Icelandic Christmas & New Years

The Icelandic Christmas period is an intriguing mixture of religious practice and traditional folklore, beginning on 23 December and ending on Epiphany, 6 January.

J. and I spent part of our Christmas holidays in Reykjavík, taking advantage of Iceland Air’s free stopover between Seattle and London. Our thoughts?

  • it’s dark.
  • it’s cold. no, actually, really cold.
  • yule lads
  • kitty
  • reservations at restaurants
  • fireworks
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Bergen, Norway

Bergen, formerly known as Bjørgvin, is a city and municipality in Hordaland on the west coast of Norway. At the end of the first quarter of 2016, the municipality’s population was nearly 280,000 making Bergen the second-largest city in Norway. The municipality covers an area of 465 square kilometres (180 sq mi) and is located on the peninsula of Bergenshalvøyen. The city centre and northern neighbourhoods are located on Byfjorden, “the city fjord”, and the city is surrounded by mountains; Bergen is known as the city of seven mountains. Many of the extra-municipal suburbs are located on islands. Bergen is the administrative centre of Hordaland and consists of eight boroughs—Arna, Bergenhus, Fana, Fyllingsdalen, Laksevåg, Ytrebygda, Årstad and Åsane.

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, encompasses 14 islands of the vast Stockholm archipelago on the Baltic Sea. The cobblestone streets and ochre-colored buildings of medieval Gamla Stan, the old town, are home to a 13th-century cathedral, the royal palace of Kungliga Slottet and its underground armory, cafes and restaurants. Ferries and sightseeing boats shuttle passengers between islands, beneath more than 50 bridges.