Vetur I Winter 2019 #MyStopover
STOPOVER SURVIVING THE ICY WILDERNESS Mads Mikkelsen discusses his latest film, Arctic AURORA BOREALIS Uncovering the northern lights TALES FROM THE NORTH Icelandâ€™s latest heroic production: Woman at War MAKING THE FEATHERS FLY Icelandic animation has taken off
browse our selection
OF 21,418 ITEMS tax and duty free
2 Icelandair Stopover
Donâ€™t worry about your airport shopping and souvenirs. You are allowed to take on board both your carry-on luggage and your airport shopping.
W W W. K E FA I R P O R T. I S
WINTER 2019 I PUBLISHED BY ICELANDAIR
28 48 10
20 Featured Content:
6 Letter From Icelandair 7 Icelandic for beginners 8 Iceland 101 10 Surfing Iceland 12 What to Do This Winter 14 Recommended Reads 16 Shining a Light for Peace 18 Flourishing Icelandic Film Scene 20 Interview: Mads Mikkelsen 22 My Location: Arctic 24 Travel: Thermal Bliss 28 Nature: Chasing the Northern Lights Editor: Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir (email@example.com) Cover Image: Marino Thorlacius Copy Editor: Sarah Dearne Contributing Writers: Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir, Sigríður Ásta Árnadóttir, Carolyn Bain, Sarah Dearne, Juris Graney, Björn Halldórsson, Tina Jøhnk Christensen, Einar Lövdahl, Jane Ormond, Andrea Schulte-Peevers, Lisa Gail Shannen, Jonathan Thompson, Esmee van Loon, Willemijne van Zelst, Jacob Wester
2 Icelandair Stopover
32 Sport: Iceland at Handball World Cup 36 Film: Icelandic Animation Takes Off 40 Icelandair on Instagram 44 Culture: Culinary Reykjavík 48 History: Poet of the Rocky Mountains 50 Interview: Shooting Star Hera Hilmar 52 #MyStopover: Icelandic Lopapeysur 56 Our Top Stopover Picks 60 Destination: F&F in San Francisco 62 Destination: Skiing Delights in Denver 64 Destination: Winter Magic in Munich 66 Children’s Corner: A Trip to Lake Mývatn
Contributing Illustrators: Alfreð I. A. Pétursson and KIDZinflight Contributing Photographers: Atli Thor Alfredsson, Börkur Arnarson, Hörður Ásbjörnsson, Carolyn Bain, Björgvin Franz Björgvinsson, Werner Boehm, Chris, Juan Camillo Roman Estrada, Roman Gerasymenko, James Gillham, Juris Graney, Tim Griffith, Benjamin Hardman, Lilja Jons Photography, Tommy Loesch, Ari Magg, Lorenzo Meucci, S. Mueller, Nat and Cody, Ólöf Nordal, Hörður E.
Ólafsson, Sigurjón Ragnar, Ragnar Th. Sigurðsson, Sofia Sjöberg, Skeeze, The blanz, Esmee van Loon, Willemijne van Zelst, Kathryn Whitney Advertising: icelandair.us/advertise-en Design: Ágústa S. Þórðardóttir / Icelandic Ad Agency Printing: Oddi
67 Route Network 68 Saga Shop Kitchen: On-Board Menu 69 Icelandair Travel Experience 72 Icelandair @Work: Novelties and News 74 In-Flight Entertainment 76 Services on Board 78 Our Fleet: Aircraft Types and Names 82 Devices and Wi-Fi 84 Safety First 86 Guide to US Customs Form
A design studio & retailer of carefully selected fashion brands & products from around the world.
Icelandair Stopover 3 WOMEN: Skólavörðustígur 7 & Kringlan, Reykjavík; Hafnarstræti, Akureyri. MEN: Skólavörðustígur 16. HOME: Skólavörðustígur 12. GEYSIR: Haukadalur. Geysir.com
VOLCANO & EARTHQUAKE EXHIBITION MORE INFO AND TICKETS AT
Open every day
9:00 - 19:00
4 Icelandair Stopover
The Lava Centre is situated at Hvolsvöllur on the South Coast of Iceland, surrounded by active volcanoes. It truly acts as the gateway to Iceland’s most active volcanic area. It’s a must-see for anyone wanting to get a better understanding of the incredible forces that have shaped Iceland. The Lava Centre just received two Red Dot Awards, which cement its position as a world class exhibition.
Lava now accepts
Follow us on
Iceland Volcano & Earthquake Centre Austurvegur 14, Hvolsvöllur · South Iceland
Icelandair Stopover 5
“Generally, people weren’t aware that Iceland is only a three-hour flight from most of our European gateways, even though Icelandair had already offered connections between Europe and North America for decades.”
LETTER FROM ICELANDAIR:
CREATE YOUR OWN MEMORIES LEA GESTSDÓTTIR GAYET Communications Manager Europe
Dear fellow traveler, I often joke that I exist thanks to Icelandair. Thirty-two years ago, my mother met my dad in the small town of Ólafsvík in West Iceland. He was from the North of the country, working as a captain of a fishing boat, and she was a 25-year-old girl from Paris. She had seen an ad about working in Iceland for a few weeks and had decided to give it a go. At the time, Iceland was not as well known as today. We had far fewer visitors and the destination seemed very exotic. Generally, people weren’t aware that Iceland is only a threehour flight from most of our European gateways, even though Icelandair had already offered connections between Europe and North America for decades. Growing up, Icelandair was the only connection between my two home countries. I developed a deep attachment to the airline as it has been part of every big moment of my life. I would fly to Luxembourg and drive to Paris and then later to Paris CDG directly. I was one of those kids traveling on their own, taking care of my little brother, both of us with a unaccompanied minor kit around our
necks. I witnessed the progress and expansion of Icelandair’s network. Icelandair has 80 years of history with its passengers. To help you have a good time on board, we have prepared a magazine full of exciting content. Film is in focus in this issue. On page 18, we cover the flourishing Icelandic film scene and specifically, the multi-awarded environmental activist movie Woman at War. Danish superstar Mads Mikkelsen, who was honored at the 2018 Reykjavík International Film Festival, discusses survival film Arctic on page 20. In My Location on page 22, we feature Fellsendavatn lake and other locations in Iceland where the film was shot. Hit Icelandic animation Ploey – You Never Fly Alone is covered on page 36, and on page 50 up-and-coming Icelandic actor Hera Hilmar of futuristic thriller Mortal Engines. While dark winter hours are perfect for snuggling up on the couch and watching a good movie, we also recommend other forms of coziness: Good reads on page 12, geothermal bathing hotspots on page 24, curious
restaurants on page 44 and the lopapeysa, Iceland’s most cherished piece of knitwear on page 52. Winter is a time for outdoor adventures as well: Hunting for northern lights (page 28), playing in the snow (page 56) or surfing the ice-cold North Atlantic (page 10). Also check out our events calendar on page 12 and the Children’s Corner on page 66, where the animals of Treasure Iceland visit the frozen fairytale land at Lake Mývatn. On page 32, you can read about our national team in men’s handball and preparations for the 2019 World Cup. Further afield, we cover winter-warming treats and activities in San Francisco, Denver and Munich on pages 60–65, and on page 48, a tiny town with strong ties to Iceland near Icelandair destination Edmonton, Canada. And remember, when you’re flying between Europe and North America, you can add a Stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare! Whatever you’re looking for in your travel adventure, we seek to inspire. I hope you enjoy your flight with us today, and that you create your own memories while traveling with us.
FLYING INTO THE FUTURE WITH VIASAT WI-FI The future is here! As of February 2019, passengers on board TF-ICE Jökulsárlón will be able to surf the web as on the ground with a new and enhanced Wi-Fi experience! Icelandair will be upgrading their on-board gate-to-gate Wi-Fi service with the latest state-of-the-art, high-speed Internet connection from Viasat. It will soon be available on Icelandair’s newest Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, starting with Jökulsárlón in February, and the
6 Icelandair Stopover
rest of the 737 MAX fleet will be upgraded through spring 2019. Icelandair has always been considered a pioneer in aviation, and with the new Viasat Wi-Fi we will once again be the leaders in the sky, enabling passengers to watch their favorite movies, stream podcasts and stay better connected while on board their Icelandair flight. Icelandair is pleased to offer the initial months of service of the Viasat Wi-Fi to
passengers free of charge, so that they can experience this world-class service firsthand and provide valuable feedback. Icelandair will monitor the efficiency of the new service as well as customer satisfaction as we continue to find new and innovative ways to best serve our passengers. Read about the Wi-Fi on your flight on page 83.
ICELANDIC FOR BEGINNERS
1,000 years, under 400,000 speakers and 50 words for snow. The Icelandic language is something else.
Fewer than 400,000 people speak Icelandic, a Germanic language that developed from Old Norse, the language of the Vikings. Listening to it is like traveling through time—due to the nation’s geographic isolation and conscious preservation, it has changed remarkably little in the past 1,000 years. Preserved ancient texts— which are still largely intelligible to modern readers—are studied at all school levels, and young and old still enjoy the Icelandic sagas. In Iceland, creating new words for techno logical innovation is a national pastime, especially since the 19th century. Usually they are based on existing ones. • The word for telephone is sími, from an ancient word for long thread. • The word for computer is tölva—a fusion of tala (number) and völva (prophetess). • The word for helicopter is þyrla, from a verb meaning twirl.
The Icelandic alphabet has 32 letters, including: • Æ/æ (sometimes written as “ae”) is pronounced like the “i” in tide. • Ð/ð (sometimes written as “d”) is pronounced like the “th” in there. • Þ/þ (sometimes written as “th”) is pronounced like the “th” in think.
are addressing. And make sure to address Icelanders by their first name, even if they’re a music icon (Björk) or the world’s first female president (Vigdís). In fact, our phone book is listed alphabetically by given names.
Of course, Icelanders have selected their favorite word in a national referendum: Ljósmóðir (mother of light) is the Icelandic word for midwife. n
Icelandic contains approximately 50 words describing different types of snow. These include skæðadrífa, kafaldsmyglingur, él, snjóhraglandi and hundslappadrífa. For some reason, the most popular one is snjór.
Unlike most European languages, there is no formal and informal version of the word you. Simply use þú regardless of whom you
Iceland has a strict government-run committee that decides which names are appropriate for giving to newborns.
Above: A view of the frozen Tjörnin pond in central Reykjavík with landmark church Hallgrímskirkja towering over the capital.
ICELANDIC 101 Hello Sæl (seyel) for addressing a woman Sæll (seyetl) for addressing a man Hi Hæ (hai) Good morning/afternoon Góðan daginn (goh-than dai-yin) Good evening Gott kvöld (goht-kvohld) Good night Góða nótt (goh-tha noht) Goodbye Bless (blehss)
Bye Bæ (bai)
Okay Allt í lagi (allt ee lai-yi)
See you later Sjáumst (syaumst)
I love you Ég elska þig (yeh elska thih)
Thank you very much Takk fyrir (tahk fe-reer)
My name is Ég heiti (yeh hay-ti)
You’re welcome Það var ekkert (thah vahr ehk-kert)
One hot dog with everything please Eina með öllu, takk (ay-na meth oddlu takk)
Yes Já (yau)
Where can I find… Hvar finn ég … (kvahr finn yeh…)
No Nei (nay)
I don’t speak Icelandic Ég tala ekki íslensku (yeh tah-la eh-ki ees-lensku)
Maybe Kannski (kahn-skee)
Icelandair Stopover 7
ICELAND 101 Welcome to Iceland! Looking for the basics on Iceland before your Icelandair Stopover? Here are a few essentials about our North Atlantic paradise. The national language is Icelandic, and while you’ll have no problem getting by using English, we’re grateful anytime a visitor tries to use góðan daginn “good day” or takk “thank you.” You are going to land at Keflavík Airport. When you first step outside, take a deep breath and inhale our wonderful clean air. Welcome to the North Atlantic. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, winter temperatures are milder here than you’ll find in New York or Toronto. When the thermometer creeps above 68°F (20°C) in summer, Icelanders bask in the sun at cafés and beaches. You probably already know that Iceland is a volcanic land. We also have many glaciers and countless other natural wonders. Remember to stay safe on your travels and check out safetravel.is before you go. There’s no need to buy bottled water when you’re here. What comes out of the tap is pure, clean, tasty—and free. You may notice the hot water has a slightly sulfurous smell, but it’s plentiful; we even use it to heat our homes!
8 Icelandair Stopover
It does not get as cold in winter as you might think, but nevertheless our weather can be quite unpredictable. Bring lots of clothes to wear in layers—even in summer—and a good quality windproof jacket. Most importantly, don’t forget your bathing suit! Visiting our thermal pools is a highlight of most trips (though you can always rent a suit if you forgot yours). There aren’t a lot of trees in Iceland. It can be windy here. Remember to hold your car door when you open it. Trust us; your rental company will thank you. Electricity in Iceland is 220 volts, the same as in Europe. If you bring electronics from the US or Canada, you’ll need an adapter for both plugs and current. Iceland is a wired society, and you’ll find Internet hotspots almost everywhere. Many of you will be visiting our country to enjoy our unique nature, of which we are very proud. Please remember, though, that Iceland’s delicate landscapes can take decades, or even centuries, to recover from misuse. Please don’t collect stones, tread on or pick up sensitive moss, or drive off road—
THIS IS HIGHWAY 1 We call it the Ring Road because, as you can see, it is shaped like a ring around the whole island. Many people like to follow this route when they want to see a lot of the country, but don’t forget to venture off on other roads so you can explore areas like the Westfjords, Snæfellsnes Peninsula and Reykjanes.
even in what may appear to be barren, sandy territory. Speaking of our landscapes, you’ll notice that there aren’t many signs, fences or other barriers around our natural wonders. We trust your common sense. So when you see or hear a warning, please heed it: Do not step over ropes that are blocking an area. Hot springs can be dangerously hot. Rocks near waterfalls can be slippery. And the sea can be deceptively calm. Follow local advice. The name of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík, means “smoky bay.” About two-thirds of our population of 350,000 live in the Capital Region. Photographers love Iceland for its incredible, ever-changing light. It never gets fully dark between about mid-May and early August, while in December a muted light shines over the island for a few short hours each day.
Icelandair Stopover 9
10 Icelandair Stopover
WAITING FOR THE WINTER STORM BY JACOB WESTER (INSTAGRAM.COM/JACOBWESTER). PHOTO BY SOFIA SJÖBERG (INSTAGRAM.COM/SOFIASJOEBERG).
After hours behind the wheel in the October darkness, driving down winding potholed gravel roads and over slippery mountain passes, thinly dusted with the first snowfall of the season, we finally catch a glimpse of the waves. Just as we had hoped, the overnight storm had produced perfect surfing conditions in this sheltered Westfjords bay. While the act of surfing has been around for centuries in more tropical regions of the world, paddling out into these frigid waters has only recently become popular, largely thanks to quickly developing wetsuit technology. Now it’s possible to stay warm in the 41°F (5°C) water for several hours even at these latitudes, and Iceland is slowly making its mark on the international surfing map. Situated in the middle of the North Atlantic and exposed to the Northern Hemisphere’s winter storms, there is almost always a wave worth the drive. However, because of the everchanging winds, the big tidal differences and the short window of light, one can never be guaranteed good surf. Thankfully, this is truly a part of the world where the old maxim “the journey is the destination” still holds!
Icelandair Stopover 11
HERE AND THERE
Here’s what’s happening on the hippest island in the North Atlantic this winter.
BY SARAH DEARNE.
REYKJAVÍK January 26 to February 2 Dark Music Days Dark Music Days rouses the city from its post-holiday slumber with some refreshing new sounds. This festival of contemporary music features musicians from Iceland and abroad, with a special emphasis on new and pioneering compositions. Held in the warm chambers of Harpa Concert Hall, Dark Music Days is the perfect complement to this cold and peaceful time of year. I darkmusicdays.is
Winter Lights Festival The annual Winter Lights Festival celebrates the returning daylight while cherishing the last of the darkness. Enchanting light projections make the city their canvas, and museums across the capital stay open late to host special events, all free of charge. Pool Night then brings a psychedelic twist to Reykjavík’s geothermal pools, transforming them with surreal light shows, music and poetry. winterlightsfestival.is
then set the town aglow with mesmerizing light installations and other illuminating events. Concerts and other happenings also take place throughout the week. flatearthcinema.club I listiljosi.com
REYKJAVÍK February 27 to March 3 Food and Fun The Food and Fun festival pairs Reykjavík restaurants with international chefs, who then compete to create the best menu from Iceland’s finest produce. The idea is to shake things up: Free from preconceptions, guest chefs devise novel ways to use unfamiliar products. To sample a menu for yourself, book a table at one of the participating restaurants and bring a healthy appetite. foodandfun.is
The Iceland Winter Games (March 22–24) and AK Extreme (April 4–7). The Iceland Winter Games take place at Hlíðarfjall ski resort and pack in an eclectic mix of icy fun: Skiing and snowboarding, of course, but also snow biking, horse riding, dog sledding, and even snow volleyball. AK Extreme then hauls the fun downtown, rigging a makeshift snowboarding jump out of 15 shipping containers right in the town center. Those with boundless energy can then party till the wee hours with three consecutive nights of concerts. icelandwintergames.com I akx.is
REYKJAVÍK February 28 to March 10 DesignMarch
Stockfish Film Festival Stockfish handpicks the best indie flicks of the local and international festival circuits, and invites guests to rub shoulders with filmmakers at panel talks and workshops. Films are screened at the hip Bíó Paradís cinema, smack in the city center, so it’s easy SEYÐISFJÖRÐUR February 10–14 to duck in for a touch of culture on a cold and 15–16 winter’s day. You can buy tickets for individual screenings, or invest in the festival pass for Flat Earth Film Festival full arthouse immersion. I stockfishfestival.is and List í ljósi (Art in the Light) Combining into a week-long program, Flat AKUREYRI March 22–24 and April 4–7 Earth Film Festival and List í ljósi light up Iceland Winter Games (IWG) the tiny town of Seyðisfjörður, the surprising and AK Extreme hipster hub of East Iceland. The third annual Akureyri celebrates the peak of the ski Flat Earth Film Festival will present quirky season with two exhilarating winter festivals: new films from all genres, and List í ljósi will
12 Icelandair Stopover
DesignMarch is Iceland’s foremost design event, curating the best of Icelandic fashion, furniture, product design, and all things creative. The festival commences with DesignTalks, a day of inspiring lectures held by acclaimed creators. Over a hundred events transform the capital into a sprawling design studio, and you can wander into most free of charge. I designmarch.is
Top left: Seyðisfjörður’s iconic Blue Church lights up for List í ljósi. Photo by Lorenzo Meucci. Top right: Celebrating a snow biking win. Photo courtesy of Iceland Winter Games.
