shop and the Christmas Shop.
Gourmet Shop: In the Gourmet shop you can buy a variety of foodstuffs, amongst them oysters, langoustine, mushrooms, world jams, beef fillets, wild game fowl and smoked salmon.
Souvenir Shop: The Souvenir Shop is located behind the cafeteria and sells items including playing cards, statues, t-shirts, postcards, Viking helmets, wool sweaters and original Icelandic art.
Christmas Shop:The All Year Christmas Shop is located within the gourmet shop and sells Christmas related items such as statues of the Icelandic Julelads, Christmas tree decorations and handcrafted Icelandic Christmas artwork.
The top floor (fifth floor) of Perlan houses the revolving restaurant. There is a cafeteria and gourmet shop on the fourth floor.
Cafeteria: Perlan cafeteria sells breads, coffee cakes, and pastries. You will also find hot soups, sandwiches and assorted salads. It also offers home made Italian ice cream.
Restaurant And Bar: On the top glass domed part of Perlan there is a revolving restaurant and cocktail bar. The revolving floor does a complete turn in two hours. It offers a good view of Reykjavik and the nearby areas.
Our next stop was the port of Reykjavik. We got to see their whaling ships. Our guide told us that Iceland had started hunting for whales again. The ships went out and killed only six and returned to port never to go to sea again.
Our last stop was the The National Museum of Iceland. Being the last stop of the tour you can spend as much time here as needed. They only give you thirty minutes if you stay with the tour. We left the tour at this point looked at a few things and headed across the street to our hotel. There is no photography in the museum at all!!
Mike had rented a car from Hertz the day before. So we jumped in the car and went back downtown to see a few things that the tour did not stop at. We made a stop along the port at the Viking Ship. Very nice.
Mike and I had some time left at the end of the day. So we decided to drive to the Kringland Mall. It reminded me of a lot of back home. It's has three floors. The first and second floors are your typical clothing and music shops and the third is the food court. We found McDonald's. That is where we decided to eat dinner. In the States you pay about $5.50 for a Quarter Pounder, fries, and a drink. Here is was around $9.00 for the same. We saw and Ikea and a store called Bonus. They were everywhere. It reminded me of a 5 & 10 store. They sold groceries and about anything else you may need.