Angela and I rolled into the little town of Stykkisholmer – this had to be it! The most memorable scene from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was filmed in this town.
You may think I’m kidding, but fictional Walter was one of the main reasons I decided to go to Iceland in the first place.
The movie follows Walter – a quiet, middle aged man who’s constantly daydreaming of far-off places, heroic acts, and perfect comebacks, but never really engages in day-to-day life. As his company goes through a major overhaul, Walter finds himself finally going to the places he’s been daydreaming about and developing photos of for years.
Ground Control to Major Tom
The bar and heli-pad from Walter’s first destination was filmed in this town called Stykkisholmer. In this scene, he finds out the only way to get to continue his quest is to ride an old helicopter (flown by a tipsy pilot.) To work up the courage, he imagines the woman he loves is there singing, “Ground control to Major Tom…” He jumps on the helicopter just before take-off and goes on a great adventure!
You better believe we were pumped to visit that bar and get pictures on that heli-pad!
We enjoyed the town, stopping for lunch, enjoying the view from the dock, and browsing around a cute bookstore.
The problem? We drove, walked, and Googled all around town, but there was no bar to be found.
Finally, asked a young woman working at a bakery to point us in the right direction. She said, “Oh, yes, we get asked about that movie a lot. It’s right down on main street, but it’s not actually a bar. It’s a bookstore.”
You heard right.
It was the bookstore we had been inside half an hour earlier!
Once we were back in front of it, we could picture the whole thing – the set dressing, cloudy weather, and serious case of movie magic. Check out my photo of the building versus the movie scene! You can’t totally blame us, right?
Skateboarding Down Roads
From Day 1, we cranked up the Walter Mitty soundtrack, Kaleo, or any other music rooted in Icelandic artistry and were stunned by the open road. Walter iconically longboards down roads just like these. It’s probably my favorite scene. I can’t longboard, but driving these roads feels just like I imagined it would and I’ll probably never get over it.
The Bicycle Scene
In another scene, Walter lands at a small dock and snags the last bicycle. He peddles past Kirkjufell, a famous and memorably shaped mountain in Iceland, not far from Stykkisholmer.
We saw both the dock and the glorious mountain!
Then there’s the volcano from the movie… I’ll save that for it’s own post. 😉