NO NEED TO WAIT FOR YOUR BAGS if you do what the locals do and pick up some duty free goods in the arrival store before your luggage www.dutyfree.is
THE DUTY FREE ALLOWANCE IS 6 UNITS OF ALCOHOL, ANY WAY YOU LIKE IT Use the duty free allowance calculator on our website, www.dutyfree.is, to determine how to make the best use of your allowance.
EMBRACE THE DARK As winter prolongs, with cold days and dark evenings, snuggle up with one of these choice Icelandic reads, selected by Björn Halldórsson. ABOUT THE SIZE OF THE UNIVERSE By Jón Kalman Stefánsson In 2017, Fish Have No Feet earned Jón Kalman Stefánsson and his translator Philip Roughton a longlist nomination for the International Man Booker. Although About the Size of the Universe is labeled as an independent sequel, the book follows close on the heels of the previous novel, continuing its scattered-through-time approach to storytelling. In these two books we are presented with three generations of a single family; proud folk crushed under the weight of their fatalistic lives in a remote 19th-century fishing village, and their modern
counterparts, lost in the gaps of their ill-defined identities as “modern” Icelanders. The novel’s elusive narrator—an uncertain familial connection—observes the family in close proximity, moving from corporeal existence to an Ishmael-like disappearance. This ambiguity can seem jarring at first, but as with Jón Kalman’s previous books, the reader soon learns to let go and trust the narration, at which point the novel opens up into a startling feat of storytelling.
TRAP (REYKJAVÍK NOIR TRILOGY 2) By Lilja Sigurðardóttir In Snare, readers first became acquainted with Sonja, a flight attendant and single mom who becomes a reluctant yet extremely capable drug smuggler in order to secure the funds to fight for the custody of her son. In this second novel of Lilja Sigurðardóttir’s Reykjavík Noir Trilogy, Sonja has settled in Florida with her son Tomas and believes her life of crime to be behind her. However, when Tomas’s safety is threatened, she must return to Iceland and resume her illicit activities. There, Sonja’s
former lover Agla longs for her return, though a reunion seems unlikely as Agla is confined to a cell and awaiting trial for her role in the financial crimes that helped topple the Icelandic economy. The strength of Lilja’s crime fiction is the depth of her characters. Her somewhat amoral protagonists still manage to garner readers’ sympathies, despite their decisions leading them ever further into vice and corruption, all the while dreaming of a distant day when they can return to ordinary life.
ÖRÆFI – THE WASTELAND By Ófeigur Sigurðsson Öræfi, or The Wasteland, was the surprise hit of the 2015 Icelandic book season, becoming a bestseller while also being praised by critics and receiving the Icelandic Literature Prize—a tight-rope walk that has eluded many works of fiction. It tells the story of Austrian toponymist Bernhardt Fingerberg, who takes on an ill-fated solo research expedition into the desolate Öræfi region and finally into Vatnajökull glacier itself. Along the way, Berhardt’s darkly humorous narrative is continually misdirected, chasing tendrils of information, Icelandic
folklore and history into dead-ends and blind alleys, before returning to the story at hand. An experimental novel that pushes against the boundaries of traditional narrative, the book’s success in Iceland gave new hope to many a cynic who believed modern literary fiction was doomed to always lose out to fast-paced thrillers in terms of mass appeal. It’s no wonder that Öræfi shares a translator with Guðbergur Bergsson’s seminal Tómas Jónsson: Bestseller.
THE FLATEY ENIGMA By Viktor Arnar Ingólfsson
Published before the rise of Nordic noir and set in the 1960s, The Flatey Enigma will be unlike most other Nordic crime fiction that you might come across. When a disfigured body is found near Flatey, an island off Iceland’s west coast, an inexperienced district magistrate representative is dispatched to look into the matter. Soon we are introduced to the island’s close-knit community, steeped in superstition and local lore and prideful of their place as people eking out an existence in an unforgiving landscape. At the heart of the story is a murder mystery
with an intriguing historical element relating to the 14thcentury manuscript known as Codex Flateyensins—or “The Flatey Book.” What’s especially striking about this mystery is the locals themselves, who have a true sense of “other” to them; a vision of an isolated Nordic worldview that has all but vanished. Though initially published in 2002, The Flatey Enigma is sure to find new and eager readers this winter with the release of a new limited television series based on the book.
Check out which audio books are available on page 74 and on our in-flight entertainment system.
14 Icelandair Stopover
Icelandair Stopover 15
16 Icelandair Stopover
A BEACON OF HOPE BY LISA GAIL SHANNEN. PHOTO BY ROMAN GERASYMENKO.
The rain doesn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the 2,000 people who have gathered to watch the illumination of Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace Tower—an extraordinary work of art installed on Viðey Island, just off the coast of Reykjavík. The monument, which is both a memorial to John Lennon and the vision of peace he shared with Yoko, is lit every year on October 9, John Lennon’s birthday. Since its inaugural event back in 2007, Yoko Ono has invited people on a complimentary ferry trip to the island to take part in the lighting ceremony. She usually visits in person, but in 2018 she sent a video message via New York. The timing is perfect. While Yoko delivers her short speech, the rain stops and the skies clear to reveal the northern lights. With the aurora dancing above, those familiar first notes of John Lennon’s “Imagine” fill the air as 16 super beams of light are illuminated separately to form the impressive Imagine Peace Tower—a powerful beacon of peace and hope. The Imagine Peace Tower is lit annually on October 9 to December 8, December 21–31, February 18, and March 20–27.
Icelandair Stopover 17
TALES FROM THE NORTH
BY LISA GAIL SHANNEN. PHOTOS BY JUAN CAMILLO ROMAN ESTRADA.
Iceland’s thriving film scene and its latest heroic production: Woman at War.
Iceland made its debut in film over 100 years ago in a three-minute documentary filmed in 1906. The years that followed saw very few Icelandic productions, with the first fiction film (The Adventures of Jón and Gvendur) made in 1923 and the first feature film (Between Mountain and Shore) in 1949. It wasn’t until 1978 when the Icelandic Film Fund (now the Icelandic Film Centre) was established that a serious film scene emerged in Iceland, with further developments coming after Friðrik Þór Friðriksson’s Children of Nature was nominated for best foreignlanguage film at the 64th Academy Awards in 1992.
n Kjós Hafnarfjörður
18 Icelandair Stopover
Today Iceland has not only become renowned for its diverse film talent but also for its supermodel landscapes, which have appeared in countless big-budget international films, TV shows and adverts. Christof Wehmeier from the Icelandic Film Centre says, “I think
there’s a general interest in Icelandic films and TV series because they seem to be fresh, different, and the Icelandic landscape is captivating and magical as well.” Those Hollywood blockbusters filmed more recently “have done a lot for Iceland, image-wise,” with epic film locations, like those featured in HBO’s Game of Thrones, having “something to do with the fact that tourists are coming to Iceland.” Woman at War Apart from servicing large Hollywood productions, Iceland’s thriving film scene produced seven feature films in 2018, including Let Me Fall and And Breathe Normally. Another release Woman at War is currently racking up prestigious international accolades and has been selected to represent Iceland at the 2019 Academy Awards. Premiering at Cannes in May 2018, where it immediately won the SACD Award, the environmental comic thriller follows the adventures of passionate eco-activist and pylon slayer Halla (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir), who is so furious about industry threatening the destruction of
“Middle-aged women are usually saving the world, wherever you go.”
Previous page, clockwise from top left: The heroine held up by police (filmed in Kjós near Reykjavík); Co-writer and director Benedikt Erlingsson; Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir in her role as Halla. This page: Halla takes out the power grid with a bow and arrow (filmed by Helgafell mountain in Hafnarfjörður). Iceland’s pristine landscapes that she’s gone into sabotage mode. Her law-breaking plans are complicated when she gets news that she’s to become the mother of an orphan girl from Ukraine.
world.” On the bright side, Benedikt explains, you can calculate exactly how much CO2 you create and offset that debt by planting trees. “So, you see, for every trip to America, I have to plant three birch trees.”
Woman at War director, Benedikt Erlingsson, who co-wrote the script with Ólafur Egill Egilsson, is in Strasbourg when we catch up with him. He’s celebrating another big win for the film; this time it’s the European Parliament Lux Prize. He is, of course, thrilled with the attention the film is getting, with the success demonstrating the increasing demand for Icelandic TV and film overseas. “We have many exceptional storytellers in Iceland now who have been recognized abroad, and we are hoping that our cultural authorities will recognize this and increase the contribution to the film fund. Especially in the light of the Icelandic language. It’s a small language, you know, in an existential fight. It’s a very important investment.”
In the real world, planting trees is an important way to deal with environmental challenges, but it wouldn’t make much of a thrilling blockbuster storyline, which is why the heroine of Woman at War is doing exciting stuff to keep us on the edge of our seats, like taking out the power grid in spectacular fashion with a bow and arrow. “It’s a mythological reference,” explains Benedikt, “it goes back to Artemis, the goddess of the wild from Greek mythology.” He names Robin Hood as another bow-and-arrow wielding example of an outlaw and hero. Although Halla is a powerful work of fiction, the inspiration for her character comes from some real-life female environmentalists. “Middle-aged women are usually saving the world everywhere you go,” remarks Benedikt, citing Berta Cáceres from Honduras and Yolanda Maturana from Colombia as examples. Closer
There is a drawback to the success, though. “The downer is I’m putting a lot of CO2 into the air because I am traveling around the
to home, Benedikt pays tribute to his own real-life heroines, including his mother, Brynja Benediktsdóttir, along with Swedish children’s book author and activist Astrid Lindgren, and Edda Heiðrún Backman, “a great Icelandic actress who was struck down by this terrible MS disease. She fought it with so much bravery, learned to paint and founded a society preserving nature. For me, she was really a woman at war.” Great Expectations The future of the local Icelandic film scene is looking busy, with 10 films currently in development and four in production, including female-directed titles such as The Deposit by Ásthildur Kjartansdóttir and Alma by Kristín Jóhannesdóttir. There’s also a TV adaptation of suspense story The Flatey Enigma to look forward to and the second season of Trapped, which is filmed in the new RVK Studios. Not to mention the the Englishlanguage remake of Woman at War, which will be directed, produced and headlined by Oscar-winning actor Jodie Foster.
Icelandair Stopover 19
20 Icelandair Stopover
SURVIVING THE ICY WILDERNESS Mads Mikkelsen discusses his latest film, Arctic, and the experience of shooting in Iceland. BY TINA JØHNK CHRISTENSEN. STILL FROM ARCTIC COURTESY OF BLEECKER STREET. PORTRAIT OF MADS MIKKELSEN COURTESY OF RIFF.
In Arctic, Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen—who received the Creative Excellence Award at the 2018 Reykjavík International Film Festival (RIFF)—plays an engineer who has crashlanded in the icy wilderness of the Arctic. He has been there for a while when the audience meets him, having written “SOS” on the ground by removing all snow, ice and rocks. He is obviously alone, fighting for his survival in overwhelming conditions. Icelandic newcomer María Thelma Smáradóttir is the only other human in the movie, but it would be a spoiler to reveal the role she plays. The film was shot by Brazilian director Joe Penna in Iceland in 19 days, which was perfect for Mads Mikkelsen, who calls Iceland his “favorite country in the world.” He tells Icelandair Stopover what the experience was like and why he couldn’t have continued working on the film for much longer than he did. What was it like shooting in the Icelandic climate? It was icy! As they say in Iceland: “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” And that’s what we were facing: We were chasing the weather. We needed a blizzard one day and the next day we needed something else, and it was always the opposite. So we would go, “Let’s change the scene.” And when we started that scene, the weather changed. We did that the first few days and then we realized we can’t fight it and we just have to go with it and say that
this is what it is. [The weather] is a big enemy, but it’s also our biggest friend in a film like this because it’s the main character of the film. It makes it difficult but at the same time, it makes it easy. It looks freezing. You wear a red parka; were you dressed appropriately? Obviously, the film [crew] is taking care of that and not leaving it to the clumsy actor. He has survival gear with him when he is flying in the Arctic. But it’s not the best, because nobody anticipates that you will have to live there for nine months. So I was not wearing the warmest compared to Joe—but he is from Brazil. And it got cold. I think –15°C [5°F], which was not that crazy. But there was the wind. We lost two doors on the car when I opened the car door and it just broke off and flew down the mountain. It was like, “Maybe we shouldn’t shoot today.” How good of a survivor are you? Luckily, I don’t know. But I have a hunch I am pretty good. Why is that? I have a [lot of] stamina. And I’m extremely stubborn. And I think that those two things are vital … in order not to give up. I mean the main focus is obviously that he is a survivor at the beginning of the film and that is all he is. He is not alive. He is only alive when she [the character María Thelma plays] arrives. Then he becomes alive. And that is obviously the main thing of the film: That there’s an enormous difference between living and surviving. What did the experience teach you about resilience? It’s not easy to give up. I think that is exactly the point: That it’s not easy to give up. You see that throughout history and you see that with stories from the concentration camps, what people went through. They wanted to give up but somewhere in their body, it said,
“No, don’t do it. Don’t give up.” I think resilience is something that is actually just there in most people. And I think that he wished to give up more than he tried, but there is something in your mind that says, “No, you can’t!” And it’s an instinct. And what did you learn about your own survival instinct? I think that whatever a film teaches you, it’s something that might pop up later down the line. Everybody has stamina—a crazy stamina—if it’s a matter of life and death. But it was not, because we could go somewhere and I could eat something. But you get the feeling that, “Yeah, I can pull it off and I am going to hate to do it, but I can pull it off.” We were so tired. We were so drained. I weighed half of what I weigh today when we were done, and it just happened. It was not the plan. So I would imagine doing it for real. Did you change your diet for this? I didn’t have to, really … I am not a big eater when I work. I kind of tend to forget to eat and I’m not hungry. And that doesn’t help when I work out like [I did while filming]. … I ate, but not as I would have back home. But I didn’t intentionally go, “Let’s have a shower scene and go for the Oscar award.” I could have done it: “See how skinny I am now!” We didn’t have that scene. But I was that skinny, and I didn’t show it off. How do you deal with solitude? I like solitude. I like going places where you have the chance to leave the car … and walk far away and sit down on a mountain peak or something. And as I sit there, I would think that I could never be found again … I like the idea of that. And that was constantly what we were facing in Iceland. Arctic premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and is set to be released in theaters in 2019.
Icelandair Stopover 21
Mads Mikkelsen looking out over the frozen Fellsendavatn lake. Mads with director Joe Penna.
part of Iceland exactly because it provides a realistic setting, and while the conditions are still more favorable than the true Arctic, the Icelandic interior has always been a brutal and uninhabitable place. In ages past, outlaws were sent there as a punishment; most of them perished.
A DIRECTOR’S WINTER DREAM Filming Arctic in the desolate heart of Iceland. BY LISA GAIL SHANNEN. PHOTOS COURTESY OF PEGASUS PICTURES.
“You get Mads for your project but cover his glorious face?” bemoans YouTube commenter clouseaux 1141 about the latest teaser trailer of Joe Penna’s new survival thriller, Arctic. It’s not just Mads Mikkelsen’s eyes peeping out from between his hat and scarf tantalizing the viewers, though—the scenery is spectacular: Bleak, barren and impossibly beautiful. The film was mainly shot in the southern Central Highlands of Iceland’s interior, a howling wilderness of otherworldly vistas in all seasons of the year, but, come wintertime, a convincing stand-in for any remote corner of the Arctic. Many directors choose to film in this extreme
22 Icelandair Stopover
Penna’s thriller, starring Mads Mikkelsen as the sole survivor of a plane crash, features settings in the Bláfjöll mountains and Nesjavellir geothermal fields, both close to Reykjavík. However, the primary location was filmed by Fellsendavatn lake, just off the ancient Sprengisandur route through the Highlands (not far from Landmannalaugar). It’s a popular fishing area in the summer, but once frozen over and surrounded by a healthy supply of snow and ice it becomes a director’s winter dream. Einar Sveinn Þórðarson from Pegasus Pictures, who worked on the production, says, “We would normally go to a glacier to have guaranteed snow and ice, but the budget was limited, so we looked for other solutions. The area had to look remote, but we also needed it to be close enough to a road to be able to transport the plane and helicopter to the sites. The area around Fellsendavatn lake offered great scenery and the snow stays there longer than in lower areas, so we ended up picking that.” The challenges were mainly weather-related, with lots of snow clearing needed for getting equipment in and out, but, “Overall those locations really worked well and the end result speaks for itself.” Arctic premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and is set to be released in theaters in 2019.
Nesjavellir n Bláfjöll n
Icelandair Stopover 23
A SOAKER’S CIRCUIT:
GEOTHERMAL TRAVELS AROUND ICELAND Cold-weather acclimatization with some help from below.
BY CAROLYN BAIN.
“Iceland’s sunshine doesn’t come from the sky,” a poetic Icelander once told me. “It comes from the water.” Those words have warmed my heart (if not my extremities) on a number of occasions, especially as I wage a love-hate battle with the dark Icelandic winters, having relocated to Reykjavík from a famously sunny homeland (Australia). For centuries, the mineral-rich geothermal water found in abundance on this volcanic island has done much to make winters not just bearable, but pleasurable. Water suitable for long, warming soaks can be found in fantastically varied places, from small
24 Icelandair Stopover
natural hot springs in remote fields to well-maintained swimming pools in virtually every town. Taking cues from the attentiongrabbing Blue Lagoon (easily among Iceland’s most visited attractions) are a growing number of bathing complexes, springing up in geothermal hotspots around the country and creating an incidental itinerary for road-trippers looking to end each day with a scenic soak. Two new complexes have been added to the soakers’ circuit in the past year, and 2019 holds another treat: Currently under construction outside Egilsstaðir in East Iceland are the Vök Baths, due to open in summer 2019.
