Reykjavik with a twist and embark MS FRAM
Alice surveys the groovy Reykjavik hotel & cafe scene on her final day in Iceland.
Today, I was supposed to go on a full day volcano and glacier trip, which I had really been looking forward to, but unfortunately this was cancelled.
After a yet another delicious breakfast at First Hotel Alda I decided to have a wander around Reykjavik and have a look at some of our favorite hotels.
I checked out some of the iconic sights in Iceland such as the Hallgrimskirkja, which is the largest church in the country and its tower is visible from almost everywhere in the city. I also saw the new concert hall and conference centre – Harpa, which was designed by Danish and Icelandic architectural firms and won European prize for Contemporary Architecture in 2013 – a dazzling building decorating Reykjavik’s harbour front.
I visited the Funky Centerhotel Thingholt and the stylish Radisson Blu 1919.
Centerhotel Thingholt is located off the main Laugavegur, right next to Sushi Samba and the décor is inspired by Icelandic nature. There is also a ‘lava and cave’ inspired spa and a gym to enjoy at an additional fee. Very funky and edgy, I would say.
Plush lobby at the Centerhotel Thingholt
Radisson Blu 1919 is a historic building and all the rooms therefore differ in size. The style is modern Scandinavian – with focus on simplicity and minimalism. It is located in the heart of Reykjavik and not far from the Settlement museum.
Standard room at the Radisson Blue 1919, Reykajvik
Obviously, I was also browsing the many interesting shops and I happened to run into my fellow single traveller from the day prior. She had earlier that day run into the Finnish ladies from our tour at the museum, yes Reykjavik is small. We decided to go and grab some lunch together. We wandered around for a bit and naturally being women, we did stop and look at some of the quirky Icelandic design stores on the way.
We went down to the harbour front and I suddenly noticed the MS FRAM I was embarking on later today. Due to the wind, we quickly made a decision between the first few restaurants we came across.
The choice fell on Verbúð, and we both ordered the fish of the day, which was delicious. We were the only ones in there to start with, but then came a big group of Danes from Southern Denmark (I could tell by the accent) and a lovely Danish/Panamanian couple, who had just been on MS Fram on The Land of Fire and Ice. They were still wearing the blue Jackets with the Hurtigruten logo. My enthusiasm grew significantly after our little chat about their trip, which had been incredible.
Boarding commenced from 4pm. It was really windy by the harbour, so we all rushed in and got the key card to our cabin. We were then instructed to pick up our blue expedition jackets and familiarize ourselves with the ship.
My long-awaited journey onboard MS Fram had finally commenced.