Keith Jump Shot
Well consider my luck to get someone to take this amazing Iceland KJS for me! More to come…
4) Laugavegur Street
Laugavegur is the major commercial veins of downtown Reykjavík, Iceland and one of the oldest shopping district. The name derived from”wash road”, as it used to lead to the hot springs in Laugardalur where in olden days the women of Reykjavík took their laundry for washing.
This is the main shopping street in the city. It started out out as Bankistraeti and as you go up the hill away from the old town it turned into Laugavegur. The shops range from high fashion to dollar stores to fine home furnishings to kitchen gadgets. There are many vegetarian restaurants at the bottom of the street and they were awesome. A place filled with interesting shops and restaurants and very friendly people.
As shopping streets in most capitals go, it really has not much to offer, other than a special little charm and a few really nice restaurants and coffee houses. Prices are on the expensive side, but then don’t forget you get tax-free refunds when flying out. Don’t forget Iceland is still part of Scandinavia, so as the price as well! 🙂
5) The Vegetarian Options in Reykjavik
Raw and Vegetarian Food
Rope yoga center, Engjateig 19
Mon-Fri 11:30-20:00 and Saturday 11-15
Is the only restaurant that serves raw food, but they also serve some cooked food. Note their website is only in Icelandic. Very centrally located restaurant on the first floor. Largest of the local veggie spots. The wrap I had was fantastic as were the salad choices and dessert. However TAKE CARE as there was a chicken or meat dish on the menu. The one thing that lets the place down. They are not 100% vegetarian and some dishes contain onion and garlic. Salads and potatoes are available. Soups contain onion and garlic unfortunately! Still, a good options to get fresh and raw healthy vegetarian meal. 🙂
Mon-Sat 11.30-9.00, Sun 1.00-9.00
Walk down the main shopping street from the church, Skolavordustigur. Keep going- eventually on the LEFT side of the street, there will be a turning called ‘Bergstadastraeti’ with a shop called ‘Lundinn the Puffin’. Walk BEHIND the puffin store, If you reach the end of the road and meet Laugavegur- you’ve gone just a bit too far!
Given the lack of vegetarians in Iceland, it is great that they have this place! I had a spinach lasagne which was great (and healthy!) and also had a curry platter, loved both meals. Expensive (but everywhere in Iceland is) but the portions were great for the price in my view. They did also have a vegan treat/cake of some sort on offer. Lovely staff, highly recommend stopping here- plus it was always busy with locals, surely a good thing. 🙂
Somehow, it feels like fine dining cafe when I was having my meal there. Nice ambience and beautiful scenery with delicious Icelandic food. What else can you ask for?
6) Northern Lights In Reykjavik
First of all, northern lights are (usually but not always) green lights that can be seen from places in the far north such as Iceland, Scandinavia, Alaska and northern parts of Canada. Because of their nature it looks like the lights are moving around the sky, dancing if you will, and it’s a pretty spectacular sight. I heard from some locals, in Chinese and Japanese culture it’s believed that a child conceived under the Northern Lights will be blessed with good fortunes.
The official Aurora season in Iceland is from October till March but like with so many other things that have to do with Icelandic nature it’s not something you can say with any certainty. For example, the first Northern Lights of the season in Reykjavík this year were seen around the middle of August. The ideal conditions to see them are when it’s cold and dark outside and the Aurora activity is high.
So I was very fortunate to be able to catch a glimpse of the northern lights as there was a huge solar activity or wave from the sun. That night was particularly cold and unbearable. As that was not in the “season of northern lights” there wasnt any tour operator going out away from the city to see the lights. Monitoring the northern lights forecast http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/aurora I know that night is my only chance and in the city!
Some tips I have gotten from my Icelandic friend, if you’re going to want to photograph them, you’re going to need: A camera that can work in manual mode, a tripod, remote timer, fastest lens you can get your hands on (f/2.8 or faster preferred, but any will work). Get the camera on the tripod, set the ISO to the highest your camera can handle without significant noise (this is typically around ISO 1600), open your lens up to it’s widest aperture and start exposures off at around 5 seconds and and up until you find the sweet spot. Typically you don’t really want to go longer than 15 or 20 seconds as the motion in the aurora will blur in the photograph.
Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my tripod with me for this trip! Yes, my bad! I regretted! So that’s my best photo I have got!
Reykjavik in a nutshell
Reykjavik is an amazing city, small and charming. Perhaps I am from a tropical climate, my personal opinion that the Icelandic 10 minutes weather is a little unbearable (heavy downpour of snow –> hailstones –> rain –> sunshine –> cycle goes again). But Reykjavik is a charming city, I am referring fog on the bay, lush green fields and the Reykjavik city scape set against snow capped mountains. That’s the view you will get to see ONLY in ICELAND! 🙂
“Walking ten thousand miles of the world is better than reading ten thousand scrolls.”- Chinese Proverb