Tag Archives: humour

The Fun Winter Roads of Iceland

Fun for all! This is the kind of road that keeps the economy going by helping tourists to rip out the undercarriage of their rental car. This is not, really, a road. It is tourist made, because that’s fun.

Gerðaberg

Still, the one below, the old road to the church at Gerðaberg, although more traditionally Icelandic is, well, more traditionally Icelandic. It is not going to keep anyone’s economy going, but most fun for trudging.

And the harbour road at Hellissandur? Well, heck, the old icehouse, that you can see in the distance, is on the very bad road to the now-abandoned harbour, but does that stop Icelanders from getting there quickly on their own 4x4s on no road at all? No it does not. This is the kind of ghost road that shouldn’t be, but it is, because, well, that’s fun, too. The tracks are full of a sand-snow-ice-seaweed mixture. Very special!

A more useful road gently curves up to the abandoned farm Vaðstakkaheiði, and the waterfall behind it. Lovingly, the road is just called Foss, or “Waterfall”. It’s a great one for bringing the horses in and out, and for going up the hill to service the power lines running under the glacier, but all that is locked off in the winter, which means that you can get to the cliff, and then what? You can practice your confined-space three point turns to go back, or, to really ramp up the fun, reverse your way back to the farm, that’s what, which should keep you laughing all the long night through, when you think about it.

In comparison, the main roads go through tunnels, which is a very fine thing because the roads themselves are skating rinks. And the light is blue, which, yes, is also fun.

Siglufjörður

Thinking of an adventure on a private Icelandic road instead? Great idea! Here’s where you can put the 4×4 investment to good use, which is easier and more fun than plowing with the tractor. Only older farmers plow with the tractor, because they can’t afford a 4×4, but if you can afford one, very fun. (Don’t forget, though, that tractors are fun, too, so very fun that the old guys keep them to themselves. You’ll have to settle for a Nissan. Sorry.)

But  on Highway 829 at Littlaslétta, even at dusk (1:30 p.m.) on a winter day, it’s a good time to put the pedal to the metal and fly at her, taking the curves like a hawk after a sparrow. The mountains will do their best to distract you, as Icelandic mountains, the tricky dears, will, but that, too is good.

Now, get out there and have some good old Icelandic fun!

The True Inspiration for Icelandic Architecture, Promise

Here’s a turf house window in Iceland. You’ll still find a few here and there. Wonder where the idea came from?

Wonder no longer.

Of course, that’s old architecture. The new stuff is, like, modern and all. Or maybe not. Here are some apartments in Reykjavik, and the elf stone in front of them, where no developer was allowed to build, because it was already occupied, and you don’t want to mess with magical rocks. Where did that idea come from?

From Snæfellsnes, that’s what. All that’s happened is that people finally got the upper hand and build houses taller than the magical rocks.

That’s simple enough, but what about finer architectural features, such as the red windows below on Laugavegur in Reykjavik. Tough one, eh?

Not at all. We just need to go to the Fljotsdalur in the East and all is revealed.

See, two red panels. Nice. Fine, but what about the really tough ones, like the Harpa concert hall?

Pshaw, nothing to it. I guess you didn’t go quite far enough out on Snæfellsnes. Here you go.

And the Harpa:

See? You can be in and out at the same time. That’s the ticket. Now, about the modern brutalism that graces the city…

… well, not modern at all. You can see its model at Ásbyrgi, in the far North.

Oh, one more time. This time, note the air conditioner…

Nice, eh. Where, oh where, does that come from? Again, the far North.

Well, just imagine the building as a flat rather than a height and you’ll see it. It is a crazy island, but if you hang around it long enough it will come into focus.

Book Laundry in Reykjavik

(Other countries launder money, but Icelanders have learned their lessons about messing with crazy stuff like that.)

 

 

Icelandic Counter-Migration Techniques

 

Tired of barbed wire on the rooftops?

Reykjavik.

Beats  nose  level,  I  guess.

 

Hofstaðir

 

But  I wouldn’t get too worried about it.

Kirkjubær

 

Where you going to go, anyway?


Skagaströnd

It’s just jewelry.

Otherwise the land would wander off into the Atlantic.

It happens. What can I say.

 

 

 

Icelandic Engineers Having Fun

How do Icelandic engineers have fun?

 

They make street art. A Mohr’s Circle is a two-dimensional representation of stresses in materials.  Compare the representation of stresses above with the more technical one below.

Nice. Here’s Wikipedia’s explanation of just why one might do this:

Internal forces are produced between the particles of a deformable object, assumed as a continuum, as a reaction to applied external forces, i.e., either surface forces or body forces. This reaction follows from Euler’s laws of motion for a continuum, which are equivalent to Newton’s laws of motion for a particle. A measure of the intensity of these internal forces is called stress. Because the object is assumed as a continuum, these internal forces are distributed continuously within the volume of the object.

So, here’s the Icelandic version again:

Lots of permutations through stress there, all delightfully witty.

And why is the Icelandic version so much more accessible and, well, fun? Ah, that’s because Icelandic engineers are well-versed in the barbs of thought and look for any chance for them to go away.

I think that’s it.