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Reykjavik’s Newspaper Corporation presents

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Five Reasons to Visit Reykjavík, Iceland

Mt. Esja - Reykjavík’s Favorite Mountain

Fóa in Laugavegur: Interesting souvenirs

By Tina Walsh

By Auður

By Lauren Bet

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he people of Reykjavík are used to hunkering down for the winter, when each day brings with it barely a few snatches of sunlight. Come February, they’re more than ready to wriggle out of hibernation and welcome the first, if tentative, signs of spring. The local authorities decided this was a good time of year to try to raise people’s spirits, and in 2002 they set up the Winter Lights Festival (Feb. 7 to 10). Starting out as Museum Night, when museums waived their fees and stayed open until midnight, the festival has grown to incorporate events that mark both winter and the imminent return of daylight. For a few days, the city comes alive with dazzling light installations, street performances, theater, dance and live music. Shops, cafés, outdoor thermal pools and the aforementioned museums stay open until 12 a.m. and it’s all free of charge, with complimentary AC · PG/2 shuttle-bus services thrown in.

ne of my favorite things about Reykjavík is of course it’s proximity to the sea (do you think I was a sailor or a mermaid in a past life?) but also the fact that everywhere you look you see beautiful mountains that manage to leave you in awe every day with their ever changing colors and beauty. Sounds a little bit dramatic? Yes. But also very true. Living with the mountains and the sea all around does something to you that I can’t quite explain. The mountains become a part of you and a sort of barometer of your life. I remember someone telling me once in my life, after having suffered from a mild depression for a short while, that they knew they were doing better because they could see the colors of the mountains again. I understood instantly what that meant. The most known of the mountains surrounding Reykjavík, and the favorite RE · PG/8 of many, is the Esja Mountain.

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eople have often asked me where they can find unique and interesting souvenirs in Reykjavík and to be honest I could never really give any good recommendations. Most of the times I usually prefer museum gift shops over conventional tourists shops and unfortunately I feel many of the designated tourist shops in Reykjavík lack a bit in creativity when it comes to theirv souvenirs and products. I have often recommended Kraum in Aðalstræti, which is pretty nice actually, but they have a lot of bigger pieces that either won’t fit in your luggage or may break your budget. They’re also much more than just a souvenir shop offering clothing and furniture along with serving as a center for Icelandic design of sorts. Because of this I was very happy for that one day when I randomly stumbled upon this little store “Fóa” on the corner of Skólavörðustígur ID · PG/6 and Laugavegur.

AND INSIDE YOU’LL FIND...

9 Great Options for Vegetarians in Reykjavík

Iceland’s Northern Lights, Demystified

Couldn’t make it to DesignMarch? Check out the details you missed

FOODPORN PG. 3

DARKNESS PG. 4 & 5

ART DEPT. PG. 7


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Five Reasons to Visit Reykjavík For a few days, the city comes alive with dazzling light installations, street performances, theater, dance and live music. By Tina Walsh From Time.com

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he people of Reykjavík are used to hunkering down for the winter, when each day brings with it barely a few snatches of sunlight. Come February, they’re more than ready to wriggle out of hibernation and welcome the first, if tentative, signs of spring. Here are five things about Reykjavík that will help you celebrate the coming end of winter: 1. THE BLUE LAGOON 5,000-sq-m spa located on a lava field is magical at dusk, when the steamy, ice blue waters shimmer in the glow of dozens of floodlights. 2. HARPA Opened in May 2011, the striking Harpa concert hall was designed by the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and it’s home to great events almost every night. 3. IMAGINE PEACE TOWER Yoko Ono’s memorial to John Lennon, the Imagine Peace Tower—a cylindrical structure of opaque glass inscribed with the words imagine peace in 24 languages—contains 15 searchlights that send a column of light 4,000 m up into the night sky. 4. THE NORTHERN LIGHTS According to NASA scientists, the aurora borealis—visible during winter—is at its brightest level for 50 years owing to increased solar activity. 5. THE DILL Based in the Nordic House cultural center and designed by acclaimed Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, Dill Restaurant is a champion of new Nordic cuisine.

