Do you speak portuguese? Just wondering.
I read it online that there was around 400 portuguese people in Iceland. Is there any Portuguese Consulate in Iceland where I can make contact about travelling, work and general lifestyle in Iceland?
I adore your blog and everytime you post pictures or news, I just want to go to Iceland as soon as possible!
Yes I do actually, after living in Brazil. A embaixada mais perta é em Oslo, mas na Islândia tem um representante. Nao tenho encontrado muitos Portuguêses na Islândia, mas tenho uma amiga portugêsa.
Hallo, I think the 'street art' question is asking about things like graffiti and poster art, Banksy and the like. Now I am curious too.
In that case I don’t know much. I remember there was a girl who published a book with pictures of graffiti from around Reykjavík a few years back. I guess there is plenty of graffiti in Reykjavík, both legal and illegal. I posted a pic a while back of some pretty cool graffiti.
Another performance I can think of is Götuleikhúsið (The Street Theatre). This is an initiative by the city I believe. They offer teenagers a summer job in which they create happenings in the streets of Reykjavík.
The third I can think of is Menningarnótt (The Reykjavík Culture Night). During this day in August and out into the night various performances and happenings can be found on the streets of Reykjavík.
Thank’s for the pic Daniel! Ou talvez melhor dizer obrigado!
Skógafoss really is nicely framed in this pic, making it look like it is in a tropical forest. The actual meaning of Skógafoss is “forest waterfall”, so it is fitting. However there is very little forest around Skógafoss.
I love your blog! It has give me so much to look forward to on our upcoming trip. I was hoping I could pick your brain for a moment. I am a producer of an independent San Francisco based production crew and we are traveling around the world for 13 months documenting the lives of a very sweet and unique family of professional surfers who are from Hawaii. Iceland is our first international destination, we'll be there from 7/30/2011-8/23/2011 and I am currently booking our accommodations. We plan to start the trip off in Reykjavik so we can get a sense of the local urban culture and also because most of the surf spots in Iceland are near to Reykjavik. From there, we would like to explore a very different part of Iceland, but I'm having trouble honing in on the best way to do that. If we were to stay in one other location other than Reykjavik, what would you recommend? Or do you think the best way to capture a different side of Iceland would be via motorhome?
If you have any other pointers on what you, as a resident of Iceland, would want shown to the world, I'm all ears!
Thanks so much in advance for your time!
Most popular surf spots in Iceland (popular meaning they’ve been surfed in the past decade) are as you say close to Reykjavík. The entire south coast of Iceland is a giant black beach that can be surfed. Many of the prime places would be in the area between Grindavík (town) and Stokkseyri (town) I would guess (I’m not a surfer). Unique places that offer photographic marvels along with some surf, that I can think of, would include the black beach by the town of Vík í Mýrdal, the outlet of the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Búðir or Arnarstapi on the Snæfellsjökull peninsula.
The only real pros that could give you decent tips are the folks over at Arctic Rafting. They’ve even set up a site for Arctic Surfing. I would guess that about half of the (very few) active surfers in Iceland work there. They would also be super enthusiastic about promoting Iceland as a surf destination. Another venue you might get answers to your questions might be through the Icelandic Alpine Club’s website and forum.
Regarding accommodation and motor homes. Since every surf location is naturally on the coast… they should be accessible from highway 1. This means that you can drive any old car, including motor homes. A motor home would offer you freedom from booking fixed accommodation. Very beneficial if you are chasing good weather, as I imagine you would. There are plenty of good organized campsites you could use, along with the countless places you could just park in. There are several companies that lease motorhomes, such as Caravan, Lykilbílar and Happy Campers. Personally, I love the business model behind Happy Campers. They run a bit of a travel agency as well and might be able to help you with other logistics.
Looking forward to seeing your results. You might be interested in the big snowboarding production company, Teton Gravity Research, which has been filming a bunch in Iceland this spring with support from Arctic Heli Skiing (connected to Arctic Surfing).
