A Guide to Reykjavik

Welcome to Reykjavik, the northern most capital in the world! This quirky city may be small put it has a lot to offer! Follow these ten steps and you will have one wonderful day exploring Reykjavik.

Reykjavik - http://unlockingkiki.com

Step One| Take in the best view of Reykjiavk at Hallgrímskirkja

Start your day off with a visit to the largest church in Iceland, Hallgrímskirkja. I recommend walking up the street Skólavörðustígur to reach Hallgrímskirkja, the view of the church in the distance is beautiful.Reykjavik - http://unlockingkiki.com Reykjavik - http://unlockingkiki.comOnce you reach Hallgrímskirkja take the elevator up to the top tower where you will have one of the best views of Reykjavik, especially if it is a clear sunny day.

Reykjavik - http://unlockingkiki.comReykjavik - http://unlockingkiki.com

Step Two| Zig zag down the small streets from Hallgrímskirkja towards city center

Now that you have seen the city from a distance it is time to explore all those colorful streets you saw in your view at Hallgrímskirkja. The neighborhood in this area is full of colorful houses, street art and the friendly cats of 101. You never know what you will find while exploring these streets, but you most definitely won’t want to miss out on taking pictures of the neon colored houses you will pass.

Reykjavik - http://unlockingkiki.comReykjavik - http://unlockingkiki.com

Step Three| Shop till you drop on Laugavegur

Laugavegur, one of the oldest shopping streets, is where the action is. Wander in an out of quirky Icelandic design shops, browse through the several book stores and art galleries and just take in the action. Be sure to stop into one of the many cozy cafes on Laugavegur for a shopping break. I recommend Tíu Dropar, one of the oldest cafes in Reykjavik!

Reykjavik - http://unlockingkiki.comReykjavik - http://unlockingkiki.comReykjavik - http://unlockingkiki.com

Step Four|Go for a stroll by the sea

Once you have finished up your shopping and enjoyed your coffee head towards the sea for a walk. There is a great path just 5 minutes from city center that is perfect for a walk next to the sea. I recommend stopping at the sculpture Sun Voyager, the perfect place for a photo of the beautiful Mt. Esjan.

Reykjavik - http://unlockingkiki.com

Step Five|Visit Reykjavik’s concert hall, Harpa

One of the most interesting structures in the city, at least to me, is Harpa. The glass facade is a sight to be seen and the inside of the Harpa features the same unique glass design. By day the Harpa sparkles with reflecting light, and by night the Harpa is lit up with dancing lights. A must see while in Reykjavik.

Reykjavik - http://unlockingkiki.comReykjavik - http://unlockingkiki.com

Step Six|Sample Iceland’s favorite dish

The Icelandic hot dog, you either love it or you hate it. Icelanders love their unique hot dogs, they are sold everywhere! The best place to try one is from the hot dog stand right across from the Harpa. There is always a line but wait it out, you can’t leave Iceland without trying a hot dog while. Order one with all the toppings and decided if you are team love it or hate it.

Iceland hot dog - http://unlockingkiki.com

Step Seven|Explore the old harbor

Full of boats of all sizes, shops and restaurants, and several tour operators, the harbor is an area not to be missed. Walk off lunch and check out all the interesting boats in the harbor. They often have a large boat pulled onto land that is being repaired. Before you say goodbye to the harbor area rent a bike from Reykjavik bike tours, your going to need it for the rest of your afternoon exploring.

Reykjavik Harbor - http://unlockingkiki.comReykjavik Harbor - http://unlockingkiki.comReykjavik Harbor - http://unlockingkiki.comReykjavik Harbor - http://unlockingkiki.com

Step Eight|Go for a bike ride to Grotta Lighthouse

Get back onto the path by the sea and take a 20 minute bike ride out to the westernmost end of Reykjavik. Soak your feet in the small hot pool while you take in the views of the lighthouse and Reykjavik from afar. This area is one of my favorites, perfect for a relaxing afternoon break.

Reykjavik - http://unlockingkiki.com

Step Nine|Take a dip in one of the local pools

As you make your way back to city center stop at Vesturbæjarlaug, one of the local pools. Going to the pools is a big part of Icelandic culture. Year round Icelanders flock to the pools, once you soak in the perfectly warm water you will see why!

