High on Reykjavík


After a couple of worrying days when I was coming to think that Reykjavík wasn’t as good as I had been imagining, I am pleased to say that my love of Iceland is back.

The majesty of Hallgrímskirkja shrouded in a blaze of wintry sunshine immediately brought a smile to my face. And the feeling of being the only person at the top of the tower as the bells struck midday could only broaden that smile, although the bells are scarily loud.

The panoramic view of all the four corners of the city, and the mountains just visible over the bay brought the same feeling as being at the top of the Eiffel tower, or looking over Athens from The Parthenon. Of course, this isn’t a city with millions of inhabitants; it’s not the birthplace of a great empire, and Hallgrímskirkja is not quite an infamous landmark, but that doesn’t matter. This is unmistakably Reykjavík, with its multi-coloured roofs and Tjörnin (the city pond) clearly visible with City Hall sitting half in it.

From above, the industrial cranes and wide traffic arteries betray the modern buzz of the place, while the sturdy maze of buildings and streets in the centre show history and culture in Technicolor. And like Paris or Athens, this city too seems to stretch out forever.

Only two things could have livened up the experience: if an aeroplane had landed at the domestic airport while I was watching from on-high, and if I didn’t run for cover as the bells tolled. Thankfully, nobody was there to see that.

Later I went down to City Hall and had a pot of Earl Grey (okay, so that’s not the most Icelandic drink in the world).

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about my introduction to “snúdur”, the most Icelandic of breakfasts.

AE [email protected]

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.