Iceland, Reykjavik And Its Vicinity
If you happen to fly into Reykjavik and the weather is clear, first thing you notice are the out-of-this-world volcanic landscapes with numerous tiny lakes, rivers and – if you look closely – waterfalls. Dozens of active and dormant volcanoes are scattered across the country, and many geyser fields and mud holes give the local landscape absolutely breathtaking views. The capital of Iceland is Reykjavik which could be roughly translated as the Bay of Smoke.
The city is deservedly declared one of the cultural marvels of the world. This is a small and cozy town that sits on a peninsula. Reykjavik has a completely uncharacteristic layout for a capital city and is considered one of the most unusual cities in the world.
Downtown is often called ‘Old Reykjavik’ and it is a vast green space of lawns and lakes, interspersed with traditional houses and old buildings. Here you will find many signs of the early Scandinavian architecture. Among the most interesting old buildings in Reykjavik are the Houses of Parliament and the old Government building.
Located between the harbor and the lake, modern Reykjavik is stretched to the east of the old city.
The most interesting places are the National Gallery of Iceland, the National Museum with its unique historical collections, and the City Art Museum of Reykjavik. Just behind the National Museum there is the Institute of Arni Magnusson, which contains unique ancient books of traditional legends and sagas, as well as extensive collections of historical works. One of the main attractions is the central church of Reykjavik called Hallgrimskirkja. A monument dedicated to the Vikings sits in front of the church. It has a special meaning, as many believe that the vikings discovered America.