Calling all Iceland-lovers! If you’ve been sitting around your home, lopi-clad, sipping tea steeped from the mystic herbs of the Icelandic countryside, perusing your photo album of Icelandic horses, with ‘Valtari’ on a never-ending loop, you’ve likely noticed that the current scent of your surroundings just isn’t cutting it. Fear not, Sigur Rós has a released a scented candle that will woo you with the fragrance of Iceland. Called ‘Varðeldur’ (“camp fire”), the candle purports to smell of a driftwood campfire and will burn for 35 hours, RÚV reports. The candle will set you back €21 (approximately 3,600 ISK) and is available for sale on Sigur Rós’ website.
After damn near revolutionizing Reykjavík drinking culture via the beloved Appy Hour app, The Reykjavík Grapevine team has created a new thingamajig that will hopefully prove just as useful for the denizens of Reykjavík and their guests. The new app is called Craving, and has the purpose of granting hungry people freedom from having to spend hours pondering where to go for lunch or dinner. Of course, taking time to carefully deliberate where one’s next meal should come from is a wholly enjoyable endeavour, but as those of us who frequently dine out in 101 Reykjavík (and are generally spoilt for choice)
The Nordic Literature Prize, which is given out annually to authors for novels in a Nordic language, will henceforth be headquartered in Reykjavík’s Nordic House, reports Vísir. Day-to-day management of the Nordic Literature Prize will be handled by the Nordic House, though it is uniquely placed to do so as it already houses an extensive Nordic language library. The prize has been awarded since 1962 for a work of imaginative literature written in one of the Nordic languages. In all, 7 Icelandic authors have won the prize since it began in 1962. The most recent Icelandic author to win was
Chinese Ambassador to Iceland Ma Jisheng and his wife have been arrested by Chinese authorities on suspicion of espionage, reports the Global Post. As reported, Ma Jisheng, who has been China’s ambassador to Iceland since 2012, left Iceland on January 23 of this year. By all accounts, he was expected to come back the following March. However, Ma Jisheng never returned, and neither Icelandic nor Chinese authorities would comment on his whereabouts. Reuters reports that Ma is suspected of becoming a Japanese spy while working in the Chinese embassy in Tokyo between 2004 and 2008. Asked whether the reports were
A geothermal location in southwest Iceland has been going through some sudden and dramatic changes. Víkufréttir reports that the geothermal area of Gunnuhver has seen quite a transformation recently. The site, which was once a relatively placid patch of gently bubbling clay and wafting sulfuric steam, is now under police lockdown. All steam has disappeared from the area, save for the source of the geothermal spring itself, which alternately bellows hot steam and clay metres into the air. The pedestrian walkway through Gunnuhver has partially collapsed due to the heat and water damage. Below, you can see a video of
A former Minister of Foreign Affairs has made a novel suggestion to end the current international row over Iceland’s whale hunting practices. RÚV reports that former Minister of Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson believes there is a middle way when it comes to whaling: simply hunt the whales that are not endangered: minke whales. In fact, he contends that this is what one can read between the lines of a recent demarche from 35 nations exhorting Iceland to stop hunting fin whales. “Which would be that Icelanders drop hunting fin whales, but may continue hunting minke whales for domestic use,” he
MPs from five parties have proposed the Icelandic government explore building a train between Keflavík and Reykjavík, as well as a train for the greater Reykjavík area. Vísir reports that the proposal has speakers from every parliamentary party except the Pirate Party. Leading the proposal is Left-Green chairperson Katrín Jakobsdóttir, followed by Svandís Svavarsdóttir (Left-Green), Ásmundur Friðriksson (Independence Party), Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir (Progressives), Óttarr Proppé (Bright Future), Karl Garðarsson (Progressives) and Oddný G. Harðardóttir (Social Democrats). The proposal calls for results of the government’s findings on the logistics and possibilities for the trains in 2015. The idea is not a