Reykjavik is a pint-sized metropolis with a mystical, moody backdrop. Thick clouds hang over the harbour, while the ice-capped Esjan mountain glistens to the north-east. Volcanoes and spas bubble on Reykjavik's outskirts, as if it is still surrounded by prehistory. There are just 120,000 inhabitants in this ethereal city, and most have an oddball sense of humour. Strange seafood – whale skewers and fermented shark – is commonplace, and Reykjavik's eccentricity spreads to its architecture too.
Hekla is Iceland’s most active volcano. Hekla is also a common female name in Iceland.
Take Hallgrímskirkja, the church inspired by basalt lava flow. Or the glass honeycomb exterior of the Harpa concert hall. And it is true – the locals do drink heavily, especially during the frigid winters. But culture prevails with alternative gigs and spaces like the Living Art Museum. A small city, yes. But Reykjavik is a strange, sublime place with enough oddities to keep you enthralled.