Reykjavik’s Vintage Wheels

Vintage car in Reykjavik, IcelandNow that the days are longer and full of sunshine, Icelanders are taking advantage of the clear days to show off their vintage cars. Sit anywhere on Laugavegur (the main drag, where one-way traffic inches along, making for great car and people watching), and you’ll see at least one or two beautifully restored classic cars. I’ve taken to keeping a small disposable film camera on me at all times in readiness, since I love old cars and trucks. Here are a few from before the Easter Holidays.  Vintage car in Reykjavik, Iceland

Vintage car in Reykjavik, Iceland

 

Annar í Páskum // Sun and Wind

Reykjavik, Iceland The days are getting longer. The sun rises before 6am and the sky is light until after 10pm. Strange spring winds have created the craziest weather this week. For three or four days, the weather would shift every 10-15 minutes from bright sun to hail coating the ground to snow blustering in every direction then back to bright sunlight melting the fresh layer of frozen ice or snow. They have a saying here: “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” Perhaps it’s not the best weather for tourists, but for those of us holed up in cozy kitchens and cafes studying for final exams, it’s rather delightful.

Reykjavik, Iceland I don’t have much to report from the holiday weekend, except to teach you how to say “Happy Easter” (Gleðileg Páska) and to complain how the library has been closed since Friday. Even today, annar í páskum (Easter Monday), quite a few places are closed. But, my need to settle into infinite translations for finals aside, it’s nice to see how almost everyone takes a break during this holiday to stay home with family and celebrate with lamb and giant chocolate easter eggs.   [These photos are scanned 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]

When Icelanders Protest || Pt. 2

Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland Icelanders have been out protesting in front of the Alþingi quite a bit lately in regard to voice their opinion about the government’s plans to withdraw from negotiations to join the  EU. The atmosphere of the protests is really interesting to me coming from DC. I tried to take images that would capture the strong sense of community. 

Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland

Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland

Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland

Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland    [These photos are scanned 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]

A Night at the Opera

000035readdy Back in March, a few classmates and I went to see Ragnheiður, the first Icelandic opera ever to be staged in Harpa. It tells the story of a young woman in 16th century Iceland who falls in love with her handsome young tutor, a romance destined for tragedy. Ragnheiður was created by composer Gunnar Þórðarson and librettist Friðrik Erlingsson. I have only a basic understanding of opera, but I thoroughly  enjoyed this performance. The music was really beautiful, and the minimalist set was quite impressive. 

000036ready    [These photos are scanned 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]

When Icelanders Protest… || Pt. 1

000031Icelanders have been out protesting in front of the Alþingi quite a bit lately in regard to decisions on whether the nation should join the EU. When Icelanders protest,  they sometimes express their displeasure with bananas. It’s their way of saying that this current government is acting like a “banana republic.”

Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland

Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland
Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland

Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland Protests in Reykjavik, Iceland   [These photos are scanned 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]

The Reykjavik Police Force Has an Instagram Account… and It’s Delightful.

From the Reykjavik Police Instagram Lögreglan, the Reykjavik Metropolitan Police, have an Instagram account with over 9,000 followers…..and it is adorable. Filled with police selfies, shots of the bike patrol, local happenings, cute animals, cute kids, and videos of officers singing along to the radio on their patrol. Here are some of my favorites from their Instagram profile:

From the Reykjavik Police Instagram

In you haven’t heard, Iceland has been voted one of the safest places in the world to live. You can absolutely feel that here. There seems to be little fear of theft. Bikes and baby carriages are left outside shops unlocked, and cars left running without anyone watching them for several minutes at a time in front of houses. Strangers aren’t dangerous (because in a city this small, there aren’t that many strangers) and night doesn’t make the city any less safe. I’m a pretty cautious person when it comes to cities, but I’ve gone for runs here at midnight and no one considered that unsafe.

From the Reykjavik Police Instagram

In Reykjavik, police are not the enemy. There have been several large protests recently against the government. Wandering around the crowd, I saw officers learning against barriers in front of the parliament to chat to the protesters.

