Ray-kuh-vick? Ri-ka-vick? Ray-shuh-vik?
I will probably never know how to actually pronounce it, but that only adds to the coolness of this capital city. This "big" city by Icelandic standards, has the small town, quirky, European vibe that wins me over every time.
The streets are lined with colorful houses, street art, and inviting cafes serving fresh caught fish and strong beer. (Even though beer was illegal until 1989.) Of the countries 330k person population, 120k of them live in Reykjavik. Whenever I travel, I am always most eager to learn about the local people.
Blonde-haired, blue-eyed, and dressed in their handmade wool sweaters and hats, the Icelanders were so welcoming and always eager to chat. That is, when I could find them! The Icelandic people are so few that in recent years they have become outnumbered by visiting tourists. British and Scottish accents flood the streets, so I was particularly excited on Sunday afternoon when we found what seemed to be the local haven - Kolaportid Flea Market. An indoor market where I could observe the Icelanders in their natural habitat, purchasing local delicacies and fresh fish for the week and catching up with their friends. I bought $40 worth of insanely delicious chocolate covered black licorice and the best smoked salmon I have ever tasted. My friends decided to be brave and daringly tried the infamous 'fermented shark'. Let's just say I dodged a bullet on that one.
Bjork, Sigur Ros and Of Monsters and Men are all from Reyjkavik, so I walked the streets with their music in my ears as the perfect soundtrack for the city.
Despite the Winters cold and extreme darkness, Reykjavik remained warm, colorful, and bright.
I will definitely be back...