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Reykjavik New Year’s Eve Celebrations: A whistlestop tour of Iceland

Posted by admin on May 17, 2011 in travel

Iceland, land of Fire and Ice, one of the rare parts of the world where you can bathe in hot springs, walk in volcanic ash and dress up like Bjork. That’s what the tourist managers would have you believe, but does it live up to the hype? Till recently Iceland tended to be out of most people’s reach (by this I mean budget) but due to their economic meltdown and huge drive for tourism it is actually quite reasonable now. With this in mind I decide to experience it for myself- and what time of year could be more exciting or busy than New Year’s Eve? Thermal underwear safely packed and long johns bought, I boarded my Iceland Air flight. I was booked for three nights and four days and wanted to make sure I maximized my time in this flying visit.

Iceland is surprisingly small, with a population of 320,000, most of them populating the capital city of Reykjavik. The land mass is 103,000 km2, but much of the terrain is uninhabitable due to glaciers and sand fields. The climate is tempestuous, with volcanoes, geysers and changeable temperatures making it a wonderfully wild place to visit- and fairly volatile to inhabit.

Iceland is a place I’ve always dreamed of going to, partly due to the fame it got in the early 90’s (I blame Bjork) and also due to the fact that all images of it portray it as an ethereal looking Narnia style land… with booze.  I was pretty scared of  visiting a place where the dress code consisted of thermal underwear, so decided the best time to go would be for New Year’s Eve, as I’d be guaranteed some pretty dress action.

Iceland holds a special allure; it’s the 18th largest island in the world, and its mix of settlers- dating back to the Norse era- and young professionals give it an ancient quality with modern influences… (Hey, I’m a hardboiled fantasy fan, OK?)

Research indicated that the Icelandic like to celebrate New Year’s Eve in serious style, so it seemed like the ideal time to go. Here’s my guide to a whistlestop  Reykjavik New Year’s Eve adventure. Read more…

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