Krauma, Reykholt Opened in late 2017 at the site of the high-volume Deildartunguhver thermal spring, Krauma is a stylish spot about 62 mi (100 km) from Reykjavík, in West Iceland. A sleek black building sits unobtrusively in the landscape and houses a restaurant and well-equipped changing rooms. Outside, black tiles surround a handful of warm-water pools— and for the brave there’s a small plunge pool (water at a hellishly refreshing 43°F / 6°C). The water is a mix of cold water originating from Ok glacier (quite possibly my favorite place name in Iceland) and hot water from Deildartunguhver.
Previous page: Panoramic views from GeoSea across Skjálfandi Bay. Photo by Carolyn Bain. Above: The entrance, relaxation room, baths and dining area of Krauma, West Iceland. Photos supplied by Krauma.
There are two steam baths and a bathers’ relaxation room, with a cozy central fireplace. The evocative scent of wood burning fills the complex on the sunny autumnal day when I visit. Like most visitors I am drawn to the complex’s front pool, where an infinity edge combines with ace mountain views to rapidly induce relaxation, and the long sunset views are sublime. This is a small complex that feels nicely off the well-worn tourist route. Combined with lunch at nearby Hotel Húsafell and a walk around the waterfalls of Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, Krauma makes a fabulous day out from Reykjavík.
GeoSea, Húsavík The newest kid on the bathing block is GeoSea, which opened in August 2018 in the northerly town of Húsavík. I visited in late October, but there was no denying that winter had arrived: The northern mountains were wearing their white coats and the roads from Akureyri were icy. The effort involved in reaching GeoSea pays big dividends; for me, this is the loveliest view of any bathing complex in Iceland. On a hillside outside town, the baths overlook Skjálfandi Bay (renowned for its whale inhabitants) and the Kinnarfjöll mountain range to the west. The complex’s neighbor, a squat yellow lighthouse, adds a pop of color to the breathtaking setting.
GeoSea’s design is striking, from its understated entranceway to the neutral slate-gray palette intended to complement the surrounding nature. In November 2018, Basalt Architecture won the Icelandic Design Prize for their work on the complex, as well as for their contribution to Icelandic bathing culture via some of their stunning projects (including the Blue Lagoon and the marvelous fjord-side swimming pool in Hofsós).
plate the panorama; if the wind whips up (like it did on my visit) the sheltered spots become gathering points and the steam room is popular, not least for its floor-to-ceiling windows. The water is unique for these complexes, a silky combination of saltwater and geothermal. The overall effect is a treat, and I’m reminded of just how uniquely beautiful the Icelandic winters can be when there is a welcoming buffer from the cold.
At GeoSea, interconnected pools are strung along a ridge, and locals find a regular spot in the top pool where bathers can order a drink through a window. If the wind is not too harsh, infinity edges draw bathers to contem-
Icelandair Stopover 25
A SOAKER’S CIRCUIT
If you like getting into hot water, consider adding these pools to your itinerary. Krauma, Reykholt The West gets some soaking action with this stylish newcomer neighboring a powerful hot spring. Welcoming touches include a frigid plunge pool and a relaxation lounge.
Blue Lagoon, Grindavík Throughout the recent tourism boom, the Blue Lagoon has gained the most attention: Its proximity to Keflavík International Airport and its photogenic setting (with milky-blue waters lapping against black lava) have seen its popularity soar—as well as its prices. It’s now so in-demand, pre-booking is essential.
26 Icelandair Stopover
GeoSea, Húsavík Award-winning design and sublime mountain views make this far-north option a worthy detour. With superhuman eyesight you might even spot a whale in the bay.
Laugarvatn Fontana, Laugarvatn An option close to the highlights of the Golden Circle, this sleek lakeside complex gives visitors the chance to mix things up with a dip in the lake. As a bonus, try delicious bread that’s baked in the warm ground.
Vök Baths, Egilsstaðir Due to open in summer 2019 on a lakeshore just outside Egilsstaðir, this place looks set to add a great eastern link to the chain of pools. Its design comes from Basalt Architects, creators of a number of beautiful swimming spots in Iceland.
Secret Lagoon, Flúðir Golden Circle explorations can also be broken with a soak here (pool noodles supplied!), where mist rises over surrounding meadows to create a serene natural setting. It’s got quite a history; it was created in 1891.
OFFICIAL PARTNER WITH KEF AIRPORT
NEED A RIDE TO TOWN?
FREE WIFI ON EVERY BUS
SERVICE DESK AT CENTRALLY CONNECTED KEF AIRPORT LOCATED BUS STOP TO ALL FLIGHTS
24/7 SERVICE DESK AT KEFLAVÍK AIRPORT
DAY TOURS WE GUIDE IN 10 LANGUAGES
NORTHERN LIGHTS & STARGAZING RSS.is/NLS
GOLDEN CIRCLE & NORTHERN LIGHTS RSS.is/GCNL
SOUTH COAST & NORTHERN LIGHTS RSS.is/SCNL
BOOK YOUR ADVENTURE NOW Icelandair Stopover 27 !
USB CHARGING IN EVERY SEAT
IN BUS AUDIO GUIDE
OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY
WWW.RSS.IS • +354 497 5000 • INFO@RSS.IS
AURORA BOREALIS Uncovering the northern lights.
28 Icelandair Stopover
FROM ICELANDAIR’S ARCHIVES. PHOTOS BY BENJAMIN HARDMAN.
The aurora borealis, or northern lights, have captivated us over the centuries. Throughout history, humans have gazed up in wonder at the iridescent bands of green, red, yellow, pink, purple and white lights swirling around the sky. What Are the Northern Lights? We’ve credited the aurora to gods, spirits and magical creatures. But we now know that it’s the result of high-energy particles from space and the sun slamming into the earth’s magnetic field. These particles leave our star in a steady stream that we call the solar wind, and are also fired from its surface during solar flares. Their impact on our planet’s magnetic field pushes charged particles down into the atmosphere—60 to over 250 mi (100–400 km) above our heads— where they produce a striking variety of shapes and colors.
One of Icelandâ€™s most famous sighting spots for northern lights, by Kirkjufell mountain on SnĂŚfellsnes.
Icelandair Stopover 29
The aurora often first appears as an arc, stretching from east to west across the sky. Later in the night it may develop into rippling streamers, pulsating globes, a corona of rays that appear from a point high in the sky, or as scattered patches of light. In Iceland, the official aurora-spotting season runs from October until March. It’s easiest to see the northern lights during the depths of winter because the nights are longer and the icy cold results in less water vapor clouding the skies. That said, the aurora has been observed as early as August and as late as April. Ancient Tales of the Aurora Our relationship with the northern lights dates right back to the dawn of humankind, long before science explained them. Swirling patterns carved into cave walls over 30,000 years ago could be the earliest depiction of the phenomenon.
The first written description of the aurora dates back to 2,600 BC in China, but it was Greek philosopher Aristotle who first recorded the appearance of the lights in detail over 2,350 years ago. In the 1600s, Galileo Galilei and Pierre Gassendi dubbed the phenomenon aurora borealis, or “northern dawn,” after Aurora, the Roman goddess of morning and Boreas, the Greek name for the north wind. The mysterious phenomenon often provoked fear. The aurora has long been seen as a harbinger of doom, perhaps because of its red, blood-like glow. The Inuit imagined it as souls at play, using a walrus head as a ball. Icelandic folklore has it that if a pregnant woman gazes at the northern lights, her child will be born cross-eyed. That said, they also believed that the lights ease the pain of childbirth. When you’re huddled in the snow, wrapped with blankets and waiting for your first glimpse, remember that it’s this elusive quality that maintains the aurora’s magic, and what makes a sighting so special. Read more about the northern lights at icelandair.com/northern-lights.
30 Icelandair Stopover
The northern lights dancing above the lava fields of Reykjanes.
Icelandair Stopover 31
“THIS WILL BE SPECIAL” Once again, Guðmundur Guðmundsson faces the challenge of coaching the Icelandic men’s handball team, leading them at the 2019 World Championship. BY EINAR LÖVDAHL. PHOTOS BY BJÖRGVIN FRANZ BJÖRGVINSSON . “If you say goodbye on good terms, you’ll always be able to return,” says Guðmundur Guðmundsson, who earlier this year began his third spell as the manager of the Icelandic men’s national handball team. When we speak in November, he’s eagerly awaiting the IHF World Championship, taking place in Denmark and Germany in January 2019. Despite Iceland’s recent football frenzy, the island has a much more successful history when it comes to handball. The men’s national team has competed in over 30 major tournaments since 1958, and many have considered handball to be Iceland’s national sport. Watching “Our Boys” compete at a major tournament during the winter darkness in January has been a constant in Icelandic culture for years—like eating fish for dinner on Mondays. It’s fair to say that no Icelandic handball coach has been as successful in men’s international handball as Guðmundur Guðmundsson. In 2008, he led the national team to a silver medal at the Olympics in Beijing. Two years later, the team got a bronze medal at the 2010 European Championship under his guidance. On top of that, he even led the Danish national team to a glorious gold medal victory at the Olympics in Rio 2016. “My job now is to rebuild the Icelandic national team,” Guðmundur explains. “We have a young and inexperienced squad and we expect the process to take about three years. I hope we get the time we need.” Proving Yourself Over Again Guðmundur is aware that success raises expectations, but he doesn’t let it get to him. “Every new beginning calls for you to prove yourself all over again, which is a fun challenge,” he says. “Some people say that coaches don’t have any future, they only have the present. There’s a lot of truth in that, because people always demand success now.” The key to success, according to Guðmundur, is passion. And going into his 30th year of
32 Icelandair Stopover
coaching, handball is still a true passion of his. “One of the main challenges you face as a top-level coach is staying up to date. After all these years, I’m still a student of the game—I’m still a handball nerd.” Striking Gold Before Guðmundur, Þórir Hergeirsson—coach of the Norwegian women’s handball team— was the only Icelander ever to have earned a gold medal at the Olympics. The achievement will be difficult to repeat, Guðmundur admits. “The Olympics are the world’s biggest sports event. Regarding the handball tournament, qualifying is tough enough, and when it comes to the main event, you can’t afford a single mistake,” Guðmundur says. “Every single decision has to be 100% right during the preparation phase and during the Olympic games. That’s just how competitive the Olympics are. There’s no margin for error. It might sound hard to believe, but there’s no doubt about it in my mind.” Guðmundur refers to the 2012 Olympics as an example, where his Icelandic team went unbeaten through the group stages but got knocked out in the second round after a double-overtime thriller. “I honestly thought we would win a gold medal that year.” Nothing Easy Icelandic handball has never had the luxury of a vast pool of players or large budgets. Nonetheless, the Handball Association (HSÍ) has maintained a professional standard through the years. “The association has done a terrific job, thanks to its selfless and ambitious staff,” Guðmundur explains. However, the main concern today is the team’s facilities, the 50-year-old sports hall Laugardalshöll, which doesn’t fully fulfill the standards of the International Handball Federation. “I would like the Icelandic authorities to answer our call for a new sports hall,” he encourages. Whatever the future holds, it was in the outdated Laugardalshöll that Iceland clinched its seat in the 2019 World Championship. They did so by beating Lithuania 34-31 in the second leg of a playoff tie, after having drawn
27-27 in the first leg. And Guðmundur sounds excited for the upcoming journey. “I feel good about it. It’s a new situation, I think Icelanders haven’t seen such a drastic reconstruction of the team in 30 years. Therefore, this will be a special World Championship.” He points out that a brand-new team comes with some uncertainties. “We don’t really know where we stand in comparison with our opponents. We will have to strive for every win. There’s no such thing as an easy game for Iceland nowadays.” The team will face two handball powerhouses in the first two games at the Championship: Croatia, two-time Olympic gold medalists and 2003 World Champions; and Spain, two-time World Champions and reigning European Champions. “It will be extremely exciting to lead this young squad to a World Championship. I can’t wait,” says Guðmundur, never one to shy away from a challenge. Icelandair is a proud sponsor of the Icelandic national handball teams.
Top: From Iceland vs. Lithuania in the playoffs: Arnór Þór Gunnarsson (left) aiming for the goal during a seven-meter throw; and Aron Pálmarsson (right) trying to break through the defense. Bottom: Guðmundur Guðmundsson demonstrates his passion for the game.
Iceland’s matches at the IHF World Championship vs. Croatia — 1/11/19 vs. Spain — 1/13/19 vs. Bahrain — 1/14/19 vs. Japan — 1/16/19 vs. FYR Macedonia — 1/17/19
Handball is a team sport in which two sides of seven players each (including a goalkeeper) pass a ball using their hands with the objective of throwing it into the goal of the opposition. As a simplification, it has sometimes been described as a mix of football (soccer) and basketball. The sport is most popular in the countries of continental Europe, especially Germany and Spain, but it also enjoys some popularity in the Far East, North Africa and parts of South America. The Biggest Global Sports website ranks it as the 25th most popular sport in the world, right between gymnastics and figure skating.
Guðmundur Guðmundsson Born December 23, 1960. 236 games and 358 goals as a player for Iceland. Teams managed: Víkingur, Afturelding, Fram, TSV Bayer Dormagen, Iceland, GOG Svendborg, Rhein-Neckar Löwen, Denmark, Bahrain. Received Iceland’s Grand Knight’s Cross after Iceland won the silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Received the Knight’s Cross from the Danish Crown after Denmark won the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Icelandair Stopover 33
Welcome to Iceland! Up for a Subventure?
locations around Iceland
34 Icelandair Stopover
EVERY TRIP IS AN ADVENTURE
STOPOVER DOESN’T MEAN YOU NEED TO STAY PUT visit www.geysir.is for great car rental offers
NORTHERN LIGHTS BY BOAT
W AT CH
BOOK NOW 354-560-8800 specialtours.is firstname.lastname@example.org
GOLD-CLASS ENVIRONMENTAL UMHVERFISFLOKKUN
CERTIFIED TRAVEL SERVICE VIÐURKENND FERÐAÞJÓNUSTA
Icelandair Stopover 35
MAKING THE FEATHERS FLY Icelandic animation has taken off. BY EYGLÓ SVALA ARNARSDÓTTIR. STILLS COURTESY OF GUNHIL.
Released in 2018 to great international success, Ploey – You Never Fly Alone (Lói – Þú flýgur aldrei einn) is the second full-length Icelandic animation. Featuring a flightless—and fearless—golden plover chick, left behind by his flock to survive the harsh Icelandic winter on his own, Ploey has touched the hearts of viewers the world over. Colorful Characters “When I read the screenplay, I see the characters before me. I have to put myself in their shoes in order to understand them,” says Gunnar Karlsson of GunHil production, the film’s visual creator and co-director. Ploey is the first feature film by GunHil, but Gunnar and Friðrik Erlingsson, who wrote the story, had previously worked together on Thor – Legends of Valhalla (2011) and an animated short.
Gunnar Karlsson. Photo by Ólöf Nordal.
36 Icelandair Stopover
Having studied visual arts with the aim of dedicating his career to painting, Gunnar now earns his living through animation, artfully breathing life into colorful characters. Ploey and his fellow golden plovers are the stars of the show, but other Icelandic birds also appear, including wacko hermit Giron, a ptarmigan; and preying loner Shadow, a falcon. “I draw from acquaintances and people I’ve met along the way. I base the characters on the bird species but they also have human features.
I had to picture myself living in their world—I lived in this landscape with these characters for a few years.” In the film, the birds nest in the idyllic countryside near human habitats. “Friðrik wrote the screenplay in Eyrarbakki [in South Iceland], but it could be a village anywhere in Iceland,” says Gunnar. “It’s based on my childhood in the 1960s and ’70s—it has a bit of a ’70s zeitgeist. The landscape is Nordic with snow and mountains, and we thought it was important to feature the weather in the north.” After witnessing Shadow murder his father, a traumatized Ploey fails to learn to fly in time for his flock’s migration to warmer habitats in the fall. His mother and Ploveria, his girlfriend, believe Ploey to be dead and therefore leave without him. However, the flightless chick is not about to give up and decides to walk across the hostile Highlands in search of Paradise Valley, geothermal fields offering warmth, comfort—and companionship—even during the darkest of hours and fiercest of blizzards. Reaping the Fruits After opening in Iceland last February, Ploey was screened continuously for 26 weeks, attracting more than 25,000 people to the theater. Gunnar finds it important that children grow up watching the world they’re familiar with in movies, not only foreign cultures. But Ploey’s story appeals to a broader audience, too. “When we screened the film in India, the
Continued Challenges In the world of animation, technology advances at the speed of light. “Five years ago, I couldn’t imagine how we would be able to create feathers and plumage—but we solved it,” says Gunnar. “I don’t think there’s a single hair that doesn’t move the way it’s supposed to!” When he first started out in Ploey was five years in the making and was animation, rendering took the longest time, produced both in Iceland and Belgium. “After he explains, but now, with better computers, we received the script from Friðrik, we started they can do more complicated things and discussing, preparing and making a screencontinue to challenge themselves. play,” Gunnar says of the process. With an There’s great demand for children’s enterISK 1.1 billion (USD 9 million) project (which tainment and Gunnar believes Icelandic is about five times the cost of a live action animation has a future on the international film), they also had to secure funding and distribution before moving along, cooperating arena. “We have a few projects going for which we still need funding; we’re working with foreign companies for that purpose. on various things simultaneously.” And “Once we were satisfied with the screenplay, without going into detail, he reveals that at we started making a storyboard with simple GunHil they have started working on a sequel pencil sketches—in fact, we edited the film at to Ploey. the beginning,” he continues. “Then we created a layout and rough 3D models, positioned “I’m happy with this film. I’ve watched it like 50 times but I always get caught up in the the camera angles and began animating.” At story,” Gunnar shares. And that appears to one point, 60 people were working on the apply to most viewers, children and adults project at the same time. Ives Agemans, located in Belgium, served as Gunnar’s fellow alike. “We hope that parents will go watch the movie with their kids. It’s somewhat co-director, and Árni Ólafur Ásgeirsson was a dramatic theater experience for young head director, based in Iceland. “When the children—they might feel a little scared at animators were finished, we reviewed the times—so it’s good to have mom and dad clips through the Internet and Árni Ólafur around for support.” approved them.” children found the environment exotic and exciting. It was also very successful in Mexico and South America.” The film had in fact been sold to 55 countries prior to its premiere and is being shown all over the world. In most territories it has made it to the top 10 box office lists, including in France.
