With summer approaching, it’s good to know what you can do on one of those stormy days when you find yourself stuck indoors in a small town or village in Iceland.
It is possible to go outside and brave the wind and cold to soak in a nearby hot pot – the complete list of pools and natural hot springs in Iceland is on this site http://www.sundlaug.is along with any other necessary information you’ll need i.e. price lists and opening times. Nothing brings more security while embracing a winter storm in full swing, than a nice serene bath in a 40-degree hot pot – outdoors!
If you’re in the Icelandic capital, Reykjavík you can rent a DVD from the video store on Klapparstigur. We recommend the two Icelandic movies Djúpið, and Á klödum Eldfjall klaka, both are very good choices for a cosy night in (that’s if you haven’t seen them already). You can also try out the local independent cinema Bío Paradís on Hverfisgata; there you can see a wide selection of Icelandic and international films. Or if you prefer to hear some Icelandic music, the excellent music store 12 Tonar provides headphones for anyone wishing to check out what’s on sale – this is a lovely time spent listening to the vibes of local bands like Sigur Rós and Múm.
Read! The chain bookstore Eymundsson stays open until 22 hours on weekdays and allows customers to peruse through books and magazines (a lot of books are in English) while enjoying a cup of coffee or hot chocolate from their store’s coffee shop. Each town and village have a good public library and a huge selection of English books. If you have the chance to stay with a host, you can borrow a good book for sure because most Icelanders keep shelves filled with interesting books to get them through the long winter evenings.
Knit! Why not learn to knit a lopapeysa? You will find wool sold in specific stores and some supermarkets. You can find knitting instructions in English on the Internet.
Finally, if you’re planning to outstay the winter weather in Iceland, here’s a list of things to do to prepare you for the Icelandic culture: Watch videos of Viltu LAERA íslensku on the internet for initiation into the Icelandic language. They are simple videos and very well done. Cook an Icelandic specialty. We found very good recipes on the internet to make a skyrterta (skyr tart, kind of “cheesecake”) or jólakaka (Christmas cake). Read (or reread) that good Icelandic thriller that you have stored away in your personal library.