While walking around Reykjavik we noticed the Reykjavik 871 +/- 2 heritage museum. The museum stands in the actual spotthat the remains of a viking long house dating back to approximately 871 was found. The archaeologists that uncovered the remains believe that this was one of the first settlements in Iceland. As you enter the exhibit there is a realistic statue of a viking and an opportunity to write your name in rune letters. As you enter the building the outside walls depict the landing, life, agriculture, and hunting habits of the Vikings that landed here. The land was differently shaped then and was covered in birch trees. The trees were used, burned, and clear cut to make way for farmland so much that there are very few trees of any kind on the island now. In the center of the exhibit is the actual remains of the foundation of a viking long house that vikings, their slaves, and their live stock lived in with a four and a half foot long fire place in the center of the house used for cooking and heat. These houses were originally made with “strips of earth” and wood. This is a very fascinating exhibit and a great insight to the viking ancestors that inhabited Iceland so long ago. No cameras were allowed in the exhibit so there aren’t very many of my pictures, sad to say. But, it is definitely something you adventurers should experience in person!
Another highly recommended in person experience is whale watching and puffin island. First we boarded the display boat where we were able to view the skeleton of a Minke Whale and a dolphin as well as vertebrae bigger than our heads of fin whale and a few other whale species. There was a stuffed puffin and also a stuffed gannet. Then we boarded another boat that took us out to sea. We got a great view of the city from the Atlantic. We then wen past a puffin island, but disappointingly didn’t get very close. Some puffins were flying around close to the boat but they were way to fast for my camera to focus on. We did notice some jellyfish schools close to the puffin island, however. Then we headed about 14 miles out to see where we did actually have quite a few sightings of Minke whales surfacing. The guide and the researchers think that we actually saw three individual whales surfacing. It was amazing and exciting. However, once again… there are none of my pictures. They were too far away for my camera to focus on. You’ll just have to see for your self, it is well worth it.