You can watch Ploey – You Never Fly Alone on the in-flight entertainment system.
Icelandair Stopover 37
SKINCARE BORN FROM SCIENCE From its humble beginnings as an Icelandic startup in 2001, the seed of BIOEFFECT has grown into a flourishing business, branching out into international markets.
In 2001, three Icelandic scientists founded ORF Genetics. Inspired by the Nobel Prizewinning discovery of the protein EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor), which stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, they found a way to produce a plant-based replica of human EGF in the barley seeds. The barley is grown in an ecologically-engineered greenhouse in Reykjanes, southwest Iceland, using geothermal energy and pure Icelandic water. Instead of soil, the plants sprout in inert volcanic pumice to prevent mold and bacteria. In 2008, ORF Genetics launched the skincare brand BIOEFFECT, and after thorough testing they released the now iconic EGF Serum in 2010. “It went on sale in a few
38 Icelandair Stopover
stores and there was no turning back,” says Brynja Magnúsdóttir, Key Account Manager. “I have never experienced such a reaction!” Only containing seven ingredients, no fragrance, alcohol, oil or preservatives, the EGF Serum is pure, effective and simple to use. Its age-defying effect has been backed by in-house and independent scientific studies, with the results showing up to 60% increase in skin thickness and 30% increase in skin density—numbers otherwise unheard of in the beauty industry. The word has spread, and today BIOEFFECT’s skincare products are available in 29 markets. The company has around 70 employees in
Iceland—about 130 worldwide—and boasts 30% year-on-year growth. BIOEFFECT is carried in stores like Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Harrods in London, Lane Crawford in Shanghai, and was recently scouted by online beauty giant Sephora in the US, where it’s part of a new line called Clean at Sephora. BIOEFFECT is always developing new products and their mission continues to be to restore and maintain the skin’s natural youthfulness and vitality through pure ingredients and truly effective advancements in skincare using biotechnology. Flip over this magazine and you’ll discover our exclusive Saga Shop Collection of on-board duty-free products.
RELAX ENJOY EXPERIENCE
Icelandair Stopover 39
A THOUSAND WORDS Thanks to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, you can share your travel experience with the world. Check out this selection of recent images from our passengers who tagged their pictures with the #MyStopover tag. Pretty great, right? In upcoming issues, we will feature the best pics by users who include the #MyStopover tag. Happy snapping! Please note that by using the #MyStopover hashtag, you are granting us permission to use your image in our magazine or on our social media channels.
So blue, like a waterfall of ice-cold Slurpee. Bruarfoss was possibly my favorite waterfall, minus the experience of getting my fingers sliced by the droneâ€™s propellers there and having plastered up fingers for the rest of the trip. Any sort of thumb-printing and phone swiping actions were (painfully) impossible tasks. I judithyeoh I Judith Yeoh
Day 1: 10.08.18. Lasset ein neues Abenteuer beginnen I t.rex.b I Tim-Robin Burghardt
Don't get lip-injections. Go to Silfra and book a 45 minute snorkeling tour in water that's 2 degrees Celsius and nature will handle the rest â€Ś Pic from yesterday. Thank you @dive.is for this magical experience! I exxalovahusky_privat I Jennie Ericsson
More ice. I kittykeep I Kitty Keep
40 Icelandair Stopover
Moss Mountain I d_r_reed I Dan Reed
It’s raining in Iceland, but I don’t care, it’s amazing!! This is the Kerid crater, one of several natural wonders we’ve seen today. I dougappeldoorn I Doug Appeldoorn
#mystopover #icelandair #iceland #ietravelgram #traveleurope #wanderlust #aroundtheworld #spatime I irene_foxx I Irina Berdyanskaya
From the glaciers to the land, this landscape changes faster than my opinion on food. I syriicyaniide I Ramond Charnpatanakorn
A place where you would wanna live, but also wouldn't wanna be when an earthquake hits. I Inburkhard I Lauren Burkhard
#mystopover #tuna #greenland #icelandair #summer2018 I erlaelias I Erla Elíasdóttir
I’m just a tourist taking photos of tourists taking photos but also look how cool nature is! I brynolason I Bryn Olason
#hotsprings #iceland #icelandtravel #iloveiceland #sourceschaudes I fanie_fanie_ I Stéphanie Leclercq Coulmain
Tout est dans le regard. I klhoedmngz I Klhoé Dominguez
Cycling on the mainstreet of #reykjavík I northtravel83 I Rohit Bagchi
Icelandair Stopover 41
Pair creative, award-winning chefs with fresh, seasonal and local produce and you can’t go wrong. Add exquisite interior design and you’ve got Geiri Smart: a feast for all senses.
Vegetarians, vegans, and healthfood aficionados should visit Gló, a local chain of restaurants that pride themselves on using fresh, healthy and local ingredients in their flavor explosions.
If you want to do the tried and tested, Ostabúðin is your spot. This modestlooking restaurant serves excellently cooked fresh fish and meat. They also offer a fine selection of cheeses and cured and marinated delicacies.
HANNESARHOLT • RESTAURANT REYKJAVÍK • STEIKHÚSIÐ TORFAN • SLIPPURINN • OSTABÚÐIN • GEIRI SMART • GLÓ ESSENSIA • VOX • OSUSHI THE TRAIN • TORFAN • SATT
Over the past few years, Iceland’s culinary scene has taken huge leaps forward. With more selection than ever before, it should be easy to find a restaurant somewhere in the country that tickles your fancy.
13 OF OUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS IN REYKJAVÍK To help you with your search for the perfect fare in Iceland, we’ve compiled a short description of some noteworthy places in the Dining Advisor brochure in the seat pocket in front of you.
You can also dive into a culinary episode on the in-flight entertainment system and Wi-Fi portal on board.
B BO UY O AR N D
AIRPORT TRANSFERS Keflavík Airport to Reykjavík City & vice versa
The Golden Circle & Friðheimar
The Golden Circle & Fontana Wellness
YOU CAN BUY TOURS ON THIS FLIGHT! Our brochure is located in the seat pocket in front of you!
B BO UY O AR N D
B BO UY O AR N D
www.flybus.is B BO UY O AR N D
South Shore Adventure
The Lava Tunnel
B BO UY O AR N D
- Caving in Raufarhólshellir
Free WiFi USB Port IN SELECTED VEHICLES
BSÍ Bus Terminal • 101 Reykjavík
REYKJAVÍK BY THE MOUTHFUL Icelandair Stopover went on a culinary exploration of Iceland’s capital. BY EYGLÓ SVALA ARNARSDÓTTIR.
There was a time when there were only a handful of fine-dining restaurants in Reykjavík and the only other options for eating out were hamburgers and fried chicken. Now, the options are endless, it seems, with new and chic eateries springing up like mushrooms all over the city. Whatever you fancy: French, Lebanese or Korean; gastropub, fusion or New Nordic, Reykjavík has it all (although you’d be hard-pressed to find a white tablecloth). Here’s our take on a few of the restaurants that are doing something special.
44 Icelandair Stopover
Photos by Lilja Jons Photography.
Photos by Sigurjón Ragnar.
DILL Restaurant (New Nordic)
ÓX (Icelandic, Continental European)
The windows are lined with glass jars, reminiscent of body parts kept in formalin in a mad scientist’s lab. Take a closer look and the jars prove to contain grains, fruits and vegetables, affirmed by their tags—apart from one, which reads: “Stop staring through the window!” A strange greeting from a Michelin-star restaurant.
Possibly the best-kept secret of the Reykjavík food scene, tiny restaurant ÓX is actually hidden away in a back room of the larger (and totally different) Sumac. Seating a maximum of 11 people who all face the kitchen—with an interior made by the grandfather of the owner, chef Þráinn Freyr Vigfússon, in 1961—the guests converse with the chef and watch him perform his magic. Intimacy on a new level.
Inside, Pearl Jam is playing. The grey concrete walls may have belonged to a barn—and indeed, there is grass on the menu! It’s clear that you’re in for an unorthodox experience in a relaxed atmosphere, peppered with humor. Choose five or seven courses, wine pairings or not. Simple. But the food, prepared and served by true professionals, is far from simple. In a sense, you do find yourself in a mad scientist’s lab. The grass turns out to be smoked hay, giving the dish of chicken and barley an extraordinary flavor, and another dish features rhubarb—cooked for 23 (wait for it) days!
Elegantly arranged on shells, stones and in small glass jars, the fantastic fusions of flavor with wines and beers to match are sure to leave diners stunned: Smoked egg yolks, pine tree oil and pickled unripened strawberries are only a few of the surprises. Dinner at ÓX is all about surprises; you book a ticket online without knowing anything about what kind of food will be served.
Photo by Hörður E. Ólafsson.
Photo by Hörður Ásbjörnsson. Nostra (Icelandic, Continental European)
Apotek kitchen + bar (Icelandic, Continental European, Argentinian)
Tune in to the party vibes as you start the evening with a colorful drink at Artson, Nostra’s cocktail lounge. Then choose between the bar menu, a la carte, or four-, six- or eight-course tasting menus with optional wine pairings. You can opt for a specific theme—meat, seafood, vegetarian or vegan (there aren’t many fine-dining options for vegans in Reykjavík)—or mix and match. At Nostra, they highlight seasonal Icelandic ingredients, and the garnish couldn’t be more local, as they grow it in their own greenhouse inside the restaurant! To me, the highlights of the evening are the cucumbers with goat cheese and a French-inspired dish of potatoes and mushrooms—sounds plain, yet the taste is everything but.
Housed in an old pharmacy, the concoctions cooked up at Apotek’s cocktail workshop promise to cure all ails. The colorful courses— some bordering on psychedelic—are a flavorful fusion of Icelandic and European cuisines with a bit of South American sun to brighten up the dark Nordic winter. Carefully selected wines harmonize with the delightful dishes (I had never imagined that white wine could go with smoked lamb). Desserts from the restaurant’s very own patisserie are almost obligatory—if you’re feeling too full you can have them boxed up to save for later. Apotek also offers lunch treats and high tea, not to forget happy hour at the bar. Watch out for pop-ups with guest chefs.
Geiri Smart (Icelandic, International) Canopy by Hilton is probably the hippest hotel in Reykjavík. Equally hip is the 70s-style restaurant on the ground floor, named and themed after a hit song from that era. The black-and-white tiled floor, blue velvet chairs and mustard velvet drapes feel very retro, yet modern at the same time. In the open kitchen, chefs whip out curious creations. While the focus is on Icelandic ingredients, their creativity is not boxed in by national borders, and the menu includes French, Argentinian, Korean and Japanese influences. Uniquely, though, the dishes are paired with wines from cold-climate regions only. Bring the kids for brunch, lunch or dinner (six years and younger get one free course from the tempting children’s menu)—or get a sitter and show up for the happy hour at the cocktail bar.
Icelandair Stopover 45
Photo by Börkur Arnarson.
Photos by Atli Thor Alfredsson.
Photo by Ari Magg.
Matur og drykkur (Traditional Icelandic)
Marshall Restaurant + Bar (Italian – For Now)
Upon entering, you get the sensation of stepping into history. Located in the Grandi harbor area in a former salt fish processing plant, the restaurant shares a building with the Saga Museum. Paying homage to Icelandic culinary traditions, the restaurant is named after the recipe book that came to be known as the Icelandic “food Bible”—a copy is on display by the entrance. The restaurant’s chefs study old recipes when composing the seasonal menus, comprising of traditional Icelandic dishes with a modern twist.
Another historical building at Grandi is Marshallhúsið. Built as a herring processing plant in 1948— partly financed by the Marshall Plan—it has now been resurrected to facilitate art museums and the studios of Icelandic-Danish designer Ólafur Elíasson. Visitors enjoy the view of Harpa, the concert center he dreamed up.
Halibut soup is a staple, salted fish a regular and Icelandic goat cheese a newcomer. Bearing witness to head-to-tail cooking are the cod heads and lamb hearts—in the old days, food waste was unheard of. Icelanders may think dishes like the rye bread soup are unimpressive, but tradition never tasted so good; case in point: The twisted kleina doughnut with caramelized whey. Open for lunch and dinner, this Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant is not to be missed.
46 Icelandair Stopover
The Marshall Restaurant + Bar rotates like the art shows. It started out as a subsidiary of SEO Kitchen in Berlin, offering a locally-sourced pescatarian and vegetarian menu, along with music, art and other events. In October, the restaurant metamorphosed into La Primavera, a favorite of the past Reykjavík food scene in operation from 1993–2011. Lovingly serving homemade pasta and treats from northern Italy, while making the most of Icelandic ingredients, La Primavera will run through January. After that, who knows?
Only 35 min. from Reykjavík
A journey into RAUFARHÓLSHELLIR
Breathtaking Experience The highlight of our Iceland trip! The “Must See” event in Iceland Reviewed on TripAdvisor
For more information and bookings: +354 519 1616
+354 760 1000 email@example.com
Icelandair Stopover 47
THE POET OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS In a tiny town at the foot of the Canadian Rockies, an Icelandic immigrant spent his sleepless nights writing immortal poetry. BY JURIS GRANEY.
Somehow it has come upon me, I’ve no fatherland; Though my heart with love is bounded With a lasting band To my native soil that blessed me, As a growing boy, When the world its shining glory Gave me hope and joy. … Even here the lingering twilight Warms the meadows green, Even here the streams meander Rolling hills between; Here the waves in lyric singing Break along the strand. Yet somehow it had come upon me I’ve no fatherland. (The first and last stanzas of The Exile; English translation by Paul Sigurdson.)
When tourists think of Alberta, they think Canadian Rockies mega sites like Jasper and Banff, boot-scooting at the Calgary Stampede, and Edmonton’s vibrant and evergrowing summer festival scene. They probably don’t think of Icelandic poetry. Escaping Economic Desperation Wild Rose Country has a long history with Iceland. In particular, a man named Stephan G. Stephansson, regarded by some historians as the most prolific Icelandic poet since the 13th century. Known as “The Poet of the Rocky Mountains,” Stephansson’s story is not unlike those of many of the first migrants to swap the economic desperation of Iceland in the 1880s for the inhospitable expanse of the Canadian Prairies. What makes Stephansson unique is that when farm implements were stored away for the evening, his children put to bed, Stephansson would sit down until the early hours of the morning. His inkwell and words lit by flickering candlelight, he would pen poems in Viking-age skaldic meters, detailing the hardships, successes and defeats of immigrant life in his new homeland. Wakeful Nights Of Stephan Stephansson’s prolific poetry production, there is no doubt. By the time the Icelander died from a massive heart attack on August 10, 1927, aged 73, he had compiled 2,000 pages of verse, some of
48 Icelandair Stopover
which made its way into a six-volume tome titled Andvökur, or Wakeful Nights. That in itself is a masterpiece of persistence. But when you consider most of his poetry was written in scant free hours while eking out an existence on a sprawling farm in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, near the tiny town of Markerville, it’s clear Stephansson was not merely a poet. He was a restless renegade, a freethinker, a man who fought the Icelandic Lutheran Synod. He was a romantic, a homesteader, an Icelandic patriot and an anti-war activist. Stephansson grew up in a dilapidated singleroom, dirt-floored covered hovel on a rented farm named Kirkjuhóll in Skagafjörður, North Iceland. Climbing debt forced Stephansson’s father Guðmundur, mother Guðbjörg and sister Sigurlaug to reconsider their future. Like so many families, that future was not in Iceland. Promise of a New Life The Stephanssons joined one of the first flotillas of Icelanders to flee starvation and crippling conditions engulfing the tiny island nation in the mid-1800s for a better life in North America. After more than 20 days of horrific conditions on a steamer, they arrived in Quebec City to little fanfare. A train ride took them to a steamboat that would cross Lake Michigan to Wisconsin.
Previous page, left: Stephan G. Stephansson. Previous page, right: Stephan G. Stephansson’s home in Markerville, now a museum about his life and work. Photo by Juris Graney. Above: Skagafjörður, the poet’s home region in Iceland. The Canadian government initially paid little attention to the slow trickle of hardy Icelandic adventurers. But as the stream turned into a river, bureaucrats took notice. Rather than simply allowing the immigrants to use Canada as a disembarkation point, they began offering free land in the heavily-treed Muskoka district in Ontario. Poverty and near-starvation seemed to follow the Icelanders wherever they went, but soon word circulated about an area on the west shore of Lake Winnipeg. Families again packed up and moved on horseback to Manitoba to create the largest Icelandic colony in North America. Called New Iceland, it would eventually become the preferred destination for immigrants wishing to start a new life. In the spring of 1889, again beset by debt and facing insolvency, the 36-year-old Stephansson, his pregnant wife, widowed mother, and his three children made their way to Markerville. Battling sub-Arctic -58°F (-50°C) winds for days on end in the winter, flash flooding in the spring, fast moving grass fires that could sweep across the prairies destroying lifesustaining harvests and crop failures in the fall, there were many reasons Markerville and the Icelanders should have failed. But they didn’t.
