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A look into Hafnarfjรถrรฐur



Josue Castro - Costa Rica



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WF AND GFF “THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY” Worldwide Friends Iceland, WF; a non-governmental, non-profit organization founded in 2001; promotes nature and peace-oriented activities among people interested in spending time in Iceland as volunteers. WF also sends Icelanders abroad who wish to have similar volunteer experiences elsewhere in the world. The main activities offered by WF Iceland are workcamps, exchange programs and educational seminars suitable for anyone over the age of 18. The main aim is to increase intercultural understanding through offering foreign volunteers the opportunity to take part in nature and peace-related activities. The interaction between unspoiled nature and people from different backgrounds provides the participants with invaluable opportunities to learn more about themselves as individuals, their international fellows, other cultures and the human and natural richness of Mother Earth. One good example of the many projects that WF has to help the environment was the one at Hafnarfjörður, just 25 minutes away from Reykjavik. The purpose of this specific project was to help the community with their goal to fight world pollution.


With a group of volunteers, they cleaned the coast line, collected all the plastic and the trash that the ocean carried to the coast, weed the path and the parking, also, as part of the program volunteers worked at the local pool. We talked with two volunteers, Josue, from Costa Rica, and Nicolas, from Italy, and they told us a little bit more about the project. Q: What was your favourite thing about the project? J: Working with the community and getting to know our only volunteer. N: I enjoyed every moment in Iceland, it was an amazing experience and I would like to suggest to everybody to do it. It’s a great way to meet people from other countries to make friends and to have an experience that you can remember for all your life Q:Did you reach the main purpose of the project? J: Yes, we were able to help the community and I think we did a nice job. N: During our project we collected so many bags of trash. There is a lot of rubbish in the ocean and sometimes the waves draw this one on the coast. I think we did a great job. Q: Why do you think this project is important? J: Because we were able to clean the city and help the environment a little bit. N: We cannot imagine how much trash there is in the ocean. Our planet is full of rubbish every were and if you don’t do something to protect the environment we will not have a place where to live


Q:Why did you choose to do volunteering? And why in Iceland? Were you satisfied about this choice? J: Because I feel that it is important to experience something different and help others, you can learn a lot from volunteering. I chose Iceland because I wanted to experience a different culture. And yes I am satisfied with the choice I did. N: I’m doing volunteering for a long time in my own country, so I was looking for something different. I found the project in Iceland, and it was about a really important topic in my opinion, so I decided to apply for this project and to do my own part and fight the world pollution. But this experience was something more than this, I found a lot of people in my path and I made new connections, new friends around the world. Q:What did you most like about the city? J: It’s a beautiful place and the coastline is amazing. N: Hafnarfjörður is a very nice city, it’s not really crowded like Reykjavik, so it’s even better, and you can see a lot of nice things. All the museums are for free, there are parks, nice paths around the city and the people are really friendly. But the thing that I loved about my staying in Hafnarfjörður is that the house of the organisation is a kind of meeting point, so you could meet everybody who decided to come to Iceland WF involves people with its eco-friendly projects and does its part to make a world a better place. We should take care of the Earth for several reasons: it is our home, it grounds us, it provides us with food and water, it gives us a place to run and play, it is a living entity. We share it with millions of species of plants, trees, and animals—from the smallest bird to the biggest blue whale. And we rely on our planet for everything we need—like life-giving food, water, and oxygen. The amount of beach pollution and blatant disregard for the environment is cause for concern. It’s important to take steps to maintain clean beaches and protect them to ensure they’re healthy, not just for us, but for the wildlife that exists in these habitats. Furthermore, preventing marine pollution is vital for the well-being of the sea, the marine life it supports and us. Cleaner oceans mean we can continue to enjoy our beaches for swimming, fishing and recreation


