Reykjavík at night

My colleague Nichole and her husband Nate, who is a professor of film studies in the U.S., are staying with me this weekend. We decided to make the most of our one full day together by taking a drive along the south coast of Reykjanes, all the way over to Stokkseyri. There we went to the Draugasentrið and to the Wonders of Iceland exhibition. I may at some point in time say something about these two attractions, but suffice it to say they are fun without leaving much of a lasting impression on a person.

Then we went up to Gullfoss and Geysir, and even though Nate claims to be unimpressed by "water working on gravity" he nevertheless really enjoyed hiking down to Gullfoss and waited in some anticipation for Strákur to erupt.

We changed clothes in the car and headed straight to Reykjavík from there, getting into town just as things were starting to get going, but not yet jam packed. (at 11:30 at night, there are still parking spots around Laugarvegur, pretty amazing!).

Now, I have not been in downtown Reykjavík after 1am in a very long time, and there is just no way to deny that it is very unique, the way the streets of the city become a gigantic party as everyone stands around drinking and talking, sort of aimlessly walking from place to place, all dressed up. It reminded me a lot of Las Vegas.

But a part of me was saddened to think of Reykjavík like Las Vegas. I mean, I like Vegas in a way: it is this city whose only purpose is to entertain. You have to check all judgement before you even go there. But Reykjavík has so much more to offer than wild nights out on the street.

So although the night was memorable, I found myself more fondly remembering the other times I have spent in downtown Reykavík; going to jazz concerts and lectures just after dinner, or heading out for cozy dinners with friends and then walking through the almost empty streets of Reykjavík. And in fact utilizing the holdings at the library there holds the most appeal for me these days.


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