Blossoming Community and Creativity At the turn of the 20th century came the idea of a creamery. Such was its success that the land around it became an economic hub. By 1903, the hamlet was fully established and became the main supply point for all communities west. With it came a butcher shop, pool hall, community center, library and two schools. As Markerville blossomed, so too did Stephansson as a poet. His words would find their way into local newsletters, newspapers, and circulated among the Icelandic communities in North America. His words became so important for so many that, before his death, he was convinced to embark on a book tour. Although reluctant to leave his farm and family, he traveled through Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and into the Dakotas to great acclaim. In 1917 he even returned home to Iceland at the behest of Icelandic societies who wanted to meet the man in person. Even in death, his words remain powerful. The University of Iceland has established an endowment fund in his honor, and there remains to this day a poetry award in Alberta bearing his name. In North Iceland, a monument to Stephansson greets visitors to Skagafjörður.
should fly under your radar. At the Markerville creamery—which is still in operation—you can learn about the history of cheese, enjoy icecream outside in a gazebo and lap up the sunshine as the kids get a ride on the Cream Can Express. Located almost smack-dab between Calgary and Edmonton, the two largest cities in Alberta, Markerville lies about 25 mi (40 km) west of Red Deer. If you fly into Edmonton or Calgary, the tiny town makes for an ideal stop on the way to the Canadian Rockies’ tourism hotspots like Jasper or Banff. Around Markerville you can also visit the Tindastoll Cemetery, Markerville Lutheran Church (built in 1907 by Icelanders) and, of course, the provincial historic site of the Stephansson House. Travel Tip If you want to see anything of worth in Alberta, you’re going to need a vehicle. Hiring a car is super easy at either Calgary or Edmonton international airports but during the summer it’s best to book ahead. And make sure to get an unlimited mileage option. There are also several private bus companies offering various routes across the province. Icelandair offers flights between Keflavík International Airport and Edmonton from March through October. If you’re traveling from Europe to North America or vice versa, you can add a Stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.
Putting Markerville on the Map Nestled on the elbow of the Red Deer River, Markerville is truly off the beaten path. But just because it’s small doesn’t mean that it
Icelandair Stopover 49
CUTTING THE CORD
Icelandic actor Hera Hilmarsdóttir is on the rise.
As Icelandair Stopover speaks to Icelandic actor Hera Hilmarsdóttir (aka Hera Hilmar) in October, she is on a secret mission. At least, she cannot tell us why she is in a remote lodge somewhere in North America with a view of the ocean. But she reveals that she is indeed working and was rehearsing lines before we spoke. Having had her debut in the 2007 Icelandic feature film The Quiet Storm, Hera’s international debut was in TV series World Without End (2012), followed by a role in feature film Anna Karenina (2012). Playing one of the biggest parts in post-apocalyptic adventure film Mortal Engines (among writers and producers is Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame), which premiered in December, the 29-year-old actor is on the verge of becoming an international star.
50 Icelandair Stopover
BY TINA JØHNK CHRISTENSEN.
What was it like to leave Iceland and start a career in the big world? I lived for a while in London as a kid from the age of 8 till 9. That always left a big impression on me. I think it was my first major experience of the outside world in a way. After finishing school in Iceland at the age of 19, I wanted to study acting. Having envisioned training in Iceland, when the moment arrived, I had this need to leave the island and go somewhere else. London came calling again. Iceland had become too familiar. How would you describe Iceland to someone who has never been there? If you come from Iceland then you definitely have a small-island mentality. I think most of us find it hard to cut the cord. We have a need to venture out of it but there is always this calling back home. It’s such a beautiful place. You
grow up with this astonishing nature around you. But also, it’s a small place, there are only around 350,000 of us, and I think growing up there you grow up very privileged. Obviously, we can do better and there are people in our community we need to take better care of, but on a bigger scale, we have clean air and clean water, pools in every neighborhood, schooling for everyone and healthcare, which I think is very important for a healthy nation. What about nature: How would you describe it? The landscape is so changeable. In a relatively small radius of land you will find a volcano, a glacier, hot springs, black sands, the sea, mountains and a forest. And the weather changes very rapidly. I think that is mirrored in our mentality. We’re not people that plan far ahead. We’re a relatively young nation living in a young country that is ever-changing. So, in a way we are like the teenager of Scandinavia. Definitely the
youngest kid in the family. Wondering if we’re even part of it. Still trying out different fashion styles and philosophical mentalities, although we seem to be finding our identity. Not to say it hasn’t always been there. So as the weather that rains one minute and shines rays on us the next, it keeps us on our toes and alive. And it constantly draws me home. You shot Mortal Engines in New Zealand. How does this country compare to Iceland? Are they similar? There was definitely that kind of isolated island mentality. Although, New Zealand is in a way more isolated than Iceland. We both have astonishing nature and not that many people living there and volcanic activity and mountains and glaciers. There is a difference in the mentality, and I think the New Zealanders are the happiest people I have ever met. Icelanders are happy, too, but we also have this Nordic depression that comes with the
Previous page: Hera as the fierce Hester Shaw in Mortal Engines. Photo courtesy of Universal Films.
Above: Hester and her companion follow the tracks of a “city on wheels.” Photo courtesy of Universal Films.
darkness in our winters. There is a roughness to Iceland that does not exist in the same way in New Zealand that definitely comes out in the characters of our people.
line between need and greed? Both for us as individuals and as a whole. And what are we willing to do to get what we want? Is that something that serves all of us or maybe only ourselves?
What drew you to Mortal Engines? The story and its characters. It is set 1,700 years from now where people have had to find another way of living after a devastating war broke out many years before. The war happened around our time, was probably nuclear, and ruined the earth and most of its resources. So, cities now roam on wheels and hunt other cities and towns for their goods, like their metals, food and, of course, people. I guess it’s like the world of commercialism on wheels. So, even though it’s set so many years from now it feels really tangible, since it looks at patterns set deep in human behavior, and therefore at something that is happening right now: How are we treating the planet, what is important to us, and where is the
You are 29 years old. What are your dreams? Would you like to direct one day? I definitely want to do more Icelandic films and I don’t think that I will ever leave that part of me. I used to make a lot of short films and wrote scripts and I still have that in me, so one day I might direct and write on a bigger scale. Who knows where the world will take me but, definitely, I will create as much as I can and I like being part of the whole creative process, whether it be writing or directing. Do you feel empowered by the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements? Yes, I do. I feel it is very important to open up women’s voices and give us space to speak. It is
Hera at the premiere of Moral Engines in London. Photo by James Gillham / stillmoving.net for Universal. hugely important. It makes you feel that you are allowed to say things that are uncomfortable but need to be said. And that there will be consequences if something happens that isn’t okay rather than just having to swallow everything and go, “That’s just how it is.” Or, “It’s my own fault.” It will teach us—and younger women—to use our voices and speak up. And hopefully remind all of us about what actually is okay and what isn’t. You are on the verge of becoming famous. How do you feel about that? I don’t know. I don’t even know if that’s a thing. Some people have preconceived ideas of what it means doing projects like this, but it’s hard to see that beforehand. I also think that today being a movie star is different from 10 or 20 years ago, and I don’t think that however this movie does will change me in really any way. Other than maybe it will help me with getting another job, for
example. I do hope it does well and that people will see it, but I will just meet whatever comes when it comes, and that just on its own excites me. How do you like the glamorous side of the business and the magazine covers and the red carpet events? I’m not the biggest fan of it. It’s fun to go out and promote something that you have done and that you are proud of, and it’s fun to do a premiere and dress up and celebrate something. And then you play dress-up, get photos taken, do interviews to get everyone to go and see your film. I think it’s important to know that it’s that, and that it’s not reality in any way and to treat it like that. We all like magic, and these things are made to feel like magic, but as long as we can enjoy them, they’re magical. When it starts to drag us down and affect our self-esteem, the magic goes out of it for me.
Icelandair Stopover 51
ICELANDIC SWEATER STORY On a gray autumn day in Iceland, a design duo from the Netherlands fell for the lopapeysa and made the colorful woolen sweaters the subject of a photo series. TEXT AND PHOTOS BY ESMEE VAN LOON AND WILLEMIJNE VAN ZELST.
It was November when we arrived in Iceland. It was rainy and cold, but one thing colored the streets of Reykjavík: The lopapeysa (literally: “lopi wool sweater”), which so many Icelanders wear. One glance and we were sold on these beautiful Icelandic sweaters. However, with so many things to consider, they aren’t something you buy at the drop of a hat. First, you need to consider the number of cables, the color, and what style or pattern you prefer. And if you don’t see the color or pattern you want, you can have it custom-made. We were curious to find out what makes this sweater so special. We quickly discovered that the sweater has become a national icon and that the tradition of wearing homemade woolen knitwear goes back centuries. The sweater is made from Icelandic sheep’s wool, a special yarn called lopi, which is not spun and therefore has better insulating qualities. The modern lopapeysa pattern originates from the mid-20th century, around the time when Iceland became an independent nation. The sweater continues to be very popular today, not only among Icelanders but also with tourists from all over the world. For this series, we photographed people wearing their sweater and asked about the stories behind them. Esmee van Loon and Willemijne van Zelst are the photography and design duo Curly and Straight, based in the Netherlands. Every year they travel to different places to make a story about a typical subject or product from the country they’re visiting. In 2017, they visited Reykjavík to find out more about the Icelandic sweater. curlyandstraight.nl / @curlyxstraight on Instagram.
52 Icelandair Stopover
MJ Mirghanbari: He is from the US and traveled especially to Iceland to buy a custom-made sweater. He sent his measurements to the knitter online and was very happy that the sweater fits.
Siggi (seven months): According to his grandfather, also in the picture, Siggi’s aunt knitted his sweater and she is crazy about knitting. And she is already knitting another one!
Inga Eyjólfsdóttir: She is a fanatical swimmer and swims five times a week at 7 am. She never wears anything underneath her sweater besides a bra or a bikini top, because she likes the softness of the wool against her skin.
Icelandair Stopover 53
Julia Gasiglia: She is a French woman who fell in love with an Icelander and moved to Iceland. She prefers his sweater over hers. In the picture she is wearing her boyfriend’s sweater.
54 Icelandair Stopover
Elsa Borg Jónsdóttir: She knitted the sweater herself, but it took her a very long time to finish it, so she is probably not going to knit another: “Hopefully my grandmother will knit me another one.”
Completing the Golden Circle
Geothermal baths - Natural steam baths Local kitchen - Geothermal bakery Open daily 11:00 - 22:00
Get 15% discount by booking online using the promo code: stopover2018 Bookable on www.fontana.is
Icelandair Stopover 55
Warm water and conversation at Laugardalur pool. Photo by Ragnar Th. Sigurðsson / Visit Reykjavík.
Tálknafjörður nnn Selárdalur Patreksfjörður
Hofsós n Akureyri
OUR TOP PICKS With so much you can pack into an Icelandair Stopover, the options can feel overwhelming. So, we keep it simple: Four new themes and four fresh suggestions every issue. Take your pick. BY SARAH DEARNE.
CULTURE: Holidays As with most Icelandic festivities, winter holidays are a mishmash of Christian and heathen customs. Falling into the latter category, Þorrablót (Midwinter Feast) celebrates traditional cuisine with feasts throughout the pagan month of Þorri (January 25 to February 23 this year). This is an ideal time to sample the Icelandic delicacies you’ve been warned about: Seared sheep’s head, ram’s testicles, and fermented Greenland shark, all washed down with an icy gulp of Brennivín schnapps. March then brings a trio of Carnival celebrations. The first is Bolludagur (“Bun Day,” March 4 this year), when locals eat choux pastry filled with jam and cream. Children cry “bolla, bolla, bolla!” (“bun, bun, bun!”) while smacking their parents’ behinds—one bun for every whack. On March 5 comes Sprengidagur, which is typically translated as “Bursting Day,” though it probably originally meant “Sprinkling Day,” in reference to sprinkling holy water. Locals favor the bursting idea, taking it as a prescription to stuff themselves with salted lamb and lentil soup.
RECREATION: Swimming Pools Thinking about bathing in Iceland may conjure images of lava-side spas, but some of the country’s best—and most affordable— swimming spots are its humble neighborhood pools. In downtown Reykjavík, Sundhöllin is the place to be. Opening in 1937 and heavily renovated in 2017, this elegant complex features both the city’s oldest and newest pools—indoor and outdoor, respectively. Also not to be missed in the capital is Laugardalslaug, Iceland’s biggest and most popular pool. With several water slides and hot tubs, it’s perfect if you’re traveling with kids. Other well-equipped pools around the country include the Akureyri swimming center, which has water slides and excellent kids’ play areas; and the pool in Vestmannaeyjar, which also has fabulous slides and a small rock-climbing wall.
Facilities tend to be more basic in small towns and villages, though they often more than make up for it with gorgeous views. Among these is the stunning Hofsós swimming pool in North Iceland, which offers magnificent vistas over Skagafjörður fjord. Last comes Öskudagur (Ash Wednesday) on Other picturesque bathing spots include March 6. Like a more wholesome Hallowe’en, Selárdalur pool, close to Vopnafjörður; and kids dress up in costumes and sing in the Patreksfjörður and Tálknafjörður exchange for candy at local shops. pools, both in the Westfjords. You can sample festive midwinter fare at restaurants, cafés and bakeries around the country.
A traditional Þorrablót spread including sheep’s head, ram’s testicles, Greenland shark, and blood pudding. Photo by The blanz, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
56 Icelandair Stopover
Continues on page 58.
Reykjavík´s Thermal Pools
A source of health Thermal swim ming pools
Hot t ubs and jacuzzi
Saunas, steambat hs
The place to meet locals
Thermal pools and baths in Reykjavik are a source of health, relaxation and pureness. All of the city´s swimming pools have several hot tubs with temperatures ranging from
Tel: +354 411 5000 www.spacity.is
37˚ to 42˚C (98˚–111˚F). The pools are kept at an average temperature of 29˚ C (84˚ F)
Icelandair Stopover 57
Above: Eager pups race across the snow. Photo by Skeeze. Left: Grandi Mathöll has a relaxed vibe with views of the harbor. Photo by Chris.
SNOW AND ICE: Beyond Skiing Not planning on skiing or snowboarding, or simply looking for other inspiration? Iceland’s frozen landscape offers numerous possibilities. February to April is the best time for ice fishing in Iceland’s frozen lakes. Take a tour from Akureyri to lake Langavatn, where you can spend a few hours fishing in the peace and quiet, surrounded by beautiful nature. The most common catches are Arctic char and brown trout. DINING: Food Halls The Icelandic dining scene has come into its own in recent years, with welcome developments including a rapid influx of food halls. So many, in fact, that quips about opening food halls inside food halls have been bandied about. Snark aside, these new additions have been greeted with open arms. The first on the scene was Hlemmur Mathöll (mathöll means “food hall”), which opened in August 2017. Once a dingy bus terminal, the space has been transformed into a bustling place to grab a bite, with plenty of good mid-range options. The bus stop is also still there, making for prime people-watching and a handy ride home.
58 Icelandair Stopover
Following suit, Grandi Mathöll opened its doors in June 2018. Situated in Reykjavík’s up-and-coming Grandi district with views of the harbor, it’s a little more relaxed than its downtown counterpart. Options include fusion fish and chips, Vietnamese and Korean street food, and specialty Icelandic lamb. The newest food hall on the scene is Höfði Mathöll, in the heart of Reykjavík’s industrial district. Not yet open at the time of writing (scheduled for December 2018), there are set to be eight eateries on offer. There are also plans to open a food hall in the Kringlan shopping mall in the not-too-distant future. So far there are no food halls outside the capital, but at this rate, it’s only a matter of time.
Although not a traditional practice in Iceland, dog sledding has become increasingly popular in recent years. This is an exhilarating way to see the countryside, and it’s suitable for most people aged six and up. You can book tours in various parts of the country, including Akureyri and Mývatn in the North, as well as close to Reykjavík and along the south coast. If you’re looking to trek in the winter wilderness, consider strapping on some snowshoes. It takes no more skill than hiking, and you’ll have the clear advantage of not sinking with every step. Tours span from quick and easy routes for beginners, all the way up to multi-day expeditions for more experienced adventurers.
Icelandair Stopover 59
DAY-TRIPPIN’ SAN FRANCISCO
If you’re short on time but long on curiosity and appetite, here’s a tasty, daytrippin’ thumbnail sketch of what San Francisco is best known for.
60 Icelandair Stopover
BY JANE ORMOND.
Picturesque and bathed in that cinematic gold of the California light, San Francisco is spirited, invigorated and iconic. The engineering feat of the Golden Gate Bridge. The mythologized Haight-Ashbury freak scene of the 1960s. The tech innovation of Silicon Valley and the championing of Californian cuisine. Use this itinerary to touch base with those oh so San Franciscan traits and get a feel for what makes this city tick. A Bounty by the Bay Start at the historic Ferry Building, which overlooks the sparkling bay at the very bottom of Market Street—one of the city’s main navigational arteries. With its magnificent clock tower and ornate arches, this 1898 building was once the main passenger transit hub for people arriving in the city. But its fortunes wavered with the advent of cars and bridges and the impact of earthquakes, until a major millennial reimagining transformed this gorgeous structure into the
joyous Ferry Building Marketplace, an incubator and gathering place of San Francisco’s food community. Stroll beneath the vaulted ceilings, dipping in to sample artisan baked goods, small-batch coffee, wine, chocolates and cheese (get sampling at Cowgirl Creamery then saddle up at Cowgirl Sidekick for the most buttery, oozy, woozy toasted cheese sandwich) from proudly local producers. There’s also a wildly popular outdoor farmers’ market three times a week, selling flowers and organic local produce, and impressive small-scale eateries to dine at so you can really get a grassroots taste of San Francisco’s food scene. Beats, Books and Booze In keeping with the rootsy theme, make your way to the North Beach neighborhood and lose yourself in City Lights Bookstore. San Francisco is synonymous with counterculture, and City Lights, a three-story haven for booklovers and writers, is San Francisco’s literary
DNA writ large. It’s been here since the early 1950s, founded by Beat poet and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Peter D. Martin. Initially famous for being a gathering spot of Beat writers like Kerouac, Corso and Ginsberg, it continues to thrive as a fierce literary hub. Allow yourself plenty of time to float between the alluring book-filled aisles before drifting across Kerouac Alley—a tribute pedestrian walkway that was repaved, redecorated and renamed in 2007—and into Vesuvio, a favorite bar of the Beats. Mosaiced and muraled on the outside, a dusty trinket box of stained glass and bentwood chairs on the inside, it’s an atmospherically perfect segue from City Lights. Order a Manhattan, crack open that new book purchase (or better yet, a journal to write in) and soak up those jazzy, wordy vibes. Scenic Science Heady on the arts, it’s time to spend sunset surrounded by science. The California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park
is a genuinely awe-inspiring institution. Established in 1853, this ever-evolving academy, which includes an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest and natural history museum, is at the forefront of sustainability, biodiversity and research. It’s also architecturally fascinating, sustainable and swathed in greenery as the architect wanted to “lift up a piece of the park and put a building underneath”! Try to time your visit here for a Thursday to coincide with NightLife LIVE, where you can sip on champagne, explore the exhibits after dark and immerse yourself in live music paired with visual art performed in the park—San Francisco in a nutshell. Icelandair flies to San Francisco daily, year-round. Traveling from Europe, you have the opportunity to add a Stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.
