Blast from the Past: Illicit Love in Öskjuhlíð - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Blast from the Past: Illicit Love in Öskjuhlíð

Blast from the Past: Illicit Love in Öskjuhlíð

Published September 8, 2017

It used to be that Öskjuhlíðin hill was the best place to go in RVK for an American-style dating experience. You could park your car overlooking the city, and there was even a bowling alley nearby. The legendary Icelandic songwriter Megas mentions going there in the hope of “getting some” on the album ‘Loftmynd.’ Rabbits have also been known to use the area for similar purposes too. But the tradition, it seems, goes much farther back.

Around 1600, a farmer named Gísli, who was the brother of a bishop, went to Öskjuhlíð to graze his sheep and came upon another farmer’s daughter. They spent the night there, but a shepherd came upon them and notified the girl’s father, who showed up, enraged, and forced them to marry. Gísli later became a priest and did quite well, and he and his wife had many children. Still, the marriage was difficult and Gísli was considered to have married beneath his station.

The rabbits are still there, but the bowling hall is gone. It has now been turned into a gym called Mjölnir, named after Thor’s hammer, where the MMA champion Gunnar Nelson apparently works out. His career of late is looking like a modern day tragedy… but that’s a different story.

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