Being yourself icelandic i though i could give this a go. I have been admitted at a postgraduate master at the university of iceland and i am now looking for a flat/house for the next academic year.
Do you know anything about the university's ones? Or will i have more opportunities finding a flat on my own? Any particular block i should look for? I want a single bedroom but don't want to spend too much as i won't be able to work in Iceland (from what i understand).
For a single individual, I would guess the university apartments would be the best choice. At least if you want simple and cheap.
The cheapest housing possible has always been the student apartments. However this is changing. After the financial crisis, a lot of tides are changing… Normal free market housing prices have crashed, while the student apartment prices are tagged onto the consumer price index. The price of student apartments is therefor today comparable and in some cases higher than on the free market. The long waiting lists have disappeared.
Still, if you need a cheap apartment for one and want to get to know other people, the student apartments are a good choice. Most of them, especially the single apartments such as in Gamli Garður, are very close to the University. Public transportation in Reykjavík is somewhat useless, so that is a big plus.
In any case when you are considering locations, check out the map on ja.is or bus routes and times through Strætó. The student apartments can be found through Stúdentagarðar. The public rent market isn’t that great in Iceland. People are much more likely to own their apartments, than in most countries. However you can check mbl.is for apartments (in Icelandic) or Vísir (in Icelandic). But for the really cheap apartments you need to read the classifieds in the actual offline newspapers.
About the working thing. I haven’t checked, but I would think that you are allowed to work while staying on a student visa. Here’s some info.
Earlier today I posted a picture of the final activity in the Grímsvötn eruption along with some info. However this video is much better. Check it out. The site is in Icelandic, but to see the video just click “Horfa á myndskeið með frétt” at the top of the article.
Brilliant. I've lived in Iceland all my life, an absolutely fascinating place, but you never really learn to appreciate its true beauty when it's in front of your eyes all the time. But still, you somehow manage.
To appreciate your home country it really helps to spend time abroad. I’ve lived in a few countries and had a lot of contact with tourists visiting Iceland. This gives you a completely different view of the country.
Hello there! I was just wondering about the crime rates in populated places like Reykjavík. What's the crime rate like as a whole and does it lower during the summer months because of the extra sunlight?
According to a 2005 survey, 22% of people in Reykjavík have either been victims of crime or had a close family member be victim. This to me is surprisingly high, as it sets us in 4th place in the survey of capitals (or main cities). The overall average was 16%. However this takes all crime into account, from bicycle theft to murder. If you take more specific indices such as homicide rates, we have had 0.7 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants per year between 2000 and 2009 vs. a global rate of 7.6, setting us at the bottom of a very long list.
I don’t think I can find anything specific for the summer. But from gut feeling I would think most rates go up in the summer. People are more likely to be away from home during the summer, leaving their houses vulnerable to break ins. More outdoor concerts and festivals should also inflate the rate of violent crimes.
We have had two murders this year. This is a lot so early in the year. However they were both very similar instances of domestic violence.
In any case we are generally considered to have the lowest or just about the lowest crime rate in the world.
do any stores in reyjkavik sell things like alka seltzer cold or mucinex? we went to a lyf & heilsa today and the pharmacist seemed perplexed by our inquiry. he asked if we were certain the congestion wasn't due to allergies & recommended nasal spray.
I don’t know mucinex, but alka seltzer I don’t think you’ll find in Iceland. I don’t think any drugs that include aspirin are sold in Iceland. Aspirin is generally not available in Europe at all due to dangerous side effects. There are much fewer drugs available in Europe over the counter than in the USA and much of the world. Don’t take medical or drug advice from me, but it is the allergy season.
This footage is from an airplane that flew around the Grímsvötn eruption today. Lightning have been unusually common around this eruption. It is normal that lightning occur within the ash cloud, but during this one there are much more than usual. The highest occurance of lightning during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption was 22. This time it has gone up to 2198 lightning bolts.
After watching iceland's entry for eurovision, I want to know if people in iceland look young for their age?!
