My first impressions of Iceland come from the trip from the airport to Reykjavik through jet-lagged eyes. Mostly this was rocky, rather barren land with the ocean in the distance. A 40 minute drive to our modern hotel which is reminiscent of hotels in northern Germany with its small, clean no-frills room. Good fresh food, in the dining room.
A bit of history. Iceland was discovered by a Nordic Viking by the name of Arnarson in 871. Don’t think he found much here, but he established Reykjavik which means something like “Smoky Bay” based on the a false impression that turned out to be steam rising from the hot springs.
Second bit of more modern history was the Hofdi House. This was particularly interesting to us since our current writing is a novel set in 1952 Germany, in the early years of the Cold War. This house was built in 1909 and was the meeting place between Reagan and Gorbachev in 1986 and marked the end of the Cold War.
We walked much of the city center. Had to photograph the iconic Hallgrimskirkja church which dominates this city. Not the most picturesque church I’ve seen, but impressive in its size and location.
Reykjavik is now a progressive, cosmopolitan city known for social tolerance, art and a little bit of everything in between. I couldn’t help but be impressed with the street art which includes many buildings.
Much more to do and see here, but tomorrow we pick up our car and begin our drive around the Ring Road-Highway 1.