What’s up, Guðmundur? I graduated last weekend in fashion design from the Iceland Academy of Arts, which was pretty nice. Now I’m working on a new men’s fashion line for both Herrafataverzlun Kormáks & Skjaldar and GK Reykjavík. Next week we’ll film a new fashion/music video to the GusGus song, ‘Over’. My colleagues at Narvi Creative Studio are co producing it with GusGus and my graduation fashion line will be used. Otherwise I try to go fishing when I can. Early Morning On the rare occasion that I don’t go straight to work in the morning, I stop by Kaffismiðjan (Kárastígur 1). It’s on my way and it’s a great place to hang out. I expect to do more of that this winter after I’ve populated the world. Lunch I never go anywhere but Dill (Sturlugata 5) for lunch. Well, sometimes I go to Grillið (Hotel Saga, Hagatorg). Mid-Day There’s nothing better than sitting in a hot tub at either Sundhöll Reykjavíkur (Barónstígur) or the Seltjarnarnes swimming pool (Suðurströnd). Although I hate nothing more than the Vesturbæjarlaug swimming pool (Hofsvallagata). Afternoon It’s refreshing to have a drink at Ölstofa Kormáks & Skjaldar (Vegamótastígur 4) after a long workday. That’s very refreshing. Heat Of The Night I most enjoy spending the evenings at friend’s houses in good company. If I go to a bar, it’s usually Bakkus (Tryggvagata 22), at least these days.
Fists clenched, a middle aged bald man sits torn between frustration and amusement. “But Iceland is so ordinary. Nothing exciting happens here,” he says before walking off into the un-setting sun. It’s 6:30 am and I’m on a busy street corner with a crowd of friendly strangers. Sitting in a circle of borrowed patio chairs, we finish our post-bar sandwiches and exchange tales. Apparently the fascinating strangeness I found in this foreign country surprised even Icelandic natives. Like most people, they called me crazy for doing what I’ve done, but I don’t blame them. In order to find yourself, you
Nearly 200 kilometres of road lay in front of us. From Reykjavík to Vík í Mýrdal in two days, that was our mission. That’s not at all that much, you might note, but we had to make some stops on the way in order to delve into the towns along the way and get a feel for their lovely people. It all took a while. We started our journey with rays of warm sunlight, heading southeast on the Ring Road. Not long into the trip, however, we found ourselves in the midst of a snowstorm that forced us to slow
In spite of the weather, we’d managed to make something out of the morning. We’d had that hot spring all to ourselves, and successfully followed our little treasure hunt to that carbonated spring where we stood triumphantly in the freezing wind and rain, laughing and taking turns chugging sweet, sparkling water from its natural source. But the hours since had been a monotonous drive through a bleak tunnel of grey that left the splendour of the Snaefellsnes peninsula—beyond the hundred feet of visible road in front of us—only to our imaginations. Every stroke of our windshield wipers ticked off another
“You don’t have to be crazy to go swimming in the sea, but it helps.” So says the man sitting next to me in the hot tub at Nauthólsvík, Reykjavík’s Geothermal beach. We’re facing out toward the Fossvogur bay, and if you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of the waves lapping at the shoreline. It’s six in the evening and pitch dark. But for the time being, at least, the perpetual drizzle and fog, which have hung over Reykjavík all week, has lifted, so the twinkling lights of Kópavogur are visible across the water. The man next to
“There were only six people in my year at school,” says Eiríkur Vilhelm Sigurðarson, who is possibly Vík’s most familiar face. “The other five have moved to Reykjavík. I’m the last one here.” I knew it was small, but this detail puts the size of Vík into sharp perspective for me. The manager of the information centre in the heart of town, Eiríkur probably knows Vík better than most, and he brims with a youthful wonderment at the almost supernatural forces in the area. To the north you have Katla, one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes, currently more than 50
The fine group of peaks known as Kerlingarfjöll were named after a high rock pillar that is said to be a female troll who was turned to stone as she was hit by daylight back when her kin roamed the country. The massif is colourful and rich in contrasts with its peaks and valleys, glaciers and snowfields and all that lively geothermal activity that serves to make the area so interesting. The mountains—roughly 1,100-1,500 metres tall—are part of a large, local centre of volcanic activity that has been around for a long time but is probably extinct by now. The