Day 1 in Iceland was earmarked for Reykjavik city. It didn’t play out that way, but it established why its always travel with contingency plans. We had a slow start to the morning, we didn’t get up and going until after 9am, which for Máire and I, is a crazy lie-in.
First up was the Perlan Wonders Museum, which is a sort of best-of of Iceland. As a person who has a Masters in Interactive Media, this is a very cool museum. There are some really fun ways to learn about Iceland and if there are things you won’t have time for or are visiting at the wrong time of year for, Perlan is a way to make it up. Absolutely see the planetarium show of the Northern Lights.
Reykjavik is small and could easily be covered in a day, but I can’t really write a guide to a day in the city. We tapped out pretty quickly after hitting the main spots because we were sick of being dripped on. On a less miserable day, I would love to have found less touristy parts and the cute cafes that are instagram gold, but it was obvious the rain wasn’t going to stop and it didn’t feel worth staying out in it on the off-chance of finding something cool. In about an hour we saw the Sun Voyager, Harpa and Hallsgímska. We saw some of the street art along the way, but it would be an incredible reach to say I’ve explored Reykjavik, and it is definitely something for the return journey itinerary.
Bridge Between Continents
Getting rained out of Reykjavik ended up being not such a bad thing. On the hunt for something within an hours drive of the city, what we came up with was the Bridge Between Continents. It’s about a 40min drive from the city, and it’s nice to do if you’ve got the time. The bridge spans from the european continental plate to the north american plate which the west of Iceland is technically on. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to the american continents.
To complete the loop back to Reykjavik, we went via the town of Grindavik and Reykjanesfolkvangur national park. Aside from a small patch of gravel road it’s all pretty smooth driving and there are some great views of the Kleifarvatn lake.