After three early starts in a row, it was a pleasant change not to have to set an alarm to wake up on this day. After getting dressed, we had breakfast about 8:45am before wrapping up warm and heading out of the hotel to start our sightseeing around Reykjavik.
Our first stop of the day was Hallgrímskirkja which was just over a ten minute walk away where you can get a great view of the city from the top of its tower. It costs 900 ISK per person and after buying our tickets, we joined a small line of people waiting for the elevator. There is only one small elevator but thankfully we only had to wait the time it took for it to go to the top and back again. Once you have left the elevator, there are a few stairs that you will still need to climb to get to the viewing platform.
The views of Reykjavik were amazing and you could see all around the city and beyond. We were able to work out where our hotel was as well as being able to pick out Harpa, the domestic airport, Tjörnin Lake and Perlan amongst others. It was also quite sheltered at the top compared to some other towers I’ve been in so it was not cold at all.
We were definitely lucky with our timing here as when we got out of the elevator after leaving the tower, there was a huge line to enter. So I’m guessing the best advice is to go as early as possible before the crowds turn up. Before leaving we also had a look at the incredible architecture inside the church.
Our next stop was the Sun Voyager sculpture which again took us about ten minutes to walk to. There was no one there when we got there so made the most of the opportunity by taking plenty of photos.
Just a short walk along the waterfront is the Harpa Concert Hall which was sparkling in the sunlight. We went inside to have a look around and it is a great place to escape from the cold weather outside as it was lovely and warm and there was even free wifi.
After walking to Ingólfstorg and making a reservation for dinner that evening at one of the restaurants in the square, we made our way to Austurvöllur where the Parliament House is located. We also saw the exterior for the Icelandic Punk Museum with a giant M&M outside but we had no interest in visiting.
One of the best things I have ever seen was the “Single Gloves Speed Dating” display which we found whilst walking along Laugavegur back towards our hotel. This is where all the gloves that are found around the city go to find a mate. Seriously brilliant on every level.
When we got back to our hotel, we had a cup of tea along with some more of the snacks that we had brought to Iceland with us which we still had – neither of us wanted a big lunch as it had not been long since breakfast. We also got our bags ready with everything we needed for the rest of the day as we were off to the Blue Lagoon that afternoon.
Before heading to the Blue Lagoon, we decided to drive to the glass-domed Perlan building to look at the views across the city whilst the weather was sunny and bright. There is currently lots of renovations and building work taking place but the observation deck on the fourth floor is remaining open during this time and is free of charge to visit.
The view of Reykjavik from outside on the observation deck was incredible. We could see the entire city around us including Hallgrímskirkja where we had been earlier in the day and the mountains in the distance. However as you are high up and open to the elements, the wind was freezing cold.
As there was no traffic, it took us about forty minutes to drive from Reykjavik to Grindavik where the Blue Lagoon is located. There were so many buses parked up and it was certainly a lot busier than my last visit. We booked our visit for 4:00pm two months before we arrived (you cannot just turn up without a booking) and we stayed in the water for over two hours leaving just before 7:00pm.
I will write all about our visit to the Blue Lagoon in a future blog post.
After a relaxing few hours at the Blue Lagoon, we made our way back into Reykjavik all ready for our dinner reservation at Uno in Ingólfstorg at 8:00pm. Instead of making our way to our hotel, parking our car there and then walking, we decided to head straight there and park near the restaurant. This however was easier said than done as it was impossible to find a parking space anywhere. After driving round and round in circles, we eventually got a space in a car park across Geirsgata near Harpa as we were in the right place at the right time when someone left.
Uno had been recommended to us by a friend and we both absolutely loved our dinner. We started with bread that was served with an incredibly yummy green dip which I have no clue what it was – it was good though. For my main course, I ordered the Lobster Sandwich which was served with Waffle Fries and a Lime and Coriander Aioli which was absolutely heavenly. Even writing this, my mouth is watering at the memory of that sandwich. We were both full so skipped dessert. The bill for our two meals and two Ginger Beers came to 6600 ISK which worked out to £49 which we both thought was good value and was less than we were expecting.
Thankfully we had no trouble getting a parking space back at our hotel and ended up right outside the door. Again as parking was free until 9:00am the next morning, we did not need to pay anything until then.
There were some clear skies that night but there were no signs of any aurora yet again and a zero forecast of seeing anything – I was constantly checking Vedur.is for our entire stay. It was our last night before going home too so we had already resigned ourselves to the fact that we would not be seeing them on this trip. But I could not be upset in the slightest as we had had a great few days in Iceland and was looking forward to our last few hours exploring Reykjavik the following morning.