Yes we are all very good looking. The thing is only the strongest and most rebellious vikings that couldn’t stand living under kings’ rule left Scandinavia to settle Iceland. On their way they stopped by in the British Isles and kidnapped all the most beautiful girls (you might have noticed there are few left). They then went on to settle Iceland and make a very good looking nation with no respect for authority.
Amazing video of the ash in the Grímsvötn eruption. Check out this news report from Icelandic TV. You can skip straight to 2:30 to see the crazies footage of ash fall I’ve seen. Keep in mind those pictures are taken during the middle of the day and it is pitch dark.
The ash fall in the small inhabited area closest to the eruption is much greater than from Eyjafjallajökull. However the eruption seems to be receding to some extent. The plume of ash which had reached 20km into the sky is limited to ca 12 now. Geologists say that this is a much larger eruption than what we have been seeing from Grímsvötn in recent years. However the behavior is familiar. That is a powerful beginning.
The international media tends to take a slightly overreactive response to eruptions in Iceland. I remember an Argentine news agency that showed a picture of people in some third world country wearing shorts fleeing from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. An eruption in Iceland is generally something that causes great excitement, but limited fear. At least eruptions in known volcanoes such as Grímsvötn. Grímsvötn has erupted 12 times in the past century, so it is business as usual. Well as much as eruptions can be considered “usual”.
This article by the BBC is perfectly sane and reasonable though. Check it out.
No it’s not the end of the world, it’s just a routine eruption, probably. The volcano, Grímsvötn, under the Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland began erupting today. Little is yet known about the eruption, as the volcano has not yet broken through the ice. Since the area lies deep beneath hundreds of meters of glacial ice it can take hours or days to break through. However the included picture shows the cloud of steam that has found its way through the ice. This cloud of steam has been seen from great distances all around Iceland. The eruption comes as no surprise as I wrote in November that an eruption might be coming soon and in January I posted about the largest earthquake in Grímsvötn since 1934.
The first group of scientists are on their way to fly over the area. Eruptions in this area are very common. Eruptions have occurred there throughout history, 2004, 1998, 1996, 1983, 1954, 1945, 1938, 1934, 1933, 1922 and 1902, just to name the eruptions in the past century. The eruptions vary a lot in size. The one in
1996 caused the most damage. During this eruption a crazy amount of meltwater flooded the Skeiðarársandur area. What happened then is the volcano melted a great deal of ice, creating an enormous lake under the glacier that could not flow away. At a certain moment the pressure was too much and the water broke its way through the glacier causing a massive flood that washed a way kilometers of roads and bridges. Such an event is not likely to reoccur this time, as part of this glacier dam is still weakened by the 1996 flood. So much water is thus unlikely to build up before it starts flowing.
On the map here you can see an up to date map of all the earthquakes in the area. The stars signify quakes over 3 on Richter and the red points, earthquakes in the last 4 hours. Lots of activity, but earthquakes do normally occur there every day.
Hopefully this will be an interesting eruption and a great sight to see. I know I’d be searching for a pilot to take me there if I were at home at the moment. The picture I put in there is from a sightseeing tour to the eruption in 2004. I’ll keep updating as better pictures and information appear. In the meanwhile, check out pictures and info about last year’s Eyjafjallajökull eruption and watch a video I posted of a flyover Grímsvötn last November.
I reported a few days ago about the then up and coming theatrical acrobatics display in Reykjavík. Well today La Fura dels Baus performed their awesome acrobatics in front of and above Iceland’s Parliament building as part of the Reykjavík Arts Festival. The acrobatics were performed in such heights, that air traffic had to be diverted. Watch the video of the performance and the enormous crowd that gathered there. I haven’t seen such a crowd there since the protests last year.
If you are into Icelandic music, as an alarming number of people are, check out this paper on Icelandic music by Trefjar. One additional reason I would like to suggest for the success of Icelandic music is the size of the country. It is not that difficult to become famous in Iceland. With a population of 318.000, most people are famous. Producing music for that population is not going to make you rich, but it might give you the egoboost needed to tackle the world.