As always we were awake early which at times can get frustrating especially when you don’t have an early start but to console ourselves we headed downstairs for breakfast and gorged ourselves on the many offerings. I highly recommend The Skuggi Hotel here in Reykjavik. The location can’t be beaten and the facilities and breakfast, along with the pricing really tick alot of boxes. Stay here if you visit…
Soon we were out on the very cold streets for a wander. Even though it was 9am it was still quite dark and frosty.
We headed straight to the beautiful Reykjavik Waterfront first up. It looked so beautiful in early morning light with all of the city lights nearby. It was actually a great time to be there because there was hardly anyone around yet.
Sun Voyager Sculpture
In the middle of the beautiful promenade is probably the most iconic tourist thing to see in Reykjavik – The Sun Voyager Sculpture.
It really is the jewel in the crown of the waterfront area. The sculpture is apparently not a viking ship but an Ode to the Sun but ummmm, it’s a damn viking ship guys. Am I right???
I’m so glad we got to see it nice and early just as the sun was beginning to peak it’s head out of the covers. A true ode to the sun I guess. I love the way the light was hitting certain parts. It felt like a perfect art piece to celebrate my viking love.
Harpa Concert Hall
At the other end of the seafront is the Harpa Concert Hall. The architecture is so unique and with all of the glass and angles it was quite spectacular to see. The light hits all of the panels differently which creates some beautiful sparkles.
The architect apparently draws from nature for his designs and he drew inspiration from the Basalt Landscape of Iceland and when I look at this photo I can really see the resemblance to the basalt columns we saw a few days ago
I love this angle, you can see the snowy mountains in the background and the way the natural light plays on the different glass panels. So stunning!
Even though the sun was starting to come up it was still super frosty. Now if only it would snow haha
Whenever you google Reykjavik you see photos of a Rainbow Street or as it is officially know Skólavörðustígur Street (try saying that 3 times quickly).
It originally started being painted each year for the pride celebrations from around 2000 but a few years ago the whole community got together and painted the street permanently. I think it looks sooooo beautiful.
Fact – Iceland is considered one of the most LGBTQIA-friendly countries in the world.
The street is lined with cute little boutiques and souvenir shops and is a lovely way to spend some time wandering.
Once you reach the top of Rainbow street you run into the magestic Hallgrimskirkja church. Completely made from concrete, this church design was originally a bit controversial (can anyone say phallic as phuck). Apparently it’s inspired by volcanoes but nahhhh, I’m not buying it. You can’t fool me……It’s a big goddamn penis that stands erect above the city. You can’t sugarcoat it folks. The architect wanted to leave a bit of himself `with a little creative licence’ on the city. And since this was built in the 50’s you’re damn right it would’ve been controversial haha.
Eventually though, everyone got over the big “penis in the room” and came to love it. Now it’s an iconic statement for the city of Reykjavik and a big tourist attraction. All jokes aside – it is an impressive building.
Baejarins Beztu Pylsur
Have you ever heard of a tiny hot dog stand making it onto the list of most popular restaurants worth visiting? No me neither but this one did. The very famous Baejarins Beztu Pylsur hotdog stand is a huge tourist attraction. It’s been located near the harbour since 1937 but it reached global fame in 2004 when US President Bill Clinton visited and ate there. I saw Anthony Bourdain visit here for a dog on one of his shows once so I was sold. This was something we had to try.
It’s literally a dodgy looking little hotdog stand in a quiet part of the city with a few tables scattered nearby. Nothing remotely fancy to see here….
Finally it was our turn to try out this famous hotdog….
The hotdog is made from lamb meat rather than the usual pork or beef and homemade crispy onions and sweet mustard, along with raw onion, ketchup and remoulade (remoulade is a European cold sauce based on mayonnaise, kind of similar to tartare).
Verdict – It definitely lived up to the hype, it was a damn tasty hotdog. She’s no looker but she is a 10/10 in the taste department. A definite win! And someone looks like he is really enjoying it.
There is alot of street art around Reykjavik so if you visit there definitely keep an eye out as you wander around. This one in particular was a favourite for me.
We wandered around for a while exploring little shops and taking in this gorgeous town.
I also tortured dear husband looking for the perfect Christmas decorations – and can I tell you, they are perfect. Looky looky
There are of course lots of activities to keep you very busy on your visit to Reykjavik, eg. the Planetarium is apparently fabulous but we were feeling like we had been packing alot into our days on this trip and were ready for an easy going afternoon. It’s okay to slow down once and a while.
Pub Crawl Kelly Style
We decided to start an earlish pub crawl. Yes friends, what does one do with a spare day in a beautiful city like Reykjavik, one goes on what we like to call “A Classy Kelly Pub Crawl” not to be confused with a messy pub crawl for the common people. Like with Fight Club, we don’t talk about Kelly Pub Crawls, for today I’ll make an exception.
