Gravity Sagas: Theoretical High Energy Physics Conference in Reykjavík, Iceland
From Tuesday 30th of May to Friday 2nd of June 2023

Accomodations *BOOK FAR IN ADVANCE*
It is the onset of high season when the conference starts, so book far in advance.
Budget options are hostels and guesthouses (use those search terms).
As for hotels: decent chains are for instance fosshotel and centerhotel.

Getting to Iceland

Iceland is most conveniently reached by plane. Most flights go to Keflavík International airport, although there is also an airport in Reykjavík itself, but that one mostly serves domestic flights. It is important not to get those two mixed up.

From Keflavík airport (the one where you'll probably arrive) one can book a flybus bus (or some other bus company) to Reykjavík's bus terminal called BSÍ, or take a taxi or rent a car. The bus ride takes about 45 minutes.

There is also a ferry to Iceland. The ferry takes about three days and leaves from Denmark (and stops in the Faroër islands in between). It arrives at the lovely town of Seyðisfjörður, which is almost the diametrically opposite part of Iceland from Reykjavík's (where the conference is held) perspective - an 8-9 hour drive (there are buses, though!). 

In dowtown Reykjavík one can do everything on foot, in principle. If you do want to take a bus, I recommend you read this article. There's also a fleet of electric scooters one can use -- be careful though!

Don't forget to pack..

Iceland is a special country. For instance, around when you're visiting the conference the sun rises at 3:30 and sets at 23:30. It is therefore recommendably to bring an eyemask for sleeping.

Apart from that we're pretty close to the polar circle and coupling that to some mountain ranges, the ocean and a couple of glaciers it means the weather can be rather versatile. It is recommendable to bring: sturdy shoeware, a hat (and gloves if you're a person that gets cold quickly), some coat with some rainprotection and/or windbreaking capabilities (umbrella's tend to die quite quickly due to the wind), some warm layers of clothing, sunglasses, and swimming gear.

Things to do besides science in Reykjavík

Bringing swimming gear to Iceland is not a cruel joke. Due to geothermal activity Iceland is blessed with a lot of warm water and people bath in this - outside. It's a cultural thing. Going swimming really means just sitting in the warm water (for me at least). 

Although you can always go to blue lagoon and such, there are community pools that are just excellent. Downtown there's Sundhöllin and closeby the University Campus, where the conference is held, there is Vesturbæjarlaug

Although it's a bit of a stroll, there's also a geothermal beach in Reykjavík.

A walk in downtown Reykjavík (postal code 101) is nice. The parlement (Alþingi), the Hallgrímms church (Hallgrímmskirkja), the shopping streets (Laugavegur, Skólavörðustígur) and street around it, concert building Harpa and Sunvoyager statue are recommended. A stroll to Þúfa or to the Kjarvalsstaður and the Klambratún park around it can be nice. The panoramic roof of natural museum Perlan can be astonishing on a good day.

The national museum (on the university campus actually) tells a compelling story about the settlement of Iceland and a stroll over Ægissída on a clear day gives a spectacular view (be sure to have a coffee at kaffivest afterwards).

If you have a car to your disposal, the open air museum is fun to visit (and the pool close to it!) and if you really want to drive to the edge of town, then the house of Iceland's sole Nobel prize (Literature) winner Halldór Laxness provides an interesting atmosphere.

There are two hikes nearby Reykjavík you can reach with public transport within finite time (although it'll take a while, 1-1.5 hours one way): Úlfarsfell (go to Skógræktarfélag Mosfellsbæjar Hamrahlíð) and climbing Esjan (Steinn, go to Esjustofan), the mountain opposite to the Reykjavík bay. 

Beyond Reykjavík

Reykjavík is nice and all that, but the real Iceland experience lies beyond Reykjavík. Although touristy, the golden circle, a one day fieldtrip from Reykjavík, provides some decent highlights. To go beyond the golden circle, it is recommended to extend your stay before or after the conference.