Another side of Reykjavík

We moved house today. Originally we intended to stay in Reykjavík only one month, but when we decided we liked it, we booked a new place for September. Although the two apartments are only a mile apart, they’re in different neighborhoods; this one is in post code 107 (quieter, more suburban) rather than 101 (downtown central). This was random, not a choice, but we’re very happy so far. Here I am shortly after we arrived, looking maniacally pleased:

I adored the previous apartment but already I love this one too: where the other one was like living in a museum, this one’s like a museum’s children’s-education room. It’s bright, spacious, a little worn, and filled with art books, vintage furniture, the host’s son’s drawings, and an enormous stack of classical CDs. As I write this I’m listening to Baroque songs and sipping organic herbal tea, cozy in a candlelit room while the wind buffets the trees outside.

One very exciting thing about living here is that we’re still only a few blocks from the sea, but now we’re on the other side of the city, where the waterfront is less sheltered (straight ocean, not a bay… I think).

Satellite map of Reykjavík showing the locations of our two apartments

Before dinner we went for a stroll, and found that this waterfront feels completely different from the other one.

Pretty houses on the waterfront


{as always, click images to enlarge, or mouse over for description}

Where Saebraut (the road along 101’s shore) is lined with big rocks, high-rise apartments, corporate buildings, a museum, and the Harpa concert hall, Ægisiða (107’s shore road) has large, glass-fronted modern homes, lots of grass, a couple of soccer fields, and eventually a geothermal beach (though we didn’t see that today).

Pretty houses

Sign showing silhouettes of an adult and child walking together


Pretty house along the waterfront

Houses along Aegisida

I yelled like a doofus when I saw these mushrooms.

Tall white mushrooms with nearly conical caps


Tall, nearly conical white mushrooms in the grass


Erik found a little path down to the water, and we stepped over rocks and seaweed and amazing, velvety dark-grey sand. The sun was on the horizon looking like something out of a painting.

Gentle waves on the black beach

Erik on the beach with the sun on the horizon

Erik silhouetted against the sun on the horizon


Seaweed on the beach


Bright yellow-orange-green seaweed


Tiny snail shell on the black sand


Seaweed all over the beach


Waves coming in to shore

As I may have said before, the temperature has been generally pretty comfortable here, but anytime there’s a breeze, it’s just COLD. We walked for three miles and it took a good two of those miles for me to feel warm. All the joggers and bikers who passed us had that cold-weather rosy-cheeked look, and we saw one woman running in thick woolly mittens. There were a few sports fields and some exercise equipment (pull-up bars and things like that), but no one was using any of it.

Narrow wooden bench on a bed of what looks like crushed Oreos


Erik walking along a raised walkway


At one point I got very excited to see what I thought was a huge bird on a rock.



But as we got closer, we realized it was a sculpture.

Bird sculpture on the rocks


We turned back just as we reached that funny grassy structure on the left of the above photo. (I don’t know what those things are, but we’ve seen several around Reykjavík, and they all look like that.) A sign told us it was only another two kilometers to the geothermal beach, but I wanted my dinner. So we’ll save Nauthólsvik for another day.