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I first told people I was going to Iceland they asked me why. In light of the recent volcano activity I couldn’t blame them, I mean who in their right mind would want to go there? Only last month the ash cloud from the erupting volcano caused UK airspace to close completely, for the first time ever. Planes were grounded all over the world, people on holiday could not get home and people at home could not go on their holidays.

With all of that in mind I was now heading to Rekyavik for my own holiday. Having heard many great things about Iceland, Rekyavik has always topped my ‘places to visit’ list. So with the current exchange rate finally making the city affordable to normal people like me, now was the perfect time to visit. I say perfect, I mean perfect except for the small matter of the volcano which it turns out is actually a very small matter and has virtually no effect on travel to, from or within Iceland.

Everything I thought Rekyavik was it wasn’t. I came expecting uber coolness, fashion idols pounding the slick city streets, cafes and bars serving hot drinks to frozen Vikings and Eskimos. Instead, I found a small coastal village reminiscent of a 1950‘s American country village with not a whole lot going on. I found sunburn in the blue lagoon, sunbathers on the thermal beach and people sat outside in shorts and Tees. Everything I thought it was it certainly wasn’t but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

With excellent access to the sea and countryside the city has an abundance of fresh seafood and meat. All seafood including lobster is reasonably priced. We dined on grilled lobster, fried lobster, bbqed lobster and soup’d lobster at the famous Saegreifinn on the harbour. A firm favourite with locals and tourists alike, Saegreifinn is owned by a retired fisherman who overseas every batch of soup. Definitely a must try in Rekyavik.

The blue lagoon turned me into a lobster! The famous geothermal spa recently listed nine in Conde Nast Traveller’s Top Ten Reader’s spa awards was the highlight of our trip. The warm waters, rich in minerals are said to have healing properties and they certainly felt good. I particularly enjoyed coating myself in the white clay whilst enjoying a Polar Beer from the bar, an authentic tourist experience.

Visiting the city on a weekend we were keen to explore the nightlife and bar crawls we had heard so much about. On the first night we made the mistake of going out too early as nothing gets going until at least 12am. However with 23 hours of daylight it wasn’t hard to trick the body into thinking late was actually early. The second night we headed to Bakkus, a new bar where we discovered the eclectic mix of people we had been looking for. With great music and reasonably priced beer it was a great place to start.

We continued drifting from bar to bar ending up in a Bar 11, a nightclub before leaving to discover Bæjarins bestu, the world’s most famous hot dog stand. Good enough for Bill Clinton! Of course we ordered the Icelandic specialty ‘open sesame’, a hot dog with fried onions, fresh onions, mayonnaise and mustard. A little too rich for me but after copious amounts of Polar Beer and ‘black death’ I would have eaten anything.

On our last day after seeing and doing everything in the city we decided to venture on a horse trek through lava fields, and past an old volcano. Well after all that fuss I had to see one didn’t I? A pleasant end to a pleasant holiday, we went home feeling fresh as a daisy from all of that lovely Icelandic air, natural spring water and sunny weather. As for Eyjafjallajokull, the most we saw was an old sign on the hotel floor asking guests to keep their windows closed due to the ash in the air