During the summer solstice, construction workers pave new roads in the night. It’s late June. The skies are clear. The yellow vests are grimy. Above the banks of lake Þingvallavatn, a crew of men are laying asphalt – working on a stretch of road maybe a kilometre long. As the dump trucks come and go, […]
As the eruption by Fagradalsfjall in the Reykjanes peninsula began, many feared that air traffic would halt as it did during the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption. Lucky for us (and the rest of Europe) the Fagradalsfjall eruption is a fissure eruption that isn’t coming up under the ocean, a lake, or a glacier. Instead, it produces slow-flowing lava that sputters up from a long fissure before lazily sliding down the valley until it cools from a bright red or yellow to a dull, craggy black. Only the steam rising from the fresh rock indicates the enormous heat that lies below.
In fact, the eruption has a lot more in common with the 2014 eruption in Holuhraun, albeit on a much smaller scale.
Last year, Iceland became the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup tournament in men’s football. For a nation just about a century old, living on a small island north of almost everything, making such an achievement on an international scale is something that will go down in history.
For the past few decades, Icelanders put a lot of energy and pride into building up top-notch training facilities and quality youth programs for sports of all kinds. Icelanders have excelled in sports such as gymnastics, handball, and golf but the crowning glory of Iceland’s sporting industry are the national football teams. Excelling in the world’s favourite sport, and certainly, the most-watched sport in Iceland has unlocked new levels of national pride in this small group of 350 000 souls.
As the men’s football team travelled to Russia to compete with the best of the best, the whole nation held its breath. Airline tickets to Russia sold like hotcakes, as did the official team shirts. Buses, offices, homes, and faces were decorated with the Icelandic flag, and the national broadcasting company scored record ratings on game days. Every football enthusiast was in an emotional uproar as the game against Argentina, led by Messi, ended in a draw, but even when the team wasn’t winning, the boys had the love and attention of supporters from Russia to Akureyri, and even a small gas station in Blönduós.
Iceland is one place in the world where the chicken most certainly came before the egg. Norse settlers arrived on the island in the 9th century, bringing a unique breed of feathered friends known today as landnámshænur (settlement hens). Settlement hens’ eggs have nourished Icelanders through centuries of wind, snow, and volcanic eruptions.From 1752 to […]
Bjarnarfjörður á Ströndum is about as far off the beaten path as you can imagine. On sunny summer days, the area is full of life. Year-round residences turned summer houses fill up with vacationing city folk, and there’s a steady traffic of tourists on their way to the Strandir trails. During winter, however, the roads are impassable, and most of the houses are empty. Kaldrananes, an isolated farm, whose name in Icelandic implies chilliness and inhospitality, is one of the few farms occupied all year round.
The shortest day of the year is an important one for the inhabitants of Kaldrananes. Two houses stand on the grounds along with a sheepcote, an old church, and a large, decaying freezing plant, ambitiously built shortly after WWII but only in use for a few years. One of the houses is empty; its only use is as a vacation home. The owners don’t live in the area, and the place can be rented through Airbnb. In the other house, Ingi and Birna are awaiting the arrival of their daughter, Alda, who’s joining them for one of the most important tasks of the year. It’s time for the sheep’s mating season to commence.
Superfoods can nourish both body and soul as Thelma Björk Jónsdóttir is well aware. The multitasker is both an acclaimed yoga teacher as well as a fashion designer. She spearheads the Slökun í borg (Relax in the city) project, which aims to discover calm in everyday life’s strife.
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