I've actually been to Iceland twice before; once with my friend Lesley, and once with Thomas a couple of summers ago (photos from that trip are here). So it was quite nice to be able to chill out on this trip, rather than feeling frantic about needing to see all the sights and visit all the things. Which isn't to say I didn't do any sightseeing.
Thomas was working on the Monday so, after a slow and chilled morning in the hotel I took myself off for a wander around Reykjavik, stopping to photograph the beautiful street art and admire the colourful pavements. I met Thomas for lunch at vegan cafe-cum-bar-cum record store Kaffi Vinyl, which I would thoroughly recommend (my bread and dips took humble ingredients and elevated them to a whole new level). We also ate twice at Glo, which was a favourite on our previous trip and has since gone totally vegan, too.
Iceland is notoriously expensive and when eating and drinking you have to just stop converting into sterling and go with it. However, there are some (relative) bargains to be had. The aforementioned Kaffi Vinyl is reasonably priced for Reykjavik and has permanent happy hour prices on beer and wine, while Loft Hostel has a bar and roof terrace open to the public and is also very reasonably priced. We also got a free shuttle bus from outside the Harpa concert hall to Perlan, and found the cafe there decently priced (and it also had the most incredible caramel buns). While at Perlan I'd recommend the Glacier & Ice Cave exhibit, which was a fascinating (if cold) experience at a fraction of the cost of a real ice cave expedition.
But no one goes to Iceland for a city break (or, if they do, they're wrong) and on Tuesday we joined a tour heading to the Snaefellsness Peninsula, north west of Reykjavik. It was a cold, windy and grey day but the scenery was just spectacular, from snow-capped mountains and frozen streams, to black sand beaches on the edge of lava fields. We ended the day with a visit to our guide, David's, family farm, where we had a chance to say hello to these magnificent and friendly Icelandic horses.
All in all, I had a surprisingly relaxing few days and, as always, found myself left speechless by the incomparable Icelandic scenery. Unfortunately I left my camera at home but I think my iPhone camera did a reasonable job of capturing the highlights.