Stuff about Reykjavik and Iceland

Let me tell you, two days are NOT enough. I had to quickly drop by Reykjavik and I am in love. What a fascinating place.

Here are some stuff that stuck on my mind.

The names situation

Icelanders do not have surnames in the way most of the west understands them. They have a patronymic or a matronymic.

So. Thor Peterson is Thor, the son of Peter. Ragnar Helguson is Ragnar, son of Helga. Similarly, Sigríður Jonsdottir is Sigríður, Jon’s daughter.

Now, let’s say Thor Peterson has a son named Einar. Einar will not be called Einar Peterson – since his father is not Peter. He will be Einar Thorisson.

Even the phone directory lists people by first name.

This is so important that for Euro 2016 scholars in Iceland have called on the country’s football federation to reverse its decision to print footballers’ last names on the national squad’s shirts. (via)

The architecture

I was struck by how *functional* the houses are. Simple structures, pitched roofs, external walls covered in corrugated metal. But then the colours are lively and fun. Blue, green, yellow and red I found in abundance.

A photo posted by Sofia Gk (@sofiagk) on

I climbed to the top of Hallgrímskirkja – yes, the church you have seen in photos – and Reykjavik looks amazing from up there. I highly recommend you paying the ticket and taking the elevator to the top.




The bakeries


Apparently there are two legendary bakeries in the city. I went to Brauð & Co and shamelessly ate a whole cinnamon roll (not sure if I should be calling it a “danish” but it was). The bread smell was amazing too.

The island in the middle of nowhere

Maps are quite confusing when it comes to Iceland. They don’t take into account the Earth’s curve so one is always left with the impression that Iceland is a lot closer than what it actually is. It’s 2:45 hours’ flight from London and if you look at a globe you realise why. Do I feel stupid writing this? Yes, but it’s the truth so… 🙂

Little boat in a big big world. #reykjavik #iceland A photo posted by Sofia Gk (@sofiagk) on

When you get there everything feels incredibly big and amazingly… alone. I don’t know how else to explain it but I got a sense of enormous nature and light and sea all around and in the middle this small city with vividly coloured houses. It’s difficult to describe accurately but it’s definitely something to see.

By the way, I am going back and I cannot wait.




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