Icelandic Governments from 1971 Onwards
Ever since 1971 the Icelandic government has sat by the same table and after every shuffle of ministers, a photo of the ministers is taken. The President of Iceland is the one sitting at the end of the table and as you can see, there have been three of them during this period. The first is Kristján Eldjárn, the second is Vigdís Finnbogadóttir (World’s first democratically elected female head of state) and the third is the current Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson.
lollajames asked: why do you guys like licorice so much?
I have no idea. I hate licorice and therefore have a hard time finding Icelandic candy to my taste.
Iceland makes a ridiculous diversity of candy for such a tiny nation. Many of the most popular ones are some combination of chocolate and licorice.
(Source: blog.icelanddesign.is, via chlofun)
Frosty morning in Reykjavík.
Photo by Þórir Viðar.
Anonymous asked: Hi, before than nothing, thanks for all the info. and beautiful pics of your beautiful country, it's a world pride. Now, i'm from Argentina, and i'm thinking on visit Iceland in Feb. becouse i'll be traveling, and it's like a dream coming true. What i want to know is, how much money do you think that i gonna need for 5 days? I would like to do something like an "icelandic life" more than a "tourist trip" if you know what i mean. Takk.
The bus from the Keflavík airport to Reykjavik costs 2000.
In February it’s too cold for camping, so the cheapest option for accommodation (unless you find some lucky hotel deal) will be the hostels. I listed all the hostels in this previous post. That will be somewhere between 3 and 5 thousand ISK per night. The cheapest places to eat (fast food) charge about 1000 ISK per meal. For 2-4000 you can go someplace nice.
You can walk pretty much anywhere within downtown Reykjavik, but you can get a full day bus pass for 900 ISK or a three day one for 2200.
Museums and such generally charge between 500-1500 ISK for entrance. If you have any sort of school ID you can almost always get a discount. Many of them also are free on Mondays.
Getting out of the city is more expensive, unless you are a group of friends and able to fill a rental car. Most day tours from Reykjavik cost about 10000-25000.
Be sure to go to some of the local swimming pools. Entrance only costs 400-500 and it’s a great place to meet people, relax etc.
Another reference you could use is that the average tourist to Iceland spends 35,000 ISK per day.
Hope this gives you some idea.
The Arctic Fox is the only native land mammal in Iceland. Since the settlement (874 AD), mice, reindeer and minks have moved in and adapted to the Icelandic environment. This fox is probably on the hunt for a ptarmigan, the main part of its diet.
Photo by Guðmann.
lollajames asked: Hey! I've been to Iceland twice in the winter time, and next year I plan on going in the summer. I've done most of the touristy things already like Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon, several of the museums in downtown Reykjavik. What would you recommend I do when I go back?
I’d recommend to get as far away from Reykjavík as possible. If your budget allows, rent a car, bring a tent and drive around Iceland chasing the best weather. Go swimming every day, either in a natural hot spring or in a local swimming pool. Every town in Iceland and every neighborhood in Reykjavik has a swimming pool. They are super cheap and awesome. If a rental car is out of your budget there are other ways to get around Iceland.
Also, I always recommend going for a glacier walk. This you can do as a daytour from Reykjavík or from either the Sólheimajökull glacier close to Skógar and Vík or in Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park.
Take a bath in a real natural hot spring (not the Blue Lagoon). This you can do in some day tours from Reykjavik, but also in many places around the country by yourself.
If you prefer to be based in one place and travel from there, skip Reykjavik and fly or take the bus to Akureyri. It’s the biggest town outside the capital area and in many ways a much nicer place. From there you can do all sorts of excursions.
fightacrosstheconstellations asked: Hello! I'm going to be on exchange in Reykjavik from this next August to June, and I was hoping you (or a lovely follower!) could give tips on housing, food, etc. for when I'm there. Even contacts! I do love contacts and having new friends. Any help would be wonderful! Thank you so much, and I love your blog! Good luck on moving!
Hi. If your exchange program is with the University of Iceland, your best bet might be to live in a student apartment or room. It’s usually the cheapest and puts you close to likeminded people for company. Alternatively, you could rent a room or apartment privately. The Icelandic rental market isn’t great, but the two major sites for renting apartments are these: Vísir (click “Eignir til leigu), Mbl and Leiga. They are only in Icelandic, so you’ll need to use google translate.
You can find a good deal of info about cost of living etc. in past questions about studying in Iceland as well as in other questions about Iceland.
I started this blog soon after I moved away from Iceland two years ago. Now, 1,564 posts later, I’ve moved back to Iceland. I don’t know what effect this will have on the blog. The style will probably change a little bit and maybe I’ll have more of my own photos to post. In any case, as the past couple of weeks of silence already shows, I’ll post less frequently. There’s just so much more to do in Iceland…
Hundreds of tonnes of herring run aground in Iceland
The Kolgrafarfjörður fjord on the west coast of Iceland is currently full of herring. The Icelandic Marine Research Institute estimates that there are currently 285 thousand tonnes of herring in the fjord. For unknown reasons, at least several hundred tonnes of them have swum up onto the coast and died. Currently the dead fish cover an area of roughly 1 square kilometer.
Researchers are taking samples and hoping to find the causes, but several unusual conditions might be at play. Perhaps, due to the enormous amount of fish in the small fjord, there is a lack of oxygen in the sea. Another cause might be the recent calm, but very cold weather which could be making the sea water in the small fjord unusually cold. The herring may then be trying to escape the cold, unable to navigate out of the narrow fjord.
Anonymous asked: I'm going to Iceland in May, literally my dream come true. But I'm only going for a week and by myself. What are the must-sees? Do the majority of people speak English? And do you have any cheap accommodation to recommend in Reykjavik?
The typical must-sees are things like the Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, Bæjarins Bestu hot dogs, whale watching etc. Virtually everyone does them and they are nice. What I would add to that list is #1 walk on a glacier, #2 bathe in a natural hot spring (not just the Blue Lagoon) and #3 visit one of the local swimming pools.
The first two are most easily done by taking a tour. I would recommend this tour which combines both (I’m biased because I used to guide it. But it’s a great tour, at least with me as a guide).
The swimming pools are great and a good place to socialize. There’s a couple of dozen in Reykjavik, so just find the one nearest to you (or visit several).
The cheapest accommodation (unless you find some online bargain) is probably in one of the hostels. Since you are travelling alone and don’t have anybody to keep you company on bus rides, I recommend the ones downtown. There’s Downtown Hostel, Reykjavik Backpacker’s and Kex.
Pretty much everybody speaks fluent English, but you’ll make people smile if you learn some Icelandic phrases.
Reykjavik Mayor, Jón Gnarr, encourages the Mayor of Moscow to rethink his ban on Gay Pride.
Jón Gnarr was noticed by international media when he participated in drag at Reykjavík’s Gay Pride festival. Since then he’s been quite active fighting for LGBT rights as well as other human rights campaigns. Today he published this open letter to Sergey Sobyanin, the Mayor of Moscow. As the Mayor of a city in cooperation with Moscow, he encourages Sergey to rethink his ban on Gay Pride in the city and points to the very positive experience Reykjavik has had with the festival.
By the way, Jón is doing an AMA on Reddit right now.
A road through the moss to the Lakagígar craters in Iceland, the source of the eruption in 1783 that killed hundreds of thousands of people around the World, sparked the French Revolution and made the Mississippi River freeze down to New Orleans.
Photo by Snorri Gunnarsson.