My favorite part of going to Iceland was taking the short ferry ride in Reykjavik over to the abandoned Viðey Island. Here, I got to walk all over this tiny piece of land only stone’s throw from downtown and do so in relative quiet. Only a handful of people can get on the ferry at a time so, unlike every theme park, you have room to stretch and explore on your own. Here’s a few highlights of Viðey Island:
- This place was so populated 100 years ago that there was a school, a hostel, and a neighborhood. Many people lived and worked there for a fishing company and had fulfilling lives (not to mention the best scenery with a mountain next door). The company went bankrupt during WWII so inhabitants slowly went their separate ways and now the buildings are mostly in ruins. The school house has been kept up but other than that, there are maps and info graphics where homes used to be with a little peek into the families that called Viðey home.
- As you can see from photos, it’s breathtaking here! Not only is the island itself a great place to walk around on, it’s surrounded by ocean and mountain! Being able to walk from end to end in a matter of a few hours would make this place a perfect spot to live for the health focused person. You’d always want to be outside taking a lap around the island. Take a deeper look at the scenery here.
- Imagine Peace Tower
- One of the coolest things I’ve seen on any trip is this memorial to famous Beatle, John Lennon. Yoko Ono set up this amazing light tower here in Iceland and only has it on for select time frames throughout the year. I was fortunate enough to be there during one of those times in October. You can see it from anywhere in Reykjavik, at night when the light is on, that is. Before I knew it existed, I was walking the very safe streets at night and saw this light that went up into the clouds and could not stop wondering from where it came? Seeing it in person was a joy! The word peace is in many languages all around the base of the tower. For more info, check out this site.
I would not hesitate to suggest you taking 1 of the first ferries out so you can stay several hours. There’s a cafe right at the top of the hill that you walk up after docking. To the left is a cemetery of former residents and those who were a descendant and had permission to be buried there. The photo at the top of this page was from the yard of a home that is still used as a club house for the descendants. If you decide to climb any of the monster hills, be very careful! There’s a steep drop and lots of potentials to hurt yourself, or fall which is what I did.
If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, be sure to devote some time here. Sure, glaciers are beautiful and the lagoon is an experience but this soothes your soul. Learn more about Viðey Island here. If you would like to take a look through photos, you can do that here.