Living in Reykjavik - The Traveller


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Friday, June 24, 2016

Living in Reykjavik


Reykjavik – Safest/Cleanest/Greenest City in the World

According to Ingolfur Arnarson, Reykjavik is said to be the location of the first permanent settlement in Iceland which was established in 874 AD. Reykjavik is the capital and the largest city of Iceland having latitude of 64°08’N, which makes it the northernmost capital of a sovereign state in the world. It is also a well-known tourist destination and placed in south-western Iceland towards the southern shore of Faxa Bay.

Reykjavik tends to have a population of around 120,000 and is the heart of the cultural, economic as well as governmental activity of Iceland. Till the 19th century, with no metropolitan progress in the location of the city. The Reykjavik city had been established in 1786 as an official trading town which gradually developed over the following decades and transformed into a regional and thereafter into a national centre. It is said to be among the safest, cleanest and the greenest cities in the world. Having a population of 120,000 it is said to be a whirlwind metropolis where few skyscrapers tend to grace the skyline, traffic jams seems rare and faces which are familiar. The Reykjavik city is kept alive and pulsing with excitement with a steady beat of energy and events.

Gateway to Iceland

Reykjavik seems to be the natural starting point for any visit to Iceland and is truly the gateway to Iceland where several day trips can be undertaken from the city to the surrounding mountains, volcanoes, glaciers and hot springs. The capital is famous for its culture, history together with the natural beauty on all façades. Several monuments, old and new are worth exploring inclusive of the newly built oceanfront music together with the conference centre, Harpa.

 Fortunately everything is within reach in Reykjavik and the city is explored best by foot or bike. Downtown Reykjavik which is also known by its postal code 101 is said to be the focus of the rich culture and arts scene of Iceland. The café-culture rules supreme during daytime. With free Wi-Fi together with refills on drip coffee being fairly common, the café-goers of Reykjavik tend to linger till they are adequately buzzed on the strong dark potion. As the day mellows down and night creeps in people begin trooping into several of the excellent restaurants in the city.

Nominated UNESCO City of Literature

Several museums tend to preserve the culture and history of the city and the country. It has also been nominated as a UNESCO City of Literature and is the core of the literary heritage of Iceland where one will find a treasure of literary works together with a wealth of talented poets and authors. Local music seems to be the strength in the cultural life of Reykjavik where the musical acts present a broad spectrum of musical genres from bluegrass fold to death metal and much more.

 Downtown record stores seem to be keen on showing the industriousness of the musicians of Iceland though it tends to be easy to experience acts first at live concerts. All through 101, playful street art and mural tend to testify the sense of creativity and fun of the city while the art galleries like the Reykjavik Art Museum and the National Gallery display the works of classic artists of Iceland. The smaller self-governing galleries tend to display the projects of pioneering, modern and international artists.

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