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In and Around Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland seems more remote than the four-and-a-half-hour flight from Boston feels. But Reykjavik, a city closer to Boston than San Francisco, is a world apart. The prime minister is in the phonebook—along with the rest of the population of 300,00—alphabetically, by first name. Violent crime is virtually non-existent. The country has no army, and police don't carry guns. Ponies, puffin, and whale are served in restaurants. Some of the landscapes looked like the moon.

My husband and I jumped on an Icelandair promotion and spent a long weekend in and around the capital city of Reykjavik; enough time to experience a bit of the magic, the mythic, and a great dose of good design. We're already plotting a return and telling everyone we know to go spend some time in the world's most northern capital.

The top of the Lutheran Church Hallgrímskirkja, the highest building in Reykjavik at 240 feet, is a great place to get your bearings and take in the views of Faxaflói Bay, the Elliðaá (one of the best salmon rivers in the country), and the mountains Akrafjall and Esja. This golden light is a 10am sunrise in late November.

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