by Nina Sabin - Travel Blog
Today was full of new surprises and adventures in Reykjavík, Iceland.
We are planners, but today we had some unplanned things come into our path and we enjoyed finding places that weren’t on our itinerary.
Last night, as we were doing extra research on Reykjavík we came across information about Viðey Island.
Viðey Island is right across from where the ships tender docks at Skarfabakki Pier.
What was amazing is all we had to do is get off the tender buy our ticket and then go back down the same ramp to the ferry.
The ferry ride is $15 per person. It runs every hour at a quarter past from and the Skarfabakki Pier.
It is less than a five minute ride across the bay to Viðey Island. The return ferry is every hour on the half hour. Twice a day the ferry also continues to the Old Harbor.
Viðey Island is home to over 30 species of birds, including Iceland’s famous Puffins. There are also hiking trails and the historic Viðey House, one of the country’s oldest homes.
Along with all the birds, the island is also where Yoko Ono built a dramatic light memorial to her late husband, John Lennon. The Imagine Peace Tower is lit up during certain times of year, the month he was born to the month he died.
As we walked along the trails on Viðey Island we enjoyed the fabulous views of Reykjavík, the bay, and the surrounding majestic mountains of Iceland. The weather was hazy which made the mountains look mysterious.
As we walked on this deserted island we saw many species of bird. Yes, we could see the puffins from a distance but never could get close enough to take a picture. Each time we would try to get their picture, the puffins would disappear and then when we weren’t close, they would reappear. It felt like we were playing hide and go seek.
It took us about two hours to walk around the western trail of the island to see the Standing Stones at nine locations along the trail. The standing stones are basalt columns that are placed at the same elevation. This artwork known as Afganar (Stages) was created by an American artist, Richard Serra, and it was placed on Viðey in 1990.
Viðey Island is a true hidden gem and a must see while in Reykjavík.
After arriving back to Skarfabakki Pier, we jumped back on the tender for lunch and a quick break back on the ship.
We were hoping to catch the ferry again to go to the Old Harbor, however, the tender took longer than anticipated. However, we made it in time for the free cruise shuttle. We were thrilled how convenient the transportation has been.
Once dropped off at the bus stop adjacent to Harpa, the concert hall, we were on our way to our next destination.
Most people go to Iceland to try the Geothermal beach, especially in the summer when the weather is in the 50s. The most popular one for tourists to visit is the Blue Lagoon.
As you can tell by reading our blogs, we don’t do the usually touristy sites. Instead, we visited the local Geothermal Beach in Reykjavík, just behind the airport and only 15 minutes walk from the Perlman.
Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach was about a 45 minute walk from Harpa. Once there you get to relax in the different pool temperatures. It cost $7 to enjoy the experience.
There was one big changing room for ladies and one for men; however, as an American I am a bit more modest when changing. I did my best as there was no separate rooms.
The beach was warmer than I expected but our favorite was the long thermal pool.
When we left Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach our bodies felt warm all over and skin felt soft and smooth.
We are so thankful for Google Maps and internet. As we put our next location in the Google Maps, we found ourselves walking on wooded trails through a beautiful park.
It was hard to believe such a big city surrounds this wonderful park. There are lush trees throughout the park and we even a saw two rabbits.
The trails led to the Perlan Museum, a domed building where you can take exceptional views of the city.
28,000 steps and 15 miles later, we were ready to head back to the ship.
All throughout the city are scooters you can rent for 30 minutes. We wanted to try one and downloaded the app, but every time we found one it was out of battery or we couldn’t get it to work. Maybe that is why we saw them just parked all over the city.
After three unbelievable days in Iceland, we are ready to recuperate with two sea days.
Our next port will be in two days, Qaqortoq, Greenland. As we are heading back southeast, we are gaining time back. The passengers are so excited.