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Friday, July 15th update: Víkin Reykjavik Maritime Museum, The Sea Baron, Icelandic Printmakers Gallery

Our main destination for the day was Víkin, The Reykjavik Maritime Museum. This is one of the Reykjavik City Museums.

maritime museum outside

Pictured above is the museum entrance closest to the downtown Reykjavik area; your GPS may steer you around the other side. But that other side has very limited parking, and it always seems full.

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Park by the harbor, in one of the two gravel lots. The museum told me those lots are free and available for visitors to use. The one that says “Park Here!” above is very small, but had a couple of spaces left on a very busy Friday afternoon in town.

The museum is very nice, and the first exhibit (about women in the fishing industry) was very visually striking:

maritime museum women in fishing

Upstairs, there are two more galleries. One talks about the history of fishing in Iceland. This was very well done, though there are many museums in Iceland that cover this topic. They has a nice play area with costumes that kids could try on.

maritime museum fishing history

maritime museum dress up area

The final exhibit was about the cod wars, and it is only around for the summer. It presents a timeline of the multiple cod wars that Iceland fought with England. The basic question during the cod wars, from the 1940s through the 1970s, was how many miles off the coast of Iceland is Iceland allowed to control? Can England fish 4 miles off the Icelandic coast? 50 miles?

maritime museum cod wars

The museum costs 1500 krona for adults, and is free for kids under 18. For an extra 700 krona for the adults (or 1200 krona as a standalone), you can take a tour of the old Coast Guard ship Óðinn, which is docked right next to the museum. This ship was heavily involved in the Cod Wars; it was rammed by British ships during the skirmishes.

You can only see the inside of the ship during a scheduled guided tour– these are only offered at 1 PM, 2 PM, and 3 PM. We didn’t have a chance to do one today, but we’ll add some more information once we do.

maritime museum odinn

For lunch I stopped into The Sea Baron, which claims to have the world’s best lobster soup. I like this place because they show you exactly what you will be getting when you order; the menu is really this refrigerator:

seabarron fish

I enjoyed my Plaice. But you only get one skewer for 1850 krona, which isn’t really enough for a meal. And it took 20 minutes to get it, and there weren’t many places to sit. When I picked up my order, they were quoting an hour to get your food delivered; I wonder if a whale watching tour had just returned? The fish was excellent, but this doesn’t seem like the ideal place for kids.

I’m not really sure where public opinion is on whale; are most tourists avoiding it? If you are interested in trying whale, they have a small tasting option for 300 krona. Form what I understand, it has a very strong taste, so this may be a cheap way to see what you or the kids think.

After lunch we stopped at a lesser known museum / gallery: The Icelandic Printmakers Association. They just opened a new exhibit last week called “Slices of Life”. I think this is a worthwhile stop. First of all, it’s free. Second, the artist was there, and she gave us a quick tour of the facility. Third, it’s right next to the library, in the back of the Art Museum building.

printmaking entrance printmaking exhibit printmaking studio

You could spend some time in the library, and see the Photography museum, which is on the top floor of the library. Then check out the Printmakers. All of this would be free. If it’s a Saturday or Sunday, you could continue to the next building and browse the flea market too.

The Printmaker’s association is only open Thursday through Saturday from 2-6 PM. so I guess the plan above, including the flea market, would only work on Saturday. But if you’re in the area, check out whatever is open!

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Friday, July 15th update: Víkin Reykjavik Maritime Museum, The Sea Baron, Icelandic Printmakers Gallery was last modified: July 17th, 2016 by Eric