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Lived in Iceland for 18 mos - will answer any questions

Lived in Iceland for 18 mos - will answer any questions

Old Nov 6th, 2002, 06:00 PM
  #1  
chris
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Lived in Iceland for 18 mos - will answer any questions

Hi,
I was stationed in Iceland for 18-mos and returned stateside April 2002. I'd be happy to answer any questions. It is truly a unique experience and I would highly recommend it!
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 10:13 PM
  #2  
bb
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Exactly what is there that's so fascinating to do & see in Iceland besides terrain? I'd rather spend the same money on a trip to France for example.
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 12:55 AM
  #3  
mh
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Stationed as in the US military. I ahve a question- Is this country as expensive as people say it is? We have a dear friend who was born and raised in Reykavik (sp) and he wants to immigrate to the US. He came to the states for college and the INS made him return. We have an open invite to stay at his place anytime, but he did suggest budgeting a 100.00 a day.He broke it down: one restaurant meal for two and possibly a coffee and cake, or a couple of cokes. Since I already reside in Germany I have noticed the farther north you go the more things cost (Copenhagen).It would be nice to have another perspective on budgeting from someone who has lived there. I hope that you had a interesting tour and that your new assignment is a good one. Take care and God bless
MH
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 02:30 AM
  #4  
Amy
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Just had to add my two cents about what there is "other than terrain": a great little city with chic shops and restaurants, history back to the Vikings and the first European parliament, swimming in geothermally heated water year round, incredible scenery, outdoor activities from hiking to horseback riding, and some of the cleanest air you'll ever breathe! I've been to France (twice); I went there before going to Iceland, but that doesn't mean I found it a less worthy destination.

My question for Chris: what's the winter weather really like? I've read all the official info (ie, temps similar to NYC) but the "feel" of a place differs according to so many factors. I was going to be spending New Years there, but the flights just weren't working for me. (sigh) However, I'm gonna try again next winter!
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 02:49 AM
  #5  
Chris
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To all,
Winter temps in Iceland actually remain around 32' but the wind speed can greatly affect the comfort level. I've seen it in no wind when it is crystal clear and magnificent and I've seen it when it was so windy it could literally blow a child over and even some adults.

The weather is so variable that it could change 10 times in one day. One thing I learned was to never do anything based on the weather because it would always change. Be prepared and think windproof/waterproof outerwear and you will be fine.

Amy hit the nail on the head on what there is to do in Iceland and MH, I would highly recommend New Years there as well. It was definitely one of the most memorable and has one of the best fireworks shows in the world.

Yes, eating can be expensive. Expect to pay $125 for two in a really nice restaurant. Remember though that tax and TIP are included! You do not tip extra in Iceland!

Hope this helps.



 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 03:04 AM
  #6  
Jules
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Chris - I have been offered a position there at our Embassy and can't decide whether to take it or take the job in Berlin. What is it like in Iceland for a not-so-old single woman on her own? I'm an avid horsewoman and I know the riding there is wonderful so that's a big plus but besides riding - is there a lot of other activities to keep one busy? Also - I do have two cats that will be traveling with me and I know they have restrictions there - did you know anyone who brought pets with them and if they did - did it all turn out ok? Thanks!
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 04:09 AM
  #7  
Chris
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Jules,

I used to know one of the girls at the embassy. Her first name was Elizabeth. She too was single (early 40's) and lived in Reykjavik. Maybe you have already talked to her. If not, she would probably be an excellent source for info.

Being stuck out in Keflavik for my tour in Iceland it was about a 40 minute ride into the capital. Reykjavik is really where 85% of the action is with regards to shopping/restaurants/coffee houses and various cultural events. I would try to make it into the capital every weekend, even just to walk around in the shopping areas. It's so clean, and the food is truly exceptional. Part of my boredom came from the fact I was a distance from all the action. If I had my choice I would definitely have lived in Reykjavik or the nearby town of Hafnarfjordur.
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 04:13 AM
  #8  
Jules
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Chris - thanks for the info - I actually spoke with Elizabeth the other day and she was also very helpful. It's a big move so I wanted to get as much info on the place as possible and it's always nice to have different people's opinions on a city. Thanks again!
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 04:13 AM
  #9  
Chris
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Jules,

Sorry, for the pets it is a 6-month quarrantine on an island off the coast of Iceland. Yes, that was 6-months. Iceland has one of the toughest quarrantine laws around.

