day 6: reykjavik romping… shopping

fólk kemur þar sem fólk er. – “people come where people are.”

– stylish, fab and nordic. welcome to reykjavik’s most stylish district, laugavegur –

after days of endless winds, the sun came out famously on our sixth day in iceland/reykjavik.

‘about time!’ i said to my friend, who was travelling with me on this journey.

psyched and ready to do some major damage to our wallets and cameras, we set out around 10ish to reykjavik’s most stylish place to be seen. laugavegur, right smack in the heart of the reykjavik 101 district.

obviously this is no 90210. you won’t see gucci, louis vitton or prada shops here. instead you get quaint nordic home-grown designer labels with threads made to make you look like a very, very stylish farm or countryside dweller. well, that or a very fashionable ice/mountain climber. 🙂

fashionistas may balk but in iceland, there’s no real use walking around in designer clothing with the weather changing every 2 minutes. you’re better off lounging indoors with your bulgaris and D n G’s.

we hovered around icewear, 66 north and the handknitting association of iceland’s outlet only because we were freezing our butts off and needed solid, warm winter-wear which the locals were probably better at producing. i got a traditional icelandic peasant sweater, a lopi, 2 pairs of wool socks, a hat and 2 gloves from the handknitting association store.

other nordic outlets we passed by were GEYSIR and andersen & lauth.

later, we stopped at glaeten cafe/bistro. the pasta and coffee was good except that the waitress forgot to bring our soups. other than that, a great place to chill for a cozy lunch. the cafe was also an off-venue for the iceland airwaves music festival so customers got to enjoy some cool acoustic live performances. loved the ambience with its book shop vibe and the fact that the person next to your table is close enough to chat you up. i made casual chit-chat with a young canadian man who was here for the music festival. friendly bloke who was travelling with a french-canadian companion.

up next, we hit up  smekkleysa (bad taste) smekkleysubúðin record store.  smekkleysa (yeah, try pronouncing that motherlickers!) isn’t just any record store. it’s owned by the record label of the same name. the label was home to the sugarcubes. uh-huh, the same iconic icelandic band fronted by miss iceland herself, bjork. hence, me being a massive fan of this lady, i didn’t want to miss a chance to get in there and explore the place.

– my kind of record store. smekkleysa (bad taste) record store on laugavegur, reykjavik –

it was a nice little dingy and slightly musty old place. the kind of record store i like – the one that encourages people to actually have a tactile experience with their music through casual browsing of the CD and LP racks. i grabbed a rare pink floyd LP and a peter gabriel CD. i could’ve gotten a sugarcubes CD but i’m not into that frivolous groupie idiotic displays of affection for my favourite bands. besides i already have sugarcubes on my playlist through erm….other sources?

with warm winter-wear and music in hand, the sun was fast closing in on us, so we made quick stopovers at other stores including the local tiger outlet; a place with a very similar concept to IKEA. the store carries everything from kitchenware to children’s novelty items. spend a good 15-20 minutes browsing all the cute, oddball products on sale i.e like the one below.

– hmmm, should i eat this delicious ice cream? –


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