Easter Brunch!

31 03 2013
It was sad to say goodbye to my Reykjavik friends... but I am sure they will come back for the bakery!

Gleðilega páska! It was sad to say goodbye to my Reykjavik friends… but I am sure they will come back for the bakery!

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All Rocked Out!

30 03 2013
The town doubled in size during the festivalThe population  of Isafjordur is a modest 2.600 people but that is doubled when revellers flock to Isafjordur when this uniquely Icelandic festival takes place.

The town doubles in size during the festival when revellers flock to Ísafjörður for this uniquely Icelandic festival. The 2013 featured a line-up of 26 bands and artists and takes place in an large garage just outside town. There are no sound checks between bands that play 20 minute sets on a stage draped under a shrimp trawl. Admission is free but it is advised you to dress warmly (in your lopi peysa) as Ísafjörður in winter can be, well, cold.





Father and Son

29 03 2013

Mugison is one of the most famous singers in Iceland. And where there is a Mugison, there must also be a Papamug. He is the harbormaster right here in Ísafjörður!

Muggi.... bringing down the house!

Muggi…. bringing down the house!

In 2002 Ísafjörður’s own Mugison (a.k.a. Örn Elías Guðmundsson) and his father (Guðmundur a.k.a Muggi) organized the first ‘Aldrei fór ég suður’ Music Festival as a free concert to support the burgeoning music community in Ísafjörður. The event has been established as an annual festival in mid April. The name Aldrei fór ég suður (I never went south) is taken from a Bubbi Morthens song of the same name, and may refer to a movement among young Icelanders to establish cultural events outside Reykjavík, and draw attention back to the nation’s roots in the countryside.





Crash Course in Icelandic Music

28 03 2013

Inspired by the WOWAir Blog (http://wowiceland.co.uk/blog/icelandic-music/). This is my take…

Of Monsters and Men. Everyone knows them right now…

Björk. Who could forget the swan dress? She is perhaps the most famous musician to come from Iceland, ever. When her creativity was unleashed it was to the extreme and her progressive choices of beats is also some of the best things that have happened to music world wide.

Retro Stefson, the super fun and talented Icelandic septet band plays contagiously happy music. This 7 piece band got their start at a very young age, and only officially formed a band together to get free entrance into a youth talent show back in 2006. After realizing they actually had what it takes to make a real band, they started to take their music more seriously and have been growing and improving ever since.Their innovate, fresh approach to mixing Retro-Latin-Surf-Soul-Powerpop styles always keeps you smiling and wanting more …

Sigur Rós has been described as the biggest band in Icelandic history. Their songs combine beauty, majesty and, unless you speak Icelandic, mystery, over the lyrics. From what I understand, the word “Hoppípolla” means “Jumping In Puddles”, and the rest of the lyrics repeat the same sort of theme. Their music is simply amazing and blissful…

Bubbi Morthens is one of the best selling musicians in Iceland with his blend of rock, blues and reggae. They call Bubbi Morthens the “Elvis of Iceland” but I think he is more like Bruce Springsteen. His song, Aldrei fór ég suður, is the name for the music festival held here in Ísafjörður each year. He will sing at the festival this year as well as the artists who follow…

Mugison‘s music is loud and catchy, with the feeling of swinging blues and a dash of southern country in many of his tracks. When he sings softly, it gives you goosebumps, and his slower tracks really are beautiful. If you plan to see Of Monsters and Men this spring, you will be in for a treat since Mugison is joining them…

Prinspóló is the alter-ego of Skakkamanage’s front man Svavar Pétur Eysteinsson. Prinspóló sings about the important things in life, like food and senior citizens. His quirky lyrics and catchy tunes has gathered him some popularity in downtown Reykjavík music scene…





Skíðavikan!

27 03 2013

Today marked the opening of Ski Week! The Skiing week of Ísafjörður is the oldest town festival in Iceland dating back all the way to 1935, it takes place in the Easter week every year. Ísafjörður is a renowned skiing town and the both the facilities to practice cross country skiing and down hill are fantastic. Through the years the Ski week has developed from being only a celebration of the skiing sport, it is now combined with Aldrei fór ég suður so the weekend is packed full of fun! The first event was the sprint race through the center of town…

The kids start skiing as soon as they can stand! Here they are practicing on the snow filled streets.

The kids start skiing as soon as they can stand! Here they are practicing on the snow filled streets.

Even the mayor on the left, Daniel Jakobsson, skis. In fact he competed in cross country skiing in the 1994 Olympics! Unfortunately he did not make it past this knockout round.

Even the mayor on the left, Daniel Jakobsson, skis. In fact he competed in cross country skiing in the 1994 Olympics! Unfortunately he did not make it past this knockout round.

 





Uncertainty Phase

26 03 2013

The National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police (NCIP) and the Police Commissioner at Hvolsvöllur declare an uncertainty phase, which is the lowest level of warning, because of unusual seismic activity in Mount Hekla. The uncertainty phase means that supervision has been raised on that course of events that may threaten public health and safety, or that environment or inhabited area may be threatened. Declaring an uncertainty phase is a part of the work process in the setup of public safety to secure a formal communication between response teams and to secure dissemination of information.

Photo from notendur.hi.is

Is she gonna blow!?!? Photo from notendur.hi.is

Everyone was quite excited to hear this! It could erupt in 15 minutes, weeks, months, or even years. Dagny says the problem with Hekla is that when it erupts, it’s gives only 15 minute warning. Not enough time for hikers to run down its hills. So they have to be extra careful.

For LIVE WEBCAM:

http://www.ruv.is/hekla





What Would You Catch With That?

25 03 2013

Obviously the Greenland Shark also known as Hákarl! Which is the second largest shark in the North Atlantic (after Baskin shark). Up to 7 m long and can weigh over a ton. Found all over the North Atlantic (Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, etc.) Unlike other sharks it inhabitats polar water all year round. Can be found in depths up to 2000m. Little is known about the biology of this shark species but it is believed to be of slow growth, long lived and bear very few offspring. Also known to be the slowest shark (when you compare swimming speed to size) and it is thought that he sneaks up on seals while they are sleeping.

P1040663

Claudia’s project documented shark fishing. Since it is an old and non-commercial industry, very little is known. None of the gear is standardized since it was all handmade – even the chain links!

Hákarl has probably been caught since settlement. Past importance in the (17th and 18th century) as shark-liver oil was the most important export and trading product.  Conducted from fishing stations all over the country (row boats, later deck boats, at the end of the winter). There was increased demand and high prices becasuse the oil used for street lightening in Europe. Until saltfish demand grew in the mid-1840. Sharkfishing stopped almost completely in the 1870s due to the use of kerosine. In present times only on a small scale.

These shark hooks are almost as big as me!!!

These shark hooks are almost as big as me!!!