Harpa Concert Hall on top left, The Blue Lagoon on top right, Northern Lights on bottom middle (by Lucero Fueyo). Imagine Peace Tower on bottom left (by Guðmunda Jónsdóttir) Islandic Dish from Dill Restaurant on bottom right (by Grillmarkadurinn). THE SHORTIE POST

Now you have to pay a fee to see Geysir Geothermal Area Since March 14, visitors to Geysir must pay an entrance fee of ISK 600 (5 USD). The introduction of a fee has been widely debated. By Robert Hastings From NewsOfIceland.com

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anagers of many travel agencies in Iceland are not happy with the fees that now are charged at Geysir Geothermal Area. The location is one of the most popular places to visit among tourists. Many tourists choose not to pay, and simply watch from a distance or don’t stop at all. An employee at a café next to the area said that there was a large increase in the number of customers on the day that the fee was implemented. Many people don’t want to pay the fee, which is considered quite steep, and choose to grab a cup of coffee instead. Þórir Garðarsson, marketing manager at Iceland Excursions, says that some of the tourists don’t even leave the bus during the stop at the geothermal area. He said that the tourists were not encouraged to stay inside to bus, in order to protest. The tourists simply were not interested in paying the entrance fee.

The great Geysir about to erupt, at Geysisgil (Photograph by Lucero Fueyo)

The land owners say that charging this fee is required to maintain the area, build paths and pay for garbage bins. The government is a part owner of the land and has stated that they are against the fee. Also, they’re implementing a special nature pass, that will be relatively cheap, and will give you access to all the major tourist attractions in Iceland. The government tried to stop the land owners from charging the fee, but the request was denied and so the matter will likely be settled in court. The fee will be charged at least until the matter has been settled.

THE TINY ACTIVE POSTS

STAY ACTIVE! WE RECOMMEND YOU 3 GREAT ACTIVITIES THAT WILL BRING OUT THE BEST OUT OF YOUR TRIP.

1. ATV RIDES

2. HORSEBACK RIDING

3. LAVA TUBE CAVING

Quad biking is a good way to get a different perspective as the bikes can travel through hidden Islandic paths. It’s an adrenaline rush racing through the dirt tracks.

AdventureWomen’s Icelandic Horseback Riding Experience was selected by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of their “50 Tours of a Lifetime”.

Caving in Iceland has been categorized as the most active attraction by our staff. Climb around Lava Tube Caves to find Iceland’s underground treasures.


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9 great options for vegetarians in Reykjavík

Reykjavik’s Top Five Cultural Restaurants

Here are a few places for vegetarians that visit Reykjavík should consider.

A list of the city’s five best cultural restaurants: Iceland’s Culinary Revival.

By Hanz Clepton

By H elen Armitage From ILoveReykjavík.com

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eykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital, has recently established itself as a haven for food lovers. Taking advantage of its local seafood, meat and game, the city is a prime destination for those wishing to sample New Nordic cuisine. We select our favourites from Reykjavik’s vibrant restaurant scene – expect traditional dishes with a contemporary edge, the famous Icelandic hot dog and a burgeoning café culture.

1. DILL RESTAURANT

New vegetarian menu each day at Gló Restaurant

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e should probably start this post with a disclaimer: I’m not a vegetarian so I am in no way an authority on this matter. I like vegetarian food and could probably do without meat 90% of the time but I don’t. I also haven’t visited all these places so I can’t comment on the quality, only that they exist.

1. GLÓ

7. CAFE BABALÚ I’ve written about Babalú before but although they are not 100% vegetarian or vegan they offer both including a vegetarian chili (I love a good chili) and a vegan carrot cake that is so yummy that I never would have expected that it was anything else than a normal carrot cake.