Gróður fyrir folk (GFF) The purpose of the association is to stop vegetation and soil erosion at Ingólfs Landnám and to strengthen the ecosystem of the area by establishing sustainable vegetation with the natural species in the different regions. The organization works to restore lost land quality and improves the environment for all the community. The guideline of GFF is the challenge of the 1992 United Nations Rio Conference on Environment and Development "Think globally, act locally!" By utilizing organic waste that comes from urban-based activities in the region to earn a landlocked land, the concept of sustainable development develops grounding and real meaning. The organization intends to achieve its goals by mobilizing the organizational structure of various parties who want to put the issue together, such as individuals, companies, companies, institutions, states and municipalities. One of the main goals of the organization is to use reclamation in a shuffle-free country, some of the large amounts of organic matter that are used as waste in the organization's workplace and thus bring these substances into a natural cycle.

By: Fernanda Acero and Elena Arosio 5


From Reykjavik to Hafnarfjordur It takes 30 minutes from Reykjavik to Hafnarfjordur by Strætó bus number 1. The bus service works every 10 minutes from Monday to Friday and every 30 minutes on Saturday and Sunday. After 6pm is less frequent.

From KEF Airport to Hafnarfjordur It takes 50 minutes from KEF Airport to Hafnarfjordur by Strætó bus number 55. The bus service from Monday to Friday works every two hours from 6am to 1pm and from 9pm to 10pm. It works every hour from 1pm to 6pm. On Saturday, the bus service starts around 7am and works every hour. However, on Sunday it starts around 11am every hour. The price of a single ticket is 460 kr. Single ticket for children aged between 6 and 17 years old, disabled and the elderly (67 years or older) is 220 kr. Children of 5 years old or younger get free access. Bus drivers don’t accept Euros and only accept the exactly amount in ISK. The Strætó app is the best way to pay public transport within and outside the Reykjavík metropolitan area. You can pay your tickets, plan your trip, locate buses in real time and so much more. 6



THE WATER IS A WAY OF LIFE Icelanders have lived alongside the overbearing power of water since the land was first settled. Throughout the centuries, the country survived on the courage of its fishermen, who braved storms and fierce Atlantic waves daily to ensure they and their loved ones were fed. The early followers of Norse mythology believed their plane of existence to be Midgard (“Middle Earth”), one of the “nine homeworlds” and the only one visible to man. Midgard was said to be surrounded by an impassable ocean, thus immediately aligning it with divinity and ambiguity in Old Norse culture. WATER LIKE A SOURCE: In Iceland the water is considered the holy source that gives and sustains all life and respected as a force of nature that can take your life away at any given moment if you are not careful. It is so important that Icelandic people cherished and protected as a sacred medicine. Nowadays the role of water remains very important, more precisely in port cities like Hafnarfjörður where one of the biggest richness is the fishing. This activity is very productive, in fact it is the second business after the tourism.

HOT SPRINGS: Iceland is famous also for hot springs, that are another source used for heating. This country is a pioneer in the use of this energy for space heating. Generating electricity with geothermal energy has increased significantly in recent years. Geothermal power facilities currently generate 25% of the country's total electricity production. they come from near a high concentration of volcanoes. When the hot water travels upwards, it dissolves from the surrounding rock and leftover material surfaces. This results in a rich mineral content in the hot spring’s water. Bodies of water near the volcanoes can reach alarmingly high temperatures, and this heat can be turned into energy.



By: Francesca Fedeli and Francesca Russomando 11


MUST SIGHTSEEING IN ​ HAFNARFJÖRDUR Hafnarfjördur is the Iceland’s third-largest town with 25.000 residents, located on the southwest coast of the Island about 10km from the capital, Reykjavik. Due to the location of this town, next to the volcano Krýsuvík, shaped Lava formations can be seen around the town. The most famous places to visit are:

1) Vidistradatun Sculpture Park I​s an amazing green area to take a walk with kids. There are sixteen sculptures, they can be seen around with different colors and shapes by artists from Mexico, Switzerland, France, Finland, Japan, Germany and Iceland. Most of them were created in 1991 and 1993.