Vesturbæjarlaug

Step Ten|Feed the ducks at Tjörnin

Before your stomachs tell you its time for dinner take a walk around Tjörnin, the large pond in the middle of Reykjavik. The path around the pond takes you past sculptures, a large park area, and of course the ducks that are just waiting to be fed.

Reykjavik - http://unlockingkiki.comReykjavik - http://unlockingkiki.comBy now you have covered a lot of ground and are ready for a delicious meal to end the day. I recommend one of these restaurants for a great dinner to close out your day in Reykjavik.

To be sure you won’t miss any of these steps here is a map to help you along the way.

For more tips on visiting Reykjavik check out this post.

Happy Travels!

Two Reasons Why I am Loving Iceland This Week

Happy Friday everyone!

I wasn’t planning on blogging today but I just had to stop by real quick and share two stories that have been floating around the web this past week starring Iceland. These stories have just given me two more reasons to love Iceland!

Reason One| The Iceland Police Force Instagram Account

Good thing Iceland has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, otherwise I would be a bit concerned after seeing the Icelandic police force on Buzzfeed. With an Instagram account full of cops taking selfies, playing with puppies, and police officers jamming out while on patrol, I must say it made me so glad to live in a country where the police can have a little fun.

Thank you Buzzfeed for sharing how awesome this place I call home is. Gotta love Iceland!

Iceland Police ForceIceland Police ForceIceland Police Force
All images via Logreglan Instagram account

Reason Two|Surprise Icelandair Stopover

This lucky woman was in for the surprise of a lifetime when she landed in Iceland, watch the video and try and tell me Iceland doesn’t look like a wonderful place to be!

As I head out the door to face the rain and wind storm on my bike ride to work I am going to try and keep these two awesome stories in my mind. Iceland, you are cold, but you are wonderful!

Be sure to check back this weekend, I have an awesome post all about Reykjavik for you guys that you won’t want to miss!

Question of the Day?
Have you heard any stories lately that made you appreciate the place you live? Is Iceland on your travel list?

Friday Favorites

Food Porn + A Giveaway

Fall brings cooler weather, and the cooler weather brings an increase in my appetite for all things delicious and unhealthy. Am I the only one that this happens to? Now that I constantly have food on my mind I have been craving some of my favorite foods. I have a long list of favorite foods but some of the best food I have ever had was on my travels.

When I travel to a new country I always try and eat as much of the local cuisine as possible. Some of the meals I have had while traveling have landed on my “never eat again list” but other meals, they still have me daydreaming over how delicious they were.

So let’s get our mouths watering and our stomach wanderlusting over some of my favorite meals from my travels.

Switzerland
Switzerland Chocolate - http://unlockingkiki.comSwitzerland Pretzel - http://unlockingkiki.comOh beautiful Switzerland. The land of cheese and Swiss chocolate, and the most expensive meals I have ever seen! I spent a short two days in Zürich during which my meals consisted of the amazing pretzels from the street carts and all the chocolate I could get my hands on. Not only where these things basically all I could afford, they were delicious. I still dream of the pretzels I ate in Zürich, pretzel perfection.

Greece
PicMonkey Collage1PicMonkey CollageWhile in Greece H and my’s favorite spot wasn’t the beach, it was at a restaurant table! Never did we have a meal that was anything but delicious. From gyros to fruity cocktails, fresh vegetables and Tzatziki, I loved all the food we had in Greece.

Italy
Italy Food - http://unlockingkiki.comYou can’t go to Italy and not eat your way across the country, it is a required part of the experience! My daily menu consisted of Pizza and wine, and of course lots of gelato. I had the best pizza in my life in Naples and tasted my favorite wine in Tuscany, the food in Italy lived up to its reputation!

Croatia
Croatia - http://unlockingkiki.comCroatia - http://unlockingkiki.comCroatia - http://unlockingkiki.comIf my extra food pictures didn’t give it away I was clearly a fan of the food in Croatia. In my opinion the pasta was way better than anything I had in Italy and the fresh seafood, so good! If your in Croatia I highly recommend getting any pasta dish with the local catch of the day along with a glass of Grk wine, yumm I am wishing I had that meal right now!

