Fire and Ice-land - Practical informations

Hello, everyone! Any New Year Resolutions for 2016? I know I have, and the first one is to explore more of my new home country, the United Kingdom, and that includes exploring Wales, Ireland, and Scotland.

This is the 50th post! Yay! To celebrate, I will not describe another trip I've made, but give you the input I have gathered during my three trips to Iceland. Let's start with the first one:

5 reasons to travel with Icelandair:

Icelandair is the national airline for Iceland, obviously. And as any national airline, it is your first feel of the country, and I cannot think of any one better than this, to introduce you to the gentle way of Iceland.

1. They name their planes
Seriously, isn't that thoughtful? It's usually named after a volcano, or a glacier (the difference between the two is sometimes non existent in Iceland). I don't know why, but it feels good to be in a plane that has been named, instead of another B747 or A340

2. The booklet is full of nice information about Iceland
Of course, you have the usual advertisement, but you mostly have stories about people - usually foreigners - discovering Iceland, or helpful advice (especially the one about holding your car door when you open it, as Iceland is a very windy country. As they say, "your car rental company will thank you")

3. Their entertainment system is full of fun trivia about Iceland
They have this show that concentrate on every part of Iceland, which is obviously sponsored, but still gives you a good feeling about each region. And when the screen is idle, they have these "did you know?" fun facts

4. The safety information is told as a hiking narrative
This one I think is great, and very well thought! Fastening your seat belt becomes tying up your backpack belt, cases of emergencies are jumps in fresh pools. I won't describe it more, but it is seriously a pleasure to look at and listen to, which for me is a first.

5. Their first class is called Saga class                                 
Just for that, it makes you consider the possibility of being part of it. Imagine: you are part of a Saga!

And finally, bonus reason, they welcome you into their home, Iceland.
Whether you are on a stopover or you are going specifically to visit the country, this is, in my humble opinion, the best airline choice. Compared to the low cost airline WOW that my travel companion chose, the difference in price was minimum and Icelandair so much less of a hassle. Remember this next time you travel from Europe to the USA or Canada, or from North America to Western Europe.

The second practical input comes from my own bad luck with the winter weather in Iceland. Once again, Dangerous Business wrote an article to warn you about bad weather in Iceland, but I prefer to concentrate on what you can do if you are stuck in Reykjavik.

5 Things to do in Reykjavik in case of bad weather

1. Thermal pools
Thermal pools, even outside ones, are available all year long. And I must say, swimming outside in warm water while it is snowing is one of the weirdest experience of my life. You don't get to do this often, so I would definitely recommend it.

2. Downtown cafes
Reykjavik is very well known as a barista paradise. If you want to get warm in the bad weather, there are plenty of great options. My personal favorite is the Laundromat: 

But the Reykjavik Roaster is apparently very good as well, and you even have one themed after The Big Lebowski

3. Museum
More than cafes, Reykjavik is packed with museums: Apart from the National Museum, you have the Saga Museum, the Aurora Museum, the settlement museum called 871 +/-2 (which you will have to visit if you want to know why it is called like that). You even have a Volcano House, which is not a "real" museum, but has an exhibition about the tremendous geology of the country.

4. Concerts
During the holiday season, you obviously have a lot of Christmas concerts, in one of the many churches of Reykjavik, but if you're not religious, you still have plenty of options to listen to Icelandic music in different concert venues. Ask your hotel reception for details!

5. Golden Circle tour
Golden Circle Tour is the most popular tour all year round, so you are sure that the road will stay practical, and I personally think Geysir, with the smoking water rising from the snow, is a vision to behold. Probably wait for the snow storm to be over, though, because you want that little bit of sunshine for good pictures.

And finally, bonus reason, wake up your inner child and... Play in the snow! Snow angels, snowmen, the possibilities are endless, the only limit is your imagination!

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