I love Gló. Their food is delicious and it’s actually one of the places I tell people to try on my walking tour. Although they also offer meat dishes their main focus is vegetarian, raw food and gluten free options. I also like the fact that it’s not super expensive.

8. BÚLLAN

2. GRÆNN KOSTUR

Litli Bóndabærinn is a cute little organic café in Laugavegur that offers vegetarian sausage rolls and gluten free brownies to name a few. I think they don’t cater especially to vegetarians but are worth mentioning for the things they do offer.

Grænn kostur is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Reykjavík and they offer both vegetarian and vegan and gluten free options. They also offer half portions of the dish of the day (although they don’t cost half of the price).

Although Búllan is all but vegetarian they also get a honorary mention because of all the nice things I’ve heard about their vegetarian Portobello burgers.

9. LITLI BÓNDABÆRINN

THE SMALL POSTS

3. GARÐURINN I’ve heard many people speak fondly of Garðurinn which apparently offers both good food and great prices. They seem to not have a home online so I couldn’t really check whether the latter is right but it looks cute from the outside.

4. LIFANDI MARKAÐUR Lifandi Markaður has two locations in Reykjavík, one in Borgartún (the wannabe financial district of Reykjavík) and one in Skeifan. It’s a health store and restaurant and their dishes of the day always include vegetarian options. I’ve eaten their often and always been quite happy.

5. KRÚSKA I don’t know much about Krúska other than the food I’ve had there was pretty good and they offer vegetarian dishes of the day every day. They are located close to Laugardalur, not far from the Laugardalslaug swimming pool.

MAC Restaurant

Unique and interesting souvenirs were hard to find until now that “Fóa” has been found.

By Camille Bonora

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ocated in Reykjavik’s Old Harbour, MAR Restaurant features a menu inspired by South American and southern European cuisines. Dishes such as the beef tenderloin with truffle Madeira glaze and mushroom risotto with pan fried lobster have proved popular with customers, as has the restaurant’s extensive wine list. Taking its name from the Latin word for ‘sea’, MAR’s interior was conceived by Reykjavik-based designers and features black treated wood panels faithful to the décor of old harbour houses in the area.

6. C IS FOR COOKIE C is for Cookie is one of those places people keep recommending to me but I never seem to find the right time to visit. It’s located in Týsgata, just off Skólavörðustígur, and rumor has it (I couldn’t find any info about this anywhere) that they always offer vegan soup at lunch. Don’t come hating on me if you discover this is incorrect though.

Nestled on the edge of Vatnsmyri, Reykjavik’s urban wetland and wild bird reserve, DILL Restaurant serves New Nordic fare, a cuisine that promotes local food cultures and seasonal ingredients. The dinner menu changes weekly with three, five and seven courses available, as well as the option of a matching wine menu. Some of DILL’s most innovative recipes include baked rutabaga with cheese foam and crispy millet and a celeriac and herb cream with lojrom caviar, cress and goats cheese.

2. GRILLMARKADURINN Grillmarkadurinn, or The Grill Market, offers creative fare put together with locally sourced Icelandic products. Top Icelandic chef Hrefna Rosa Saetren serves up a range of meat, fish and game grill dishes. Those with an adventurous palate may like to sample the minke whale steak or puffin and reindeer mini burgers.

3. FISKFELAGID A trip to Reykjavik wouldn’t be complete without sampling Iceland’s world-class seafood. Patrons can relax in Fiskfelagid’s comforty booths while snacking on Icelandic salted cod and burnt langoustines or the Malaysian inspired blackened monkfish with lobster spring roll.

4. BAEJARINS BEZTU PYLSUR For an affordable, quick and tasty snack, look no further than Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, a harbourside hot dog stand in downtown Reykjavik. Ever since 1937, the stand has been serving the Icelandic incarnation of the hot dog, made with a combination of pork, beef and lamb. Dubbed by the Guardian as the best hot dog in Europe, the stand is popular with locals and has become a staple feature of ‘runtur’, Reykjavik’s weekend revelry. For an authentic Icelandic experience, go for a hot dog with ‘eina med ollu’, or ‘the works’ - ketchup, sweet mustard, raw and fried onions and remoulade. Famous Baejarins Beztu patrons include former US president Bill Clinton and James Hetfield of Metallica fame.

