Local tours in Reykjavik are available, but I did a self-guided city tour instead and I’m glad I did because jet lag and sleep deprivation got the best of me.


Hallgrímskirkja church

As usual, I was a bit ambitious with my itinerary for Iceland. Four days and three nights was not enough to see all the things I wanted to see in Reykjavik. If I were to do it again, I’d stay an extra day or two. The power of jet lag and sleep deprivation really took a toll on me. It probably would not have been as bad if it weren’t for the Chatty Cathys on the flight who would not stop talking. Who yaps for 5 straight hours?!

This was the original plan.

I was going to start with breakfast at Sandholt Bakery. They’re known for their delicious sourdough bread. Then I’d take a scenic stroll to The Sun Voyager and the Harpa, followed by Kolaportid Flea Market for a little shopping. Afterwards, I’d have lunch at the famous hot dog stand, Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, before continuing to Reykjavik City Hall, Tjoinin Lake, the National Museum of Iceland and finally, Hallgrímskirkja church. I’d then check in at my guesthouse, Loki 101, where I would nap for a few hours before making a trip to Bonus Supermarket to stock up on snacks. It would then be followed by dinner at Svarta Kaffid for some traditional Iceland soup.

Instead, this was what actually happened.

I landed at Keflavik airport a little before 5AM and took the FlyBus to BSI terminal, where I got about 40 minutes of shut eye after struggling to fall asleep for over 2 hours. There was a bit of foot traffic even at 6AM in the morning. As soon as day light started to appear, I walked towards Sandholt Bakery for breakfast. I was so jet lagged and sleep deprived that eating made me nauseous. My body could not compute what was happening. It knows it’s supposed to be asleep, but I’m forcing it to digest. It was not pleased.

After breakfast, I found my way to The Sun Voyager. The cold chill by the harbor kept me up, but I was groggy and nauseous again as soon as I stepped inside the Harpa . It was such a struggle to stay awake. I sat inside for a little bit to rest before making my way to Hallgrímskirkja church. When I arrived, I sat on a bench nearby until I could no longer sit upright and stay awake. I hauled my ass to the guesthouse early and waited for my room before knocking out for 4.5 hours. When I woke up, I dragged myself out for hot dogs at Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, but not before being lured back to the Harpa by the enticing colors reflecting from the sunset.

Monica reflects on her travels by sharing her thoughts on A Cup of Moca. She writes about her journey as she experiences the destination to encourage others to marinate in the moment instead of just checking things off a bucket list.