A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Eruption Pollution Likely To Hit Whole Country
Travel
BIKING IN REYKJAVÍK IS UNDERRATED

BIKING IN REYKJAVÍK IS UNDERRATED

Published July 23, 2012

Reykjavík may not be the most bike- friendly city, but it certainly has some beautiful routes where cars are not welcome. For a particularly nice scenic ride that’s fewer than 10 kilometres round trip, head to Öskjuhlíð and pick up a coastal path that takes you into Fossvogsdalur.
To find this mystical path, ride out of town through the south side of Þingholt. You could for instance take Laufásvegur, which gives you the opportunity to admire the charming houses, until you reach Gamla Hringbraut, where you turn left. Ride up the hill past Landspítali hospital until you reach the lights and then turn right on Bústaðavegur in the direction of the Pearl. Ride past the Valsheimili football stadium and turn off at the lights. Follow Flugvallarvegur until you reach the intersection and then turn left along the cycle path and you are on your way!
Ideally the wind is a light breath at your back and you are surrounded on both sides by an abundance of lupines. To your right is the ocean, velvety and radiant. To your left, is the somewhat unusual presence of an Icelandic forest creeping down the hill, dark green and resplendent (okay, forest is a stretch, but there are trees and this is unusual). You pass the odd runner, people walking their dogs, other cyclists, but it is otherwise quiet and for a moment you own the path, the valley, the city, the ocean, the world.
Just follow this cycle path around the hill side and then up to the valley. You will know where you are going. Just relax and feel the fresh air on your skin and enjoy the wholly underrated activity of biking in Iceland.
Eventually you cross over the bridge into Fossvogsdalur. The neighbouring city of Kópavogur is on one side of you, while the Fossvogur neighbourhood is on the other, hushed with the low hum of domestic life. You follow a stream until you reach the perfect spot: a mellow grove of trees, the long grass in an open stretch of field, or a shady spot on the bank of the stream. When you find it, you throw down your bike, throw yourself down and let the open sky swallow you whole.
Of course things aren’t always this ideal. If it’s winter, well, this romantic little jaunt is far less likely to be so blissful. If easterly winds are blowing you have to battle with headwinds most of way, probably getting dust in your eyes and expending twice as much effort to go half the distance.
But… the big BUT, it’s worth taking this ride because you may hit the jackpot and roll straight along in a westerly breeze, meet no one along the way and get to have this glorious feeling of momentarily owning the world. Who isn’t willing to take that chance? Even if things aren’t 100% perfect, they are still pretty damn nice and it will be worth it. We promise.



Travel
<?php the_title(); ?>

Merchants’ Weekend Is Here!

by

Every year in Iceland, the first weekend in August is dedicated to celebrating Verslunarmannahelgi (“Merchants’ Weekend”), a labour day / bank holiday equivalent. While not everyone is actually a Merchant, every Icelander is encouraged to celebrate like the holiday is their own, with many getting three or four days off work. Though it is traditionally Iceland’s heaviest drinking weekend, there are plenty of ways for everyone to have fun, including Pride parades, spiritual programs, and swamp soccer. We highlight some of the most well-known festivals taking place this holiday weekend. The Gæran Festival is held in the town of Sauðárkrókur

Travel
<?php the_title(); ?>

Iceland In Miniature

by

Having planned to spend much of this summer—my first summer in Iceland, in fact—gallivanting around the country, I’ve instead spent most of my time in the city, close to home. But today, I’m lucky. In the name of research, my partner and I get twelve hours to explore the Snæfellsnes peninsula. This is “Iceland in miniature,” I’ve been told, a veritable “Best Of” sampler where many of the country’s most sought-out natural wonders exist side by side. Above The Lava Field Circumnavigating the whole peninsula would only take about three hours, but with limited time at our disposal, we decide

Travel
<?php the_title(); ?>

Into The Abyss

by

“It’s a good thing you’re going underground,” our bus driver calls out as his windshield wipers work furiously to bat away the rain. I watch the drops race across my window, blurring the moss-covered lava field that surrounds us. We are headed thirty minutes southeast of Reykjavík, with the intent of entering the chamber of a dormant volcano that erupted 4,000 years ago. In Jules Verne’s fantastical novel, the Snæfellsjökull volcano is an entry point to the centre of the Earth. But in the real Iceland, Þríhnúkagígur is the only volcano where dreams of descent can be realised, and only

Travel
<?php the_title(); ?>

A School For The Beer-Curious

by

In a small lecture hall doubling as a private bar, twenty men raise their glasses and have a big gulp of Egils Gull as Stefán “Stebbi” Pálsson begins the bjórskólinn (“beer school”) curriculum. The school is hosted by Ölgerðin, one of Iceland’s two largest breweries, and offers the obtuse a chance to learn more about beer and its culture. We recommend that students don’t arrive on an empty stomach and pace themselves, as even the hardiest of people can be toppled by the school’s free refills. We begin our adventure by looking into the history of beer and its culture.

Travel
<?php the_title(); ?>

Delicious Feet

by

Some people find it disgusting to be licked by animals. I am not one of them. I am a disgusting person who loves it when cute animals give me big wet kisses. Like most folks around town, I had never heard of a fish pedicure (or any other piscine spa treatment) before noticing Fish Spa Iceland on the corner of Hverfisgata and Barónsstígur earlier this summer. Fish Spa’s owner, Hallgrímur Andri Ingvarsson, was first exposed to the treatment back in 2012, when he got a fish pedicure while on vacation, and it sparked an idea for enterprise. “I’ve always been

Travel
<?php the_title(); ?>

Horsing Around

by

In the kitchen at Steinsholt, Kari Torkildsen is stirring up a delicious lamb soup. She and her husband, Gunnar Marteinsson, are the owners of Steinsholt Riding Tours. They are making sure everything is ready for the company of thirteen Danes that they are expecting. Meanwhile, their toddlers, Magnús Örn and Jóhann, play with their matchbox cars on the floor. Not unlike most Icelanders, they don’t seem to need a proper road to drive; in fact their cars hardly need a road at all, leaping enormous gaps straight from floor to kitchen table with ruthless precision. They play utterly oblivious to

Show Me More!