Written by Paula Jones Last updated: June 6, 2006
Find romance in the northern lights
This unusual European city is the world’s most northerly city and is perfect for anyone looking for something a little different as a location for a romantic break. The name means ‘Smoky Bay’ in Old Norse, because of the steaming sulphurous springs, which are used to heat public outdoor swimming pools.
The city is culturally very active, with a lively selection of museums, cafés and music venues where you can catch Iceland’s most famous musical export, Bjork. Alcohol is not cheap, but that does not stop hordes of Icelanders converging on the city of a Friday night for a huge drink‐up. Just outside Reykjavik, you can find lunar landscape deserts where geysers bubble under the winter snow, not to mention frozen waterfalls and snowscapes that lend themselves to sledging and snowball fights.
Reykjavik is a first‐class haven for lovers of seafood. Fish does not get any fresher than that served in the city’s sophisticated, but expensive restaurants. The adventurous may also wish to dine on the country’s more exotic fare like smoked puffin, wild reindeer and grouse. The Café Solon Islandus is light and airy, with modernist paintings on the walls, candles and jazz and a good place for that special meal. Drink is very expensive in restaurants, so have a couple of beers before you head out.
If you happen to be in Reykjavik when the night sky is particularly clear and the Aurora Borealis is in full resplendent view, what better setting or more beautiful sign could you ask for?
Put on some Bjork, close your eyes and imagine you’re surrounded by hot‐springs in the middle of huge ice‐fields.
A flick through Letters from Iceland by WH Auden and Louis McNeice will tug at the heart strings, and look out for Three Icelandic Poets, a collection featuring the work of Steinn Steinnarr, Jon Ur Vor and Matthias Johannessen. Film‐wise, look out for Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow, a haunting emotional drama set partly in Iceland, starring Julie Ormond and based on the novel by Peter Hoeg.
Eg elska thig ‐‐ I love you
Til hamingju med daginn ‐‐ Happy anniversary
Til Hamingju ‐ Congratulations
Viltu giftast mer ‐‐ Will you marry me
Reykjavik is a great place to party at the weekend because the entire young population moves into town for a big pub‐crawl that lasts well into the early hours of the morning. During the winter months, you can work off any hangovers by heading out for some sledging in the few hours of daylight.