Survival Guide: Busy Sidewalks and You

Reykjavik’s Busy Sidewalks

Busy Sidewalks

The funny thing in Iceland is that because it is a sparsely populated country, Icelanders tends to ignore the fall-back-into-single-file rule when walking the busy sidewalks of Reykjavik. It has been both an amusement and at the same time a frustration for foreigners living here. Although, Icelanders are known to be hospitable, they would make a direct eye contact and smile, as you walk opposite their direction, but won’t really spread out like Red Sea as what happened in the Biblical narrative, instead they walk in groups and create a “military blockade” now it would be up to you to do something or not to do anything at all… They literary take up the whole sidewalk. We recommend you will do any of these;
1. You can hardly pull out of the way and just go strolling on the street. You coward!
2. Or you can try to play the “Red Rover”, where you really need to break the link. But it would be so difficult; you would simply give up and walk the same direction with them.
3. Or just STOP. Just stand there and get yourself busy with your cell phone or something. It would eventually confuse them and they will just have to walk around you which is actually fun.
4. There is another faking you can do, like try coughing up or try blowing your nose or something it’s like you have some disease. Anyone will get out of your way, but it would be so gross.
The thing is that not only are the Icelanders guilty of this trait. Tourists also form some kind of fortress wall when they walk around Iceland. Maybe because they are too overwhelmed by the sights and beauty in Iceland that they also won’t be able to notice other people walking opposite their direction.

Reykjavik’s busy street

Busy Sidewalks

One huge thing you will also notice are the baby strollers, they are really huge in size and it’s like it can transport ten little kiddos with it. Of course, they are supposed to be like that since the Icelandic weather can blow away typically made baby stroller like Wizard of Oz. And during weekends, you will have to get through a fortified military blockade. As for your entertainment you can just do option number one or three just to watch them approach each other which is a definite total mayhem.
Icelanders are also known for their creative parking. Like some jeep, usually a huge one, backing onto the sidewalk just to park. You will just have to get used to it though and just get out of the way.

Sidewalks During Winter

Busy Sidewalks

During wintertime, you really need to put on some dorky, but decent ice cleats or on a shoe with rubber traction on the underside of the shoes. This is a great “need” on your list when walking on Iceland’s sidewalks since sidewalk salt won’t really do any much during this period. But there are some sections that are heated. And it can be man-made or naturally heated like those in Hvergerdi a geothermal area, so you can see smoke coming out of the sidewalks which is an awesome sight.
One last thing, when you plan to walk around Iceland, make sure you always bring with you your ever reliable warm suit. Because no matter how beautiful the weather is it would change eventually and you will be left freezing on the sidewalks.
So that would just be it, your amusingly guide to walking on Iceland’s busy sidewalks.