Under the Midnight Sun

Reykjavik Travel Blog

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The Icelandic houses on the lake
I woke up this morning feeling refreshed after a great ten hours sleep. My plan for today was to explore Reykjavik and invest in some cold weather clothing. Before I could do anything, I had to exchange some money. Iceland is one of those countries where a cup of coffee is 300 whatever currency. In Iceland’s case, the currency is the Krona. My 55 Euro rewarded me with 9,000 Krona.

After that, I began walking, in search of nothing in particular. I first came across a gorgeous lake that looked like something straight out of Wisconsin. The Scandinavian and Viking influences on the island are noticeable everywhere. Just have a look at the picture. Afterwards, I wandered through local neighborhoods and enjoyed the cool, clean air.
Beautiful Reykjavik


There is a huge (surprise) church in the middle of town that can be seen from just about everywhere. I made my way towards that in order to plan out the rest of my walk. I ended up circling back out into the neighborhoods and returning down the main shopping street. I found a little local restaurant tucked away in a side street and decided to jump in to have some lunch.

I ordered some Icelandic fish and chips and a Gull, one of Iceland’s local brews. I didn’t know what to expect food wise, but I figured it would be good since everyone that came in and out spoke Icelandic. I was just expecting something quick and easy, but I was served two huge pieces of fish, a plate of fries, and a salad. It was a full sit down meal. It wasn’t as tasty as the English fish and chips, but it was still delicious and filled me up for the rest of the day.
Backstreets


Then I began shopping. I hadn’t bought any souvenirs or anything for myself the entire trip due to lack of carrying capacity. Now it was time to splurge. Whatever I bought I didn’t mind carrying around for a couple of days just in a separate bag. I bought a jacket and hat to keep me warm for the next couple of days and both will also come in handy back in North Dakota. I picked up a few more trinkets and made my way back to the hostel, enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of Reykjavik over a cup of fresh coffee.

Once back home, I brought out the laptop and did some typing in the common room where I met two Canadians, Liam and Jason, both 29. We got to chatting and then soon enough we were chatting on the roof with fresh Icelandic beer in hand.
A Viking explorer
Liam does something with IT (I didn’t quite understand all of it) but it allows him to travel the world. Originally from Vancouver, he had spent the past six months in Stockholm and was on his way to Halifax for a few months and then to Cambodia. Jason just wanted to see Iceland and was planning on doing a bunch of day trips to the many sites on the island.

As the conversation progressed, we all mentioned that we had seen an open courtyard in town earlier in the day with DJ’s spinning. Iceland has a huge music scene and wherever you went, there was always some sort of music playing. We decided to go check it out and to our delight, they were still spinning. It seemed as if the house at which they were playing from was their own. There were four or five 20-something year olds having a blast and spinning music from their house to all of the people in the courtyard.
Gull, just before the fish and chips
They were throwing CD’s out and everyone was having a great time relaxing and listening to good music.

Dinner time was fast approaching so we left the courtyard and found a nice little restaurant on the strip. I joked with them and mentioned I still had yet to order at a bar in my home country. They thought it was hilarious and kept joking about it. Both of them ordered the lamb special while I stuck with some nachos and a beer. Believe it or not, I was still stuffed from lunch. Afterwards, we went back to the hostel to have a few more drinks and prepare for the nighttime.

Reykjavik typically isn’t thought of as a nightlife hot spot, but I have never seen nightlife like it. We stayed at the hostel hanging out until midnight (on accident, it is really hard to keep track of time) and met up with another Canadian and two Germans who were going to join us for the night.
Me and my awesome new Iceland hat
Out we went under the midnight sun.

The streets were about as crowded as they had been at noon. Liam had been to a bar the previous night, called Boston, so that became our first stop. We hung out on the balcony for a bit and then inside at the bar. As the night went along, more and more people showed up and the place became absolutely packed with tourists and Icelanders alike. The vibe was great with every type of music and everyone was dancing.

Around 2:00am, we decided to change bars. I walked with the crowd until we got to the next bar just to see what it was like. I was planning on calling it a night around 1:00am because I had a busy Sunday coming up, but I was having too much fun. The streets by this time were absolutely packed with party-goers.
Every bar had a line and there was music blaring everywhere. The crowd, mainly between 20 and 30, was great. To add to the atmosphere on the strip, it was still dusk at 2:00am. However, before I left the group, we all stopped to get some food at a tiny yellow hot dog stand that was teeming with people.

This was not your ordinary hot dog. It was an Icelandic hot dog. The meat was the same, but there was no ketchup or mustard in sight. Not knowing what any of the sauces were, I opted for everything. Four or five different sauces were put on the hot dog, colors ranging from tan to white to red. I asked what they were but it was something Icelandic that I couldn’t understand. Needless to say, it was another great culinary surprise on the trip. All of the sauces were delicious and the hot dog tasted like it was fresh from New York. After that I made the short walk back to the hostel. I had a big day coming up in just a few hours.
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The Icelandic houses on the lake
The Icelandic houses on the lake
Beautiful Reykjavik
Beautiful Reykjavik
Backstreets
Backstreets
A Viking explorer
A Viking explorer
Gull, just before the fish and chi…
Gull, just before the fish and ch…
Me and my awesome new Iceland hat
Me and my awesome new Iceland hat
Some kind of cool statue
Some kind of cool statue
Colorful houses
Colorful houses
The strip
The strip
DJs spinnin
DJ's spinnin'
Haha I had to
Haha I had to
Around 11:30pm
Around 11:30pm
Midnight sun
Midnight sun
Jason and I on the roof at midnight
Jason and I on the roof at midnight
The darkest it got
The darkest it got
Reykjavik
photo by: MadeleineGL