Monthly Archives: July 2011

HARPA – Reykjavik’s new concert hall sparkles

There's still work to be done on the forecourt, but it's nearly there...

Icelanders’ traditional architecture consists of stone huts covered in turf, so it will be a big event in Reykjavik on August 20, 2011, when the extraordinary glass concert hall Harpa is inaugurated. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Scandinavia

EINAR JONSSEN – Iceland’s great sculptor

Einar Jonssen - Earth

One of Reykjavik’s attractions is the sculpture garden dedicated to the work of Einar Jonssen (1874-1954).

I like it – classical, rich in symbolism. I can’t claim to understand all the symbolism, but it does intrigue.

The work is beautifully executed, and stays still when you point a camera at it, patiently waiting while you choose your angle.
Continue reading

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BORGARFJORDUR EYSTRI – an Icelandic village portrait

Borgarfjordur Eystri- a spectacular location, and all quiet in town.

Borgarfjordur Eystri is the only settlement we pass on our trek through Iceland’s deserted inlets. Most of the farmers who used to eke out a living in the Viknaslodir region have left, so now it’s a hikers’ paradise, with 140km of trails to follow. Continue reading

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REYKJAVIK – street art

A real Banksy or an imitation? Either way it adds something special to an otherwise dull street.

Reykjavik feels like the sort of place we visitors pass through on our way to somewhere more interesting.

It’s small (population about 120,000) and the main shopping streets remind me more than anything of Queenstown in New Zealand. Like that city, Reykjavik is where visitors book tours to adrenalin-pumping adventures – hiking, whale-watching, glacier walking, horse riding and volcano spotting.

Then we fill in a day browsing countless shops selling outdoor gear, eating pizza and drinking too many cups of coffee. The coffee here, incidentally, is excellent and I can recommend the Kaffitar chain. I’m still shaking slightly from the double cappuccino.

To keep us entertained while we wait for the real fun to start, Reykjavik has scattered art along the waterfront and in other public places. Continue reading

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REYKJAVIK – the taste of whale

I hoped to see whales and puffins while in Iceland, but I wasn’t expecting dead ones to land on my plate. Continue reading

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Filed under Travel- Europe

ICELAND – hiking with vikings

This fiord is known for its fog, but we caught it on a good day.

I’m sorry, Tasmania, Swiss Alps, New Zealand and even you, Himalayas. You’ve each just been knocked down one place in my ‘world’s most spectacular hiking destination’ list. Continue reading

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Filed under Hiking