It turned out that when booking my trip the dates coincided with Iceland’s biggest music festival, Iceland Airwaves (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland_Airwaves). This turned out to be a bit of a mixed blessing. On one hand I got to experience the collective buzz in the city from a fun happy social event, on the other hand I didn’t have a ticket (sold out, and I don’t really like concerts anyway) – so I wasn’t able to get in some of the bigger venues, and I had a hard time booking accommodations on the second part of my trip there.
There are two major tour bookers that exist in Reykjavik – I used Gray Line Iceland Excursions (http://www.grayline.is/Tours/activity_tours/Iceland.is) when I went caving. All hotel transfers worked out pretty well, you can get picked up at your hotel or just meet at the main office.
The time of year when I was there (late October/early Nov) it was dark very early. This turned out to be the case in all of my stops in Scandinavia. This means after waking up around noon some days, by the time I’d eat and roll out I’d only get a couple of hours of daylight. Most of the Europe photos on my trip are going to be either indoors or appear to be at night time.
Fortunately not all venues were IA exclusive, some bands play in venues like Bus Depots or Hostels. I was able to check out a lot of different bars in Reykjavik. Given the cold, lack of available seats and coat check – most people just kept wearing their jackets in the bars or clubs the entire night. Clubs didn’t charge cover – apparently “That just wouldn’t work here” – they just might have super long lineups to get in. My first night in a bar in Reykjavik dancing I thought to myself “How cool is this? I’m in fucking Iceland!”
I left the last few days of my Iceland trip unbooked hoping I’d find something while there. I was able to find a place a 10 minute bus ride / 30 minute walk out from the city center.
Read more about Iceland in Part 2…