What to Do in Reykjavik? | Weekend Travel Guide for Iceland’s Capital | DW Euromaxx

What to Do in Reykjavik? | Weekend Travel Guide for Iceland’s Capital | DW Euromaxx

“Hi everyone and welcome to my perfect weekend
in Reykjavik which begins at the Sun Voyager, a symbol for exploring new worlds which is
what I intend to do on my very first visit to Iceland. I have my checklist of must-sees and do’s
which include a ride on an Icelandic horse, a dip in the hot springs and a glimpse and
the natural landscapes. So let’s see what else I can discover on my
perfect weekend here.” Downtown Reykjavik is filled with small shops
and quaint boutiques. Even when the sun shines, temperatures in
Reykjavik rarely exceed 14 degrees Celcius in the summer. That’s why wool products are popular all year
round! The handknitting association of Iceland specializes
in all sorts of handknitted products. I met up with a group of knitters to find
out more. “Hello ladies. Golan Tayan! So, you’re all busy knitting away. What is the difference between Icelandic wool
and other types of wool?” “It’s mixed or blended wool. It’s fine here and long here. This is mixed together in a factory, machine-made,
and out comes this strand.” “And a sweater, for example like this one,
how long would a sweater like that take to knit?” “I used to say 15 to 20 hours but not from
one day to another. Because it’s hard. You get tired in your hands.” “I see here eight women,plus me, I don’t see
the men. Where are all the guys?” “They’re cooking and cleaning”
“We are a union or a cooperative of 500 people and two men.” “500 people and out of all that only 2 men?!” “Can I give it a try? I’ve never knit before… I have
not idea of what to do.” “And this is my shopping tip for a perfect
weekend in Reykjavik… wool that is handmade in Iceland.” The Harpa concert hall represents the modern
side of the city. It’s located right on the harbor, which is
also home to Iceland’s oldest restaurant, the Kaffivagnin. This is where I meet head chef Jenny Runarsdottir,
who tells me how Icelander’s love their fish, served here in a pan. “Tell me what’s the most popular fish here
in Iceland?” “Cod is the most popular in Iceland. We fish it here in the sea and it’s the best
fish we can get. The freshest.” After lunch I make my way to another attraction
visible from many angles. “Here’s another major landmark of Rekjavik,
the Hallsgrimskirkja, built over a 40-year period and finshed in 1986, with a very important
explorere, Leifur Eriksson standing right out front. Let’s go check it out.” Leifur Eriksson is considered the son of Iceland. He also set foot on North America before Christopher
Columbus. “Just another fun thing to do in Reykjavik.” The city is full of surprises, like pop-up
yoga! You can take a class right in the middle of
the city for free! Icelanders truly have thick skin… even the
cold weather doesn’t keep them away. For me, this is a great way to get my muscles
ready for my next adventure. I’m going horseback riding at the Ishestar
Stables, just 15 minutes out of town. Ylfa Gudmundsdóttir is going to be my guide
today. “Nice to meet you! And who are these little guys?” “This is Tiernor. And this is Mosi. “And you say
he’s a follower.” “He’s a follower. He’s very sweet and gentle. He’s got a very nice tölt. Or ‘tocht’ as we say in Icelandic which is
a very nice and smooth gait. Which they are famous for.” “Speaking of gaits. these Icelandic horses have five gaits versus
three for other types of horses. So explain again the gaits.” “So basically the Icelandic horse is known
for these two extra gaits. About 90% of Icelandic horses have the flying
pace which is the fifth gait. While ALL of the Icelandic horses have the
gait called ‘tölt.’ “Why are these extra two gaits important?” “So basically this is what makes them very
popular around the world. Especially the tölts. For competitions and such and also for fun
riding. And what’s special about it is that they move
differently. So they can go from a walking speed up to
a galloping speed in tölt. So they are very versatile in this gait. So now it’s time for me to put the tölt to
the test. My horse, meanwhile, doesn’t look enthused. The natural landscape is perfect for a ride,
with no cars in sight. Ylfa demonstrates one of the gaits which these
horses are famous for. “This is the tölt…as you can see the rider
is sitting very nice and comfortable in the saddle.” “This is my activity tip for a perfect weekend
in Reykjavik. A ride on an Icelandic horse.” I spend day two on my trip exploring Iceland’s
natural beauty. This is the Gullfoss Waterfall, located on
the so-called Golden Circle route. It’s about an hour and a half hour drive from
Reykjavik. These are glacial waters that flow down into
the Hvita river. Askell Jonsson works here as a park ranger. “What makes these falls so spectacular?” “Some say it’s the most beautiful waterfall
in Iceland. Then there is this story about Sigridur who
fought for protecting the waterfall from hydroplant and energy production. She is supposed to have walked to Reykjavik
to protest and she was actually gonna jump into the waterfall because she wanted to protect
it.” “And she won in the end. She didn’t jump in and we still have the beautiful
waterfalls without any hydroelectric production.” “So aside from this, what’s another must-see
in this area?” “The geyser area where Strokkur gushes up
into the air. The Strokkur geysir is one of the region’s
most active. It erupts about every 5 to 10 minutes, once
the water reaches temperatures close to 200 degrees celcius. “Wow! So if you only have a weekend in Reykjavik,
I recommend heading on the Golden Circle to see Strokkur geyser as well as the Gullfoss
waterfalls.” Finally I wrap up my day at the Fontana spa
with a special treat on the side. “I hear you’re baking bread!” “Yeah! Baking bread right here in the ground!” “Well alright, in the ground… how does this
work?” “We put dough in a pot and we leave it in
the ground for 24 hours. And then we usually have a perfect rye bread!” “Why would you want to do it this way when
there are ovens nowadays.” “Well we have all this free energy coming
right up from mother earth and this is a lot of fun to do, and we’ve been doing this for
a long long time.” “It seems so. Alright! Show me!” Siggi Hilmarsson is the Fontana spa’s manager
and grew up making bread this way so he’s a real pro. “So you prepare the butter. Is the butter homemade here too, under the
earth?” “Actually it’s not under the earth but it’s
local.” And this is my culinary tip: trying some earth-baked
bread! “It’s a very unique taste.” “It’s very moist. Like cake. Yummy!” Bathing in the naturally hot springs of the
spa is a special experience. But visitors beware! Sulfur in the water permeates the air and
also quickly tarnishes most silver jewelry. But these hot springs are worth it! And this is my special tip for a perfect weekend
here: Immersing yourself in the waters around Reykjavik. And this also wraps up my tour but join me
again a I explore more exciting European destinations. And until then, it’s happy travels.

Author: Kevin Mason

6 thoughts on “What to Do in Reykjavik? | Weekend Travel Guide for Iceland’s Capital | DW Euromaxx

  1. Have you ever been to Iceland? What did you like best? Tell us in the comments. We're looking forward to hearing about your travel experiences!

  2. 🍹Please do a perfect weekend in Flensburg✅. The only german City of Danish culture, Flensburg is German and Danish. I'll be waiting 😉

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