On Thursday, after a 4am start and a 5am drive to Manchester airport, we arrived in Reykjavik around midday. We caught the bus to the city from Keflavik airport, which cost us 4000 krona for a return ticket (around £30) - this seemed to be the easiest way to get to Reykjavik if you weren't driving.
We couldn't check into our apartment until 2pm, so we decided to find somewhere to eat for lunch. We found the main shopping and restaurant streets of Reykjavik but found that everywhere was really expensive - so we ended up at Dunkin' Donuts, of all places, most likely the least Icelandic place on the whole island. To be fair, the doughnuts were delicious, and I ended up visiting again later over the weekend for another one!
We then checked into our apartment and decided to have a wander around Reykjavik. One thing that really stood out for me was how colourful it was - loads of the buildings had some sort of mural painted onto the side of them, and they were all painted different colours of the rainbow. It seemed like a very cheerful city, and was definitely Instagrammable!
We also found the old harbour area, which had great views over some mountain ranges. There was a big glass building called Harpa, which was a concert hall with some gift shops inside, which we had a look around. The shops in Reykjavik sell some really lovely things, but it is all so expensive. I wanted to buy a pack of cards to play with in the apartment, but the cheapest I found was around 1,000 krona, which is about £7.50. Needless to say, I didn't bother buying any! Everything seemed around two to three times as expensive as the UK; for example, a glass of wine in a bar would set you back around 1,200 krona (around £9). Iceland is definitely not a place to visit if you are feeling really poor.
We enjoyed looking around some of the quirkier shops, such as the Christmas shop, the viking shop, and the polar bear shop.
We also visited the Hallgrimskirkja church, Iceland's tallest church that can be seen from most areas of the city (which was useful, as we used it as a landmark to help us navigate Reykjavik). It has a really modern and interesting shape, and we were expecting the inside to be really impressive - but it was actually rather plain. One of the girls decided to go up the tower (paying 900 krona), and said that it had great views over Reykjavik and beyond.
As everywhere was so expensive to eat out, we decided to cook for ourselves on the first night. We found a Bonus supermarket, which seemed to be the cheapest in the city, and got some pasta and sauce. This was still more expensive than buying food in a supermarket in the UK, but worked out much cheaper than a meal out.
Stay tuned for day 2 of Iceland tomorrow - which was my favourite day as it was when we visited the Blue Lagoon!
We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.