5. SKOLABRU Just a short walk away from Reykjavik’s old city main square and the Icelandic parliament is Skolabru — a contemporary restaurant serving Icelandic cuisine with Mediterranean influences. Skolabru is located in a large, traditional wood clad house dating back to 1907, built by Iceland’s then Surgeon General Jonas Jonassen for his daughter Sophia. Try the seawolf with mango, chilli and ginger sauce or the grilled rump of lamb with Bernaise sauce followed by the popular chocolate soufflé.

THE TINY FOODPORN POSTS

ICELAND IS FULL OF THE MOST WONDERFUL FOOD RELATED ACTIVITIES FOR YOU

1. CHEF SCHOOL

2. BEST ICE CREAM SHOP

3. FOOD SHOPPING

The Salt Eldhús in Reykjavik is a beautiful kitchen with workshops and masterclasses in quality Iceland cuisine. Your future is here when it comes to food love.

Valdís has a great selection of Italian style gelato. They do not have a standard list of ice cream on the menu, all of the stuff is hand made and home crafted.

Try stopping at Bónus, Krónan, Nettó, Víðir, Nóatún, Hagkaup, Samkaup Úrval, Samkaup Strax, Kaskó, 1011, or Kjarval. Any will do fine since they are the best.


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Iceland’s Northern Lights, Demystified The ultimate guide for you to know and consider every important little detail when planning your expedition out to see, experience and even photograph the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, in Reykjavík. By Cynthia Ord From The Travel Post

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ublime. Celestial. Surreal. Since this is the kind of language used to describe the northern lights, I wanted to keep some sense of wonder intact while hunting the heavens for it in Iceland. At the same time, I knew that a bit of planning and research would be needed in order to maximize my chances of seeing that rare green glow.

Iceland is one of the world’s most accessible spots for viewing the northern lights, making it one of the country’s top tourist attractions. Capitalizing on its mystique, enterprising Icelanders have designed borealis oriented cruises, overland tours, and even a concept bar at far-flung Ion Hotel. So what is the best way to go about seeing the phenomenon? Here are a few things I learned while reading up on the northern lights in Iceland, seeking it out on my own, booking a tour to see it, and finally catching a glimpse.

GUSTS OF SOLAR WIND For ages, humans stared up at the northern lights with little more than myth and superstition to explain it to themselves. Icelandic folklore has it that if a pregnant woman gazes at the northern lights, her child will be born cross-eyed. Ancient Nords and native Inuits both took the lights as a frightful omen. Now we know that the phenomenon isn’t a precursor to calamity and that there’s no need to shield your eyes or hide your kids. Aurora borealis, as it’s also known scientifically, occurs when solar wind collides with the magnetic forces of the earth’s atmosphere. Its southern counterpart is aurora australis. Both occur at extreme latitudes close to the earth’s magnetic poles. Solar wind essentially illuminates wavy magnetic fields in the sky, which is where the rippling ribbon shape comes from. The most common color of light is green, but other colors can occur depending on the kind of particle and the altitude of the collision. The higher up, the more rare the color. Blood-red auroras happen at heights of up to 200 miles from the earth.

CHOOSE THE BEST SEASON Winter is the best time for viewing the northern lights, since darkness is a must. August through mid-April of 2012-2013 has been an especially good season for viewing. This is because we’re coming close to an 11-year peak in sunspot activity, which means lots of solar wind. It’s not too late -- the peak isn’t over. Another two or three fantastic winters are anticipated. Aurora-gazers have the best chances around the spring and fall equinox, so anytime around September 22, 2013 and March 20, 2014 are looking good, or anytime in between.