2) Hafnarfjörður M​useum The exhibitions of this museum tell us the town’s history and the history of its trade and fishing industry. These exhibitions can be seen in Pakkhúsið, Sívertsen's House, Bookless Bungalow and Siggubær. Open from June to August daily and from September to May on weekends always from 11am to 5pm.

3) Strandstigur Promenade From this zone it is possible to admire the beauty of the city and its harbour. It also offers a photography exhibition about how the city was built in the 20th century. Perfect to enjoy the Icelandic fresh air from the Sea.

4) Hafnarborg Centre of Culture and Fine Art Opened in 1988 in this museum not only can you see the modern and contemporary works o also Icelandic arts of pioneers. Including photographs of nature, modern buildings and daily life of Iceland.​Guided tours in English are available upon request. Open on monday and wednesday from 11am to 5pm and on thursday from 12 to 9pm.

5) Hafnarfjarðarkirkja Church Is a lutheran church from 1914 . It offers the traditional aesthetic of northern countries with a really high bell tower. The bell is operational and its melody can be heard around the town. Open on Fridays from 10 to 12am.


6) Hamarinn Cliff

7) Harbour

From the top of this hill, it is possible to enjoy a really nice scenery of the city. As traditional colorful houses, the harbour and magical landscape.

This natural harbour h ​ as been the most historical continuous trade port since 1300. Nowadays, we can find ships that usually fish sea cucumber that it is exported to China for developing medicines.

8) Sudurbaejarlaug Geothermal Pool This complex offers two swimming pools (indoor and outdoor) and four different temperature hot pods. Open to all ages including families with babies daily from Monday to Friday from 6.30am to 9pm, Saturday from 8am to 6pm and Sunday from 8am to 5pm.

By: Shimon Goto and Nuria Galian 15



Elves in Iceland Nowadays around the 60% of Icelandic people, especially the elderly, firmly believe in the coexistence of the human being and Hidden People. Dwarves, elves and mystical beings, coexist with human beings in different dimensions and only those of us who have a special gift may be able to see them. Even though they are invisible, these creatures control and manipulate everyday situations and they have to be respected and taken into consideration. Hafnarfjรถrรฐur, a fishing town located near to Reykjavik, is the home of one of Iceland's largest settlements of elves, dwarves, and mystical beings, hidden folk. There you will find Hellisgerรฐi Park, a park which is believed to be populated by hidden folk, the Elf Garden and even a little shop, The Little Elf House, specialized in hidden folk articles. In case you want to specialize yourself with the topic you can always visit the Elf School in center Reykjavik and receive an especial lesson, a spot you surely don't want to miss when coming to Hafnarfjรถrรฐur!


Vikings legacy in the city Through folktales, people express their beliefs and heart, but thanks to history people create their future. Iceland's roots have long been intertwined with Vikings' history. By an accident around the 8th Century, the first Viking Population arrived at the island. Being Gardar, the Swede from Denmark, the first Viking who landed in here. As you may know, Iceland wasn't the only territory discovered by them, 500 years before Colombus, Leif Erikson landed in America. As part of the island past, the tourists have always been attracted to Viking's legacy. While visiting Hafnarfjörður, be sure not to miss the Viking Village, home of Hafnarfjörður's Annual Viking Festival. The Village, nowadays a Viking's themed hotel has its own restaurant, Fjörukráin with a really representative architecture shaped like a Norwegian Stave Church.

The celebration, which was first held in 1995, has become the home of Rimmugýgur, the biggest Viking Club in Iceland. Their recreations of real Viking's battles have become the main act of the Festival, having children and adults both thrilled at the same by their use of bows, arrows, and axes and a performance that will scare even the bravest. Once you have been to Iceland you will never feel the same, but once you have been in Hafnarfjordur you will change forever. A part of you will be surrounded by magic, and you will feel the mysterious folk all around your soul. It is said that once you travel you will never be completely at home again, that part of your heart always will be elsewhere.