Top: Explore underwater worlds at CAL Academy’s Steinhart Aquarium. Photo by Kathryn Whitney © 2016 California Academy of Sciences. Bottom: Local wildlife love the landscape of CAL Academy’s “Living Roof.” Photo by Tim Griffith. Previous page: Once a major transport hub, the Ferry Building is now a thriving community hub for the San Francisco food scene. Photo by Nat and Cody.
Icelandair Stopover 61
ALL DOWNHILL FROM THE MILE HIGH CITY
Denver is the gateway to some of the finest skiing in North America. BY JONATHAN THOMSON. PHOTOS COURTESY OF GB-FERÐIR.
Here are eight of the best options from the Colorado capital, including driving times from the international airport. So, when you land, all you need is a hire car and an appetite for the white stuff … Aspen Driving time: 3 hr 30 min One of the most famous ski towns on the planet, Aspen is where the rich and the beautiful come for their powder. But this former silvermining town also has the downhill muscle to back its glittering reputation—ranging from beginnerfriendly slopes on Buttermilk to more challenging terrain on Aspen Mountain itself. Needless to say, the après-ski is world class too: You could easily find yourself clinking glühwein glasses with the A-list in legendary venues like J-Bar and Cloud 9.
62 Icelandair Stopover
Steamboat Driving time: 3 hr The snow here is so light and fluffy—and so pleasurable to ski—that it’s been officially trademarked “Champagne Powder.” Pretty Steamboat has plenty else to commend it, too, from the town’s famous western charm to some of the finest tree skiing in the world—not to mention a number of geothermal hot springs in which to soak your weary limbs after an action-packed day on the slopes.
Breckenridge Driving time: 1 hr 45 min More people visited Breckenridge last season than any other ski resort in America. There are multiple reasons for its unshakeable popularity—ranging from an abundance of affordable lodging to the country’s highest ski lift (which climbs to a dizzying 12,840 ft; 3,914 m). But mostly, people flock to Breck for its welcoming, laid-back atmosphere and profusion of scintillating runs, spread across five huge peaks.
Echo Mountain Driving time: 50 min Something of a local secret, Echo Mountain remains a largely undiscovered gem, hidden in the hills just under an hour from downtown Denver. If you’re looking for an easy, affordable day trip from the city, this is it. With just one ski lift, the terrain is a little limited—but then again so is the traffic, because you don’t have to join the masses on Interstate 70. New for 2018–2019 is a dedicated snowtubing hill, which kids of all ages will love.
Copper Mountain Driving time: 1 hr 45 min Copper Mountain is traditionally one of the first resorts to open every season—a fact acknowledged by the US Ski Team, which assembles here for early training each November. A fantastic allrounder, the mountain’s topography naturally divides itself into beginner, intermediate and expert terrain, while extensive artificial snowmaking makes it a safe bet for solid season-long skiing conditions.
Winter Park Driving time: 1 hr 30 min Uniquely, Winter Park Resort was developed—and is still owned—by the city of Denver for the recreation of its citizens. They flock here in their droves on winter weekends, to make the most of reliable snowfall and an excellent range of terrain—which means it’s nice and empty on weekdays. In recent years, Winter Park has also started forging a reputation as one of the best resorts in the world for teaching those with disabilities to ski and snowboard. Arapahoe Basin Driving time: 1 hr 30 min Particularly popular with snowboarders, the strengths of “A-Basin” include its gnarly steeps, extreme chutes and deep caches of fluffy powder, combined with a noticeably younger, laidback local vibe. Excellent value for money, it’s also the perfect place for some late season riding, usually staying open into early June and sometimes even July, while most of its neighbors shut up shop in mid-April.
Vail Driving time: 2 hr The largest ski area in Colorado, Vail is renowned for its long, wide runs, groomed to corduroy perfection. There are two sides to the mountain: Its frontside is crammed with family-friendly green and blue runs, while its rear is home to the famous back bowls: Enormous tree-free natural amphitheaters where boarders and skiers can let loose. The state-of-the-art resort itself is as famed for its energetic nightlife as its outstanding restaurant options. Icelandair flies to Denver daily, year-round. Traveling from Europe, you have the opportunity to add a Stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.
Previous page: Sliding down a slope at Breckenridge. Above: Winter magic in Vail. Right: Perfect powder in Aspen.
Icelandair Stopover 63
BRRR, BREWS AND BATHS The joys of Munich in winter. BY ANDREA SCHULTE-PEEVERS. PHOTOS COURTESY OF SIMPLY MUNICH.
Few German cities exude the contagious energy bubbling away on Munich’s streets and in its famous beer halls and beer gardens. Thrust into the global spotlight for 16 days during Oktoberfest, it’s actually a fabulous place to explore year-round; graceful, green and blessed with a rich cultural tapestry from art to opera. I’d been to Munich in sunny summertime, for Oktoberfest, and during the Christmas season and cherished every visit. But it was on a brisk blue-sky day in January when I truly fell in love with the Bavarian capital. Cupid struck while I was crisscrossing the English Garden, Munich’s mega-sized central park. My boots crunched through a crystalline dusting of snow, the urban noise a distant hum when, suddenly, tendrils of laughter permeated the otherwise nearly silent scene. Soon they came into view: Leagues of tots and teens on toboggans, screaming with glee while careening down a hillock crowned by a Greek-style pavilion called Monopteros. Simple, innocent joy in the digital age. What a delight! There may only be six or seven hours of daylight, but winters are indeed a sparkling time to visit Munich. Gone are the insane tourist crowds, giving you ample space to connect more deeply with the blockbuster sights—lavish palaces to art museums and
64 Icelandair Stopover
ancient churches, even the iconic Hofbräuhaus. Better still, there are plenty of activities that can only be experienced when temperatures call for heavy coats and long underwear. Fun on Ice A favorite local pastime is outdoor curling, a kind of shuffleboard on ice and best played on the frozen canals fronting the gloriously frilly Nymphenburg Palace. Alternatively, channel your inner ice prince or princess while twirling around an ice rink. The city’s largest, the Münchner Eiszauber, sets up on the Karlsplatz (locally known as “Stachus”) and has nightly dance parties, including the charming “Tracht on Ice,” where locals perform their pirouettes in lederhosen and dirndls. Warming Up in Style If outdoor exercise isn’t your cup of mulled wine, beat the cold at the Müller’sches Volksbad, a gorgeous Art Nouveau bathing temple and Munich’s first public pool back in 1901. Start with some laps in the lofty hall adorned with Art Nouveau lamps, waterspitting gargoyles and a zodiac clock. Then bliss out in the comforting Roman-Irish steam bath where you gradually warm up your body in rooms heated at various levels. Drinking “Liquid Bread” But wait! Munich wouldn’t be Munich without beer, and wintertime brings its own excuse to get buzzed: The Starkbierfest (Strong Beer Festival). Bookended by Carnival and Easter, the festival has crowds half the size and beer
twice as strong as Oktoberfest. It was local monks who first whipped up these potent suds back in the 17th century to soothe stomach grumbles without breaking the fast during Lent (liquids were allowed!). Every pub and beer hall in town serves the full-bodied brew, but I’m partial to the Paulaner am Nockherberg, where the Starkbier was invented. Up on a hill, it’s a Munich cult stop and slings killer schnitzel alongside modern and traditional Bavarian Schmankerln (“treats”) to keep your brain in balance for another round of Munich explorations. Prost! Icelandair flies to Munich daily, year-round. Traveling from North America, you have the opportunity to add a Stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.
Heading for the Slopes With nearly as many Alpine ski slopes as days of the year within easy reach, Munich is a great base for a wintry day trip. The most famous resort is GarmischPartenkirchen, which hosted the 1936 Winter Olympics and is lorded over by Germany’s tallest mountain, the 9,718 ft (2,962 m) Zugspitze. Other epic playgrounds include Mittenwald, home to Dammkar, at 4.35 mi (7 km) the country’s longest downhill run, and the familyfriendly Brauneck ski area near Lenggries.
Top: Landmark church Frauenkirche in winter. Photo by S. Mueller. Bottom left: Brunnenbuberl by Karlstor city wall. Photo by Werner Boehm. Bottom right: A frozen canal in front of Nymphenburg Palace. Photo by S. Mueller.
Previous page: A winter evening in the English Garden. Photo by Tommy Loesch.
Icelandair Stopover 65
AN ADVENTURE AT LAKE MÝVATN
The Icelandic animals from Treasure Iceland are best buddies. One of the things they love most is traveling to new places in Iceland. This time, Mosi the ram is taking them to his home at Lake Mývatn.
BY SIGRÍÐUR ÁSTA ÁRNADÓTTIR. ILLUSTRATIONS BY ALFREÐ I. A. PÉTURSSON AND KIDZINFLIGHT.
Mosi the ram was excited and just couldn’t stop talking. “And don’t forget your woolens. The winter arrives even earlier up North,” he reminded his friends for the umpteenth time that day. “We’ll certainly try not to forget you!” Flóki the raven said, teasingly. Everyone laughed. They were really looking forward to their winter trip to Mývatn, one of the most beautiful places in Iceland. On the way up North, Mosi was brimming with information about his home region. “Lake Mývatn is famous for its rich birdlife. One of the reasons they all love it there is that there are so many flies for them to eat. In fact, the lake takes its name from the flies—Lake of the Midges.” “Well, I’m happy it’s winter now,” Freyja said. “I don’t like flies.” “Most of them don’t bite anyway,” Mosi said, reassuringly. When the friends arrived at Mývatn, they noticed right away how special the landscape was. “This is called a pseudocrater,” Mosi told them as he proudly positioned himself on top of a special-looking hill. “They are formed when hot lava flows over watery ground and creates steam explosions.” “Wow!” said Katla. “I’d love to see that.” “You’re more than 2,000 years too late for that,” said a laughing voice behind them.
66 Icelandair Stopover
They all turned around to see a fuzzy and friendly green figure standing behind them. “Let me introduce myself. I’m Loftur, one of the local lake balls.” Lake balls? The friends looked baffled. Mosi explained to them that lake balls were extremely rare algae growing in the lake. “That’s right,” said Loftur. “Welcome to Mývatn. In fact, I’m on my way to make delicious geothermal bread. Care to tag along?” Katla lightened up. “I’ve heard of those. You bake them in the warm ground next to a hot spring!” The friends eagerly followed their new friend Loftur to a hot spring area. “Please watch your step,” Loftur advised. “The ground can be very dangerous in the geothermal areas.”
Loftur discovered that he’d forgotten to bring a spade. “I’ll dig the hole!” Skotta barked enthusiastically and went right to work. Soon the dough, placed inside an empty milk carton, was snugly in the ground. Then it was time for the gang to retire after a very special day at Mývatn. They said goodbye to Loftur and headed home to bed, looking forward to trying a warm slice of bread the next day. If you want to play with the animals of Treasure Iceland, check out our on-board kids’ material. If you didn’t get it already, just ask the friendly flight attendant.
FLYER’S HUB Icelandair’s route network connects more than 45 destinations on both sides of the Atlantic, from the airline’s hub at Keflavík airport.
HELSINKI VANCOUVER SEATTLE
SAN FRANCISCO ICELAND
OSLO GOTHENBURG BERGEN COPENHAGEN BILLUND BERLIN HAMBURG DUSSELDORF FRANKFURT AMSTERDAM MUNICH GLASGOW BRUSSELS ZURICH MANCHESTER MILAN LONDON DUBLIN PARIS GENEVA HEATHROW & GATWICK
DENVER MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL
MADRID CHICAGO TORONTO KANSAS CITY CLEVELAND DALLAS
BALTIMORE HALIFAX BOSTON WASHINGTON D.C. PHILADELPHIA NEW YORK JFK & NEWARK
Contents: 68 Saga Shop Kitchen: On-Board Menu 69 Icelandair Travel Experience 72 Icelandair @Work: Novelties and News 74 In-Flight Entertainment
76 Services on Board 78 Our Fleet: Aircraft Types and Names 82 Devices and Wi-Fi 84 Safety First 86 Guide to US Customs Form
IS FLYING MAKING YOU FAMISHED?
SAGA SHOP KITCHEN No problem. Our new Economy menu has never been more appetizing and varied. Just fish it out of the seat pocket in front of you and order what your heart desires.
Chicken Caesar salad sandwich Grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, baked tomatoes, avocado and Caesar dressing with parmesan cheese. Turkey pretzel triangle Honey-roasted turkey, barbecue mayonnaise, fresh salad and red bell peppers in a freshly baked crispy butter pretzel triangle.
Tapas snack box Serrano ham, mini fuet, grissini, bruschetta dip and matured Iberico cheese. Tapas snack box + olives + wine.
Hamburger Factory burger duet Two juicy hamburgers with cheese and sauce from the Icelandic Hamburger Factory. Hamburgers + Pringles + beer.
We welcome your feedback on the dining experience on board. Please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments. Verði þér að góðu! Bon appétit!
68 Icelandair Stopover
DISCOVERING ICELAND IN THE SKY Icelandair’s travel experience introduces you to our special country. Whether you’re flying with us today en route to or from Iceland, or between Europe and North America with a short airport stopover, we’d like you to feel as if you’ve learned a little bit about our country during the flight. We’re very proud of our Icelandic heritage and culture and hope we’re able to share that enthusiasm with you. Take a look around you now. You should spot several little glimpses of Iceland, but if you want to catch them all, here’s our cheat sheet: The music as you boarded was composed and performed by Icelandic artists. Like it? It’s from our Icelandair Spotify playlist. You can check out the playlist in our in-flight entertainment system. Our menu selection features Icelandic ingredients and snacks like hjónabandssæla (oat-and-jam square) and award-winning lager.
We are very proud of our ancient language. You’ll see some samples of Icelandic, which is a North Germanic language, throughout the cabin. Some headrests show Icelandic translations of some common phrases in English, while pillow covers show a popular traditional lullaby both in Icelandic and in translation. The paper cups list the different words used in Icelandic for cups, and the napkins tell you about Iceland’s first settlers. Our in-flight entertainment system features numerous Icelandic films, documentaries and television programs, as well as an exclusive documentary called Unique Iceland, which will introduce you to some of the country’s highlights for visitors. We’re so proud of our volcanoes, glaciers and other natural wonders, that we’ve even named our aircraft after them. After all, Iceland is famous for its spectacular landscapes. Each one bears the moniker of an Icelandic attraction, including the famously
unpronounceable Eyjafjallajökull volcano— which actually doubles as a glacier— Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier, Látrabjarg, Europe’s largest bird cliff, and now also Þingvellir, the rift valley where our parliament was founded in 930 AD. At the risk of being immodest, we think our water is the best tasting water in the world. Try it for yourself on this flight. We serve refreshing Icelandic Glacial water throughout the trip. On some lucky aircraft you’ll find mood lighting, like on Vatnajökull: The blue LED lighting in the cabin creates the illusion of being inside an ice cave, while on Hekla Aurora it feels as if you’re watching the northern lights dancing in the Icelandic winter sky. We hope you enjoy your flight with us.
Icelandair Stopover 69
WE MAKE A POINT OF REWARDING CUSTOMERS FOR LOYALTY Did you know that members of Icelandair Saga Club earn Saga Points for all Icelandair flights, for their purchases on board and with our partners around the world? These little points pack a lot of punch. 70 Icelandair Stopover
Joining is easyâ€”you can use our on-board Wi-Fi on your mobile device or computer and join right now. It is free to visit icelandair.com.
By joining Icelandair Saga Club you can: Book flights with Saga Points partly or for the whole airfare
Buy products and refreshments on board with your Points
Acquire Saga Silver or Saga Gold status with increased benefits by flying regularly with Icelandair
Earn Saga Points through Booking.com and Rentalcars.com
Upgrade with Points and enjoy your next flight in a better seat
Use your Saga Points at Hotels.com
Icelandair Stopover 71
BOEING 737 MAX 9
ICELANDAIR @WORK While enjoying the delights of winter, Icelandair is welcoming the latest additions to its fleet and the one-millionth member of Icelandair Saga Club.
BOEING 737 MAX 8
COMPILED BY EYGLÓ SVALA ARNARSDÓTTIR.
Six New Sets of Wings
Icelandair Saga Club, the loyalty program for Icelandair frequent flyers, is expected to register its one-millionth member soon—and that person will win one million Saga Points! With frequent special offers for members, there are plenty of good reasons to join. From January to March, Saga Club members earn double Saga Points when purchasing items from the Saga Shop Collection on board. You can sign up to Saga Club online through our on board Wi-Fi—it’s free to visit icelandair.com, where you can read about the benefits of the loyalty program, plus how to earn Saga Points and enjoy them with Icelandair as well as with partners all over the world.
Come spring, Icelandair’s latest fleet additions will have flown home along with the migratory birds. The first of the six brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft are scheduled to arrive in January 2019, and the last in April. Something to look forward to, the new aircraft are designed with passenger comfort in mind and to enhance the experience of flying, for example with comfortable LED lighting, less noise pollution, more space and better views—and fuel savings are up to 37% per trip compared to the Boeing 757-200, which currently makes up the bulk of the Icelandair fleet. Like the other aircraft in Icelandair’s fleet, the new planes will all bear the names of Icelandic natural wonders. Please welcome: Hvítserkur, Mývatn, Langjökull, Búlandstindur, Kirkjufell and Landmannalaugar.
One Trip, Two Destinations Iceland + Copenhagen, a video by Vincent Urban shot in June 2018, presents the vastness, emptiness and otherworldly landscape of Iceland during almost 24-hour daylight, alongside the vibrant city life, history and exceptional architecture of Copenhagen. Using fast cutting, the video draws comparisons between Icelandic natural phenomena and chic design in the Danish capital, while also highlighting the opposites of a summer’s day in the wild Icelandic nature and a bustling Scandinavian city. Or as Vincent puts it: “This film is a collection of all the contrasting moments and memories we captured.” When you fly Icelandair, you can combine both destinations in one trip from North America by adding a Stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare. Watch the video on the Icelandair YouTube channel and on the in-flight entertainment system.