CHASE THEM ON YOUR OWN, OR BOOK A TOUR I spent four nights in Iceland; so I had four limited hard chances to see the northern lights. The very first night, I booked a stay in the small and beautiful town of Hveragerdi, which is about a forty five minute drive from the horrible light pollution of Reykjavik. When conditions align, the outdoor thermal hot tubs of Frost and Fire Guesthouse are an ideal viewing spot. Therefore, my one night spent there was a wonderful full-mooned and overcast. No green dazzle.

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YOU’VE PROBABLY HEARD THAT IN ICELAND IT’S WINTER AND DARKNESS ALL THE TIME. WELL, THAT’S NO JOKE, BUT THERE ARE STIL

WATCH THE MIDNIGHT SUN

DO THE BIKE NIGHT TOUR

HARPA CONCERT HALL

Reykjavik is still a bit below the Arctic Circle, so to truly experience the midnight sun you have to catch a boat to the island of Grimsey, which lies right on the circle boundary. Its location on the Arctic Circle has made it a novelty tourist attraction, and you’ll be given a certificate just for coming.

Afraid of the dark? Don’t be! We’ll show you the sights of Reykjavik by night on bike. In summer we’ve got 24 hour daylight which offers a most unique opportunity to bicycle at night. Distance varies between 7 and 18 km depending on weather and the interest and ability of the group. Private tours available, please enquire.

There are always great shows and events at the Harpa, and even if there’s nothing up, it’s always wonderful to take a walk around the concert hall at night! The structure is covered in geometric glass panels that catch the light, giving the building the appearance of an enormous multi-faceted jewel, a wonderful view at night!


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FIVE IMPORTANT FORECAST CONDITIONS To forecast the northern lights, he explained, five criteria are taken into account: 1. IT HAS TO BE NIGHTTIME 2. THE SKY HAS TO BE CLEAR OR AT LEAS T PARTLY CLEAR OF CLOUDS 3. THERE HAS TO BE AN ERUPTION ON THE SUN THAT RELEASES SOL AR WIND, SINCE THEY DON’T ALWAYS HAPPEN 4. THE SOL AR WIND MUS T BE DIRECTED TOWARD THE EARTH 5. THE ERUPTION’S PARTICLES MUS T REAC H THE EARTH’S MAGNETIC FIELD That night, we had four out of five criteria on our side. Working against us: cloud coverage. We piled out of the bus for our first viewing attempt, bracing ourselves against the cold wind outside. I stared at the clouds forcefully, trying to will them apart with my gaze. Nothing. Back in the van, back out again for another attempt, strike two. A sense of defeat was sinking in.

AND THE HARDEST PART, TRYING TO PHOTOGRAPH In Iceland, images of the northern lights had greeted me at every turn. On an airport billboard glowed dreamy swirls of luminous green against a black licorice sky. Maps and city guides, websites and brochures -- anything printed in English, it seemed -- was set against a background of wavy neon light in the sky. The marketing material had me thinking that all I’d have to do was look up, camera in hand, point, and shoot. At dinner before the lights hunt began, our guide Stefan offered some photography help. To really capture the effect, he said, you’ll need a camera with manual settings, and probably a tripod. Experience with long-exposure shooting is a plus. I had already decided that photos were out of the question. If I was going to see the northern lights, it was going to be through my corneas, not on an digitalized camera screen.

I had one night down, three nights left. Panic go to me. Noticing northern lights tours advertised in all the tour offices in Reykjavik, I was skeptical. Can something as elusive and capricious as the northern lights really be canned and commoditized?

ET TIP!

Hedging my bet on the celestial spectacle with an outdoor adventure beforehand, I opted for a tour that combined both glacier walking and northern lights viewing. The day was well-planned: spend a few hours romping around in crampons on Sólheimajökull glacier, then pass the time waiting for darkness to fall with an Icelandic dinner and visit to the volcano museum.