I’ve mentioned before how expensive everything is in Iceland and drinks are no exception. The good news is they have Happy Hour at most bars and they run for quite a long time. And even better news, there is an app you can download to tell you what bars have Happy Hours and when. The app is called Appy Hour and it will literally save you a ton of money.
First up we visited The Dubliner, a dingy looking Irish Pub (we do love ourselves an irish pub). Because it was early you entered through the beer garden and I have to say they never seem quite as nice when they haven’t been cleaned from the night before and all you can smell is stale beer, urine and broken dreams. It wasn’t the warmest welcome to a bar but hey if they serve cheap cold beer then who are we to complain. The interior was kind of “authentic” too and a bit smelly but we had the whole place to ourselves – yay us for starting our pub crawl early. It didn’t mean we got quick service though so I guess that is natures way of keeping us humble. Truth be told I loved the old wooden booth we sat in and would’ve happily settled in here for a while but that kind of goes against the rules of the pub crawl and the rules of my husband who can’t sit still for very long so one and done for this pub.
Mr Kellysontour isn’t looking quite as excited as me about the pub crawl yet. It’s ok, he’ll warm up.
Next up we were getting peckish so we hit up American Bar which had a lunch deal of $25 for a burger, wings, chips and a beer. I think by any standards thats a cheap deal but in Reykjavik that is like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, buy a lotto ticket kind of deal. We were like Hell Yes Ya’ll, you know, because ‘merica.
I’m going to have this neon sign made for my living room wall
I loved the decor in here, the bar stools were divine and the sign for the toilets did make me giggle.
Tried some of this Iceland beer called Gull. Apparently it’s quite popular with the locals and we enjoyed it.
Next up was Kofinn Bar and let me tell you, it takes alot, like I mean ‘throwing up on myself in the venue’ alot, for me to leave a place with a full glass of beer on the table but this place sure took that prize. OMFG, the absolute shittest looking beer you’ve ever seen. Is that actually beer, some strange kind of rose wine or a bit of urine they quickly scooped out of the toilet you can see right behind Husband?
Look at Mr. Kelly’s look of disgust….
And then the fact that I felt like I was having a Julia Roberts moment where the chick behind the bar was too busy chatting to her mate to want to serve me. I mean bitch puhlease……we were the only people in the place.
And then to the Sign on the Wall ::clutches pearls::. Now, I don’t mean to be a prude (Narrator: she is totally a prude) and I like the swears as much as the next person but the C word, c’mon people. It’s not really something you use in public is it? It’s a word you use when you are catching up with your sidebitches and telling stories about your lazy ass husband but never in public. No no no!
Anyway, we got outta there before we caught something. Of course I gave them a scathing review on TripAdvisor like any self respecting old mole would haha.
Fortunately next up was Bravo and my faith was restored. Awesome little bar with the coolest of cool vibes (I’m surprised they let squares like us in). There was a cosy, hipster, cushion filled feeling to this place and it was perfect for sipping on the golden nectar of the Viking gods and spending some time people watching and relaxing. And the beers were crazy cheap.
With a few refreshments under our belts we were feeling decidedly sleepy so we headed back to the hotel for a wee rest. After a leisurely nap (aren’t they the best), I did something I hate to do so I did it quick. No you with the dirty mind, it wasn’t a marital obligation thing (that only happens on the 4th of Never-uary derrrrrr). It was that other dirty thing – handwashing!!! Ugh is there anything more grim than having to handwash your grundies and other unspeakables in the sink or the shower of your hotel room. It’s literally my least favourite thing about travel and I call bullshit on the whole thing. But hey, at least I get to use my tears for something worthwhile like clean clothes for a change and there was a heated towel rail for the win!
I was exhaustipated after this but I found the strength to head to another bar to top up on stagger juice because I’m a MFing trooper. In our continuing chase of the Happy Hour we were off to an icon of the Reykjavik scene, The Big Lebowski Bar. Now I haven’t seen this movie but Husband assures me it’s a cult classic and hey they themed a bar around it so I’m not going to argue. Without seeing the movie I still thought the theming in the bar was cool, you know I’m a whorebag for details and this place was definitely hitting all the right spots. I imagine if you are a big fan of the movie this place would make you so happy.
Afterwards it was back to have some more soup in a bread bowl at Svarta Kaffid like we had a few nights ago and then an early night. Another early start tomorrow.
Hope you enjoyed our Pub Crawl Day – it’s a long way to go for a Pub Crawl but hey, the Kelly’s will travel for booze!!! Remember it’s okay to have a day where you do a little bit of sightseeing in the morning and then spend the rest of the day relaxing, people watching, drinking liquid gold and replenishing your energy cannisters. This is only day 10 of a 5 week trip so you’ve got to pace yourself. Today was a good day!
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