Monday, July 13, 2015

Shopping in Reykjavik for a Christmas markets cruise in Europe in December. And about summer in the Arctic in 2016, and where to buy clothes for a trip to Mount Everest.

The centre of Reykjavik

So yesterday, I finally reached a semblance of civilisation via my arrival in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland and the most remote capital of Europe.

Until now, I've been in the outbacks of the Arctic, enjoying myself way more than I expected.

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Read more about the Arctic
in the next issue of #Travelife Magazine

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I loved the silence and the calm, as well as the amazing scenery and the great food. We did long walks and long drives, and got a lot of fresh air, and I actually lost track of dates and hours. We were in the middle of nowhere, after all so the usual things didn't matter at all.

Click here to read about a great lobster lunch in the Arctic outbacks.

And it's been so wonderful that I've decided to spend next summer back in these parts, somewhere in the Arctic, living a #Travelife. I thought I'd take a house for the summer if I still feel this way about the Arctic by the time 2016 rolls around.


COLD IS RELATIVE

As for now, it's summer in the Arctic and it's about 12 degrees at high noon on a good day -- and this is about as warm as it will ever get in these parts, and I really can't complain.

Most days are sunny with about five minutes of rain every so often, and the quality of light is just spectacular.

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Scroll down to read more...

http://www.travelifemagazine.com/2015/06/laperitivo-italiano-on-july-22-at-seda.html

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FOR THE LOCALS, THIS IS A HEATWAVE

For the locals, this is the equivalent of a heatwave, perhaps.

I've seen most of them sitting outside in t-shirts and sundresses. And this afternoon I even spotted a lady walking barefoot in the street.

So, as far as Arctic weather goes, this is summer.



SUMMER FOR THEM
IS WINTER FOR ME

It's certainly not summer for me, however, and for a couple of other tourists.

Until I bought every warm clothing I could find in Reykjavik's main street today, I was always slightly cold, even with the Tokyo autumn clothing I'd brought with me. I didn't bring my winter clothes because I didn't think the Arctic in summer would be this cold.

But once you get used to it, it's actually nice because it's crisp and nippy without being teeth-clenching cold.

Scroll down to read more...



SHOPPING FOR REAL WINTER CLOTHES

Anyway, the weather proved a good excuse to stock up on real winter clothes -- the kind people wear in Northern Europe or in Hokkaido in January.

I don't have Europe winter clothes in my closet in Tokyo, you see, save for a couple of fur coats, as I generally avoid Europe like the plague from November to March as it's far too cold for me.

However, I've forced myself to fly to Europe in winter a couple of times in recent memory.

Once was for three weeks in Austria and Hungary a few years ago, and another time was a trip to Paris just before Christmas sometime back as well.

Sushi lunch, Arctic-style, the other day,
living a #Travelife...

A CHRISTMAS MARKETS CRUISE
THIS WINTER

But this year, my neighbours and I have decided to do a Christmas markets river cruise. 

We'd all traveled together several times over the last 12 months, all over the world, you see, and we'd enjoyed these trips together immensely. So we decided to do a trip together again before 2015 is over.

Initially, someone wanted to do a Northern Lights trip. But again, the cold put me off so I convinced everyone to sign up for a Christmas markets cruise instead, which should be wonderfully fun.

It will still be cold where we're headed, but at least it won't be freezing cold like the Arctic in the winter.


SHOPPING FOR WINTER CLOTHES
FOR EUROPE IN REYKJAVIK

And in preparation for this trip to freezing Europe in December, I hit the hip outdoor clothing stores of Reykjavik in search of the warmest clothing I could find.

The coldest European capital in the world is the place to buy warm clothes, after all, and I happily discovered some great, cutting edge Icelandic clothing labels that really cater to the coldest outdoors.

Nothing is cheap. In fact, I would describe the prices here as pretty expensive. But I figured I won't get clothes like this anywhere else.


CINTAMANI IS SO COOL

One store I particularly liked is an Icelandic label called Cintamani, which has a really cool store along the city's main street and the most cutting edge technology for warm clothes.

I was initially put off by the price as Cintamani's clothes are about four times more expensive than the other Reykjavik labels. But when I looked more closely at the quality, it spelled a world of difference.

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Read more about the Arctic
in the next issue of #Travelife Magazine

------------------

THIS IS WHERE THE EVEREST CLIMBERS
BUY THEIR CLOTHES

Cintamani is where Everest climbers get their clothing as well, although I didn't go so far as to get one of these Everest jackets. I tried one of the Everest jackets on and I looked like a snowman.

Instead, I found a sleek and beautiful state of the art long down jacket that was light as feather and ever so warm -- plus it had all the bells and whistles for people hip on sporty design.

THE LIGHTEST, WARMEST
HIGH-TECH JACKET IN THE MARKET

The guy who convinced me to buy this, a young and tall Icelander who looked like he'd just stepped out of a clothing catalog for fashion and good health, said: "This is the lightest and most high-tech warm jacket on the market today."

I closed my eyes and handed over my credit card. Europe in winter, Northern lights next year, and an Arctic summer in 2016, here I come...


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