New Year's Eve in Iceland

Reykjavik Travel Blog

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We arrived as the sun was starting to go down, and crossed the lava fields in the moonlight.  The moon was incredibly bright, reflecting on the snow and casting shadows across the fractured land.  It was eerie; I'm so urban now it was years since I'd seen a bright enough moon to cast shadows.

As we approached Reykjavik, the sky was already alight with fireworks.  They are always strange from a distance too, with the coloured lights blooming on the horizon.  We had to change buses in the bus station; it turns out that Icelandic airport buses take you to your actual hotel and not just to the centre somewhere.  This is quite a shock to a Brit. 

The hotel Iain had chosen was incredible.
  My glasses steamed up as we entered, but as soon as they cleared I could see something really quite special.  There was a waterfall on the wall by the reception, and a lovely lounge with sofas and strange furniture covered in what looked like ponyskin.  There was a little bar, too, which looked like coming in handy. 

We dropped our stuff and headed off to town to find some food.  Tired from our journey, and a very funny story that I promised I wouldn't tell but essentiually kept us up the night before, we opted for comfort fod; a curry.  The curry was amazing.  It is one of the best meals I have ever had, beautifully cooked, really fresh - of the many things I expected from Iceland, amazing curry wasn't on the list! 

Knackered, we decided on a nap.
first glimpse
  It was a bit pathetic really, but, we hadn't slept properly in 48 hours.

At half past eleven we went off to see the fireworks that everyone had told us about.  The Place to Be was the square in front of the great Lutheran cathedral at the top of the town, we had been told, adn up we went. 

The sky was on fire.  THere was no rope barrier, none of the health and safety panic that I associate with fireworks - just utter chaos, in a great way.  All the young people in the city seemed to be out with a bag of fireworks and a six pack of something to drink.  In any space in the square big enough, people were setting off rockets.  A few weren't aimed right, and bounced through a giggling crowd or ricochetted off the cathedral.  I've never seen anything like it.
  After a few seconds adjustment, I stood with my mouth open watching the beautiful, massive display. 

Right up untl the point when a bit of spent gunpowder landed right in my eye.  Next time I'm in Reykjavik for new year I'll bring ski goggles or something! 

Even that didn't put us off, but we did beat a strategic retreat to the edge of the square.

We stayed out for a little while longer, but around one or so we were really, really tired.  We had another couple of drinks in the hotel lobby and  went to bed.  To tell the truth, I was pissed off, because the Icelanders don't go to bed until somewhere near dawn.  And dawn is about nine in the morning.  Maybe another year, we won't have a stupid night the night before and we'll be able to keep the pace.  Either that, or my upcoming birthday really has turned me old! 
sarahelaine says:
thank you! It really was an amazing trip. :)
Posted on: Jun 06, 2010
Glamour88 says:
I've never really given much thought about going to Iceland but after reading your blog it sounds and looks fantastic. I think that I am going to have to look into going in the not so distant future!
Posted on: Jun 05, 2010
almond72 says:
Great fireworks ! I love it without all the hassle of HS getting in the way of having fun !
Posted on: Jan 12, 2010
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first glimpse
first glimpse
bath in the bedroom
bath in the bedroom
Reykjavik Hotels & Accommodations review
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