To rent or not to rent, that was our question. We dithered and couldn’t decide between the hotel or apartment option for Reykjavik. Eventually we came to a decision – rent an apartment for the week. At least that way, even if the 9 year old displayed his worst faddy eating habits, we could ensure he got a couple of square meals and some decent food inside him every day. So an apartment it was.
We found quite a few nice looking places on the HomeAway website, narrowed it down to a couple and chose one based on price and location. They all looked pretty nice to be honest.
The owner was very pleasant and responsive. We booked a couple of months before we travelled, but she did not want to take a deposit and asked that she be paid when we arrived. I was, to say the least, a little nervous about this arrangement. In all our travels, this had never happened before. When we checked the website and our dates were still showing as available the week before our holiday, full on panic started to build. Anyway, it was all fine. Maybe I am too obsessive about details and should chill out more.
The owner asked us to call her when we landed in Iceland. She then arranged to be in the bus depot in Reykjavik to pick us up when we arrived there – a really nice touch. We were more grateful when we realised the depot was a fair way out of the centre and the weather (driving rain, biting winds and freezing temperatures) was not conducive to blundering around pulling suitcases with a moaning 9 year old in tow searching for an obscure apartment.
She was waiting when we trudged off the bus and drove us the short way to the apartment. It was on the 5th floor of a converted office building. Not exactly very beautiful from the outside, but never judge the book by its cover. Inside it was lovely. Modern, airy, not huge but much bigger than a hotel room and perfect for us.
The owner hung around for a little while, showed us how things worked and gave us lots of tips about restaurants and where to eat. She is an artist – there were loads of her paintings on the walls, maybe not to everyone’s taste but I liked them.
The apartment had one large kitchen/dining/living area. It had big windows and opened onto a south facing balcony.
There was a table and chairs out there, but with Arctic weather conditions we ventured out only once to take a photo. You could see the Perlan and Hallgrimskirkja from the balcony. Apart from that, the views weren’t exactly awe-inspiring, some buildings and the main shopping street (the more boring end).
The 9 year old discovered a selection of DVD’s beside the television, got stuck in and discovered he is a James Bond fan. The DVD selection was either James Bond or Riverdance, so a no-brainer as far as he was concerned.
Kitchen stuff was ample – we only had breakfast and lunches here, self-catering in the loosest sense of the word.
There was one bedroom with huge and extremely comfortable double bed and a small camp bed in the living room for the 9 year old.
Everything was supplied when we arrived – soap, loo rolls, even shampoo. Once we worked out the stinky pong in the bathroom was the sulphurous water and not a plumbing issue, we started to feel at home.
We unpacked a bit, then headed across the road to the only supermarket open on Sundays. After parting with an extortionate sum of money for a miniscule number of items, we decided to seek provisions elsewhere the next day. We found a cheaper and bigger supermarket five minutes away on the main street.
A little more exploring and we discovered really how great the apartment’s location was. It is at the top end of the main shopping street. Probably if you want a nice view, the least attractive end, but it suited us fine. You could be at the harbour in about 15 minutes and there were loads of great restaurants and bars 5 minutes away.
We loved this apartment, we would love to go back.