Reykjavik Day 3, Exploring town and that time I kind of saw the Northern Lights
This is a continuation of the Iceland trip report, you can read more here:
Center Hotel Plaza Review
Iceland Day 1: 871 Settlement Exhibition and Northern Lights Tour
Iceland Day 2: South Shore Tour
On our third day in Iceland we decided to explore Reykjavik on our own. We had a makeup Northern Lights tour that evening since we didn’t see them on our first night, but nothing planned for the day.
We stopped by the tourist center and bought a bus pass. If you remember my trips to Paris and Japan last year, I have a tendency to choose the wrong buses and/or wrong directions. I am therefore a huge fan of unlimited bus passes!
My friend also wanted to check out Hallgrímskirkja. I wasn’t that excited about it but was along for the ride. Turns out it was great!
There was an observation deck with great views! Make sure you keep an open mind when you travel – my friend wasn’t crazy about the South Shore tour and I wasn’t crazy about some of the sites she wanted to see, but we were both very glad we went after all.
After Hallgrímskirkja, we wandered the area nearby before stopping in a cafe for a warm drink and snack. The cafe seemed fairly touristy, but we enjoyed it anyways.
We continued exploring Reykjavik and headed to the Icelandic Phallological Museum, because…why not. Turns out it is very expensive to look at man/male animal parts in jars so we just stopped by the gift shop and peeked in and then hit a few stores nearby for gifts for our families.
Last on our list to check out for the day was the Harpa concert hall. It’s very interesting architecture. We went inside to explore. It was pretty neat!
We also stopped nearby to check out The Sun Voyager sculpture.
After wandering around in the cold all day we headed back to our hotel to warm up before our second try at seeing the Northern Lights!
Our second Northern Lights by boat tour also turned into a bus tour since the seas were again too rough. This time the bus took us to a golf course. We met some British tourists and had fun hanging out in the freezing cold. We enjoyed talking with them and they told us earlier that day they went to see a “geezer”. My friend was asking why they went to see an old man. We learned that the British pronounce geyser as “geezer”, while my friend and I are used to “guy-zer”. We learned the next day that the Icelandic pronunciation is the same as the British. Towards the end of the tour, the guides came around and pointed out some faint Northern Lights – just barely visible with the naked eye. It was a very, very faint glow. My camera caught them a little better than we saw.
My camera also caught my friend walking in front of my long exposure shot which turned out for a funny picture.
We headed back to the hotel, happy we at least saw something. But since it wasn’t really a great sighting and we still hadn’t gone by boat we decided to try again the following day after our Golden Circle Tour.