Sunday, August 9, 2009

Review: National Museum of Iceland

Even though we are not generally museum goers, since there are so many to offer in Reykjavik, we decided to pick one to go to.

We decided on the National Museum of Iceland for several reasons. One is that we wanted something more general than the other more specific topics museums. And also because it is free on Wednesday.

We arrived at around 10:30 AM and learned that, during the summer, there is a free tour, given in English, at 11:00 AM. We decided to wait. In the meantime I visited the gift shop and then followed the sign to 'lockers', on a lower level. I discovered that the lockers are free and they made a good place to dump our jackets and my purchases while we toured.

The museum was completely redone in 2004 and is quite interesting. The displays are broken down into 200 year segments. All of the displays are in Icelandic and English and, with the renovation, there are now a lot of multimedia displays. It was easy to spend a few hours here.


Sigrun said...

Thank you for your comments and the link. I leave for Rekjavik next week and you've convinced me to check this place out. Any particular exhibit that's a must see?

diane said...

Glad the post was helpful to you. As for what to see....they had a special exhibit of photographs of children who had gone to work, (mostly at sea) with their fathers. I found it fascinating. I'm afraid I don't know if it is still there.

I also think the first floor was more interesting than the second ... the first floor was where the Viking displays were.

Please keep checking back here...I've got something new posting almost every day.

Sigrun said...

Thank you. I will indeed be checking back. Hadn't realized the flight was so long (we're flying Chicago to Minneapolis so the flight to Iceland will be longer). I appreciate your handy tips on Reykjavik and am relieved it can be explored in three days or fewer. We too have three days but wanted to see the golden circle and perhaps a boat trip 'round the Westmann Islands as well.

diane said...

You'll have no trouble doing the Golden Circle. But, seriously, what other parts of Iceland will you be in. We felt other waterfalls and thermal areas were more interesting.

Sigrun said...

We only have 11 days/10 nights and we'll be rather sleepy the first day. The question is, with only 3 days in Reykjavik and wanting to use that time to take a boat trip 'round the Westmann Islands, and explore the Golden Circle and some museums, is it worthwhile using this precious time to take a day to visit the Snaefellsnes Penninsula?
After Reykjavik we'll be staying a night in Vik, then on to Skaftafell National Park for a night, then a night at Seydisfjordur, then 2 nights in Lake Myvatn, then I need to book the next night close to the Kjolur Route, then our final night will be in the Highland Hotel near Landmannalaugar, so we will certainly see thermal areas.

diane said...

Your route is very similar to ours, only in reverse. We even stayed in Seydisfjordur too. My opinion? Forget about the GC tour. It is a great option for those not getting outside of the Reykjavik area. And it is true you get to see a geysir on that tour.

BUT, you'll be driving by other wonderful waterfalls...there are two great ones just west of Vik (I don't have my notes handy) and you can even walk behind one of them. West of Lake Myvatn is Godafoss. East of Lake Myvatn, if you want to take a detour, you can stop at Dettifoss. As for thermal areas, the one just east of Lake Myvatn (Krafkla?) is fantastic....far superior to the geysir area in my opinion. If I had to do it over again, I'd head out to the S. Penninsula for a day...or more!

And when heading west from Skaftafell part, be sure to stop at the Glacier Lagoon for a look, even if you don't take the boat ride. And if you want to see something quite unusual, take the road to the beach, on the west side of the bridge over the river. Walk to the beach and see all the ice strewn along it.