Reykjavík moments

Only two more days till we fly to London.

As seems to happen every time we leave a place, I’m spending our final days in Reykjavík trying to do and see as much as possible — while also spending a lot of time in the apartment, planning, packing, and doing last rounds of writing and painting.

Here are some favorite moments and sights from the past five days. As always: mouse over for descriptions, click to enlarge.

Wednesday the 19th

Perlan (The Pearl)

The dome of Perlan

Double portrait in the reflective surface of the dome of Perlan

Öskjulíð hill

Erik on a wooden-plank bridge on Öskjulíð hill

Lisa sitting on a boulder

on our walk from the park to the shore: a rabbit?!

A rabbit jumping

Nauthólsvik geothermal lagoon & swimming pool

Handball players at the lagoon

Bathers in the hot tub

Thursday the 20th

walking from our apartment to Vesturbaejarlaug, the swimming pool

Frost on a car windshield

I had hoped to have a whole post about the swimming pools, but I don’t know if I’ll manage that before we leave. If you have questions, ask in the comments. 🙂 Picture-taking is forbidden in the locker rooms and impractical in the pool area, so I observed as closely as possible and then went home and made sketches instead. Don’t forget to mouse over for my notes.

Sketch of Vesturbaejarlaug showers and locker room

Our internet went wonky that day, forcing me to paint instead of bumming around on the internet. ;b

Candles in bottles, and view of the bathroom and entry from the living room of our apartment

Friday the 21st

Nordic House library (same building where the Lars Lerin exhibit was)

Sketch of the library

Artotek: the Reykjavík libraries have this amazing art-rental program where you can select artworks and take them home for a fee. If you want to buy them, your rental fees go toward the purchase price; if not, you just return them. What amazes me most is that these artworks are just hanging out in the library — unattended in this case — and you can browse them at your leisure.

Art-rental gallery

Artworks propped against the wall

When the Nordic House library closed at 5, we migrated a couple of blocks to the National Library, which has a café. And look, they have their own dishware with a picture of the National Library building on it. 🙂

Meringue cake

Saturday the 22nd

Laekjarbrekka, downtown. With typical Reykjavík dinner entrées running US $25 and up, our strategy has been to visit the “nice” restaurants for lunch instead, and to limit our meals out per week. This has worked very well at keeping us to budget!

Erik and the breadbasket

Beautifully plated cod

Laugardalur park: “washing springs”

former hot springs area (now dry or diverted) where generations of Reykjavík’s housewives and servants did their washing

Sculpture of a washerwoman

Lisa walking through the dry riverbed, under regular ground level

Laugardalur park: botanical garden

Tiny purple and white flower clusters

Rain-kissed pink rose

Display greenhouse and Café Flora

garden cat!

Cat sitting on my lap

Sleepy cat

Cat on my lap

and now back to the actual garden ;b

a cafe in a greenhouse

Orange flower with raindroplets

Cabbage in the fruit, vegetable, and herb garden

Hugueninia tanacetifolia, small white-petaled flower with bright yellow center


As we were walking down a residential street to get from the gardens to the swimming pool complex, we noticed particularly fine plants in the yards — maybe the homeowners were inspired by the garden specimens?

Bright yellow flowers against spiky grey-green leaves

White berries with red foliage

Much later that evening: Tjörnin, the city pond, which is on our way home

Swan on Tjörnin at nighttime

Sunday the 23rd

on the south side of Tjörnin, where we discovered a park we didn’t know about

Pink rose with a bug on it

White rose with pink rosebud

Yellow circles or flower centers

Peachy-gold and green leaves

Brilliantly colored yellow flower with red center

Kjarvalsstaðir, one of the Reykjavík Art Museum‘s three buildings

Art Museum

Kids' painting room at the Kjarval building of the art museum

Fjallamjölk (Mountain Milk) by Jóhannes Kjarval (for whom the museum building is named). He’s got an interesting life story.

Jóhannes Kjarval, Fjallamjölk

image from the Reykjavík Art Museum website

We went to a different swimming pool after the museum, and then passed by Hallgrímskirkja on the way home.

Hallgrímskirkja and red door