hallgrimskirkja

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Iceland: Day 1

We woke up on our first day in Iceland prepared to wander around Reykjavik and get the lay of the land. Our apartment was in a really convenient location, right in the center of the 101 district, so it was in the heart of everything, including tourist shops, which usually aren’t my thing. Reykjavik is so small that they can’t be avoided though. It seems like touristy things are mixed in with everything else. We quickly discovered that the 101 district is completely walkable in a day.

We left our cozy apartment and headed up Skólavörðustígur to look for Mokka Kaffi, a cafe I’d read about in preparation for our trip. I wrote a preview piece for Dish Trip, so I’d done a little food research ahead of time, which especially made our first day easy. I am prone to get hangry, especially when traveling.

We were surprised to see that in the mid-40s temps Icelanders still enjoy sipping their coffee at sidewalk tables. 

Interestingly, I thought the whole city smelled like waffles. 
We spent the rest of the day wandering around Reykjavik and getting our bearings. I love wandering days in new cities.
I took a million pictures of this church, Hallgrimskirkja. It dominates the small city.

This is the organ inside Hallgrimskirkja.

Have you ever seen those TV specials about people who are in love with inanimate objects? I told Chad that’s how I felt about this rough mountain in the distance.

The Harpa Conference Center is completely built out of this beautiful honeycomb glass. It’s beautiful inside and out, and toasty warm inside. We stopped here for a bit to use the free wifi.
This street-side hot dog stand is the most famous (and oldest?) restaurant in Reykjavik. We returned countless times during the week so Chad could get his fix. Turns out the secret ingredient is lamb. The hot dogs really are delicious, and you’re supposed to eat them with a special blend of toppings. Like a true 5 year old, I ate mine with ketchup only.

For something like $5, you can take a teeny-tiny elevator with 8 or so of your new best friends to the top of Hallgrimskirkja and appreciate stunning views of the city from all sides.