Reykjavík Warnings and Dangers

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Most Recent Warnings and Dangers in Reykjavík

  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    SPENDING A PENNY, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE CHANGE

    by davidjo Written Jul 14, 2015

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    If you are not familiar with the phrase "to spend a penny" comes from the old days in England where it used to cost one penny to use a public toilet! Anyway in Reykjavik the public toilets are tall cylindrical buildings that are situated throughout the center of the city. One must pay to use them so make sure that you have some loose change in your pocket, but it is well worth it as they are well stocked with paper and extremely clean.

    Most attractions such as museums will have toilets that are free to use.

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    PEDESTRIAN ZONE

    by davidjo Written Jul 12, 2015

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    There is an area in Central Reykjavik that has been turned in to a pedestrian zone. There are colorful gates across the road which is in the form of a half gate and the other half is also a gate which is in the shape of a bicycle. I saw quite few tourists having their photo taken while sitting on the bicycle gate.
    The streets that are partly pedestrian zones are Laugavegur, Bankastraeti and Skolavordustigur.

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  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    Volcanic ash in Reykjavík.

    by Regina1965 Updated Apr 26, 2015

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    On the 4th of June 2010 was the first time that we got a big volcanic ash cloud reaching Reykjavík. There had been some volcanic ash before blowing from Eyjafjallajökull, but on this day it was foggy outside and the airborne particles were way above health-limits reaching as high as ca 1.100 in some areas (50 being the health-limit). So people with asthma had to stay in.

    My balcony was black from the ash and there was a thin layer of ash in my kitchen.

    If the wind blows from the east (from where Eyjafjallajökull is situated) then we can expect this kind of situation here in Reykjavík this summer. This is annoying but nothing compared to what the farmers near Eyjafjallajökull have had to endure.

    In 2012 we still get days in Reykjavík like this, especiallly during a drought.

    In 2014-2015 the Holuhraun volcanic eruption took place and if the wind was to the east we would sometimes get poisonous fumes from that eruption, causing Reykjavík to be bluish in colour from the fumes.

    Ash in Reykjav��k as seen from my balcony. Ash in Reykjav��k as seen from my balcony. There are supposed to be big blocks of flats there Ash in Reykjav��k.

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  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    The love padlocks - ever so annoying.

    by Regina1965 Written Apr 26, 2015

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    This is one of the most annoying things I see in Iceland, well, apart from the throwing of coins in every hot pool around. The love padlocks, which seem to pop up everywhere there is a railing of some sort, even on benches, like I show in my photos!

    What is causing people to do this? These love padlocks accumulate and add to the weight of the railings and end up ruining the railings as they get too heavy, like happened in Paris. I visited Paris the day after a part of the bridge there, which is covered with love padlocks, collapsed and fell into the river Seine.

    Also the Bridge between two Continents on the Reykjanes peninsula is now filled with love padlocks.

    I know this has been kind of a tradition since 2007, but it is done without thinking of the long-term consequences. I have heard that this first started in WW2 in Serbia, correct me if I am wrong. Then lovers would meet on a bridge and seal their love with the love padlocks before the man would go to war. And from 2007 people started imitating the characters in the film Ho voglia di te, by Federico Moccia, where the lovers would hang a love padlock on Ponte Milvio in Rome and then throw the key into the river Tiber.

    This is happening in so many places in the world, I have seen this in Oslo, and in Firence in Italy 5.500 love padlocks had to be removed from the bridge Ponte Vecchio!

    The love paddock on the bench. The love paddock on the bench. The love paddock on the bench.

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  • kaloz's Profile Photo

    VAT - Be sure to get your refund

    by kaloz Written Feb 16, 2015

    Iceland may not be as expensive as it seems.

    If you are shopping in Iceland, be aware that there is a VAT (Value Added Tax). For any good that you are taking out of the country, get a tax free receipt. Fill in the information and turn in all of the envelopes at the airport on your way out of the country. Your refund will be processed and will appear on your credit card statement in a month or two.