Dettifoss waterfall in North Iceland. A still from the Iceland + Copenhagen video.
72 Icelandair Stopover
Mindfulness and Peace of Mind
Peace of mind to those with fear of flying, mindfulness recordings are now available on Icelandair’s in-flight entertainment system. Offered in collaboration with Oxford Mindfulness Centre and Núvitundarsetrið
in Iceland, the recordings have proven useful for helping anxious passengers enjoy the flight. The recordings are available in English and Icelandic under Music – Mindfulness.
Chefs Strike Gold at Culinary World Cup The Icelandic national culinary team won two gold medals at the Culinary World Cup 2018 in Luxembourg in November, for hot dishes and sugar sculpture. Björn Bragi Bragason, president of the Icelandic Master Chef Association, wrote on Facebook that he is proud of the team, which had prepared for 18 months before the competition: “We have proven … that the Icelandic national culinary team is among the best in the world.” Meanwhile, Bjarni Siguróli Jakobsson has been chosen to represent Iceland at one of the world’s most challenging culinary competitions, Bocuse d’Or Europe, held in Lyon, France, in January 2019. Icelandair chef Sturla Birgisson is a judge in the competition.
The Icelandic culinary team preparing a festive dinner at Viðey island in June in celebration of Iceland’s debut at the football World Cup. Photo by Hörður Ásbjörnsson.
TSA PreCheck Now Available for Icelandair Making life easier for travelers from the US, Icelandair has now joined PreCheck (Pre✓®), the US Transportation Security Administration’s screening program, the agency announced in October. Fifty-six domestic and international airlines are part of the PreCheck program, which is available at 200 airports. The program rose past five million participants last July. If approved, US travelers get access to the TSA’s PreCheck lanes in which they can leave laptops and small containers of liquids in their carry-on bags. Travelers in the PreCheck lanes are also not required to remove their shoes and belts as they go through the checkpoint’s metal detector.
Icelandair Stopover 73
OUR IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT Dear Passenger, On this flight you have access to a personal in-flight entertainment system, and these pages offer a sneak peek into our selection. Since we always aim to offer interesting and relevant material on board our flights, we update our selection regularly. Have a browse through the content on the screen in front of you to see everything we offer this time around.
The selection is quite varied, and we try to offer the latest Hollywood blockbusters of the season. We’ve also dedicated a category to All-Time Classics, where some of the carefully selected films are available for a whole year, allowing you to revisit some of your favorites each time you fly with us.
Language: Icelandic and/or English
Syndafallið Ofur Kalli Biography I 6:32 hr. Children I 27 min.
Þriðja táknið Crime I 11:17 hr.
Álagafjötrar Fantasy & Sci-Fi I 6:24 hr.
A plover chick has not learned to fly when his family migrates in the fall. He must survive the Arctic winter and vicious enemies in order to be reunited with his loved ones next spring. I G I 80 min.
Language: English (with Icelandic subtitles)
The Handmaid’s Tale s2 e1–6 I R I Drama Sci-Fi I 60 min.
Will & Grace s9 e1–10 I PG-13 I Comedy, Romance I 22 min.
Orphan Black s5 e1–6 I R I Action, Drama I 44 min.
The Big Bang Theory s10 e1–4 I PG-13 I Comedy I 22 min.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout PG-13 I Action / Adventure I 147 min.
Ocean’s 8 PG-13 I Action / Comedy I 110 min.
HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTERS Language: English (with Icelandic subtitles)
The Shape of Water R I Adventure / Drama I 123 min.
74 Icelandair Stopover
Dunkirk PG-13 I Action / Drama I 106 min.
SHORTS & DOCS
RECOMMENDED WHEN VISITING ICELAND
Language: English I Icelandic (with English subtitles)
'T MIS ON THIS ICELANDIC DOCUMENTARY
Did you forget your headphones? We sell quality headphones that you can use on this flight and anywhere else.
Out of Thin Air G I Documentary I 84 min.
SHORTS & DOCS
Language: Icelandic (with English subtitles)
nt to do the tried and tested, in is your spot. This modestestaurant serves excellently resh fish and meat. They also ne selection of cheeses and d marinated delicacies.
past few years, Iceland’s scene has taken huge leaps With more selection than ore, it should be easy to staurant somewhere in the hat tickles your fancy.
Söngur Kanemu / Kanema's Song G I Documentary 73 min.
Unique Iceland I A holiday destination of extremes. An entertaining and informative series about Iceland, both city and country, so you can feel prepared for your Stopover.
Síðasta áminningin / Last Call G I Documentary 62 min.
'T MIS ON THIS ICELANDIC DOCUMENTARY
'T MIS ON THIS ICELANDIC SHORT FILM
Fótspor / Footsteps G I Short Film 15 min.
'T MIS ON THIS ICELANDIC DOCUMENTARY
'T MIS ON THIS ICELANDIC DOCUMENTARY
Iceland Airwaves – Akureyri G I Documentary 24 min.
OUR FAVOURITE URANTS IN REYKJAVÍK
ICELANDIC TV PROGRAMS
Language: Icelandic (with English subtitles)
I S S OU
DON'T MISS OUT ON T HE
'T M I S ON THIS
ICELANDIC TV SERIES
Lói – Þú flýgur aldrei einn / Ploey – You Never Fly Alone G I Animation I 80 min.
'T M I S ON THIS
'T M I S ON THIS
I S S OU
FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT WE'VE SELECTED THE BEST OF
I S S OU
DON'T MISS OUT ON T HE
Rökkur / Rift R I Drama / Thriller I 109 min.
'T M I S ON THIS
I S S OU
ICELANDIC MOVIE N
FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT WE'VE SELECTED THE BEST OF
Language: Icelandic (with English subtitles)
ou with your search for the are in Iceland, we’ve compiled escription of some noteworthy n the Dining Advisor brochure at pocket in front of you.
ICELANDIC TV SERIES
Fangar / Prisoners s1 e1–6 I PG-13 I Drama / Detective 43 min.
Pressa II / The Press II s1 e1–6 I R I Drama / Thriller I 47 min.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles s2 e1–2 I PG I Adventure / Action I 30 min.
Victorious s2 e1–2 I PG I Comedy, Drama, Family I 30 min.
Paw Patrol s1 e5–7 I G I Adventure / Action / Animation I 30 min.
Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated s1 e1–2 I PG-13 I Animation I 30 min.
Please note that you have many more audio books, films and TV programs to choose from on the in-flight entertainment system. The films and TV programs listed here are only a small selection. Ratings are provided according to the US system but may vary from country to country.
Icelandair Stopover 75
CLASSES OF SERVICE Icelandair offers a range of on-board services available to all passengers. We are the first European airline to offer gate-to-gate Wi-Fi, which means that you can stay online from the moment you board until you leave the aircraft. For our youngest flyers, we have a selection of children’s entertainment and games on the in-flight entertainment system. Children receive a meal and juice and are provided with headphones and an activity bag. Passengers can check in quickly and easily with our online check-in service. You can use your smart device to check in even faster. It is possible to check in 36 hours before departure to Europe and Canada, and 24 hours before departure to North America.
Icelandair caters to a range of tastes and budgets with a selection of five fare classes and amenities for tailor-made travel. Economy Light offers quality at a reduced price and includes hand luggage only, ideal for short-haul trips. Economy Standard includes hand luggage and one checked-in bag, and Economy Flex additionally includes priority boarding, free Wi-Fi, and the flexibility to change or cancel your fare. For a pampering experience in an exclusive, quiet cabin at the front of the aircraft, choose Saga Premium. With four-abreast wide seating and plenty of legroom, you’ll have ample space to work or simply stretch out and rest up for your destination.
ECONOMY STANDARD ECONOMY FLEX
No No Yes, where applicable
SAGA PREMIUM FLEX Yes, where applicable
Yes, where applicable
Yes, where applicable
Yes, where applicable
Yes, where applicable
Yes, where applicable
Seating 737, 757
No checked luggage
1x50 lb (23 kg)
1x50 lb (23 kg)
2x70 lb (32 kg)
2x70 lb (32 kg)
1x22 lb (10 kg)
1x22 lb (10 kg)
1x22 lb (10 kg)
1x22 lb (10 kg)
2x22 lb (10 kg)
31–32" / 79–81 cm
31–32" / 79–81 cm
31–32" / 79–81 cm
40" / 101 cm
40" / 101 cm
For a small fee
For a small fee
Included for 2 devices
Included for 2 devices
Included for 2 devices
Blankets and pillows
Universal electric outlet No
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Non-alcoholic beverages Included
Included, special menu
Included, special menu
On N-American routes
On N-American routes
On N-American routes
On N-American routes
For up to 3 nights
For up to 7 nights
For up to 7 nights
For up to 7 nights
$300 Fare difference may apply*
$150 Fare difference may apply*
None, but fare difference is applicable
From $150 None, but fare difference Fare difference may apply* is applicable**
Refundability Non-refundable Non-refundable Refundable
Combinability between Combines classes solely with Economy Light
Combines with Saga Premium
Combines with Saga Premium Flex
Combines with Economy Standard
Combines with Economy Flex
Saga Points earned 50%
*Subject to currency changes
76 Icelandair Stopover
**Additionally: A free shift of flight time up to +/– 24 hours if booked within 48 hours of the original departure time. Valid on Icelandair flights only.
BRING YOUR COSTCO CARD WITH YOU TO ICELAND! Costco Iceland opened in May 2017. Just like other Costco warehouses, Costco Iceland offers one of the largest and most exclusive product category selections to be found under one roof. Categories include groceries, confectionery, appliances, television and audio equipment, automotive supplies, tires, toys, hardware, sporting goods, jewellery, watches, cameras, books, housewares, apparel, health and beauty aids, furniture, office supplies and office equipment. The warehouse also has a self-service gas station.
Kauptun 3, 210 Gardabaer WAREHOUSE OPENING TIMES Monday - Friday: 10am to 9pm Saturday: 9:30am to 8pm Sunday: 10am to 6pm
Phone: +354 532 5555
GAS STATION OPENING TIMES Monday - Friday: 7am to 10pm Saturday: 7am to 9.30pm Sunday: 7am to 7pm
PHARMACY OPENING TIMES Monday - Friday: 11am to 7pm Saturday: 10am to 6pm Sunday: 10am to 4pm
Icelandair Stopover 77
WE ARE ADDING TO OUR FLEET IN 2019
In early 2019, Icelandair will add six brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft to its fleet. These new aircraft will further enhance our passengersâ€™ travel experience, with a design that features quieter engines and a completely redesigned cabin space for extra comfort. n n n n n n n
BOEING 737-MAX 9
n n n n n n n n
Passenger seats: 178 Seating arrangement: 3-3 Economy, 2-2 Saga Premium Length: 138 ft 4 in / 42.1 m Wingspan: 117 ft 10 in / 35.9 m Cruising speed: Mach 0.79 / 453 kn / 521 mph / 839 km/h Maximum range: 3,515 NM / 4,045 mi / 6,510 km Maximum takeoff weight: 194,700lb / 88,314 kg Engines: 2 x CFM International LEAP-1B
Number of passenger seats: 160 Seating arrangement: 3-3 in Economy, 2-2 in Saga Premium Length: 129 ft 6 in / 39.5 m Wingspan: 117 ft 10 in / 35.9 m Cruising speed: Mach 0.79 / 453 kn / 521 mph / 839 km/h Maximum range: 3,515 NM / 4,045 mi / 6,510 km Maximum takeoff weight: 181,200 lb / 82,200 kg Engines: 2 x CFM International LEAP-1B
BOEING 737 MAX 8
n n n n n n n n
Number of passenger seats: 225 Seating arrangement: 3-3 in Economy, 2-2 in Saga Premium Length: 178 ft 7 in / 54.5 m Wingspan: 134 ft 7 in / 41.0 m Cruising speed: Mach 0.80 / 461 kn / 531 mph / 854 km/h Maximum range: 3,200 NM / 3,682 mi / 5,926 km Maximum takeoff weight: 273,000 lb / 123,800 kg Engines: 2 x Rolls-Royce RB211-535E4-B
n n n n n n n n
Number of passenger seats: 262 Seating arrangement: 2-3-2 in Economy, 2-1-2 in Saga Premium Length: 180 ft 3 in / 54.9 m Wingspan: 166 ft 11 in / 50.9 m Cruising speed: Mach 0.80 / 461 kn / 531 mph / 854 km/h Maximum range: 5,988 NM / 6,890 mi / 11,090 km Maximum takeoff weight: 412,000 lb / 186,900 kg Engines: 2 x General Electric CF6-80C2B6F
n n n n n n n n n
78 Icelandair Stopover
Number of passenger seats: 183 Seating arrangement: 3-3 in Economy, 2-2 in Saga Premium Length: 155 ft 3 in / 47.3 m Wingspan: 134 ft 7 in / 41.0 m Cruising speed: Mach 0.80 / 461 kn / 531 mph / 854 km/h Maximum range: 3,915 NM / 4,505 mi / 7,250 km Maximum takeoff weight: 250,000 lb / 113,400 kg Engines: 2 x Rolls-Royce RB211-535E4 Maximum range based on full passenger load
GLACIAL WONDERS Each of Icelandair’s aircraft is named after a magnificent natural phenomenon. For this issue, we have chosen to highlight three aircraft that represent the glacial wonders of Iceland: Vatnajökull, Snæfellsjökull and Jökulsárlón. A remarkable 10% of Iceland is covered by glaciers, including Europe’s largest glacier (Vatnajökull). Did you know that the white in the Icelandic flag pays tribute to these glacial marvels?
VATNAJÖKULL I TF-FIR I VAT-na-yuh-kutl I Europe’s largest glacier, it covers 8% of Iceland’s surface. Six volcanoes lie underneath it, including Bárðarbunga, which caused the Holuhraun eruption in 2014–2015.
JÖKULSÁRLÓN* I TF-ICE I YUH-kuls-aur-loan I A picturesque glacial lagoon in southeast Iceland. Floating on its blue surface are magnificent icebergs from Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier.
SNÆFELLSJÖKULL I TF-ISD I SNEYE-fetls-yuh-kutl I Located in West Iceland, it contains an extinct stratovolcano under its surface. It’s considered a place of paranormal activity and, according to literary legends, its top is the entrance to the center of the Earth.
Read more about our aircraft and their names at icelandair.com/about/our-fleet.
Hvítserkur TF-ICA* Langjökull TF-ICB* Kirkjufell TF-ICC*
Dyrhólaey TF-ICU Jökulsárlón TF-ICE Látrabjarg TF-ICY Mývatn TF-ICN* Búlandstindur TF-ICO* Landmannalaugar TF-ICP*
Bláfjall TF-FIK Dyngjufjöll TF-ISS Eiríksjökull TF-ISZ Eldborg TF-FIN Grábrók TF-ISV Grímsvötn TF-FIS Hekla Aurora TF-FIU Helgafell TF-FIT Herðubreið TF-FIA Katla TF-FIV Keilir TF-ISJ
Ketildyngja TF-ISR Krafla TF-FIO Laki TF-ISF Magni TF-FIC Öræfajökull TF-ISL Skjaldbreiður TF-LLX Snæfell TF-FIP Snæfellsjökull TF-ISD Surtsey TF-FIJ Torfajökull TF-ISY Vatnajökull TF-FIR
Hengill TF-FIX Þingvellir TF-ISL
Eldgjá TF-ISP Gullborg TF-ISW Hlöðufell TF-ISO Svörtuborgir TF-ISN
*Aircraft joining the fleet in 2019.
Icelandair Stopover 79
DO YOU FLY REGULARLY WITH ICELANDAIR? Our frequent flyer program, Icelandair Saga Club, has multiple benefits for all members as well as special offers and benefits for our most frequent flyers who have acquired Saga Silver and Saga Gold status.
Saga Gold and Saga Silver benefits:
Members can earn from 850 to 7,200 Tier Credits for each leg with Icelandair and need 40,000 Tier Credits to become a Saga Silver member and 80,000 Tier Credits to become a Saga Gold member.
One upgrade a year*
Upgrade every time you fly*
Saga Premium check-in
Saga Premium check-in
Spouse Card available
Complimentary Spouse Card
Priority on waiting lists
Priority on waiting lists
Parking at KeflavĂk Airport
Complimentary Wi-Fi on board
Icelandair Golfers membership
Fast track through security
* To the next cabin when space is available.
80 Icelandair Stopover
More than 70 different companies Restaurants • Bars • Cafés • Entertainment • Shopping 30
Matur úr héraði
app access with every brochure!
„We did some wool sweater Í hjarta Matarhandverkother things shopping among Stykkishólms in ICEWEAR store. By using the 15% discount coupon we saved 128 Euros! Amazing brochure that every visitor should buy since the savings are enormous“
Isabella Barcelona, Spain 2 r1 Flip this brochure and turn to page 64 for more Icelandair Stopover 81 information. Get the APP
rr11 ffoo 22 Vodafone SIM card included, ready for use during your stay in Iceland
PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICES Always permitted
Permitted at gate and above 10,000 feet*
Power outlets are located in all seats on Saga Premium and Saga Premium Flex. USB outlets provide power to charge small personal electronic devices, such as mobile phones, cameras or iPods.
Aircraft B757-200 I Aircraft B757-300 Hearing Aid
Laptop / Tablet
NOTE: *Larger PEDs (more than 1 kg) such as laptops must be securely stowed in overhead compartments or under the seat before takeoff and landing.
NOTE: PEDs must be disconnected from any in-seat electrical power supply during taxiing, t akeoff, approach, landing and during abnormal or emergency conditions.
Smartphone (in-flight mode)
Camera (digital, film, video)
NoiseCanceling Headphones (power ON)
WHAT ELECTRONIC DEVICES CAN I USE ON BOARD THE AIRCRAFT? Handheld devices with flight mode Handheld devices, such as tablets, e-readers and mobile phones, may be used during all phases of the flight, provided that flight mode is enabled before departure. Devices must be safely secured in the customer’s hand or pocket during taxi, takeoff and landing. Devices without flight mode Any device that transmits or receives radio signals but does not have flight mode must be switched off for the duration of the flight. Laptops and other larger devices These devices may be used during boarding but not for taxi, takeoff and landing. They may be used in-flight. They shall be stowed away safely during taxi, takeoff and landing. Other devices without connectivity This includes items such as DVD players, electronic games and music players. Only small, handheld devices may be used during taxi, takeoff and landing. Larger devices must be switched off and stowed away safely during takeoff and landing.
