Day 1 – Downtown Reykjavik

The journey from Keflavik to Reykjavik is anything but the picturesque landscape one would imagine, here one gets the sense of hardship as the bus traverses the open road, the endless lava fields. The landscape is bleak, an endless black and beige.

What can I say about Reykjavik, well being a Welsh country girl, cities aren’t usually my scene, but Reykjavik is a ‘small city with a big heart’ (a population of 120,000 people). Situated in Downtown Reykjavik, where by day tourists flood the streets with their cameras at hand, and the coffee shops have an electric energy as people fill up on the dark elixir. As I wander through the maze of streets, I find myself in awe, in every nook and cranny there’s something quirky or endearing to be discovered. Downtown also known by its area code as 101, is an exhibition in itself, the properties, the murals and the street art. Downtown really emphasises the peoples creativity and their sense of fun. The remainder of Reykjavik is also beautiful but slightly more conservative in comparison.

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Reykjavik is the perfect starting point for any traveller, here you’ll get a glimpse of the cosmopolitan culture alongside the history, Reykjavik is a city of contrast. My advice would be to get a city card, I paid £24 GBP for 24 hours, they also have a 48 & 72 hours, this card allows you to travel on the public transport, alongside free entry to various museums and attractions, and discounts, to read the full inclusions visit the following site; http://www.visitreykjavik.is/city/reykjavik-city-card If you pay online, the card becomes active when you pick it up at the city hall, even though the card states 12am-12pm. And now you can tour Reykjavik without constantly reaching for your wallet.

Reykjavik is an expensive place, so if you’re on a budget shopping at the Bonus supermarket is the best option (Bonus also do free cups of coffee), or there’s also the hot dog stand which is open till early hours in the morning and only costs around 350 ISK (£2.50). However the high end restaurant experience is certainly a must when in Iceland, the standard of food is incredible. I however was more than happy with my blueberry Skyr and fruit platter from the supermarket (it was my first day, I didn’t want to blow all my money in the first few days). Skyr is a must in Iceland, a national favourite, the yogurt’s packed full of goodness and protein and it’s really good (it’s on my shopping list back home).

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For the first time I used Airbnb, my first experience was in Reykjavik. I had the pleasure of staying with a graphic designer Siggi, he was so welcoming and pleasant. The apartment had great views, it was clean and ideal for a lone traveller who requires a single bed. In comparison to the b&b and hotel prices, staying with the locals is a much cheaper arrangement and you get to meet locals, who can give you the best advice and knowledge of the area. You can come and go as you please, of course it’s common courtesy to respect others staying there, but I’d highly recommend this service, majority of the travellers are using it. https://www.airbnb.co.uk/s/Reykjav%C3%ADk–Iceland?guests=1&adults=1&children=0&infants=0&place_id=ChIJw-3c7rl01kgRcWDSMKIskew&ss_id=24qqwb4r&source=bb&page=1&s_tag=M7y6lbVu&allow_override%5B%5D=

I’d been travelling since 3.00am, I’d arrived at my accommodation in Reykjavik around 2pm. I should have settled into my accommodation and had a nap, but I was eager to get out exploring, I packed my backpack and headed for hafnarfjörður (20 min bus journey) with my RB67 film camera. In my delirious state, my brain incapable of proper function, I realised that my experience with the camera was somewhat rusty! Unable to direct myself around the town with a bought map, I headed back to Reykjavik. Utterly exhausted I wander around downtown with my digital camera in tow, trying to process the extent of my trip, it was an overwhelming first day. I’d returned to the accommodation by 8.30pm, I just needed to eat and sleep, as I had an early start the next morning. But the nightlife in Reykjavik is meant to be electric, by midnight the coffee shops and restaurants have closed and the clubs have opened their doors, accordingly by 1am the party’s just getting started. Here’s Reykjavik through my tired eyes;

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