Monday, May 16, 2011

Iceland - Reykjavik

The first two days of our week in Iceland was spent in the capitol, Reykjavik. Of the roughly 320,000 that live in Iceland, about 200k live in the greater Reykjavik area, so it really is the big city for those living there. After landing at Keflavik, we took a shuttle to the city, and even on that stretch of road, the topography is borderline lunar. At the back of the bus was another American that liked to point out what he saw out the window at a volume that I suppose was intended for us all:

"Hey, that house has a trailer!"

Iceland has something for everyone.

Weather forecasts called for rain before we left, so we were rather surprised to find sun and temps in the low 60's when we actually got there. I saw guys walking around shirtless with shorts, so some seemed to think that summer had arrived. Mountains can be seen just outside the city, and the city extends out there quite a distance. However, most visitors stay in the old part of town, which is where most of the shopping and clubbing is.

We did see a lot of baby strollers. Apparently, Iceland has had a bit of a baby boom the past two years, with over 10,000 babies added to the herd. The joke seems to be that after the Iceland banking crisis, people couldn't afford to go out anymore, and the babies came shortly afterwards. And Icelanders don't use strollers, they use the four-wheeled pram buggies that you see in old movies. And they travel in packs, two wide, down the sidewalk.

To be honest, we got a little bored in the city; there are things to see, but I don't think there is much to Reykjavik that is distinct from other cities. Well, except the hot dogs, but we'll get to that later. It is expensive, even more so than Zurich, which is saying something, and we were not there during peak season. But no matter to us; we went to Iceland to see the country, and that we did. More to come.