Steve and I spent twelve days in Iceland celebrating our 30th wedding Anniversary driving the entire Ring Road. Upon arrival we went straight to Thingvellir or Pingvellir National Park. This incredible location is in the rift valley between two continental plates; you can walk between Europe and North America here. The area is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its history; in 930 AD, early settlers founded what would become the world’s longest-running, ongoing representative parliament here.
We walked the path to the Öxarárfoss waterfall in the park, which is not one of the most spectacular but of its location is magical. It falls into the American part of the Earth’s crust and it is surrounded by lava stones.
This was an incredible location between two continental plates, Europe and North America. It’s also where some of the Game of Thrones is filmed.
We then headed into Reykjavik to check into our hotel and to explore the city. Here are some of the highlights. We visited Hallgrimskirka Church with the statue of Leif Eriksson at the entrance. This is the largest church in the country, and towers over the center of Reykjavík. Its 73-metre-high tower provides a wonderful 360° view over all Reykjavík, the mountains around and the ocean stretching west to Greenland and the Americas. We paused outside to admire the Alexander Calder-made statue of Leif Eriksson; the Icelandic explorer “discovered” North America 500 years before Christopher Columbus.
We loved the beautiful buildings around town as we walked to City Hall to meet our travel agent Guide To Iceland. This statue below was just outside city hall but be sure to duck your head inside to check out any temporary exhibits, and to orient yourself with the massive 3-D map of Iceland.
We walked on to The Harpa, home of Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and quite arguably one of the most beautiful buildings in Reykjavik.
Then we strolled down the waterfront to see The Sun Voyager. This is another fine example of the amazing art and architecture scene in Reykjavik. It is an ode to the sun, and it’s supposed to represent the desire to explore undiscovered territory. It was a beautiful as I had imaged.
Our hotel was located on Laugavegur is the street where it all happens. From trendy cafes, unique shops and cozy bars to world-class street-art murals and smaller, intimate art galleries, Laugavegur encapsulates the Icelandic spirit: calm, quirky, artsy and simply spectacular; you can find anything and everything here. We ended the night early with a local beer and chips at Reykjavik Chips!