Tag Archives: Reykjavik

Iron Age Iceland: An Archaeological Field Trip

Over in Lágkotstangi, iron age ruins are not hard to spot.

Because of recent tree-planting initiatives in the North and East, it is slowly being replaced by a rudimentary Wooden Age.

Because Iceland has been isolated so long, history is coming very quickly now. Even as we speak, both iron and wood are giving way to the Age of Plastic. They’re not going down without a fight, though.

Look at Iron and Wood trying to be useful (and sneaky) still!

Another Reason to Leave Reykjavik: Learning the Language of Water

If you stay in Reykjavik, vodka’s the thing. Drink that stuff and you might forget where you are.

But if you go halfway to the complete opposite end of the country, the water speaks at last, not with a bottle but with the words that grow still on the very bottom edge of the sky:

Lagarfljót, April

Your choice, between a bar full of travellers and the voices of trolls. Flights to Egilstaðir are cheap. Just $120 return. You could drop three times that much, just having dinner and drinks with a friend in town. Off you go.

 

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.)