Iceland is a small island with a small population: exactly 320,044 people as of June 30, 2012, in fact.
So it makes sense that Reykjavik, its biggest city, is a capital with a charming, small-town feel—kind of like Amsterdam (pop. 800,000). Although two-thirds of the Icelandic population lives in and around Reykjavik, many head to the countryside during the summer to work in tourism. (One such Reykjavik resident was our Zodiac boat captain, whom you met in a previous post.)
Still, Reykjavik felt far from empty during our visit. That’s because this city is packed—with style, creativity, and color. Just check out these houses in downtown Reykjavik!
One striking similarity I found between Reykjavik and Manila: the use of corrugated iron (a.k.a. GI or galvanized iron) sheets as a building material.
In Reykjavik, the choice is dictated by the harsh weather; back home it’s simply a matter of economics… which makes our GI homes look
totally third world quite different. How I wish Manila could pull off this look!
That similarity aside, the pristine white trim, clean lines and enamel house numbers give Reykjavik homes that distinct Scandinavian vibe.
In addition to the houses, much of the color in downtown Reykjavik comes from street art, which is everywhere.