ÍS: Nauthólsvík

Reykjavík, Iceland On a sunny weekend in the end of May, I took the twenty minute walk along the coastal path from my house to Nauthólsvík, the geothermal seabathing spot in 101 Reykjavík. There’s a small partially enclosed swimming place that’s a bit warmer than the actual sea water (although still way too cold to do anything but walk in and run back out) and a long hot pot where you’ll spend most of your time if you go.Reykjavík, IcelandDespite the perpetually frigid water, there’s still a beach-day feel on a sunny “summer” afternoon. Kids are playing in the sand, people are soaking up the sun on lounge chairs and picnic benches, and someone is always cooking plysur (a pylsa is an Icelandic hot dog) on the grill. I met a German friend who is planning a move to California, so we talked about big changes (I just came back to the States myself) and the struggle to get rid of all the things you accumulate so you can pack your life into a few suitcases again (I’m getting really good at this…brought everything back with only three checked bags!).Reykjavík, Iceland

Reykjavík, Iceland

Reykjavík, Iceland

Reykjavík, Iceland [35mm film taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures of Reykjavík

Icelandic Independence Day in Seyðisfjörður

Seyðisfjorður, IcelandJune 17th was the 70th anniversary of Icelandic Independence from Denmark. There was a delightfully small town celebration in Seyðisfjörður that felt completely removed from time, as if it could have easily been a small town celebration in the 80’s or in Tom Sawyer. Seyðisfjorður, IcelandThe town gathered on the lawn in front of the church to hear some musical performances by the youth. Then, the firetruck pulled up and every kid big enough to walk ran en mass to get a ride. They piled as many as would fit in the front, turned on the sirens, and made a big circle through the town, making several more trips until every kid got a chance.Seyðisfjorður, Iceland

Seyðisfjorður, IcelandSeyðisfjorður, Iceland

Seyðisfjorður, Iceland

Seyðisfjorður, Iceland[35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]

ÍS: Class Field Trip Day in Ísafjörður

Ísafjörður, Iceland

An adorable group of Icelandic kids spotted on their way back to school from the Westfjords Heritage Museum.  Ísafjörður seems like a wonderful place to grow up. Safe and small, kids run around without any supervision, knowing no one here would ever hurt them. As one reader described it, reflecting on growing up here in the ’70’s and’80’s: “A whole town as your playground.” Ísafjörður, Iceland   [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]

ÍS: Westfjords Heritage Museum

Westfjord Heritage Museum Housed in a beautiful historic, wood building at the end of the Ísafjörður harbor is the Westfjords Heritage Museum. If you’re a history/museum nerd like me, you will thoroughly enjoy it. The first floor is dedicated to the history of fishing in the Westfjords. They have a film playing that shows a recreation of what day to day life for fishermen in Ísafjörður was like at the beginning of the Industrial Age (hint: pretty similar to how it had been for hundreds of years before that).

Westfjord Heritage Museum The second floor is divided between the contents of a boat builder’s workshop, some early diving gear, and the largest accordion collection in the Westfjords. Turns out a hand organ craze hit the Westfjords in the middle of the 20th century. I happen to love accordions, so I really enjoyed these beautiful pieces from all over Europe.  The third floor is devoted to the flora and fauna of the area, including historical uses of the natural resources. Climb up a wooden set of stairs  ladder and a tiny lookout area on the fourth level provides a great view of the harbor (I took the first photo from this attic nook).

Westfjord Heritage Museum  [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]

Stop & Listen

Myndra Street Performance in Reykjavik, Iceland I was strolling up Laugavegur a few weeks ago, enjoying the summer hubub and lazily passing the day wandering, when I passed by Myndra having an informal performance. I sat down and listened for a half an hour. If you’ve never heard of them, check out their music.  And always stop for street performances, because you never know what you may have stumbled upon. Myndra Street Performance in Reykjavik, Iceland [These shots are 35mm taken with a disposable film camera]

June 17 || Independence Day in Seyðisfjörður

20140624-142950-52190128.jpg June 17th was the 70th anniversary of Icelandic Independence from Denmark. There was a delightfully small town celebration in Seyðisfjörður that felt completely removed from time, as if it could’ve been a small town celebration in the 80’s or in Tom Sawyer.

