Heading to Iceland

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by FM2N, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. FM2N

    FM2N Member

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    Hello All,
    My wife and I are heading to Reykjavik next monday. Anything interesting going on in the city that week? Photographic or not. Must see attractions?
    Thanks
    Arthur
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Eat skyr! Buy sweaters and sagas and a Sigur Rós CD.

    There is an English newspaper for Reykjavík that may help on city life:

    http://grapevine.is/Home/

    How long will you be there? My best advice is first to go soak in the Blue Lagoon and contemplate the meaning of life. There is a lot of curious landscape right there, not 30 mins from the airport. There is hydrothermal plant right there that is interesting to visit.

    If you have more time then the thing to do is head towards Thingvellir. En route there is a cute little volcano named Kerith and a rather majestic waterfall, Gullfoss. All of this can be easily be done in a day trip from Reykjavík and will provide a good intro.

    For northern lights you may want to get out of the city, in which case just driving east on the ring road, just over the ridge will cut down a lot on the light pollution. You can get the northern light forecast here:

    http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast/4

    You can also look up the latest weather, quakes and volcano eruptions here:

    http://en.vedur.is/

    If you want more adventure I can advise on lava tubes and such.
     
  3. FM2N

    FM2N Member

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    Thanks. We have been to Iceland before and The blue lagoon Is high on the wife's list. I will look into the paper and your other suggestions. Beautiful country and we are looking to getting back. Northern lights are high on our list and will try to get out every night to see if we can get lucky. What is a sagas?
    Are you from there or a visitor like my wife and I?
    Thanks
    Arthur
     
  4. FM2N

    FM2N Member

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    We loved skyr thanks for reminding me!
     
  5. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Just went for a couple days for the first time in October. I loved it and want to go back. Renting a car in the city was pretty affordable and definitely worth it over some bus trip, particularly for the northern lights. Thingvellir was cool. The Golden Circle route takes you to Thingvellir, Gullfoss, Kerith, and Geysir. If you've already been, I'm sure you've done this...

    Hope it isn't cloudy like it was for us, and hope there's a big solar flare on Sunday so you can see some activity :smile:
     
  6. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    Drive up through the western fjörds, absolutely breathaking!

    If you can stay long enough(and if they're open), give the Djupavík Hotel a night or two.*

    http://www.djupavik.com/

    The southern coast can be beautiful, even if they weathers inclimate. Vík is a great little town, and make sure to hit Jökulsárlón(Iceberg lagoon). Walk around it, take a few hours to explore. Cross the bridge from the main drag where all the tour buses collect, and enjoy the tide moving the big ice chunks around :smile:.

    Have a fun trip!

    -Dan
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Ah!!! Required reading! It will really bring the landscape and history to life. The sagas are quasi-factualized novels that present ~1000 years of Icelandic history. In the sagas you will learn wonderful things like what went on at Thingvellir, who bared her breast to ward off a native attack, and why they stopped eating horses. I recommend two sagas: Njáls saga and Eirik's saga (a.k.a. the Saga of Erik the Red). The fascinatign thing is that these sagas can still be read by modern icleanders in their original version with no difficulty. The language has remained almost unchanged for a milennium.

    There is a very good, big bookstore in Reykjavik where you can look at original sagas as well as translated versions, I forget the name but just ask. Also be sure to ask about music and such, you're likely to hear some good tidbits from the extraordinarily friendly natives!

    I am a many-time visitor. Will probably go back in the fall and stay with friends there for a while.

    Note that I also reviewed a very nice book by Ragnar Axelsson in my apug blog; you should see if you can get his book there and you might be able to track him down or locate his gallery. Excellent work. But he's a very busy guy now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2012
  8. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    Don't forget to listen to Saga, an Icelandic band from the 80's or, maybe still together don't know but i have a few older Records and they are pretty unique.
     
  9. TimVermont

    TimVermont Subscriber

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    My experience with the Blue Lagoon was that there were no Icelanders there. The "hot pots" (hot tubs) alongside the municipal swimming pool in Reykjavik (Laugardalur) were much warmer and chock full of friendly locals who were happy to share local travel and restaurant tips.
     
  10. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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  11. jscott

    jscott Member

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    Yo! The hottest pools in the large municipal swimming pool, next to the city campground, were too hot for me to touch! But much more humble and elegant in a way than touristy Blue Lagoon, and definitely full of friendly Icelanders who seem to go there almost every day.

    I've driven the whole Ring Road, and there are great spots everywhere.

    One of my favorites is Thingvellir, where you can see the actual Mid Atlantic Rift breaking apart, complete with pillow basalts showing beautiful flow structures.

    Definitely get out of Reykjavik. The countryside is phenomenal.