    The website below will explain the process.

    souvenir
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Business Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • kaloz's Profile Photo

    Pay Toilets

    by kaloz Written Feb 15, 2015

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    You will be told that while in Iceland you will not need cash as everyone accepts credit/debit cards. There are two instances when this is not true. At the flea market (Kolaportið) and at Þingvellir National Park if you need to go to the bathroom (200 ISK). If you are on the Golden Circle Tour, be sure to use the facilities at Gullfoss.

    200 ISK
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

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    Stairs: steep or slippery

    by kaloz Written Feb 15, 2015

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    Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall:
    To get to the lower trail, you will need to descend a long staircase. In the summer the danger is more in going back up if you are not in good shape, but there is always the danger of falling down the stairs. In the winter the staircase can be treacherous, and the reward is not as great as the trail is closed due to icy conditions.

    Exercise or heart attack summer, steep winter, slippery
    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Family Travel

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  • kaloz's Profile Photo

    Hot Water

    by kaloz Written Feb 15, 2015

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    Geysir geothermal area:
    Caution: You do not know how hot the water can be, so do not test it. This warning is given on every tour and there is a warning sign, but I see people reaching down to test the water.

    Warning
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Study Abroad

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  • jlanza29's Profile Photo

    Make sure you put enough money !!!!

    by jlanza29 Updated Oct 15, 2014

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    Parking in Reykjavik isn't a problem there is plenty of spaces …. just make sure you put enough money in to the meters and have it displayed on the dashboard of your car …..

    We didn't put enough and got nailed with a parking ticket of 2500 ISK about $22 US ….

    There is 3 levels of parking in the downtown area … P1, P2,P3 … P1 being the most expensive and so on …. we got the ticket in a P2 area ….

    When I mentioned it to the front desk at my hotel … the clerk told me if I paid it within 3 days the cost of the ticket would be half … and indeed it was … we paid our ticket at city hall air was 1250 ISK instead of 2500 ISK …..

    Make sure you add enough money …

    pay it within 3 days .. half off ?.

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  • Assenczo's Profile Photo

    Braving the swells

    by Assenczo Updated Sep 4, 2012

    Whales have turned from a mass of useful blabber into Hollywood stars within 50 or so years and every tourist outlet with access to the ocean around the world claims to have the ticket to their shows. Well, be aware that this adventure might turn your guts out if you have problems with your balance apparatus (located in your ears). The Reykjavik experience is an example that offers food for thought for the folks who are less sea-worthy than others simply because the performance is of dubious quality. First, you are in a rather large boat which by definition puts you away from the animals through size and menacing presence. Secondly what is in on offer in the "Smoky Bay" are mink whales which are small in size and do not jump out of the water as advertised on the brochure (they have the wrong whale there too). And thirdly weighing up the previous two against the possibility to vomit your precious juices in offering to the sea gods, makes the whole excursion not worthwhile.

    Minky on your left!?!
    Related to:
    • Whale Watching
    • Adventure Travel
    • Eco-Tourism

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  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    Beware of ice falling on your head!

    by Regina1965 Written Jan 4, 2012

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    During wintertime, which lasts from October until end of April, we can get a lot of snow. For the past 10 years though winters in Reykjavík have been milder than before, due to Global warming, or whatever. But the winter of 2011 gave us a LOT of snow, reminding me of my childhood when there was snow for 7-8 months a year.

    It doesn´t get very cold here in Reykjavík, ranging for plus numbers and -10 degrees C. So when there has been a lot of snow and then we get thaw we need to beware of icicles and snowbanks falling from the roofs of houses. This is ever so dangerous, and on several occasions I have had snowbanks falling right in front of my face. Icicles are worse, they can kill people. So during thaw never walk close to houses, which is especially difficult down-town and in the west-part of old Reykjavík, where side-walks have not been cleared and it is either walking on the street (not very popular) or constantly looking up and trying to stay on the left side of the side-walk.

