Reykjavik NYE and Iceland 2009

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[edit] Iceland general

Sunrise/sunset: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html?n=211&month=1&year=2009&obj=sun&afl=-13&day=1

http://bjork.com/

http://www.sigur-ros.co.uk/ - interview about economic crisis - http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/arts_entertainment/music/and+the+band+played+on+sigur+ros/2835457

English local paper: http://www.grapevine.is/Home/

http://www.dailycandy.com/travel/article/36476/Ice+Ice+Baby - misc stuffs from July 2008.

[edit] Snæfellsjökull

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sn%C3%A6fellsj%C3%B6kull_National_Park is apparently the park to go, volcanoes/lava/lava fields, glaciers, etc.

the park's flyer in pdf (includes English).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/icelandhike2005/sets/72157594570000209/ - pictures

410574600_f3eb83be39.jpg

[edit] Iceland in winter

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/05/AR2008120501689.html - notes on where to eat, places to stay, what to see, etc.

After midnight is when the runtur really starts. Experience this all-night party along Reykjavik's main drag (Austurstraeti/Bankastraeti/Laugavegur), stopping at posh Rex (Austurstraeti 9) and Cafe Oliver (Laugavegur 20), seeing a garage band at Bar 11 (Laugavegur 11) or bigger acts at NASA (Austurvollur) or just popping into any cafe or bar on the strip.

http://www.gungeralv.org/notes/archives/2005/12/winter_in_iceland.php - exploring, including Snæfellsjökull (Snaefellsnes).

http://fiveprime.org/hivemind/Tags/sn%C3%A6fellsnes,winter has some great pics, including winter.

http://leglobetrotteur.wordpress.com/2007/12/12/what-we-do-in-iceland-during-the-winter/

But the cold and dark winters mean that we spend a lot of time online – 75% of the population have broadband access at home. It used to mean that we read a lot, but now I think a lot of that time is spent online. Since we spend a lot of time indoors, it shouldn’t be surprising that we have the world record in electricity usage, all of it produced by the clean renewable energy resources that we enjoy up here. And everyone has a mobile. So we are really well connected. Which means that you shouldn’t be surprised that online gaming is a factor here – just witness – EVE Online - http://www.eve-online.com/ an Icelandic online game. ... What you may not know is that we have the highest use of anti-depressants in Europe (possibly in the world) and it may just be that natural selection took care of those that couldn’t stand the cold and dark winters. The winters also go a long way to explain why there’s a thriving nightlife in Reykjavik.

which doesn't agree with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder#Nordic_countries

Iceland, however, seems to be an exception. A study of more than 2000 people there found the prevalence of seasonal affective disorder and seasonal changes in anxiety and depression to be unexpectedly low in both sexes. ... It has more recently been suggested that this may be attributed to the large amount of fish traditionally eaten by Icelandic people, 225 lb per person per year as opposed to about 50 in the US and Canada, rather than to genetics.

Does that include tuna sammich?


http://www.idlewords.com/2003/11/a_morning_in_iceland.htm

If you are flying to Europe for any reason, you would be silly not to check out Iceland Air. Just like Vegas, where they make layovers longer to maximize passenger gambling, Iceland Air tries to give you long enough between planes to zip over to the Blue Lagoon (my nine-hour layover was an unusually long exception), and the tour staff is used to whisking passengers there and back between flights. It costs a whopping $25, on top of the $304 (all taxes included) I paid for a round trip ticket between Boston and Amsterdam. Instead of spending eight hours in a plane, you can have two shorter flights with a hot bath in between, you can see Iceland, and you can arrive in Europe in the early evening, just in time to check in for a good night's sleep.

[edit] Goals

[edit] Reykjavik at New Year's

http://ask.metafilter.com/29704/What-should-i-do-in-Reykjav%C3%ADk-Iceland-for-new-years-eve

[edit] Ring road

http://www.couchsurfing.com/group_read.html?gid=512&post=2075770#gpid2075770

After a detailed discussion with Bragi, it does seem possible that we could actually do the Ring Road in 6 days. We could start by repeating the trip he and I did, by stopping at those waterfalls on the way to the guesthouse near jokulsarlon, and spend the night there. The 2nd day, we could spend a couple hours at jokulsarlon and the adjacent black sand beach (both of which are incredible), before driving up to Myvatn and getting there at night. Then we could spend a couple more nights there, checking out Myvatn and also Krafla, a lava field just 25 km north, and if the weather's OK we could hike up to the volcano crater lake there. We could spend the 5th night in Akureyri, which is just 100 km west of Myvatn. And then the next day we could spend some time in Akureyri before driving back to Reykjavik.

oops.. updated with...

Well first let me correct myself, Bragi just called to inform me that I misunderstood him on one thing. The drive from Jokulsarlon to Myvatn could not be done in one day, we'd have to stop at Egilstadir for a night. So minus one night from Myvatn for sure. But since I found out I can add another night to the trip, it could be a wash as far as Myvatn goes, unless we decide to use that extra time to go to Gullfoss and the Geysir hotsprings area.