FORECASTED, BUT NOT GUARANTEED The last stop before the lights chase began was Seljalandsfoss waterfall, imposing and floodlit in the dusk.Even if the tour had ended there, it would have been worthwhile. Night was falling. Just before the aurora hunt began, our guide Stefan searched the most updated forecasts online. The more aurora activity the more likely it is that you will see them. Thankfully the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks offers a nifty Aurora forecast on their website that tells you how high or low the Aurora activity is for any given day.

After two failed viewing attempts, the tour bus bounded back toward Reykjavik. I was dozing off in disappointment when the bus suddenly veered to the side of the road and lurched to a halt. A hole in the clouds! We spilled out of the bus and stared at that small patch of sky, imploring. Slowly, faint streaks of green made an apparition. We cheered them on, and another wave appeared above them, less shy this time. Three seconds, and the show was over. A curtain of clouds closed in. Of the 12 passengers on the tour, only one had set up a camera with a tripod. We huddled around to see how his image had turned out. It wouldn’t make the cut for a travel brochure, but it was proof -- we had seen the northern lights, briefly.

TINY DARKNESS POSTS

LL PLENTY BEAUTIFUL PLACES THAT YOU CAN VISIT AND MANY ACTIVITIES THAT YOU CAN ENJOY IN THE COLD AND IN THE DARK!

THE OLD HARBOUR

NIGHT CLUBBING

BLUE LAGOON AT NIGHT

Apart from it being a beautiful place to walk with stunning views across the bay to Mount Esja, the Old Harbour area is where the majority of marine activities, such as whale watching and puffin tours are concentrated; it’s also home to the excellent Víkin Maritime Museum and the Icelandair Hotel Reykjavík Marina.

Bars and clubs stay open till 1 in the morning on weekdays but don’t be surprised to party till 5 or later on weekends. Saturdays are normally bigger nights in Reykjavik but Fridays usually don’t dissapoint. You might wanna try Vegamót , Faktory, Ölstofa Kormáks & Skjaldar, and The English Pub.

The Blue Lagoon at night is a dreamy experience. You will feel like you are far away from the rest of the world, specially from the tourists who fill that place during the day. At night the place cures your body tiredness and your soul sorrow and gives you a unique link with the world surrounding you.


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Happy Hour in Reykjavík!

You’ve probably noticed that alcohol in Iceland is expensive. Take note on these bars. By Melanie From Something About Iceland Blog

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Cool & Quirky; Cafe Babalú

DILLON Located on Laugavegur 30 Opens: Monday to Sunday Work hours: 16:00 - 20:00 Happy Hour: Daily ‘til 20.00 Promos: All 2 for 1

Cafe Babalú has been around for a while but nobody really knows about it.

DUBLINER

By Reena Evans

Located on Hafnarstræti 4 Opens: Monday to Friday Work hours: 11:30 - 19:00 Happy Hour: 6:00 - 19:00 Promos: 2 for 1 on beer

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lthough I have some reservations about using the word quirky to describe all things Icelandic I have to say that it’s the best word to describe one of my favorite cafes in Reykjavík: Cafe Babalú. Cafe Babalú has been around for a while but it took me a long time to visit it for the first time.

MICRO BAR Located on Austurstræti 6 Opens: Monday to Sunday Work hours: 11:00 - 23:30 Happy Hour: 5:30 - 20:00 Promos: Beer for 500 ISK

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or all of you who haven’t read about alcohol prices in Iceland and have forgotten to grab alcoholic beverages at the duty free at the airport, here is help. Now you are here and you don’t want to miss out on the fun (or all that hiking has made you thirsty) but you also don’t want to bankrupt yourself. For this reason, we’ve put together a list of bars in downtown Reykjavík that have happy hours for your convenience! So if you feel like starting the weekend early, check out our list of bars and their great deals on drinks. This is the best way in which you can definitely make sure you get the best deal out of the savings in your wallet.