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  • WanderingFinn's Profile Photo

    Roads, traffic signs, cars, speeding, alcohol

    by WanderingFinn Updated May 27, 2008

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    First of all the mildest warning: if you have planned to stay even a few days in Iceland and want to see around, it is worth the money to rent a car. (We rented it beforehand via Internet and it was not expensive). Namely the taxi from Keflavik airport to Reykjavik city centre costs 70-80 euros per one direction! (There are bus connections too, much cheaper).

    Danger: Bear in mind that if you have any kind of (big or small) usual family car, don't ever enter to any road with road number having the letter "H" in front of the road number. That means a mountain road or otherwise a special road where only 4-wheel-drive Jeeps or preferably bigger cars can make it. In these roads one might see a traffic sign meaning that "river ahead, no bridge". So drive on to the water...
    Also, there might be lots of holes, slippery gravel, rugged terrain, soft soil with only the marks of car wheels marking the "road". Sometimes, depending on the season, the glacial water (melting ice) may have swept away whole parts of the road.

    You'll be totally safe when driving paved roads and the main gravel roads (in good condition). As a basic rule you can take the fact that all the red roads in the map are safe to drive and no surprises occur.

    Remember to have a proper map - in Iceland it is your life insurance too.

    About speeding: it is told that if the police catches you from overspeeding, depending on the case it can cost you starting from 1900 euros and up. Often they claim the payment immediately.

    Alcohol: absolutely not allowed when driving. Don't take even that one small beer with your lunch - as if the police smells and notices it, it is going to be very expensive -again! And you might face some other concequences too.

    This car is safe allover - even in the This one too is capable of passing any roads Even the ambulance of the area looked like this... A typical scene - 11% of Iceland covered by lava
    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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  • Careful before buying Duty Free goods inside airpo

    by icelandtraveller Written Oct 25, 2007

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    We were told by the Duty Free staff INSIDE Keflavik airport that it is OK to purchase fluids/liquid food items and hand-carry them back to N.America; however, take heed that this is NOT TRUE!! If you are transiting via U.S., the U.S. Customs will confiscate your goods when the fluid limit of 100mL has been exceeded.

    U.S. Customs mentioned to us that they had encountered numerous cases whereby travellers coming from Iceland have been told it is OK to have Duty Free fluid/liquid purchases as carry-on, but in fact, IT IS NOT OK. Even duty-free wine and beverages will be confiscated. You should check-in this items.

    I guess this applies to any country and transiting via U.S., but it was a frustrating experience for us, because it happened whilst at the Iceland Duty Free. If their staff did not give us mis-informed information, we would not have purpchased anything there. We felt that they were saying just ANYTHING to make a sale. We did write a complaint to Duty Free.

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Family Travel

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  • acemj's Profile Photo

    Geothermal disruptions!

    by acemj Updated May 5, 2007

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    Here's an excerpt from an email I sent to some family and friends on April 19, 2007:

    "So, I´m walking down the street last night in Reykjavik when I see
    this small stream of piping hot water flowing down one of the main
    shopping and eating streets. I follow the water and it leads me to a
    camera crew and some police who have roped off an intersection that
    has the rotten eggs smell of sulfur in the air. Steam is rising in a
    more concentrated cloud a few meters up a cross-street and I realize
    that it´s some sort of geo-thermal blowhole that´s somehow forced its
    way through the cement and is now trickling through the
    pedestrian-filled streets. Welcome to Reykjavik where the women are
    fine, the people are hearty and the prices are so high, I can´t stay
    long."

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  • coccinella169's Profile Photo

    Driving in Iceland

    by coccinella169 Updated Mar 14, 2007

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    Driving in Iceland can be a bit of a challenge- especially if you are not used to drive when it is icy or snowing. Already Reykjavik is full of veeeery big 4 WD cars with enormous tyres, and this for a reason. I had a little Toyota Yaris and was envious :). At least it had spike tyres. In the countryside it can happen, that you end up in a snow covered, icy road full of holes or stones. I almost landed in the ditch because I had not seen the bounding of the road in the snow storm. The other thing is, that the weather changes all the time- within an hour you can have sunshine, rain, strong winds, ice rain and a snow storm. So, be careful.

    Snowy road brave little Yaris this is what you need

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Reykjavík Warnings and Dangers

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