“I don’t know if I can do this,” Jóhanna the intern said as we boarded a small helicopter by the roots of Esjan—the mountain people of Reykjavík claim as their own. “I’m terrified of heights.”
I would like to be able to play myself of as some sort of action man who enjoys ice climbing, sky diving or walking alone at night in a scary neighbourhood, but I don’t. I’d much rather have a cappuccino and read a book, maybe something written by a German.
That being said, taking a helicopter ride up a mountain to see a music festival in the midnight sun is something else. The summit party was held last Friday and has become an annual event, and there is hardly a better backdrop to a concert stage than a panorama view of Reykjavík and the Faxaflói bay.
Best way to experience Iceland
The only disappointment was that the helicopter—which we didn’t have to pay for—didn’t pick us up at the office like I thought. Instead we had to smuggle beers on the 57 bus to the roots of Esjan. But being able to have my first cool entrance ever was great—even though I was half expecting to stumble and break my nose on the rocky mountain side.
I had never taken a helicopter ride before, but now I’m convinced that there is no better way to experience Iceland than by hovering above it far from its people. I don’t know how you’d book one of those, but I’m sure we have articles about i somewhere.
Top of the rap scene
A big part of Iceland’s vibrant hip hop acts were on display on Esjan’s summit, with Úlfur Úlfur, Emmsjé Gauti and Aron Can all performing. I’m not the biggest fan of the scene and Johanna is from Sweden so she didn’t understand the lyrics, but people loved it. Including the dad and son duo who flew down with us and then gave us a ride back into town—allowing us to avoid the 57 to Breiðholt. Thanks guys, you are the best.
And even Johanna the intern is on board with helicopters now. “I felt very inspired,” she said and looked wistfully up the mountain side.
The experience is highly recommendable for anyone who likes Icelandic nature, midnight sun, rap music or just things that spin very fast, like rotary wings.