Icelanders are truly storm-people. So we gave our photo editor, Art Bicnick, a simple task when the worst storm in years in Iceland was predicted: Go out into the storm, and catch the windy vibe as well as these stormy gusts that were as strong as 80 mph. And try not to kill yourself while you’re at it, we added. Of course, Art—or the international man of mystery, as we call him—laughed in the face of death, and got this funny and humourous footage where he found a classical guitar player in the middle of the storm, and a Kurdish storm chaser.
Like all nations, Icelanders have their quirky customs. The editor-in-Chief at Reykjavík Grapevine (and the author of this article) as well as Hannah Jane Cohen, the listings director, talked about these issues, and how to deal with them. Of course, we discussed the tradition of showering naked at the pool, how we ignore people the day after drinking together, and of course, the dreadful snorting, among other issues.
Sadly, Icelanders had more than one huge mass whale stranding this year, but our photo editor captured this incredible footage of the whales that stranded on southwest Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula in August.
More than 50 whales were stranded close to the break wall. Police were joined by Björgunarsveit, Iceland’s volunteer Search and Rescue Team. Whale rescue was ongoing throughout the night, with 30 whales successfully rescued in the morning.
This year, Iceland’s biggest setback in the economy was when WOW Air went bust leaving thousands of tourists stranded (no pun intended) all around the world. Our intern at the time, Sam Daniels, visited Iceland’s international airport and talked to the frustrated travelers.
A United Nations report, issued in March, put Iceland in 4th place for the world’s happiest people, raising the question: who are the happiest Icelanders? Fréttablaðið reported that the happiest Icelanders were actually the people of the small town of Grindavík in the southwest of Iceland (only 20 minutes from the international airport in Reykjanesbær). Sam Daniels visited the town, looking for happiness.
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