by kpsphoto, August 17, 2009.

Part-5 Gjástykki – Krafla – Leirhnjúkur – Mývatn

Reykjavík is the capital and largest city of Iceland. Its latitude at 64°08′ N makes it the world’s most northern national capital with the exception of Nuuk, Greenland. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay. With a population of around 120,000 (and over 200,000 in the Greater Reykjavik Area) it is the heart of Iceland’s economic and governmental activity.

Reykjavík is believed to be the location of the first permanent settlement in Iceland, which Ingólfur Arnarson is said to have established around 870. Until the 18th century, there was no urban development in the city location. The city was founded in 1786 as an official trading town and grew steadily over the next decades, as it transformed into a regional and later national centre of commerce, population and governmental activities.

Today, Reykjavík is the centre of the Greater Reykjavík Area which, with a population of 202,000, is the only metropolitan area in Iceland. As a highly modernized capital of one of the most developed countries in the world, its inhabitants enjoy a first-class welfare system and city infrastructure. Its location, only slightly south of the Arctic Circle, receives only four hours of daylight on the shortest day in the depth of winter; during the summer the nights are almost as bright as the days. It has continued to see population growth in past years as well as growth in areas of commerce and industry.

Reykjavík was ranked first on Grist Magazine’s “15 Greenest Cities” list.

Viðey (sometimes written Videy) is the largest island of the Kollafjörður Bay in Iceland, near the capital of Reykjavík.

It is the location of IMAGINE PEACE TOWER, which is a “Tower of Light” envisioned and built by Yoko Ono, widow of the late Beatle John Lennon. According to the Associated Press: “The tower is a beam of light, radiating from a wishing well bearing the words “imagine peace” in 24 languages. The plan is for it to be lit each year between his birthday, October 9, and December 8.”