So be prepared to leave part of your heart The town by itself has magic, but the second in this little town, on the island born of weekend of June gives Hafnarfjörður a totally history and tales. different aura by holding the celebration of the festival mentioned before. The streets become a stage and the city gets itself transferred in time, by receiving more than 250 Viking's By: Karina Galkevich and Gabriela De La O from all around the world (mostly from Germany, England, and Scandinavia).



When the first persons arrived in Iceland the most important part was finding a medium to survive. Hundreds of years ago, the Scandinavians weren't worried about the tasty, just try to use the ingredients that they had. They try to exploit their wooded is-land that seemed ripe for the cultivation. Over the years Icelanders maintained a simple diet because of the harsh natural circumstances that characterised this island. Icelandic culture and society evolved in a state of near constant hunger, always on the verge of famine, having to make do with whatever they were able to scrounge and forage. Iceland is surrounded by North Atlantic Ocean, and the country is blessed with fresh water and clean nature. It is a real ecosystem and it involves a large quantity of fishes. As an island nation, nothing has been more vital to this people's survival than fishing and without the bounties of the ocean, it would be unlikely that the land would ever have been properly inhabited. Because fish was so 20

vital to the survival of the early settlers, and because of the barren, unforgiving interior of the country, the vast majori-ty of villages and towns formed in Iceland were - and still are - coastal. One of the most important town, and the third in terms of dimensions is “Hafnarfjörður”. Haf-narfjörður is one of the oldest communities in Iceland. Merchants have been peddling their wares and fishermen landing their catches here continuously since the 14th century. Sea provides with its commercial and cultural lifeline. Fishing is one of the prominent business sectors in this city. Nowadays the fish is the protagonist of the cuisine. In the town we can find a large number of restau-rants that offers different tipe of fresh fishes. The quality of the ingredients touches incredible levels. The fish is not the only ingredients that characterised the cuisine of this town. Obviously, the lamb, like in the other towns of Iceland take an important part.

Ingredients The key elements of Icelandic food haven’t changed so much, however the cousine has been influenced by international taste. The most popular ingredients are fish, lamb and the Icelandic skyr; Modern chefs tries to be more imaginative in order to create new dishes mixed with secret ancient recipe.



The necessary condition to survive is fishing so it became a complex part of Icelandic culture and heritage. The protagonists of this island are Monkfish, Dried Fish, Haddock, Cod, Salmon, Artic Chaar, Langoustine and the Shark. These ingredients are used to make different their traditional dishes.

The potato in Iceland is considered a gift from the gods because before the use of Pota-toes Icelanders had a very difficult life. People in Iceland eat them in every ways pos-sible. The most popular way to eat them is boiled. Potatoes can be served as a principal dish or often as a side dish with fish or meat.

Yogurt – Skyr SKYR YOGURT It is a thick and creamy spoonable product which is describe like the marriage between yogurt and soft cheese. When Vikings settled in Iceland they brought with them their culinary traditions and so Skyr Yogurt have flourished. Icelanders eat it any time of the day and have done so for years and it can be served with cream and tart berry jam. Now you can find it also on the shelves of foreign grocery shops.

CURIOSITY: a particular and traditional Icelandic dish is certainty caramelised pota-toes which is considered a particular delightful addition to lamb and purple cabbage.

Sheep and Lamb

Beyond the fish, the sheep have been the lifeblood of this nation. The Lamb is also one of the favorite dishes, in fact people prefer it because it is soft. Sheep is usually served in different ways but one of the most popular Icelandic specialty is the head of this animal. CURIOSITY: Skyr yogurt is used for break- Lamb is served a variety of ways all around fast, as a snack but also in drink form Iceland, sometimes stewed with root called “drykkur”, or as a dipping sauce, the vegetables or roasted with a spiced gravy, “skyr-nnaise”, used with hotdogs, or also alongside blueberry polenta, pistachio with sweet toppings for dessert. crumble, and aged Tindur cheese. 21


Where to eat in Hafnarfjordur?





UNA - the official magazine of Worldwide Friends Iceland - September 2018  
UNA - the official magazine of Worldwide Friends Iceland - September 2018