To Thrive in Chaos

Entering Gallerí Kannski for the Brokat Films exhibition Horseplay, the very first thing that greets you is the smell of fresh hay. Round the corner to the exhibition space itself, and you immediately see why: the entire space, about the size of a modest living room, is covered in it.Next, it’s the music. A pounding, […]

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Strætó Reports 3,493 Passenger Complaints in 2023

public transportation iceland

Last year, 3,493 complaints were filed against Strætó buses, averaging almost ten per day. Most were related to driver behaviour and bus conditions.

Drivers using smartphones among the complaints

A total of 3,493 complaints were filed against Strætó buses last year, averaging nearly ten per day, according to a summary presented at the company’s board meeting this March, reports.

Most complaints were due to driver behaviour and driving conditions, such as buses not stopping at stops, arriving too early, too late, or not at all. Additionally, there were complaints about buses not waiting for passengers, drivers using smartphones, and the condition of the buses being subpar. A total of 17 accidents involving passengers were recorded last year, with a total of 152 damages to buses.

Jóhannes S. Rúnarsson, Strætó’s director, told Morgunblaðið that there are around 600,000 bus trips per year, which means that complaints are made about less than 1% of these trips.

Read More: In Focus: Traffic Safety

As noted in a recent article in Iceland Review, January of 2024 was the deadliest month in terms of traffic deaths in Iceland’s history. Six people lost their lives in car accidents: one in an accident near the town of Vík in South Iceland, two on Grindavíkurvegur road on the Reykjanes peninsula, two near Skaftafell in South Iceland, and one in Hvalfjörður in West Iceland. Such a rate of fatal accidents had not been seen since record keeping began some 50 years ago.

Blue Lagoon Extends Closure Until April 1 Due to Ongoing Eruption

The Blue Lagoon Iceland

The Blue Lagoon has extended the closure of its facilities until April 1 due to volcanic pollution from the nearby eruption. A representative from the Blue Lagoon told RÚV yesterday that management would not reopen the facilities until it was completely safe for staff and visitors.

Monitoring pollution from the eruption closely

The Blue Lagoon was evacuated on March 16 when a volcanic eruption in Sundhnúkagígar commenced and has remained closed ever since. This morning, the Blue Lagoon, in consultation with the Icelandic Meteorological Office, decided to further extend its closure until April 1, primarily on account of volcanic pollution. The situation will be reassessed on April 1.

Helga Árnadóttir, Chief Sales, Operation & Service Officer at Blue Lagoon Iceland, told RÚV yesterday that volcanic pollution in the area was being closely monitored: “We anticipate that Grindavíkurvegur road will reopen in the coming days, but we are dealing pollution from the eruption, which we are managing by increasing measurements.”

At the request of the Blue Lagoon, the Icelandic Meteorological Office installed monitors near the popular tourist destination. Sulphur dioxide levels in the area reached up to 5,000 ppm yesterday morning, levels which are potentially hazardous to human health.

As noted by RÚV, volcanic pollution was also recorded in the town of Höfn, with the Icelandic Meteorological Office recommending that residents close windows, turn off air conditioning, and monitor air quality.

The Blue Lagoon will continue to reassess the situation: “We have been taking one step at a time … intend to manage the situation well before reopening,” Helga observed. As noted by RÚV, one employee of the lagoon had to seek medical attention at a hospital last week due to volcanic emissions. He is on sick leave, according to Helga.

“We will not reopen until we and the authorities deem it completely safe for both staff and guests to return. This has a lot to do with wind conditions and how these measurements develop from day to day,” Helga concluded.

In Focus: Traffic Safety

traffic safety iceland

 January of 2024 was the deadliest month in terms of traffic deaths in Iceland’s history. Six people lost their lives in car accidents; one in an accident near Vík, two on Grindavíkurvegur, two near Skaftafell, and one in Hvalfjörður. Such a rate of fatal accidents had not been seen since record keeping began some 50 […]

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Iceland’s EURO Dreams Shattered Following 2-1 Loss to Ukraine

Icelandic fans at the World Cup in Russia in 2018

Iceland’s dream of a spot in the UEFA European Championship in Germany this summer was shattered in Wroclaw, Poland, last night. Iceland lost 2-1 to Ukraine, despite an admirable performance.

Tense atmosphere

The atmosphere in Wroclaw was considerably more tense compared to that of Budapest last Thursday, where Iceland secured their place in the playoffs final by beating Israel. Ukrainian supporters outnumbered those of Iceland in the stands.

Åge Hareide made three changes to yesterday’s squad since Thursday, with Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Jón Dagur Þorsteinsson, and Andri Lucas Guðjohnsen entering the starting lineup. Both teams had decent opportunities in the opening minutes of the match, which were marked by some nervousness.

Iceland scored the opening goal of the match, with the team executing a clever passing sequence that ended with Albert Guðmundsson – who scored a hat-trick against Israel – received the ball at the edge of the penalty area. Dancing nimbly with the ball, he carved out space for a shot, with his left foot finding the bottom corner.

Almost ten minutes later, Ukraine managed to equalise. However, the goal was rightfully ruled offside. The score remained 1-0 at halftime.

Heartbreak in the second half

Ukraine started the second half brightly. In the first five minutes of the second half, they earned three corners, which the Icelandic defence managed to repel. As noted by Vísir, just as the Icelandic team seemed to be weathering the storm, Ukraine struck; Iceland launched a promising attack that fizzled out after a good run by Jón Dagur Þorsteinsson. The Ukrainians were quick to counter. Viktor Tsygankov found space on the right and placed the ball into the far corner, past goalkeeper Hákon Rafn Valdimarsson. 1-1.

As the second half wore on, Ukrainian pressure mounted, and the Icelandic team found themselves increasingly pinned back. Ukraine eventually found the winning goal, exploiting lapses in the weary Icelandic defence. Viktor Tsygankov found Mykhailo Mudryk with too much space in the penalty area, with the latter slotting the ball into the far corner.

The Icelandic team did everything they could to equalise following the goal, but Ukraine was savvy and slowed down the game effectively. Iceland launched one final attack in the dying moments of extra time, creating danger in Ukraine’s penalty area – to no avail. Ukraine secured a 2-1 victory, with fans and players alike celebrating the win passionately when the referee blew the final whistle.

It was a heartbreaking result in Wroclaw last night, especially given Iceland’s first-half lead. The dream of a place in the UEFA European Championship this summer has fizzled.