20140624-143744-52664328.jpgThe town gathered on the lawn in front of the church to hear some musical performances by the youth. Then, the firetruck pulled up and every kid big enough to walk ran en mass to get a ride. They piled as many as would fit in the front, turned on the sirens, and made a big circle through the town, making several more trips until every kid got a chance.

20140624-144225-52945538.jpg There was also face painting and some calves and lambs to pet.

20140624-144429-53069587.jpg

20140624-144428-53068600.jpg[Photos taken with my iphone 5c]

 

Even More Retro Cars….

Reykjavik, Iceland The latest batch of snazzy retro rides: 1. Mercedes 200 series mid-1980  2.Ford Fairlane or Galaxie  1961-1964  3. 1966 or 67 Ford Mustang  4. Porsche 911 Targa (1990’s?). Many thanks to my dad for identifying all these pretty cars for me. The Benz is my favorite. My dad used to drive a not so spiffed up ’85 350 diesel, so this orange one made me smile and think of him. 

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland[The photos are scans of 35mm exposures]

The Young Adults Are Alright

Reykjavik, IcelandGrunnskóli (“grade school”- grades 1-10) is the last mandatory schooling for Icelanders. After that, students can enroll in a menntaskóli for a four year degree (usually from ages 16-20) which will prepare them for University and a bachelor’s degree. Upon graduating from their menntaskóli, I’ve been told,  groups of students dress up in matching costumes and roam the streets drinking and completing a scavenger hunt challenge. The group below just needed to get me to take a picture and to offer me a shot of whatever they were drinking, but I saw one group go up to a tourist and convince her to trade hats and be lifted up for a crazy group photo. 

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland I’ll always regret not taking a close up of the dozen pooh bears below sitting behind the pub drinking and smoking with a minion.

Reykjavik, Iceland And here’s a photo from back in March, on Öskudagur, when I witnessed the unique Icelandic way of celebrating Ash Wednesday: kids dress up in costumes and trade songs for candy at all the shops and cafes. These kids seem to be scoping out their next target. My fellow blogger, Ally, snapped a great picture these ferocious young people from the other side of a shop window. This tradition is relatively new, and many have described it as Iceland’s version of Halloween, which is not really celebrated here.

Reykjavik, Iceland[These pictures are scans of 35mm shots taken by me.]

 

More of Reykjavik’s Vintage Wheels

Vintage Car in Reykjavik, Iceland Reykjavik clearly has a thing for beautiful vintage autos. As I mentioned before, I’ve started carrying around a small disposable film camera (until I can get my hands on something smaller than my Canon Rebel SLR) to catch them in repose before some quirky Icelandic house or proudly rolling down the main drag. My latests finds include the adorable Saab above, a Daihastu, and that classy mystery mobile in the last photo (for which I dropped my bags and ran half a block to get). Update: my dad just emailed me to tell me that the “mystery car” is a Volvo 120 series (called an Amazon in Scandinavia). It was Produced from 1959 to 1970.

Vintage Car in Reykjavik, Iceland

Vintage Car in Reykjavik, Iceland

Vintage Car in Reykjavik, Iceland

[The photos are scans of 35mm exposures taken with a disposable camera and my Canon Rebel 2000]

 

The Kids Are Alright

Kids in Reykjavik, Iceland I’ve mentioned before how Reykjavik is such a safe city. Consequently, you see a lot of kids running around and playing- straying from their parents or skateboarding on their own with no affiliated grown ups in sight. It’s the kind of thing a documentary photographer like myself can’t resist trying to capture. Which brings me to my next point: parents are generally not bothered upon seeing someone taking a picture of their child or being asked for a picture with their young’n. I think again, that’s due to a sense of finite boundaries and community, an absence of stranger-fear.

Kids in Reykjavik, Iceland

Kids in Reykjavik, Iceland

Kids in Reykjavik, Iceland [These are scans of pictures taken with a 35mm disposable film camera.]