Iceland maybe gloomy in the winter but its capital Reykjavik doesn’t succumb to the mood of the weather and season. All year round, this northernmost capital city in the world is always vibrant, thanks to the burst of colors of its cityscape. Somehow it is a reflection of the admirable disposition of the Icelandic people. Rain or shine, winter or summer, their mood is always sunny and vibrant, and so is their city.
The houses are clad in corrugated iron, a cheap material that may look gritty somewhere else but not here. The locals lovingly paint them with colors that lighten up any given day. They truly have a penchant for making anything gloomy look bright and sunny.
Corrugated irons arrived in Reykjavik in the mid-1800’s when British ships that traveled to the city to buy sheeps also brought iron materials to sell. The locals then quickly learned that the corrugated iron made for highly effective insulation and durable building material in the harsh Icelandic climate. It also became a solution to the shortage of timber construction materials given that there is no forest in Iceland.
Standing out amidst the colorful and low-rise structures of Rejkyavik is the bleak and tall structure of Hallgrimskirkja Church. It’s very eclectic on the outside but its interior reflects Icelandic simplicity in design. But what’s great about this church is the spectacular view from its bell tower. For Kr700/US$6, you can climb to the tower and enjoy a 360 degree bird’s-eye view of Reykjavik.
Reykjavik may be small for a capital city, but what it lacks in size it makes up in its enormous, lively spirit. It may seem more of a village but its very cosmopolitan, very sassy, very artsy and, surprisingly, a city for foodie. In a separate post, we will share with you our surprisingly delightful dining and wining experience in Reykjavik.