Dec 31: Reykjavik and Happy New Year!


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Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík
December 31st 2017
Published: January 1st 2018
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Let's start by saying I slept from 8:30pm-12:15am, took a little break from sleeping, then 1am-10am. I think I'm well caught up from the other night now lol.

I decided to bus into town and save the 40 minute walk once I did set out - good thing too I guess, it was colder today. I started at Tjornin - it's a little lake in the middle of the city that is overrun (in a picturesque way) by geese, ducks and swans during the summer. I was curious what it would look like now. Well, I guess unsurprisingly the lake is frozen - it was weird taking pictures because it was around 11:30am and there was the "sunrise" behind me. It was fun people watching for a bit - a lot of little kids playing hockey, tourists trying not to fall on their butts just walking on the ice, that whole thing.

As I went down towards City Hall at the north end, I realized a small part of the lake is most definitely not frozen as the birds were all there. They must have been frozen... but I mean, good food I guess lol. There were just as many there in the small little section as there usually is in the summer. I took that in for a bit - the sunrise had a beautiful effect on the dark (almost black) waters. I had fun taking pictures of the geese too - there were a bunch of child/teen/??? swans - I don't know what to call them lol, but not fully grown yet. I loved their feathering.

From there I made my way down to the harbourfront - I was going to go to the famous hotdog (yes...) place they have down there, but the line up - no joke - was at least 60 people deep. No thanks. I grabbed one a couple blocks back in towards Tjornin - tastes exactly the same, with only 2 people in line in front of me. Sidenote: their hotdogs are pretty great - onion, fried onion, mustard, mayo. Sounds gross, but so good.

And lastly, for the first part of my day, went up to Hallgrímskirkja - their giant church that looks like a volcano. I then went back to the hostel to warm up for a bit, have supper and head out to the bonfires! Woo! Fireworks started at 7pm and it was never more than 2-3min between a pop steady. Most of them were pretty small though, so you only saw them if there were a block or two away.

I had signed up for a tour to go the large bonfire down in Kopavagor just south of Reykavik. It was one of the coolest unique things ever..! The bonfire itself was massive - much bigger than what was near my hostel, and larger than any I'd seen before. They gave us sparklers, but no light haha, so you had to go befriend an Icelander to help you out which was interesting. It's fine though because everyone is so nice. The fire was nice and toasty, and in the background people were just shooting off fireworks every minute or so.

There was also some music (and quite a funny DJ lol. "Where are my Canadians?" *small woos* "Ok, so like, 4 of you. Where are my Americans?" *LOUD YELLS* "Ah. Are you all making America great again?" *Icelanders all cackle*)

Nice surprise at the end (near 9:45pm) they had a mini firework display... now... I say mini but it was honestly better than any I've seen in Ottawa. Ever.

Back in Reykjavik, I got dropped off in downtown so that I could go to the church for the fireworks at midnight. Omg I didn't even have to wait that long - full blown fireworks started at 11:30pm and literally went to 12:15am until I was like ok, I'm good haha. It's really insanely wonderful. I should have brought ear plugs... I ended up putting my earbuds in to mute the sound because they were going off all around you and it's LOUD.

The walk home was long, but it was so worth it. I got a show the entire walk home too - honestly people are still shooting them off and it's 1:30am now. The entire city is covered in a blanket of what looks like fog, but it's the firework smoke. I feel bad for those with asthma... and for dogs..! The poor puppies must freak out tonight.

(PS pictures from fireworks/bonfire will be added later when I'm not half asleep)


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