Upon entering the newly opened Whales of Iceland exhibition, we are greeted by a life-size orca hanging from the ceiling. As we venture further into the blue-lit room, it’s as if we are underwater. Whales of all sizes seem to be eying us from above.
Curious about our mammalian company, we turn our attention to their accompanying text. Unfortunately, we find that it is densely written and poorly illuminated. We take a deep breath and the smell of rubber overwhelms us. Further into the exhibition we find monitors showing photos and videos of various whales. Only it seems that they aren’t all working and we don’t find the images particularly unique.
The exhibition’s draw is of course the 23 life-size whales, which actually look pretty real! They would have really come to life for us though if we had been able to hear their individual sounds rather than the soundtrack of unidentifiable ones playing over the entire room. Although we learned some fun facts about the whales, we missed any folklore or interesting stories.
At 2,900 ISK (18 Euros/25 Dollars) for adults, the exhibition seems overpriced based on our experience. It didn’t take more than 45 minutes to walk through the whole exhibition room, and the smell of rubber was really uncomfortable after the first 15 minutes, making it difficult to concentrate on the info texts.
Sure, seeing the life-sized whales was impressive, but the exhibition could have been more interactive and the information could have been better presented. As a whole, the experience was a bit like walking in a zoo—with plastic animals.
Whales of Iceland
Open daily all year long, from 9:00 – 19:00 in the summer (May 1—September 30) and from 9:00 to 18:00 in the winter (October—April 30).
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