Ahh the capital city of Reykjavík! I love cities. So many things to do, so many sights to see, so many delicious things to EAT! People say that the food in Iceland isn’t very good. I have no idea what these people are talking about because I didn’t eat one thing I didn’t like in Iceland. Mike and Ricky did…but we’ll get to that later.
We spent three nights in Reykjavík, our second and third nights, and then our last night. Exploring the city was such fun! The first place we stayed was the Loft Hostel, which was amazing. Centrally located on a busy little street with shops and restaurants, and the harbor was just a block away! It may have been my favorite place we stayed during the trip in terms of hostels.
My first full day in the city, which was a Saturday, began with a drop in class at the local CrossFit box – CrossFit Reykjavík (THE CrossFit Reykjavík). As soon as I walked in, I was floored by how awesome the place was. Protein shake/smoothie bar at the front desk, gorgeous locker rooms, a huge amount of space for WODs, separate spots with squat/bench racks, and a separate room dedicated to stretching and rolling! Amazing! My favorite part was the quote on the wall: “Move like you care”.
The entire class was taught in Icelandic, and I had absolutely no idea what was being said. The class size was huge, at least 30 people. For the warm up, I picked a spot in the back and just followed the girl in front of me. The WOD was a long partner workout. The coach paired me with another woman who was about the same skill level as me. She spoke English to me, and translated the whole WOD for me after the coach explained it. I probably looked like a deer in headlights to these people! Clearly I was a dumb American who only speaks English…also all the weights were in kilograms. But luckily my engineering degree came in handy and I was able to do the conversion in my head and figure out how much I could actually lift in kgs. Regardless of language barriers and units of measure, I had an absolute BLAST! The 30-minute WOD kicked my butt and it was a great way to start the day off! I purchased a CrossFit Reykjavik t-shirt as a little souvenir. Who knows, maybe I’ll start collecting WODs and t-shirts from CrossFit boxes all over the world! 🙂
For the rest of the day, we wandered around the city and took in the sights and ate delicious food. It was a gorgeous day, sunny, relatively warm, and just a touch windy. When in Iceland, everyone says to eat the hot dogs. So we did! The first hot dog stand we went to was called Pylsuhúsið. The hot dogs were amazing. I got the traditional Icelandic hot dog – which has crispy onion strings, sautéed onions, a hot dog, and some type of mustard. DELICIOUS.
After eating our fill of hot dogs, we saw some of the sights. We meandered in and out of shops, stood in awe of the massive church – Hallgrímskirkja, took our iconic pictures with the Sun Voyager sculpture, and wandered around the beautiful concert hall – Harpa.
All this sight seeing made us pretty hungry – so we found a place to eat a good dinner. We chose Geysir Bistro. Mike and I got some delicious Cod, which is plentiful in Iceland. It’s one of the main kinds of fish that they catch off of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, so you know it’s fresh and local! Ricky got the “Taste of Iceland”, which consisted of fish, fish, and more fish…oh and some fermented shark.
Apparently all of the fish in the sampler was delicious, even the fish jerky. I tried the fish jerky, which I enjoyed. I refused to try the fermented shark, however. It was served in a closed jar, because the smell is so strong and putrid. Think rotting fish smell mixed with the smell of acetone. It was gross. I took one whiff and gagged for about five minutes. Ricky ate most of it – except for the small bit that Mike ate. From the look on their faces, I wasn’t missing much. Even the locals don’t like it! Our waitress told us she thought it was disgusting and wasn’t sure why people eat it. But when in Iceland, right?
Our last day in Iceland also consisted of more food and sight seeing. This time we stayed a little farther out – at the Galaxy Pod Hostel. It was a pretty cool experience to sleep in a little space pod, especially because it blocked out the night-time daylight.
The food Mike and I found on our last full day in Iceland was a sampling of a lot of delicious junk food. More hot dogs – this time from THE hot dog stand – Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur – which was a tiny little shack nestled behind a construction site. We also ate french fries from Reykjavík Chips, pizza, donuts, and of course went to a coffee shop. Reykjavík has a booming coffee scene – so needless to say I was in caffeinated heaven.
I loved Reykjavík. I could live there. The food was delicious, the people were nice, the entire city was so colorful, and the coffee was delicious and plentiful! There were also tons of museums and other sites that we didn’t have time to hit. So needless to say, I will be returning some day!!!
Happy Travels and Happy Life!