No question, Berlin would make traveling through Europe much easier, but if you have already done the "Europe thing" then Iceland could be the ticket for you.
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 05:03 AM
  #10  
Steve
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Jules,

have you lived in mainland Europe/Germany before? If no, then you could really do some great traveling during your stay in Berlin. I am living in Munich for about one year and love Germany's central location for travel.

Also, I have a friend who moved here from the U.S. with her cat. No problems at all. No quarantine or anything like that. I think she only had to go to the vet in the U.S. for a few shots before the move.

Good luck with your decision!
Steve
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 05:55 AM
  #11  
Sidfresh
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How is the nightlife in Reyjkavic? ARe there alot of dance clubs and bars? Are they open till morning?

Anything of interest to do during the day, such as museums, monuments, historical significant stuff.

 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 06:10 AM
  #12  
Jules
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Steve/Chris - thanks to both of you for the info. I'm leaning towards Berlin for several reasons but mainly due to it's central location to the rest of Europe and also because I do have pets and hate the thought of putting them through six months of hell just so I can have them with me. I've never been to Germany before so it will be a whole new experience for me.

Thanks again for your help and the info!
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 07:59 AM
  #13  
melanie
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Hi Chris,

I just wanted to know if there are any romantic get aways in Iceland. You mentioned New Years was nice but are there any places you could recommend to stay that are romantic for a newly engaged couple. Also I think Amy mentioned horeback riding. Have you tried it, is it something two novice people can do?
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 02:59 PM
  #14  
Amy
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Hi, Melanie!
I know I'm not Chris, but...
The horses are very easy to ride, and you can choose from many different durations and levels of skill. Combine the horseback riding with a trip to the Blue Lagoon (an outdoor thermal spa) for a great day.

Hotel Borg in Reykjavik is supposed to be a great romantic hotel; I haven't stayed there yet, but it's on my list and it's been highly recommended by lots of people.

Pasta Basta is one of my favorite Reykjavik casual restaurants; you can do a very good $35-40 dinner there under a canopy in the summer.

Iceland's actually been listed in one of the Bride Mags as one of the top 50 honeymoon spots--according to the Icelandair site, anyway.

It's my all time favorite country!
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 05:37 PM
  #15  
xxx
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Gets my vote as funniest post of the day. Icelandair site lists Iceland as one of the top 50 honeymoon spots. There's a surprise. They couldn't even make it # 1?
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 07:12 PM
  #16  
thelittlewoman
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Gee, how could it make it to number one when Las Vegas still exists?
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 07:24 PM
  #17  
melost
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how du u spell Bjork?
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 07:52 PM
  #18  
melanie
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Hi Chris,

I was wondering if there are any romantic get aways? My boyfriend and I are planning a trip and wanted to know if there are any romantic hot spots to check out? I think Amy mentioned the horseback ridding, have you been and would you recommend it for novice ridders?
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 08:03 PM
  #19  
melanie
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Sorry I didn't mean to post the same message twice. I guess my computer is a little slower than others. Thanks Amy for the info. I will definately have to try the horseback ridding. I am not so sure about my fiance, he is not the adventureous type.

We were hoping to try some different restaraunts? Some unique types of food can anyone recommend any places?
 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 02:59 AM
  #20  
Chris
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Melanie,

I too was a novice on horseback. The Icelandic horses are a great way to start. They are extremely friendly and fun to ride. I remember the days of riding throught the lava fields in the winter as the sun was setting. The sky turns incredible colors at sunset in the winter. To answer your question exactly, yes Iceland is absolutely the place for novice riders.

As far as hotels etc, I prefer to stay in the smaller cozier inns with usually 35 rooms or less. Two recommendations on my list are "Hotel Odinsve" (appx 32 rooms-they have a website-do a search on google)and "Guesthouse Luna" (about 6-rooms and more like a bed and break fast. These were definitely two of my favorites, and both in the heart of Reykjavik within easy walking to all the great downtown sites/restaurants.

I'm pretty sure Icelandair had specials for Valentine's day if that works for you although their choice of hotels is often limited to the ones they own and not the ones I mentioned.

If you go in the winter keep an open mind and dress in layers with the top layer being waterproof. If you like adventure and are willing to try something different then I say go for it.



 

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