[edit] Restaurants

http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2008/nov/22/restaurants-reykjavik-iceland

We are reserving at Orange for NYE. http://www.orange.is/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=76&Itemid=97 I requested "meat alternative" for myself, I hope I don't get an iceberg lettuce salad!

Authentic Organic Icelandic Fish and Chips http://www.fishandchips.is/ Menu: http://www.fishandchips.is/eng_menu.htm

Totally satisfying oven-baked pizza with a wide choice of toppings - snails an unusual specialty. Well worth the cost. http://www.eldsmidjan.is/matsedill/

I've got to find and try Skyr creme brule. Where would be a good place to do find it?

This Perlan restaurant is a landmark: http://www.perlan.is/

[edit] Lava fields

http://www.grundarfjordur.is/default.asp?tre_rod=002%7C&Sid_Id=10283&tId=1&qsr

[edit] Hot spring

Blue Lagoon http://www.bluelagoon.com/

[edit] Cooking class

That's a great idea! Pls find ppl & places.

[edit] Shops & Galleries | Art & Design

A collective of 10 women artists. http://www.kirs.is/ http://www.kirs.is/shopping.htm

Jewelery: http://www.aurum.is/

[edit] Aurora borealis (Northern Lights)

http://blog.icelandexpress.com/iceland/2006/10/12/northern-lights/

Somewhere over your head, mostly on clear, cold nights from October to March.

From http://www.couchsurfing.com/group_read.html?gid=512&post=2079823#gpid2079823

http://spaceweather.com/ (search around, if you scroll down and look on the left there's an image of the current auroral oval)
http://www.gedds.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast/Default.asp?Date=20081224 (It's from Alaska, so the default view is of Alaska, but you can change which part of the world you're looking at pretty easily, and it makes predictions of how strong the aurora will be as well).

[edit] Car rental

http://www.rbcars.is/ - Suzuki "Jimney" $178CAD for 3 days.

http://www.reykjavikrentacar.is/ - Jeep Grand Cherokee $167 for 3 days.

They look like the same company to me.

[edit] Bus travel

http://www.re.is/IcelandOnYourOwn/ - Bus travel site offering combinations (passports) with a good PDF map

[edit] Internal flights

http://www.airiceland.is/ - no tours in the winter?!?!

[edit] Tours

http://www.tour.is/tours/activity_tours.php includes a number of tours, including year-round snorkling and horseback riding.

If you would like to see Iceland underwater, this tour is for you! You will have the opportunity to snorkel in Silfra, one of the world’s top ten diving sites situated in the National Park Þingvellir.
Silfra is a crack/fissure in the earth between the Eurasian plate and the American plate, which are drifting apart about 4-6 cm every year.
The water in Silfra is ascends from the lava after being filtered for years underground from the highlands glaciers. You are able to swim out the crack without effort because of a light current that pushes you.

http://grapevine.is/listings/calendar?type=calendar&date=2.1.2009%2000:00:00 - a calender of Iceland events, including tours in January.

http://www.re.is/DayTours/Allourtours/

http://adventures.is/Iceland/Hiking/

[edit] Meeting people

http://www.couchsurfing.com/ lists 624 people in Iceland looking to be hosts.

http://www.couchsurfing.com/group_read.html?gid=512&post=1898504 people meeting in our time frame

[edit] Booze

The closest one is on Austurstraeti 10 (101) There is also one in the Kringlan Shopping Center (103) http://www.vinbudin.is/

[edit] Lodging

http://www.hostel.is/ for at least a couple of nights.

From http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=6450&post=26314&uid=4894417366#post26314

There is a hotel in Grundarfjörður if you plan on doing some sight-seeing in Snæfellsness (2 hours from Reykjavík) to see Snæfellsjökull and other sites in the area.

http://www.hihostels.com/affiliates/hiiceland026008.en.php?

There is also a nice hotel in Grundarfjörður as well

www.hotelframnes.is

The employees and owners of both the hostel and hotel speak English and have great knowledge of the things to see and do in Snæfellsness. Have fun and keep your fingers crossed for excellent weather!!

[edit] Other sites

http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2008/nov/16/reykjavik-iceland-new-year-holiday

http://goscandinavia.about.com/od/cityprofilereykjavik/p/aboutreykjavik.htm (also links about Iceland, Snaefellsnes, etc).

[edit] Weather

http://en.vedur.is/

[edit] Road conditions

http://www.vegagerdin.is/umferd-og-faerd/faerd-og-astand/faerd-og-vedur/faerd-um-allt-land/island1.html

reykjanesbraut_1.jpg

[edit] Getting there from Montreal

Montreal to Burlington - http://maps.google.ca/maps?daddr=Burlington,+VT,+USA&geocode=&dirflg=&saddr=montreal,+QC,+Canada&f=d&sll=44.489648,-73.210831&sspn=0.124908,0.164452&ie=UTF8&ll=44.972571,-72.976685&spn=1.981917,4.718628&z=8

Burlington to Boston (http://www.Greyhound.com) - $64 USD each way, apparently it goes directly to Logan.

Then a lot of swimming or arm flapping, or http://www.icelandair.ca

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