20.02 Archives - Iceland Review Skip to content

Tag: 20.02

Stöð Stövarfjörður Viking Age longhouse excavation
Culture

Buried

Once upon a time, there was a brave Viking chief called Ingólfur Arnarson. He took to the open ocean along with his family and farmhands to seek out a land far across the sea that only a handful of explorers had visited. When Ingólfur saw this new, uninhabited land rise from the sea, knowing nothing of its opportunities or the challenges it presented, he asked the gods for direction on where to settle. Ingólfur threw his high-seat pillars overboard, swearing an oath to build his farm wherever they came ashore. The gods directed the pillars to Reykjavík, where Ingólfur made his home in the year 874.

This content is only visible under subscription. Subscribe here or log in.

Read More »
carbon neutral Iceland 2040
Magazine

Clearing the Air

Not long after it signed the Paris Agreement, the Icelandic government set an even more ambitious goal: to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, ten years earlier than the agreement outlined. Since then, the City of Reykjavík, the National Power Company, and the National Church have all hopped on board, with their own timelines for reaching carbon neutrality by 2040 or sooner. While it seems that Icelanders are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work, they have a daunting task ahead of them.

So how do you make a country carbon neutral? Experts, activists, and decision makers are realising that it’s not one step at a time. Rather, it’s many steps at once, in time with the steps of others – a co-ordinated dance towards a brighter future.

This content is only visible under subscription. Subscribe here or log in.

Read More »
Culture

Music and Lyrics

If you google “Icelandic musicians,” his picture appears third from the right – right next to Björk and Of Monsters and Men.

Born on July 1, 1992 in Akureyri, Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson aspired to a career in javelin-throwing or music. When a prolonged back injury put an end to his athletic ambitions, he narrowed his attention to songwriting.

This content is only visible under subscription. Subscribe here or log in.

Read More »
Magazine

Raising Riders

To reach Hólar University in winter, you must drive through the ice-covered Hjaltadalur valley. On your way there, you’ll pass groups of horses in almost every colour of the rainbow. You’ll notice their thick and shaggy winter coat, and how they huddle together to keep warm. The snow on their furry backs might send a shiver down yours – but the horses have been here for a millennium, bred to survive the harsh conditions.

This content is only visible under subscription. Subscribe here or log in.

Read More »
Culture

Hungry for More

When opening acclaimed restaurant Agern in New York, Gunnar Karl Gíslason tasted twenty different types of butter before he found one he liked. His pastry chefs sourced several kinds of organic milk because the ice creams made from regular milk tasted off to him. He never did end up finding lamb that met his standards in the US, though he found a single farm in the mountains of Pennsylvania whose grass-fed sheep he deemed adequate to serve his guests. But in Reykjavík, he’ll scarf down the local classic – a hot dog with ‘everything:’ crispy fried onion, fresh onion, mustard, remoulade, and ketchup – like the Akureyri-raised country boy he is. There’s a catch though: he’ll only get one from certain shops where they heat the sausages the way he likes them and serve the right kind of ketchup.

This content is only visible under subscription. Subscribe here or log in.

Read More »
Looking Back

Western promises

While most people today are very much aware of Europe’s exploration and colony building in what was optimistically called the New World, you would be forgiven for not knowing that Icelanders founded a self-governing colony in the Americas as well. New Iceland was established on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba in the late 19th century, beginning with the settlement of Gimli, named after “the most beautiful place on Earth” in Norse mythology. It is estimated that nearly 25% of the entire population of Iceland emigrated to North America over the four decades that followed.

This content is only visible under subscription. Subscribe here or log in.

Read More »
Culture

Staging stories

At the time of our interview, Brynhildur Guðjónsdóttir has been the director of the Reykjavík City Theatre for exactly five days. She’s known that the job was hers for only ten days: the former director left before her four-year term was over and asked to be released immediately. As I congratulate her and ask how it’s going, her first reaction is the following: “Well, my calendar is full, that’s for sure.” Despite the busy times ahead, the development is a positive one. “There’s a lot of action and movement in Iceland’s theatre life. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years.”

This content is only visible under subscription. Subscribe here or log in.

Read More »
Iceland Symphony Orchestra in Eldborg Hall
Culture

When the Band Began to Play

First, the strings enter: bowing a soft, high A. It’s the first ray of morning sunlight breaking over the horizon. The woodwinds answer with a two-note proclamation, like shadows retreating before the dawn. Like brilliant droplets of dew, glittering textures arise from the clarinets.

This content is only visible under subscription. Subscribe here or log in.

Read More »
Culture

Take Me to Church

It’s a cold Sunday morning as I make my way up Skólavörðustígur towards the mighty Hallgrímskirkja church, a white, tapered structure that towers gracefully over downtown Reykjavík like a huge upside-down icicle. Very few people are out and about, and from the looks of it, most of them are tourists. None of them, however, look like they’re on their way to mass.

This content is only visible under subscription. Subscribe here or log in.

Read More »
sale of state-owned Icelandic banks
Business

In Focus: Sale of State-Owned Banks

For years, Iceland’s government considered selling 25-50% of Íslandsbanki bank, currently fully owned by the State Treasury. Reducing state ownership of financial institutions was a turnaround in Iceland’s financial policy that had been in development for years. With memories of the banking collapse still strong in the minds of the public, many were opposed to […]

This content is only visible under subscription. Subscribe here or log in.

Read More »