Reykjavik means smoking bay. I think when Vikings, the first settlers, reached this place and saw steam coming out of many places, they gave this name.
Reykjavik is a small city having a total population around 120,000. There are very few foreigners here and Indians are hard to find. There are a few Indian families and 10 students in Iceland University. Reykjavik is on the North Atlantic sea. Since the warm gulf stream traverses nearby Reykjavik, the climate of Reykjavik is never harsh. A maximum of 15/16 degrees in summers and around -5/-6 in winters. Some days may see temperature as low as -16C but these are rare. We enjoy 6 months of day and 6 months of night here. Another interesting point is that every other Icelanders vows to have met a ghost or troll or an elve. There are certain places around Reykjavik known for such entities. I have yet to meet one !!
Reykjavik is the only capital city from where Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) can be seen from our backyard.
The main attraction of Reykjavik is its architectural taste. Icelanders have unique architectural designs and this gives a unique character to Reykjavik. The Concert Hall of Reykjavik. Entirely made with steel and glass.
Behind my house is Perlan (the pearl). It is a beautiful place having 5 big storage tanks and a restaurant on top, from where we can have glimpses all Reykjavik city from all angles as well as snow clad mountains around. Hot water from nearby Geo-thermal powers stations is collected here and supplied to our houses to keep our houses warm and take bath in sulphur mixed hot water…all in the luxury of our bath-tubs.
City center building is also beautiful, which has an artificial waterfall …which has now been changed into an ice-sculpture by Nature.
There is a lake in the down-town which has different species of water birds.
In winter this lake freezes but to care for the resident birds, they pour hot water in one corner of the lake and keep it liquid to allow birds to stay and play.
The main church in the central Reykjavik is quite huge and magnificent.
The church from inside is also beautiful and the way from its top window is mind blowing.
Whale watching is another tourist attraction in Reykjavik. They will take you in a boat at a point where there are many whales. The boat will be stopped and they throw eatables in sea and whales appear. My son Shan liked this tour very much and was more happy when Captain allowed him to steer the ship.
So here comes the end of our Icelandic Saga. Iceland is as developed as any other European country. But I have deliberately taken the Natural and rugged part of Iceland to show the raw Natural places of Iceland.
If you have read upto here…. please accept my love and good wishes alongwith some arctic flowers from my garden.
Winter has set in and snow has started falling changing the facade of Iceland. I may come back with some photos of Iceland’s beauty in winters. My Namaskar to all Ghumakkars.