B5 Located on Bankastræti 5 Opens: Monday to Sunday Work hours: 11:00 - 22:00 Happy Hour: Daily ‘til 22.00 Promos: -50% beer and wine

(Photographs by Melanie)

Our clear favourite bar is the newly opened “Micro Bar”. They have great Icelandic micro brews for a very decent price and many other international beers. Choose your favorite, although be aware for the consequences… THE SMALL POSTS

Fóa in Laugavegur Unique and interesting souvenirs were hard to find until now that “Fóa” has been found.

By Lauren Bet

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eople have often asked me where they can find unique and interesting souvenirs in Reykjavík and to be honest I could never really give any good recommendations. I usually prefer museum gift shops over conventional tourists shops and unfortunately I feel many of the designated tourist shops in Reykjavík lack a bit in creativity when it comes to their products.

The reason for that seems rather silly now but to be honest I was a little bit scared of it. Back then the cafe only consisted of the top floor of the brightly yellow painted house, later they then added the bottom floor, and I felt it was too small, too local and just too much somehow. Actually, if I tell you more of these personal stories you’ll soon realize what a neurotic freak I am so maybe I should quit while I’m ahead. So back to Babalú and my irrational fear of it. One day, after trying to dodge the bullet for years, I was feeling particularly brave and just said yes when someone suggested we’d meet there. As soon as I got in I realized what a moron I had been (or you know, a untreated social anxiety patient) because instead of people pointing at me and laughing (like, does that ever happen?) what I actually experienced was a super cozy atmosphere, friendly service and some heavenly homemade cakes. I told you the whole thing was silly.

I have often recommended Kraum in Aðalstræti, which is pretty nice actually, but they have a lot of bigger pieces that either won’t fit in your luggage or may break your budget. They’re also much more than just a souvenir shop offering clothing and furniture along with serving as a center for Icelandic design of sorts.

BAR 11 Located on Hverfisgata 11 Opens: Monday to Sunday Work hours: 15:00 - 22:00 Happy Hour: 3:00 - 22:00 Promos: 2 for 1 on shots

Because of this I was very happy one day when I stumbled upon Fóa on the corner of Laugavegur and Skólavörðustígur. It’s on the second floor of this yellow building which is probably more famous for housing the Cafe/Bar Kofinn and Sakebarinn.

BOSTON Located on Laugavegur 28b Opens: Monday to Sunday Work hours: 16:00 - 20:00 Happy Hour: 3:00 - 22:00 Promos: 2 for 1 on beer

Fóa opened in November so it’s still relatively new on the block. All their products are by artists and designers that live in Iceland and most of their products are also produced here. The store is really beautiful and the same goes for the products they offer. They, like me, felt like their was a gap in the market for something a little different, so you won’t find any stuffed puffins or T-shirts with silly Icelandic sayings in there. What you will find are charming paintings of the colorful houses in Reykjavík, super cute hand carved swans (I want some!) and quirky illustrated postcards. And the best thing of all: It’s not super expensive.

CELTIC CROSS Located on Laugavegur 28b Opens: Monday to Friday Work hours: 17:00 - 20:00 Happy Hour: 3:00 - 22:00 Promos: 2 for 1 on beer

DEN DANSKE KRO Located on Ingólfsstræti 3 Opens: Monday to Sunday Work hours: 16:00 - 19:00 Happy Hour: 3:00 - 22:00 Promos: 2 for 1 on wine

So next time you’re strolling around Reykjavík looking for something to bring your loved ones at home you should definitely check out the nice folks at Fóa.

Special of the Day: Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwich 1080 ISK

These lovely photos were taken by the very talented and equally nice Mimi Giboin, an excelent California raised photographer.

So if you have a bit of a sweet tooth or you’re just looking for a nice place to chill after a long day walking you should definitely check out the quirky cool Cafe Babalú in Skólavörðustígur. As you can see there’s no reason to be scared of it. Yes, yes, I know, that was just me.

THE TINY INDOORS POSTS

FASHION TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND FOR SPRING AND SUMMER SHOPPING

1. USE THE LAYER METHOD

2. GET A PARKA RAINCOAT

3. ACCESSORIES THAT HELP

Weird Icelandic weather days where it rained before it became sunny and warm and then it started snowing. How do you dress for that? Well, layers.