From the Reykjavik Police Instagram

Icelandic Kids

From the Reykjavik Police Instagram  To all the awesome people arriving here from Reddit: Welcome to my blog! I’m an American living in Iceland studying Vikings and other cool things. Check out my About page for more about me, and then hop over to my blog’s facebook page to get daily film photography straight from your favorite tiny Nordic island.

 

Landakotskirkja- The Catholic Cathedral

Landakotskirkja in Reykjavik, Iceland

Landakotskirkja in Reykjavik, Iceland I attended the Icelandic Catholic Mass on a recent sunny Sunday morning. It was my first Catholic Mass and my first church service in Icelandic. (I tried the Icelandic service at the church I usually attend this week and was pleasantly surprised at how much I understood.) The Landakotskirkja was consecrated in 1929. It was designed by Guðjón Samúelsson, the same architect as the Hallgrímskirkja, which was commissioned in 1937. The beautiful arched ceilings in both churches are a good place to start looking for similarities in design.

Landakotskirkja in Reykjavik, IcelandOn one side of the church is a beautiful sculpture by Steinunn Thorarinsdottir, a prolific Icelandic sculptor. The figure appears to be praying and perfectly captures the stillness and peace of the sanctuary. I took these photos the day before attending mass. I spent a few minutes sitting alone in the big, empty church while the sun was pouring in the windows behind the altar and candles flickered in the shadows behind the last pews. I highly recommend stepping inside if you are visiting the city.

Landakotskirkja in Reykjavik, Iceland

Fun fact: There was no official Catholic presence in Iceland from the Reformation to the 19th century. In fact, the last Catholic Bishop, Jón Arason, was beheaded in 1550, and was not replaced until the early 1800’s. The National Museum of Iceland has a great permanent display on the history of Iceland, including the Reformation era, for my fellow history buffs who want to learn more.

Landakotskirkja in Reykjavik, Iceland [These photos are unedited, 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]

Kolaportið Flea Market || Part Two

Kolaportið, Iceland's only flea market

Kolaportið, Iceland's only flea marketVisit Part One to see more photos and information about Kolaportið.

Kolaportið, Iceland's only flea market

Kolaportið, Iceland's only flea market

Kolaportið, Iceland's only flea market

[These photos are unedited, 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]

A Rainy Afternoon In Harpa

nside Harpa in Reykjavik, Iceland

Inside Harpa in Reykjavik, IcelandFor the past few months, the weather has kept just cold enough that we almost never had rain. Now, it’s started to warm up a bit. The thick layer of ice across the lake is melting, and we’ve had several gray, rainy several days in a row. Last week, I tried to brave the soggy weather to walk along the coast, but only made it a block or so before ducking into Harpa for shelter. There are some comfy benches in the back of the building that have a great view of the harbor. During the day, it’s usually very quiet there, so it’s a great place to sit quietly and watch the rain roll down the glass exterior of the concert hall. 

nside Harpa in Reykjavik, Iceland [These photos are unedited, 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]

Kolaportið Flea Market || Part One

Kolaportið flea market in Reykjavik, Iceland

Kolaportið, Iceland's only flea market Kolaportið is Iceland’s only flea market. It’s open every weekend, and is packed with stalls selling everything from hand knit goods to used books and clothes to cheap toys to new age spiritual paraphernalia. It feels like the markets of several different continents combined into one with an excellent food market at one end where you can get super fresh fish, lamb, yummy Icelandic breads, horse meat (yeah, horse), rotten shark, and imported Thai ingredients.

Kolaportið, Iceland's only flea market

But the best part about Kolaportið is the people- the vendors and the shoppers. The slice of population is more varied than that of the fancy main shopping streets for those who are interested in seeing into the day-to-day lives of Icelanders. There are always a lot of families and always a few “characters” hanging about. The vendors are interesting too: from the above bookseller (“This is the best edition, and I will give it to your for only 10,000ISK. Best deal you’ll find. You absolutely need it.”) to the charismatic owner of the Depla fish stand who encourages tourist to take “the rotten shark challenge.”

Kolaportið, Iceland's only flea market

[These photos are unedited, 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]