UP, DOWN & THROUGH ICELAND, PART 2
This is Lydia’s first time living in Iceland and Jonas’ second time. They’ve both lived here for almost a year now and are both married to Icelanders so they’ve visited often and have travelled up, down and through Iceland. They have recommendations, do’s and don’ts and tales of adventure to share. These are their stories. Insert Law & Order sound here. We had so much to say we had to split it into two parts (episodes 2 and 3). And then we still weren't done, so we served up a hot plate of bonus episode on our tips and recs for the ring road.
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In this episode we mention lotsa places to visit. You can find more info on these places on the show's Google map as well as at the link's below.
Go nuts with our Google Map (we made it just for you with ♥︎)
Links to places mentioned
for nature lovers (con'd)
- Icelandic horseback riding - tons of riding companies—some better than others—but you can check out reviews and other info on TripAdvisor
- Réttir sheep round-ups - great activity for the fall that happens all over the country, sheepy smells, lots of sweaters and sinning, a good time for families with kids (but know that drinking happens and some people get tipsy). This links to an Icelandic page with all the regional roundups (click on the map) and their dates (scroll down to the list). Unfortunately it is all in Icelandic and all for 2017, but you can at least get in idea of where they are and when they might happen.
- Seljavallalaug pool - We think we might have mistakenly called this "Seljalandslaug" in the show, but the correct name is Seljavallalaug. This is one of those "secret" pools that everyone actually knows about and is, ipso facto, very heavily trafficked and a little grody because of it. Also, the water temps are apparently not always dependably warm.
- Hrunalaug natural pool - Not gonna be too specific about this one since this pool is still relatively unvisited
- Landmannalaugar region - Amazing area to explore in the highlands (but not super easily accessible)
- Nýidalur Mountain Hut - Middle-of-nowhere oasis, waaaaaaaay up in the highlands, little piece of heav', you gotta wanna get there
- Reykjanes pool (Westfjords) - Great concrete pool outside a former children's boarding school (nothing creepy about that, right?)
- Mount Esja - Dramatic AF mountain situated across the bay from Reykjavík (meaning it's what you see any time you look north from the city). Readily accessibly with a great hiking trail until the last little bit, when you have to do some light climbing. You can even reach the trailhead with Reykjavík city bus.
- Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon - Simply one of the most stunning things you'll see in Iceland. You can pay through the nose to take an amphibious vehicle or zodiac out on the lagoon, and if you can afford, it's a pretty great experience. These days you have to book those trips way in advance, so don't wait until the last minute, y'all.
for arty-farty, tooty-fruity folks
- Einar Jónsson Sculpture Museum - Don't need to overthink these sculptures. Everything is pretty accessible if your not too keen on a deep dive into arty-farty interpretations. Also, there is no admission charged for the sculpture garden behind museum.
- Ásmundarsafn Sculpture Museum (City Art Museum) - One of the campuses for the City Art Museum. Great, weird building and neat collection dedicated to 20th century Icelandic sculptor Ásmundur Sveinsson and his role-poly work. A little outside of downtown towards Laugardalur recreation area.
- Hafnarhúsið (City Art Museum) - Another campus of the City Art Museum with rotating exhibits and a really nice space on the old harbor downtown.
- Kjarvalsstaðir (City Art Museum) - Third campus of the City Art Museum dedicated to beloved Icelandic painter Jóhannes S. Kjarval (some people LURVE him—others don't get it at all). Located in a park just east of downtown.
- Punk Museum - Located in a former public restroom, so, you know, shoes on. Very, very tiny. But crammed with fun things to see. Also, admission is pretty cheap (relatively speaking).
- Freddi Arcade & Toy Museum - Across from the Punk Museum above, this place is also a) tiny and b) located in the former public restroom. You can pay a flat fee here for an all-you-play old-school arcade game buffet.
- National Museum of Iceland - really great exhibits, great audio guides, neat collections and exhibits. Also, great coffee shop downstairs and one of the best museum shops in Reykjavík (local designs, curated selection of books and great postcards from the national photo archive)
- The Settlement Exhibition - Super fancy, hi-tech interactive but small exhibit about the settlement age in Iceland. Located in the basement of the hotel, which was the reason the relics were found in the first place (when they dig the foundation for the hotel)
- Bíó Paradís - art house theater in downtown Reykjavík with multiple screens (and also some blah Hollywood movies too)
- Tjarnarbíó - great, old art house theater with a cute lobby and some arty-farty shows (both live theater and movies)
- Ísafjarðarbíó - tiny af movie theater in the capital of the Westfjords, Ísafjörður
- Kaffibarinn bar - scenester INSTITUTION in downtown Reykjavík. Others have come and gone, but Kaffibarinn endures. Like a bad herpes outbreak. JK. Great music. Great vibe. But be prepared to pony up for the drinks.
Don't miss our bonus episode dedicated entirely to navigating the ring road: One Ring Road to Rule Them All!
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Takk, takk and bless, bless y'all!