The only fantastic thing about a good Parka Coat is the fact that you can be practically naked underneath it and still feel warm in it.

Scarfs, hats, headbands and mittens – all wool and all very important. Never leave the house without them because you never know when the weather might turn.


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Design March was a blast!

DesignMarch opened with DesignTalks, a day of talks by leading international design thinkers. By Nathaniel R. Einarsson From Iceland Design Centre

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stylish crowd of design and fashion lovers landed in Reykjavik for DesignMarch and Reykjavik Fashion Festival 2014. We are still joining in this past adventure, discovering new secrets in design and fashion and rediscovering ones we already loved. DesignTalks 2014 Dealing with Reality brought together international designers, architects and leaders from the creative industries to explore designers and architects as visionaries, strategists and future thinkers when addressing real world challenges in different contexts.

DesignTalks 2014 approached the theme from different perspectives, featuring talks and discussions on collaborations by design, on the ability of creating strategies for rebuilding cities and implementing them, altering institutional cultures, inventing systems, creating and envisioning brands, inventing new technologies and making use of it.

DesignTalks 2014, curated by Hlín Helga Guðlaugsdóttir, designer, curator and teacher at Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design at the city of Stockholm in Sweden.

The speakers also imagine alternative futures whilst embracing and taking advantage of uncertainty and driving change in unexpected contexts and collaborations.

The tickets were available online, and there were a limited amount of seats available. If you plan to assist next year you better reserve your tickets now, totally worth it!

DT was also the signature event of DesignMarch. It is produced by the festival organizer Iceland Design Centre.

THE SPEAKERS PHOTOLIST

Stephan Sigrist Founder of W.I.R.E

Calvin Klein

Founder of Calvin Klein Inc.

Hlín Helga Guðlaugsdóttir Designer, curator and teacher at Konstfack

Marco Steinberg

Founder and managing director of Snowcone & Haystack

Robert Wong

Chief Creative Officer of Google Creative Lab

Kathryn Firth

Chief of Design London Legacy Development Corporation

THE SPEAKERS BIO & PROGRAM

Calvin Klein

Founder of Calvin Klein Inc. Calvin Klein is one of the world’s leading Fashion Designers and the Founder of Calvin Klein Inc. He spoke about his strategies through the different phases of his career and collaborations across disciplines.

Kathryn Firth

Chief of Design London Legacy Development Corporation

Kathryn Firth is an Urban Designer and Chief of Design London Legacy Development Corporation. She will speak about the redesign of the Olympic Park in London and its’ adjacent communities, implementation of the design strategy and design for inclusion.

Hlín Helga Guðlaugsdóttir

Stephan Sigrist

Designer, curator and teacher at Konstfack

Founder of W.I.R.E

Hlín H. Guðlaugsdóttir a designer and teacher at Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design.

W.I.R.E., a Zurich-based think tank that encourages interdisciplinary cooperation between theory and praxis.

Marco Steinberg

Robert Wong

Founder and managing director of Snowcone & Haystack

Marco Steinberg is an architect, former Professor at Harvard University and Director of Strategic Design at Helsinki Design Lab and founder and managing director of Snowcone & Haystack. An respected consultant with clients such as the Finnish government, Steinberg will speak about strategic design and design in non-design environments such as governmental institutions.

Chief Creative Officer of Google Creative Lab

Bases on the fact that design and and technology have a lot in common. They are both highly creative endeavors. 9.30 Stephan Sigrist and Hlín Helga Guðlaugsdóttir 10.00 Marco Steinberg 10.20 Kathryn Firth 10.40 Kathryn Firth and Marco Steinberg 11.30 Stephan Sigrist 13.00 Robert Wong 14.00 Mikael Schiller 14.30 Calvin Klein 16.00 End.


Ed. 1

- Summer -

May 20th, 2014

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The Crystal Post of Iceland  

Final project for Advanced Editorial Design Course 2014.

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