And now that your taste buds are awake check out this awesome giveaway! Perfect for some chunky fall sweater purchases to kick off the season!

Once easy rule: be sure to actually do what the giveaway prompt indicates, the winning entry will be thoroughly checked. Good luck and happy shopping! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

11 Month in Iceland by the Numbers

11 months, really, already! Where has the time gone?

When I was first looking back on my 11 month in Iceland it seemed to be a blur of the work/life daily routine. As I was planning this post I was afraid I would have nothing new and exciting to share from this past month. I don’t know what month my mind was stuck in because this past month has been full of fun adventures!

So lets get to looking into my 11 month abroad!

13.1 miles ran with H

Reykavik MarathonThe Reykjavik half marathon has been on my bucket list all year and when the day finally arrived I was so excited to join the 10,000 other runners. It was H first race and I loved having him experience the race with me. Nothing like having a speedy boy running next to you to motivate you to run faster!

Reykavik MarathonReykavik Marathon

First Menningarnótt celebrated

 MenningarnóttMenningarnótt, or culture night, is a full day of events happening in Reykjavik. There are live concerts in several stages throughout the city, food booths, street entertainers and a impressive firework show at the end of the night. This day draws 100,000 of approximately 325,671 Icelandic people to Reykjavik, the day is a big deal!

Two hours spent singing along with Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake ConcertJustin Timberlake made big news here in Iceland when he came for his first concert on our little island. The concert was amazing but my hope of getting a good JT picture was crushed by the pushy crowds and short girl problems, so a picture of H and I at the concert will have to do.

30 chaotic minutes at Kolaportið

KolaportiðKolaportið is the flea market in Reykjavik that happens every weekend. Some people swear it is the best place to find seafood and great Icelandic sweaters. Me personally, I can never make it more than a few minutes wandering the small aisles, it can be a bit hectic. But if your in Reykjavik on the weekends it is definitely a sight to see!

KolaportiðKolaportið

One unsuccessful blueberry picking trip

HeiðmörkThe Icelandic blueberries decided not to make an appearance this year in protest to the cold summer we had. Even though we didn’t find any blueberries to pick it was my first time visiting Heiðmörk, a beautiful area just outside of Reykjavik, so the failed blueberry mission was forgiven with the beautiful colors of the area.

HeiðmörkHeiðmörk

Three seasons of Top Chef binge watched

top-chef-1101-tom_0via
First off I just love Tom! H and I are hooked on Top Chef. And I will say our cooking game has stepped up since watching the show, letting out our inner top chef.

First Girl Gone International event

Girl Gone InternationalMe and one of my closet friends here in Iceland have recently became the community managers for GGI which basically means we are responsible for planning monthly events for ladies here in Reykjavik. We just had our first event and it was a great night with over a dozen ladies from all over the world in attendance. Post to come explaining more about GGI!

Two days spent remodeling our living room

Living Room RemodelAfter almost a year of living in our flat H and I are finally making it feel more like home! Amazing what a difference some paint and new shelves can make in a room! I now love coming home and relaxing on the couch in our new living room.

Before:
Living Room RemodelAfter:
Living Room remodel

First fall in Iceland

Fall in IcelandFall is in full swing here in Iceland and I am loving all the beautiful colors that are appearing all over town!

Fall in IcelandFall in IcelandFall in IcelandFall in IcelandI can’t believe that the next “by the numbers post” I will be writing will be marking my 12 month in Iceland! Writing these post and recapping my months abroad have been a great way for me to look back and see what I have been up to, the big, the small and all the in-between moments.

Previous by the numbers month recaps:
First Month in Iceland by the Numbers
Second Month in Iceland by the Numbers
Third Month in Iceland by the Numbers
Fourth Month in Iceland by the Numbers
Fifth Month in Iceland by the Numbers
Sixth Month in Iceland by the Numbers
Seventh Month in Iceland by the Numbers
8th Month in Iceland by the Numbers
9th Month in Iceland by the Numbers
10th Month in Iceland by the Numbers

Question of the Day?
What is your favorite thing about fall? Any ideas on how I should celebrate my one year expativersary?