Bucket List #20: Iceland

Today, we make a pretty significant jump in both population and overall size of country. Yesterday, we talked about Andorra, a country with a population of 77,000 and 470 square kilometers to Iceland, a country with a population of about 341,000 and over 100,000 square kilometers. Worldometers.info does have the Isle of Man and the Channel Island listed as well, and while I’m not writing about them because they aren’t countries, I’ve at least mentioned the other territories, so here’s me shouting out those two as well! Since Iceland is so much bigger than the countries we’ve been talking about, I’ve decided to narrow this one down to one city. I’m sure it wouldn’t be too difficult to get around, considering it’s only the size of Kentucky, but it’s still significantly bigger than the previous countries. With that being said, I’m going to focus specifically on the capital city, Reykjavík. Wherever we chose, there HAD to be a clear way of seeing the Northern Lights, and I found that you can see them either in Reykjavík, or near that area. I’m not going to write further about the Northern Lights, as I’m sure that’s a given for almost anyone that’s going to visit Iceland! However, here are 3 more things we want to do on a trip to Iceland.

First: Hallgrímskirkja Church

This was definitely the most universal “#1” I found on any list about the best places to visit in Reykjavík. You can ride to the top of the 74 meter steeple or hear the gigantic pipe organ (25 tons!). This magnificent church took over 40 years to finish construction, and I’m reading that it’s just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside!

Next: Take in a concert at the Harpa Concert Hall

As a fine arts lover, I want to enjoy beautiful music in every iconic concert venue I possibly can, and Harpa is no exception. This is, however, the newest of the venues I’ve written about, having been completed in 2011. The building is very eclectic in it’s appearance as well, having a honeycomb-type pattern on the outside that change colors throughout the night. Even if I don’t see a concert here, the area it’s located in is beautiful and the building itself is worth the view!

Last: Arbaer Open Air Museum

You thought I was going to end this one without a museum, didn’t you? Hey, if you’re not a museum person, this one is at least a little different than the others! This is a tour of a village and farm full of historical and authentic Icelandic homes, and it was awarded the country’s museum of the year in 2006. There were several other museums that looked promising, including The Settlement Exhibition, which takes a dive into the history of the Vikings through historical artifacts. “How to Train Your Dragon” was one of my favorite Disney movies, so I basically know everything there is to know about Vikings, right?…..Kidding, but this would be close second for my museum choice of this trip.

Alright, this should be interesting. I, again, know nothing about this country’s food, so this took some exploring! Here we go…here are 3 foods we want to have while we’re in Iceland.

  1. Kjötsupa
    • This is a hearty lamb soup made with cheap, tough cuts of lamb, onion, garlic, parsley, carrots, potatoes, oats, and a few other herbs and spices. Here’s a delicious recipe I found for you to peek at: https://www.thespruceeats.com/kjotsupa-icelandic-lamb-soup-2952929
    • Also, I’m going to try to link to other blogs as often as possible for two reasons.
      1. It helps that persons’ blog grow by linking to their website
      2. It allows you to see the full recipe instead just my short snip-its!
  2. Svið
    • I have no idea how to pronounce that word, but Google translate tells me that it means….wait for it…..sheep’s head! And by head, I literally mean that it’s the head of a sheep on a plate. Now, I admit that I may not be as excited to try this as other dishes, but it’s wildly different than anything I’ve seen in the States, so for adventure’s sake, I’m game for this! Although I’m sure it’s biased, I saw some articles saying that the cheek of the sheep is the tastiest meat one can have, so I definitely want to find out!
  3. Hrútspungar
    • If you thought number 2 was adventurous, wait until you hear this. Hrútspungar is……….Sour…….Ram’s…….Testicles! I have to be honest, I didn’t know that that could be made into a dish. What’s even stranger to me is that this seems to be more of a delicacy served on special occasions! I do admit that 2 and 3 were definitely the most bold choices I could have made, but the fact that this is a dish I could actually order amazes me. Here’s to adventure!

This was a fun one! Although there are countries ranked ahead of Iceland in terms of my top 3 attractions I’d like to visit, I think that there are more “honorable mentions” here than any other place. There were at least 5 other things I found that would be extremely interesting to me, but I have a schedule and I’m sticking to it 🙂 Thank you all for reading! Have a great weekend!

Blessings,
Madison

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