Sunny Days: 10 Favorite Moments from a Gorgeous Week

The sun is out! The skies have been clear and blue all week. I’m in love with this city and this weather Here are ten reasons why this was a great week to be in Reykjavik:

Reykjavik, Iceland 1. Mt. Esja

Reykjavik, Iceland2. The sun reflecting off Harpa.

Reykjavik, Iceland3. Skyscrapers along Saebraut

Reykjavik, Iceland

4. Hallgrímskirkja as seen from Saebraut.

Reykjavik, Iceland

5. Swans and other birds enjoying the sun on Tjörnin.Reykjavik, Iceland

6. The student union at the University of Iceland.Reykjavik, Iceland

7. Young friends playing by the pond. Reykjavik, Iceland

8. Romina enjoying the sun. Reykjavik, Iceland 9. Stofan coffeehouse.

Reykjavik, Iceland

10. Riding the bus to get a roll of film developed. Reykjavik, Iceland 
Reykjavik: Capital of Quirk

The Incredible Sculptures of Einar Jónsson

Einar Jónsson's "Protection:

According to the Einar Jónsson Museum, the eponymous artist was Iceland’s first sculptor.  He lives from 1874-1954. Earlier in his career he drew on Icelandic folklore as well as religious and mythological motifs for subjects. After living in Rome around the turn of the century, he “emphasized the need for artists to forge their own path and cultivate their originality and imagination instead of following in the footsteps of others…he developed a figurative language composed of interpretable symbols, personification and allegory.” “Protection” (pictured above) is one of my favorite of his works. I love walking to the (free!) sculpture garden to revisit the hauntingly realistic faces and try to understand the complex symbols in his work.

Einar Jónsson's "The Spell Broken"

You can see Einar Jónsson’s works all around the city as well as in the museum and beautiful sculpture garden right next to Hallgrímskirkja. In fact, the museum website features an excellent map for taking a walking tour of his works in City Center, which includes  “The Spell Broken” (pictured here in the snow) along the path encircling Tjörnin.  For those who like to wander, this route also happens to be a great “intro” to downtown Reykjavik. [These photos are unedited, 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000]

Tots & Geese on Tjörnin

Feeding the geese at TjörninNow that the geese and swans of Tjörnin are all in the one un-frozen corner of the pond, it makes feeding them even more fun than in the summer. Even better though, is grabbing a Kleina (a delicious fried pastry- Kornið on  Lækjargata has the best ones) and a coffee, sitting on a bench in a rare ray of sunlight, and watching the parents bring their kids to feed the birds. The freezing of the pond also herds all the fowl-photographing tourists into one corner, which provides even more people watching opportunities.

Feeding the geese at Tjörnin

Feeding the geese at Tjörnin

[The photos in this post are scans of unedited film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]

Snapshots from a Truly Glorious Winter Day

Reykjavik on a cold winter day

Today was gorgeous. I arrived at school at 8:30 in the dark for my last final of my first semester of graduate school. Today is also cold. It was about -10 Celsius (16 Fahrenheit) on my way to class. Walking home at noon, the sun came out over (ok more like next to, the sun doesn’t really very high off the horizon this time of year) the snowy, frozen city. I rarely carry a camera on me, but today I had the little Nikon coolpix my parents sent me, and managed to get some great snapshots of my walk home from school. As I look at these, I just feel so blessed to be able to see these gorgeous views every day.

Reykjavik on a cold winter day

This is Tjörnin, the little lake in the center of the city, about two blocks from where I live. It’s gorgeous frozen. You can kind of see a flock of birds at the far end. They pump hot water (plenty of that here) into the corner so the swans can stay in the city all winter.

Reykjavik on a cold winter day

The sun shining off Aðalbygging, the main building of my university, Háskóli Íslands. Continue reading