82 Icelandair Stopover
NOTE: *Small lightweight Portable Electronic Devices, or PEDs – 1 kg or less (iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, Samsung Galaxy phones & tablets, Nokia, Microsoft Surface, Kindle e-reader, digital cameras, etc.) are permitted as long as they are secured during takeoff and landing. Passengers must either hold their PED or securely place it in the seat pocket. Lightweight PEDs may not be unsecured on the seat beside them. PED cords or accessories are not to impede emergency egress. We ask passengers to remove their headphones and pay attention to the safety briefing.
Are there times when I can’t use my handheld devices? Flight or cabin crew may ask you at any time to switch off all electronic devices should interference be detected. Can I connect to Wi-Fi (if provided in-flight) even if flight mode is enabled? Yes. Cellular services must be turned off (flight mode) at all times, but other wireless services such as Wi-Fi may be used above 10,000 ft if a connection service is installed in the aircraft. It is possible to re-enable Wi-Fi and connect to a Wi-Fi network while flight mode is enabled. A peaceful cabin for everyone To keep the cabin peaceful, please use headphones when listening to music or other material and place computer games and such on silent or very low volume. Precaution If your mobile phone or tablet gets caught in the seat, please inform the cabin crew and they will assist you. If a battery operated device overheats during the flight, inform the cabin crew immediately.
WIRELESS INTERNET ON BOARD SEE OUR WI-FI PORTAL FOR PRICING INFORMATION How do I connect to the Wi-Fi network? 1. Make sure your mobile device is set to flight mode during all phases of flight. Then activate Wi-Fi on your device. 2. Choose the “Icelandair Internet Access” network. 3. Open your browser of choice and then press “Get Wi-Fi” if using a laptop. On your phone, choose either the “Wi-Fi” or “Complimentary” option. What you can expect The connection speed is similar to 3G. Keep in mind that the on-board Wi-Fi is therefore not as fast as home connections. The number of users can affect the speed of the connection. Wi-Fi is available from the moment you board and until you leave the aircraft. A new state-of-the-art Wi-Fi system will be implemented across all of Icelandair’s fleet in the coming months.
What can I do when connected? You can check your email. n You can browse the web. n You can use social media and other communication platforms. n
Do I need to set my smartphone or tablet to flight mode? All smartphones and tablets may be switched on at all times, but in flight mode only. You might have to activate Wi-Fi separately when your device is set to flight mode. Your device must be safely secured in your hand or pocket during taxi, takeoff and landing. You can stay connected throughout your flight – from the moment you board and until you disembark. What kind of device can I use? You can use a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone to connect. The connection will be activated on the same device you use to purchase or validate Internet access. When can I start using the Wi-Fi access? You will be able to connect as soon as you want, and the connection will be active throughout your flight.
Now Icelandair Saga Club members can use their Saga Points to pay for Wi-Fi access. For more details, see the pricing information in our Wi-Fi portal. HELSINKI
SAN FRANCISCO ICELAND
OSLO GOTHENBURG BERGEN COPENHAGEN BILLUND BERLIN HAMBURG DUSSELDORF FRANKFURT AMSTERDAM MUNICH GLASGOW BRUSSELS ZURICH MANCHESTER MILAN DUBLIN LONDON PARIS GENEVA HEATHROW & GATWICK
If you are having trouble connecting, please send an email to email@example.com the next time you are connected to the Internet. More questions can be found in the Wi-Fi portal.
MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL
MADRID CHICAGO TORONTO KANSAS CITY CLEVELAND DALLAS
BALTIMORE HALIFAX BOSTON WASHINGTON D.C. PHILADELPHIA NEW YORK JFK & NEWARK
The pink color indicates network coverage on Icelandair routes.
Icelandair Saga Gold members and booked Saga Premium passengers get complimentary Wi-Fi access for two devices.
Icelandair Stopover 83
SAFETY FIRST Iceland’s vast nature is spectacular, unique—and unpredictable. Sunny and calm periods can transform into windstorms, blizzards and plummeting temperatures in a matter of hours. If you are planning to travel to a more isolated area, please leave a copy of your itinerary with the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue at safetravel.is, and, for all excursions, observe these tips: DRIVING n When driving, keep your full attention on the road, especially on areas where tarmac turns to gravel. Blind hills should be approached with caution. It is illegal to operate a vehicle after consuming alcohol. n
On single-lane bridges, the car closer to the bridge has the right of way, but it is always wise to stop and assess the situation.
Only take Highland roads if you have a 4x4 jeep, and make sure you have the experience necessary to operate these vehicles in tough conditions.
Roads can be quite slippery during winter, especially after frost in the early morning. All Highland roads are closed during winter.
Off-road driving is illegal.
HIKING When you are hiking, be prepared for sudden weather changes, stick to your travel plan, and dress appropriately, with water- and wind-resistant clothing, gloves and hats.
Do not get too close to cliff edges or hot springs. When waves are big, stay far from the water’s edge; be especially vigilant along the south coast, which is open to the Atlantic Ocean.
If you get lost, call 112, the emergency service line. Stay where you are and wait for rescue services to find you.
The search and rescue association also offers a free emergency app, downloadable from their website. Your coordinates will be sent to the emergency response crews should you use the app. There is more information on safe travel in Iceland on our in-flight entertainment system.
Visit safetravel.is for equipment lists, travel plans and the latest traveling conditions.
84 Icelandair Stopover
KNOW YOUR EMERGENCY NUMBER ICELAND / EUROPE���������������������������������������������������������������������� 112 USA AND CANADA������������������������������������������������������������������������ 911 UK������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 999 / 112 icesar.com Emergency calls are free to make from mobile phones. If you’re on the other side of the Atlantic, or in Iceland from North America, don’t forget to check on arrival if yours is working. Some phones operate on a different bandwidth and will not work in foreign countries.
ICELANDIC SEARCH AND RESCUE:
OUR COUNTRY’S BRAVE VOLUNTEERS If you get lost on a mountain, can’t find your way at sea, or encounter virtually any other difficulty in Iceland’s outdoors, the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue (ICE-SAR) is there to help. In a country with no military and only a few coast guard vessels and helicopters, ICE-SAR’s 3,000 highly-trained volunteers command deserved respect from both locals and visitors. Their teams deal with thousands of calls annually and are available 24 hours a day, on land or at sea. So while the vast majority of trips to Iceland will be without incident, you can rest easy that, should the need arise, the nation’s most experienced people will be prepared to save lives and prevent accidents under even the harshest conditions. Remember too that rescue operations are expensive to launch: Advanced equipment is used and volunteers take time off from their jobs to take part. ICE-SAR relies entirely on donations to finance itself; you can contribute via their website, icesar.com.
SAFETY ON BOARD We put safety first on all of our flights. The in-flight safety video gives a good overview of what you need to know for a safe journey. Please follow the instructions carefully and check out the safety card in your seat pocket. The cabin crew is there to assist and keep you safe at all times so please follow their guidance and suggestions. All electronic devices (mobile phones, tablets, e-readers) have to be switched off or in flight mode during the flight. Of course, this does not extend to heart pacemakers, hearing aids and other devices needed for medical reasons. If your mobile phone or tablet gets caught in the seat, please inform the cabin crew and they will assist you. If a battery operated device overheats during the flight, inform the cabin crew immediately. Whenever the seatbelt signs are on please: n
Stow devices larger than 10.5 in (27 cm) and/or more than 2.2 lb (1 kg) in the overhead compartment.
Please note that your life jacket may be located under your seat, above your seat, or in the armrest.
Hold devices smaller than 10.5 in (27 cm) and lighter than 2.2 lb (1 kg) or stow them in the overhead compartment or seat pocket. To keep the cabin peaceful please use headphones when listening to music or other material and place computer games and such on silent or very low volume.
luggage in the overhead compartments or place it under the seat in front of you. Be careful when opening the compartments as luggage may have shifted. When space is limited we might need to store some hand luggage the luggage hold. Smoking is prohibited on all Icelandair flights. This includes vaping.
For your safety and comfort we recommend that you keep your seatbelt fastened and visible throughout the flight. Store your hand
ICELANDAIR ALLERGY POLICY Icelandair cannot guarantee an allergen-free environment on board its aircraft. Therefore, we strongly encourage passengers with severe allergies that can result in anaphylaxis to bring an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPenÂŽ) and any other medications they may need. The meals offered on Icelandair flights do not contain peanuts or peanut products, such as peanut butter, although trace elements from peanuts may be found in meals.
In addition, tree nuts (e.g. almonds) may be found in meals on board, and fish and shellfish are sometimes on offer in Saga Premium. Unfortunately, it is not possible to remove tree nuts, fish or shellfish from the cabin.
50 50 100 at least 48 hours before departure to request an allergy announcement.
We do, however, wish to stress that Icelandair can in no way restrict other passengers from bringing or consuming their own food on the In the case of severe nut allergy, our cabin crew aircraft that may contain nuts or other allergens. For that reason, it is possible to can make an allergy announcement on board, find traces of nuts on seat cushions, arm asking other passengers on the flight not to rests, tray tables, or elsewhere in the cabin. consume foods that contain nuts. Please contact Icelandair Customer support at +354
Icelandair Stopover 85
VISA WAIVER PROGRAM – VWP – FOR TRAVEL TO USA Samningur um undanþágu frá vegabréfsáritun til Bandaríkjanna (Visa Waiver Program) gerir ríkisborgurum tiltekinna landa kleift að ferðast til Bandaríkjanna í skemmti- eða viðskiptaferð í allt að 90 sólarhringa án þess að sækja um og fá sérstaka vegabréfsáritun. Ferðamönnum, sem þessi samningur tekur til, er eftir sem áður heimilt að sækja um vegabréfsáritun ef þeir kjósa svo. Aðeins tiltekinn fjöldi ríkja eru aðilar að þessum samningi (VWP) og ekki er öllum ferðamönnum frá ríkjum, sem eru aðilar að samningnum, heimilt að nýta sér undanþáguna. Öllum ferðamönnum frá löndum, sem eru aðilar að VWP, er skylt að sækja um rafræna ferðaheimild á vef bandarískra innflytjendayfirvalda (Electronic System for
VISA WAIVER PROGRAM The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows most nationals of participating countries to travel to the USA for tourism or business for up to 90 Lönd sem eru aðilar að samningnum um undanþágu frá vegabréfsáritun til Bandaríkjanna days without a visa. VWP travelers must have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization Countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) approval prior to travel and meet all n Andorra n France n Lithuania n Slovakia requirements explained at n Australia n Germany n Luxembourg n Slovenia cbp.gov/esta. n Austria n Greece n Malta n South Korea n Belgium n Hungary n Monaco n Spain n Brunei n Iceland n The Netherlands n Sweden n Chile n Ireland n New Zealand n Switzerland n Czech Republic n Italy n Norway n Taiwan n Denmark n Japan n Portugal n United Kingdom n Estonia n Latvia n San Marino n Finland n Liechtenstein n Singapore
Travel Authorization—ESTA). Þegar komið er til Bandaríkjanna verður starfsmaður innflytjendayfirvalda á
flugvellinum að staðfesta að viðkomandi ferðamaður hafi undanþágu skv. VWP og ferðamaðurinn er þá skráður í US-VISIT kerfið.
US CUSTOMS DECLARATION FORM EN
Before arriving in the US, each traveler or head of family is required to fill this form out and present to US Customs.
Hver komufarþegi eða forráða maður í fjölskyldu skal gefa eftirfarandi upplýsingar (fyrir hverja fjölskyldu dugar EIN yfirlýsing).
Vor der Einreise in den U.S.A müssen Sie eine Zollerklärung ausfüllen. Ein Formular pro Familie ist erfordert.
1. Eftirnafn, skírnarnafn, miðnafn
1. Familienname, Vorname, Zweiter Vorname
2. Fæðingardagur dagur / mánuður / ár
2. Geburtsdatum / Tag / Monat / Jahr
3. Fjöldi fjölskyldumeðlima sem ferðast saman
3. Anzahl der mit Ihnen reisenden Familienmitglieder
4. a) Heimilisfang í Bandaríkjunum (nafn hótels / áfangastaðar) b) Borg c) Fylki
4. (a) Adresse/genaue Anschrift in den USA (Name des Hotels / Reiseziel) (b) Stadt (c) Staat
Avant d’arriver aux États-Unis, il vous sera demandé de remplir un formulaire de déclaration en douane. Un formulaire par famille suffit.
1. Nom, Prénom, Initiale du deuxième prénom. 2. Date de naissance Jour / Mois / Année. 3. Nombre de personnes voyageant avec vous. 4. Adresse aux États-Unis a) Destination ou nom de l’hôtel. b) Ville. c) Etat.
5. Útgáfustaður vegabréfs (land)
5. Pass ausgestellt von (Land)
6. Númer vegabréfs
7. Land búsetu
7. Ständiger Wohnsitz (Land)
8. Lönd sem var farið til í þessari ferð, fyrir lendingu í Bandaríkjunum
8. Auf dieser Reise besuchte Länder vor Ihrer Ankunft in den USA
7. Pays de résidence.
9. Flugfélag / Númer flugs eða heiti flugvélar
9. Fluggesellschaft/Flugnummer oder Name des Schiffes
8. Pays visités pendant ce voyage avant l’arrivée aux Etats-Unis.
10. Markmið þessarar ferðar er viðskiptalegs eðlis JÁ / NEI 11. Ég hef (við höfum) meðferðis: a) ávexti, jurtir, mat, skordýr: b) kjöt, dýr, dýraafurðir c) smitefni, frumuræktir, snigla d) mold eða hef/höfum dvalist á bónda bæ /mjólkurbúi / beitilandi JÁ/NEI 12. Ég hef (við höfum) verið í snertingu eða meðhöndlað lifandi dýr JÁ / NEI 13. Ég hef (við höfum) meðferðis peninga / gjaldmiðil eða aðra fjármuni að jafngildi hærri upphæð en USD 10.000. (sjá skilgreiningu á fjármun-um á bakhlið seðilsins) JÁ / NEI
10. Der Hauptanlass dieser Reise ist geschäftlich. Ja/nein 11. Ich (wir) führen folgende Waren ein: (a) Früchte, Pflanzen, Lebensmittel, Insekten. (b) Fleisch, Tiere, Tier- oder Wildprodukte. (c) Krankheitserreger, Zellkulturen, Schnecken. (d) Erde, oder waren Sie auf einem Bauernhof/einer Ranch/Weide. Ja/ nein 12. Ich war (wir waren) in unmittelbarer Nähe von Vieh/Nutztieren (z.B. Anfassen oder Umgang damit). Ja/nein
14. Ég hef (við höfum) meðferðis varning (til sölu eða sem ég hef (við höfum) keypt eða fengið erlendis, sem ekki teljast til persónulegra eigna) JÁ / NEI
13. Ich führe (wir führen) mehr als $US 10,000 in Bargeld oder Zahlungsmitteln oder den Gegenwert in anderen ausländischen Währungen mit.
15. Búsettir í Bandaríkjunum – andvirði varnings sem ég hef (við höfum) keypt eða fengið erlendis (einnig gjafir fyrir aðra) er: Ekki búsettir í Bandaríkjunum – andvirði alls varnings sem verður eftir í Bandaríkjunum:
(Siehe die Definition von Zahlungsmitteln auf der Rückseite). Ja/nein
14. Ich führe (wir führen) kommerzielle Waren mit. (Verkaufsware, Muster zur Werbung von Aufträgen oder Artikel, die nicht als Gegenstände zum persönlichen Gebrauch gelten) Ja/nein 15. Ansässige – der Gesamtwert aller Waren, einschliesslich der kommerziellern Waren, die ich (wir) im Ausland gekauft oder erworben habe(n) - (einschließlich Geschenke an Dritte, jedoch ausschließlich Gegenstände, die per Post in die USA gesendet wurden) und in die USA einführe(n).
86 Icelandair Stopover
Besucher – der Gesamtwert aller Waren, die in den USA verbleiben werden, einschließlich der kommerziellen Waren, beträgt.
5. Lieu de délivrance du passeport (nom du pays). 6. Numéro de passeport.
9. Ligne aérienne / et numéro du vol / Nom de vaisseau. 10. Vous voyagez pour raison d’affaires. OUI /NON 11. Je suis / nous sommes porteurs de a) fruits, plantes, produits alimentaires, insectes. b) viandes, animaux, produits provenant d’animaux ou d’animaux sauvages c) agents pouvant causer des maladies, cultures cellulaires, escargots d) terre. J’ai / Nous avons visité une exploitation agricole en dehors des Etats-Unis, OUI / NON 12. J’ai / nous avons touché ou traité du bétail. OUI/NON 13. Je suis / nous sommes porteurs d’espèces ou d’instruments monétaires d’une valeur équivalente en monnaie des États Unis ou de tout autre pays (Voir définition d’instruments monétaire au verso) à plus de 10 000$ US. OUI / NON 14. Je suis / nous sommes en possession de marchandises commerciales (articles des tinés à la vente, échantillon de démonstra tion ou tout autre article autresque des effets personnels). OUI/NON 15. Résidents : La valeur totale de tous les arti cles (y compris les marchandises commer ciales) que j’ai / nous avons acheté ou acquis à l’étranger et que j’apporte / nous apportons (y compris cadeaux, mais qui excluent les effets affranchis vers les États-Unis) aux ÉtatsUnis. Visiteurs : La valeur totale de tous les articles qui resteront aux États-Unis (y compris les marchan dises commerciales).
LET ICELANDAIR SAGA CLUB WORK FOR YOU WHILE YOU TRAVEL n n n n
Earn Saga Points on all hotel bookings Save up to 50% on your booking 24/7 support Book now, pay later
ENJOY THE BEST PRICES ON YOUR CAR RENTAL n n
Earn 2 Saga Points for every rental Free cancellations and amendments
Powered by Icelandair Stopover 87
Your Iceland experience begins the moment you step aboard an Icelandair flight.