The Reykjanes peninsula is one of the most overlooked natural gems in Iceland and it always baffles me why people just drive through it without noticing it on the way to and from Keflavík airport. It doesn’t have the waterfalls and majestic mountains like some of the other areas in Iceland but it has geysers, lava and volcanoes. What more could you ask for?
Visiting Reykjanes is a great day tour from Reykjavík, especially because there are many stops on the way and you can tailor the driving to whatever time you have. If you have little time you can make do with Kleifarvatn and geysers in Seltún but if you have more time you can drive through the whole peninsula and all the little towns scattered around it.
Yesterday, the family and I drove out to Reykjanes to visit Power Plant Earth which is a exhibition at the Reykjanesvirkjun power plant. I had been there once before and in my memory it was both an informative and fun place to visit with kids and I thought the princess might enjoy it.
The exhibition covers everything from the Bing Bang theory and the solar system to explaining how the geothermal energy is harnessed in Iceland. The turbines of the Reykjanesvirkjun power plant are visible trough a glass wall from within the exhibition, which comfortably connects the theme of the exhibition to real life.
If you have read my reviews of The Settlement Exhibition and The National Museum of Iceland you also know that I love all things interactive and Power Plant Earth doesn’t disappoint in that department. You can experience an earthquake first hand, there are lots of screens to touch and nothing is really off limits. Plus that for the first 30 minutes of our visit we were completely alone so we had the whole place to ourselves.
Power Plant Earth is, like I mentioned before, located next to the Reykjanesvirkjun Power Plant. To get straight to there from Reykjavík you drive all the way to Keflavík and turn off the road when you see a sign on the left pointing to Reykjanesviti. You can also included it in your Reykjanes tour and then there are different ways to get to it.
The Exhibition is only open to individuals on Saturdays and Sundays between 12:30 and 16:30. The entrance fee is 1.500 ISK for adults and the guy I talked to yesterday wasn’t quite sure about the prices for children. He said he thought children under 10 get to go free in the company of adults and children older than 10 pay 1000 ISK. We didn’t pay anything for the princess.
They open the exhibition specially for groups outside the opening hours if you call in advance and make an appointment.
Power Plant Earth is a fun place to visit with the kids and if you are interested in renewable energy the exhibition does shed some light on the process of turning geothermal energy into electricity. The idea is great and I remember being really impressed the first time I visited. The interactive part is really nice and there’s plenty of information available.
The guy who greeted us was also really nice and willing to offer information about the surrounding areas to help us make the most out of our trip.
It’s obvious that there’s not of lot of money put into this exhibition. Some of the screens didn’t work properly and it was kind of dirty and poorly maintained. It’s really sad because this is a great initiative and it has a lot of potential. Some of it could be fixed with a good cleaning but in other cases it just needs to be updated.
The opening hours are a bit wonky and it’s a little bit annoying that they themselves don’t know if and what to charge families with children.
Despite Power Plant Earth’s shortcomings, the princess announced on the way back to Reykjavík that it was the most fun museum she had ever visited in Iceland. She really enjoyed it and I think a big part of it was the fact she was allowed to touch everything and explore at her own pace.
It’s a good reminder that what we like and what our kids enjoy doesn’t always go together.
We the grown ups also enjoyed it and really hope that some money will be put into sprucing it up. It’s maybe not worth the drive if you are only going out for the exhibition but it’s a great addition to this exciting area that more people should visit.