Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Inspiring Photos To Remind You Not To Skip Reykjavik


'm well aware that Iceland is deeply evocative of volcanoes, lava fields and fierce waves crashing violently against towering cliffs; however, these otherworldly landscapes - as photogenic as they are - should not, in any way, overshadow the quirky treasure that is the Icelandic capital. Let these photos of Reykjavik prove in 27 different ways how wonderful and worthwhile the city is and why you shouldn't simply just pass through. Give Reykjavik the credit it deserves!

Hallgrimskirkja's characterful steeple is visible throughout the city, making it a veritable landmark for many tourists that have yet to familiarise themselves with Reykjavik's layout. The quite peculiarly-shaped facade was actually inspired by the geometrical shapes created when lava cools into basalt rock, a sight often compatible with Iceland's rugged coastline. Right in front of the church, firmly looking at the sea ahead, is a statue of Leifur Eiriksson, the actual first European to discover America… a solid 500 years before Christopher Columbus saw the distant shores of the New World. And because Iceland has rather modest structures - a clever way to guarantee nature is the perpetual star of the show, and not vulgar man-made constructions - this is also technically the tallest building in Iceland, at 73 metres.


Reykjavik's second-most famous structure is another landmark whose allure was inspired by Iceland's exalted nature. Much like the Hallgrimskirkja and yet vastly different, the rather distinctive geometric glass facades of the Harpa are reminiscent of the basalt rocks found all across the nordic island. It's more than just a pretty face, though, as it houses concert halls - do check out their calendar as they have several non-Icelandic-speaking features for us tourists, including the Icelandic Opera and Symphony Orchestra as well as comedy shows - and fantastic design boutiques and restaurants. Tip: take the lift to the top floor of the eastern facade to enjoy this striking view of the building.


Reykjavik is blessed with a maze of pedestrianised, winding narrow streets lined with traditional Icelandic houses that make for perfect Instagram shots (hey, I'm a millennial, it's not my fault I'm obsessed with the 'gram). This is one of the things I simply must indulge in whenever I visit the capital, as I cannot tire from observing locals go about their daily business and fantasise about what my life would be like if I owned one of these rainbow-coloured properties, which I imagine are rather expensive even by Icelandic standards. Until I can afford one, though, I'll continue to stroll aimlessly around Reykjavik and fall even deeper in love with this quirky city every time.


Right outside the city centre - a swift 25-minute walk thanks to the capital's compact size - is perhaps where you need to go to get the best views of Reykjavik. Perlan is a multi-function centre with large exhibit spaces, several shops, a revolving restaurant on the top floor and some of the most unobstructed panoramas in the area from the free-to-visit, 360-degree outdoor viewing deck. The proximity to Reykjavik's domestic airport also makes Perlan a must-visit location for plane spotters!

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