Hallgrímskirkja | Iceland

Day 1 In Iceland

Feels Like Home

I finally landed in beautiful Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland! I had booked a room in an idyllic apartment which I found through Airbnb (I ONLY use Airbnb when I travel, and I strongly recommend it to everyone). I reached my apartment on August 1st, after roughly 13 hours of traveling, and I slept all day! When I woke up around 7pm, it appeared to me  that that’s kind of what you’re supposed to do in Iceland! It seems like everyone sleeps in the daytime and then hits the city around midnight and stays out until the bars close at 5 am. All night, from my window, I could hear loud music playing and see people taking walks, and then at 6am, it all stopped and the city was completely silent. A night owl like myself could definitely get used to living in such a city!

This is my roommate’s friend singing from our balcony… Don’t ask me why.

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My street (Laugavegur)

My neighborhood

My neighborhood

Hallgrímskirkja

The next day around noon, I ventured down to Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavik’s iconic church. It can be seen throughout most of the city, and my apartment was no exception. Feeling confident in my navigational skills, I decided to just walk towards it until I got there, no map or anything. So what if I got lost? There is no safer city in the world to get lost in! So I grabbed my walking shoes, my lucky scarf, and my camera bag and started walking. One thing I have noticed every time I’ve visited Europe is that people WALK differently than they do in the States. No one ever seems to be in a rush; while we Americans love to speed walk, Europeans love to stroll. So, when in Rome… Even at my leisurely European walking pace, it only took me about 20 minutes to get there, and when I did, it was as breathtaking as I had imagined.

A shot taken about halfway down Skólavörðustígur, which intersects Laugavegur about 100 feet away from my apartment.

A shot taken about halfway down Skólavörðustígur.

Hallgrímskirkja

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Hallgrímskirkja

A statue of Lief Erikson, the famous Icelandic explorer

This statue of Lief Erikson, the famous Icelandic explorer, stands in front of the church

The back of the church. I wanted to get some shots of the chapel, but there was a wedding going on.

The back of the church.

After basking in its glory for a few minutes, I went inside and bought my ticket for the elevator (I wanted to get some shots of the chapel first, but there was a wedding going on). Once I reached the top, I waited for the other tourists to clear out of the room, and then I rushed to a vacant window from which I could photograph the beautiful rooftops of Reykjavik. It was a pretty high window, and I’m a pretty short girl, so even though I stood on the stool they had provided, I wouldn’t have been able to see out the window if I hadn’t had my camera on me. For someone who loves color as much as I do, this was truly a wonder to behold. As I stared in awe at the beautiful city, I was rudely awakened from my deep thought by a loud “BONG…BONG…BONG…”, which caused me to fall off of my stool. Turns out the church had a functioning bell tower, which was located directly above where I stood. I took that as the church’s way of saying “give the other tourists a chance, Nena! You’ve been hogging the window for 20 minutes!”

The view from the top of Hallgrímskirkja

The view from the top of Hallgrímskirkja

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I honestly could have stayed there all day, taking in the beauty of the city and the cool ocean breeze, but it was time to start making my way to the next location