Iceland – cool for cats

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sv_63_2_1Culture vultures seeking an exotic thrill to sate their thirst for adventure are turning their attention to Rejkjavik. Iceland’s capital city is playing host to a multitude of Cultural events in August and September 2009.

Gay Pride strutted it’s stuff at the beginning of August, the 20th annual Jazz Festival runs from the 13th August to 1st September and Culture Night (Menningarnott) is set for 22nd August, with a third of the population expected to participate.

The annual Menningarnott started in 1996 and quickly became an essential part of Iceland’s cultural life in Iceland, with thousands of people strolling the streets of the  city to take-in an extraordinary number of colourful events, culminating in a fantastic fireworks display at 23:00.

Whether it’s culture, or to sample the delights of whale watching, horse riding or the spectacular Geysir, now is the time to take in the northern delights of Iceland

In short Menningarnott offers tourists a chance to experience a concentrated dose of Icelandic arts and culture. It offers the chance to enjoy a variety of activities ranging from guided tours, traditional shows and exhibitions to more unusual happenings. A number of cultural institutes such as galleries, ateliers, shops, cafes, churches, restaurants and bars in downtown of Reykjavik stay open until late.

This year’s theme is “the town’s houses” and one of the festival highlights is an invitation by inhabitants to visit a home in the city centre and have some waffles and coffee and get to know the hosts.

Music will be plentiful this year too as the Reykjavík Jazz Festival coincides with Culture Night this year, so pack your dancing shoes and settle in for a atmospheric jam session.

As an alternative to culture, the energetic might prefer to suit-up for the Reykjavic Marathon, (August 22nd) which has attracted a record number of registrations this year.

It’s never been easier to reach the Icelandic capital, with Iceland Express offering low-fare direct flights to Keflavik airport from London Gatwick and now announcing a new route from Birmingham International commencing in 2010.

“Launching this new route is an exciting development for Iceland Express,”

says Matthias Imsland, Iceland Express CEO.

“Our new route will make flying to Iceland more convenient for many people and we cannot wait to begin the service.”

The new route will operate once-a-week, every Sunday, for around 13 weeks during the summer months and is the first time Birmingham has had a direct flight to Iceland.

So, whether it’s culture, or to sample the delights of whale watching, horse riding or the spectacular Geysir, now is the time to take in the northern delights of Iceland.

Resources:

Getting there:

  • Icelandair maintains regular scheduled flights to Iceland from: London, Glasgow and Manchester.
  • Iceland Express operates regular flights from Gatwick and from Birmingham (Weekly, starting 2010, summertime only).

August in Reykjavic:

Up-coming 2009 Events:

National Parks:

  • Vatnajökull National Park the largest national park in Eeurope. Covering a total area of 12,000 km2 (11% of Iceland), few other places in the world exhibit the effects of such a wide range of natural phenomena. The battle between ice and fire still rages within the National Park’s boundaries.
  • Thingvellir, “Symbol of the Icelandic Consciousness”, is in a rift valley between the American and European geological plates and Lake Thingvellir contains species of fish found nowhere else.
  • Snaefellsjökull National Park is at the foot of a volcano and glacier, and is steeped in mystery and romance; it is the only Park that reaches from the seashore to the mountaintops.
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