So after hundreds of flights across the Atlantic and passing Iceland by on the flight route map, I finally decided to bite the bullet and go to Iceland. My good friend Erin was game and we found some really cheap flights on Iceland Air, direct from Washington DC. So we were off. The flight was fine. It's a short 4.5 hours from DC. We left late at night and of course landed in Iceland at the crack of dawn. Fine. I'm used to that by now. We shuffled off the plane, got our bags, and hopped onto the bus to Reykjavik. It was a grey cold morning and it was spitting rain as we drove across the pretty barren countryside from the airport into downtown Reykjavik. We had gotten an AirBnB pretty close to downtown, but we couldn't get into the apartment until later in the day (though we could store our luggage there). So we had the day in front of us.
We were tired, cold, and it was raining. So the first order of business was to get some food. We walked downtown in the spitting rain scouting for an ATM. We finally find one and neither of us can get it to work. We keep getting rejected. And standing in the rain while fighting with an ATM is not fun. So we said screw it, we'll use our credit card for now and we found a nice place for breakfast. While we ate, we pulled out our guide book to figure out what to do until we could get into our apartment. Trying to stay inside (and dry!) we went to the Settlement Exhibit which is oldest known evidence of human habitation in Reykjavik. It was fine, but not really that interesting. It did include the remains of a Viking longhouse, so that was pretty cool. It had stopped raining at this point, so we just decided to keep walking to stay awake. We walked around the downtown area and went to check out the Reykjavik Concert Hall which was right on the edge of the water and was actually pretty cool. Afterwards, we walked along the water and found a cool statue for a photo op. By this time we could get into our apartment and we headed back to take a shower and clean up.
After we had settled in, we headed up the street to Hallgrimskirkja which is the tallest and largest church in Iceland. It was actually really cool. It's a Lutheran church, so the inside was kind of stark, but beautiful in its own way. And you could take an elevator to the top of the steeple for amazing views of Reykjavik, the water, and the mountains in the distance. It was really cool. After walking around the church, we went to grab some dinner and then headed back to the apartment to crash. While Reykjavik is supposedly known for it's awesome nightlife, we wouldn't know. We ended up crashing early most nights.