WOW magazine issue three 2018

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e azin mag ISSUE THREE 2018

The WOW citybike guide to Reykjavík

Plus: Spice up your life WOW air now offers flights to New Delhi, India! Y O U R F R E E C O P Y -TA K E M E W I T H Y O U



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Directly opposite of the geothermal area of the great Geysir & Strokkur

litli Geysir hotel Experience a wonderful stay with a front row seat to the unique Geysir area.

Geysir Glima restaurant – Coffee house with freshly ground coffee – Sweet ice creams & cakes – Traditional Icelandic meat soup – Fish soup & vegetarian soup – Local food WWW.GEYSIRGLIMA.IS


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Beautiful Nature & Fun activities

Elegant Restaurants • Design Shop • Hotel • Souvenir Shop • Soup Vegan Restaurant • Snack Shop • Camping Area



THE GEYSIR CENTER Directly opposite of the geothermal area of the great Geysir & Strokkur


Descend 120 meters into a volcano that erupted 4.000 years ago

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No words can properly describe the awe in this experience! - Trip advisor review One of twenty places in the world you must see before you die. - CNN The world feels a little more remarkable having seen the inside of its machinery. - Financial Times -

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Pre-booking is required. Book online at

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BRYNJA Icelandic Wool Sweater

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A letter from the editor

In this issue

Power to the people – three 2018

14 A letter from the CEO 16 Ready to take on the WOW world This summer two lucky WOW travel guides will move to Iceland for three months and then travel to several WOW destinations. 18 Dip into Iceland The idea of taking a bath in a warm pool out in nature, by a creek, embraced by mountains, is a bit surreal for most people. 22 Luring a whale up a waterfall At 198 meters, Glymur is the second tallest waterfall in Iceland, and by all accounts, a beautiful hike. 26 The great game of disc golf While disc golf is a professional competitive sport, its laid-back roots have led to a very friendly and inclusive culture. 30 How your small change could make a big change Phenomenal nature is the top reason for visiting Iceland, but Icelandic nature is fragile and needs a little help. 34 Reykjavik Fringe Reykjavík is a city full of festivals, and the newest one is the Reykjavík Fringe Festival or Rvk Fringe for short, taking place from July 4-8.

36 WOW citybike This summer WOW air will continue its socially responsible side venture in Reykjavik with the WOW citybike bike sharing system, ­giving citizens and guests of Reykja­vík a chance to better explore Iceland‘s capital on their own. Check out our WOW citybike guide to Reykjavik and start riding.



’m off on true Icelandic vacation! Please try again later or catch me at the following places or events: Secret Solstice Music Festival, WOW Cyclothon race around Iceland, the town of Akureyri in North Iceland, Reykjavik Fringe Festival, a public screening of Iceland vs. anyone at the World Cup in ­Russia, or my backyard trying to kill weeds while also getting a tan.




Happy travels, Guðrún Vaka Helgadóttir WOW magazine editor-in-chief


The WOW citybike guide to Reykjavík

On the cover POWER TO THE PEOPLE – Issue three 2018

Plus: Spice up your life WOW air now offers flights to New Delhi, India! Y O U R F R E E C O P Y -TA K E M E W I T H Y O U

The WOW citybikes are out and about in Reykjavik again and ready to help travelers and locals get around the city in a fun, healthy and environ­mentally friendly way. To make this even more fun we’ve comprised a WOW citybike guide to Reykjavik in this very issue. Enjoy!

WOW magazine staff Editor in chief: Guðrún Vaka Helgadóttir Design and layout: Ivan Burkni - Proofreading: Paul Michael Herman Contributing writers: Einar Páll Svavarsson, James Taylor, Bogi Bjarnason, Nanna Gunnars, KT Browne, Shaun Busuttil, Eygló Árnadóttir, Gerður Harðardóttir, Donna Tsaneva, Cindy-Lou Dale, Eva Leonard, Kelly Sargent, Caron R. Luteran, Oli Lynch, Svava Jónsdóttir, Kristofer Seppälä and James Taylor

Attention advertisers! Will your company be in our next issue? Contact our advertising representative and he’ll make it happen. He’s just that good!


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42 WOW Designs For one week in the middle of March, Icelandic creativity is celebrated during DesignMarch, a true harvest festival for architects and designers in Iceland. 46 Road tripping around the Snæfellnes Peninsula in winter Just like a fine wine, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula has matured into an absolute stunner. 68 The queens hit the road Miss Mokki and Gógó Starr are two of the biggest names in the Icelandic variety scene and this summer they will be taking over Europe. 72 Snowmobiling on Vatnajökull Glacier Nothing quite compares to the speed felt when hurtling across Vatnajökull on a snowmobile with just the glacial horizon before you. 76 The wild, wild north The vast wildlife of North Iceland is a great reason to venture beyond the Golden Circle— see whales, seals, birds and a totally different side of the country. 78 Iceland’s eco fashion Over the years, numerous different sustainable fashion outlets have slowly made their way into the Icelandic fashion world, and well, judging by their popularity, they’re here to stay! 82 Up all night Wondering what to do in the midnight sunlight? This short compilation will get you going in no time. 84 Secret Solstice Welcome to the music festival where the sun never sets. Secret Solstice is a unique music festival experience that takes place in Laugardalur Valley, in Reykjavík’s biggest public park. 86 The U.S. Customs Declaration Form What is this? Why do I need to fill it out?

WOW DESTINATIONS 90 Sightseeing in deepest Devon Devon is prime rural England with rolling hills, golden sandy beaches and picture postcard villages. 92 Manhattan burger bliss New York City is arguably the best place in the world to indulge in the ever-popular hamburger. 96 The top five of Copenhagen Should you find yourself in Copenhagen, check out these five places to get the best of the City of Spires. 98 A Dead Sea spa date It’s possible to have high times in low places and that’s especially true at the Dead Sea, a landlocked lake in, literally, the lowest place on the planet—431 m below sea level. 100 The spirit of Frankfurt When in Frankfurt, few travelers look beyond the international airport and the glitzy trade shows. This one’s for you. 102 Eat Cleveland Be it fine dining, a hole-in-the-wall or a trendy club, you’ll find it in Cleveland—at times infused with a touch of elegance and always with a huge culinary twist. 104 Spice up your life in New Delhi With its ancient culture, incredible architecture, countless religions, glorious food and abundance of rich historical traditions, India is truly in a league of its own. Soon you can fly there with WOW air! 108 Hot cool Chicago jazz To really jazz things up you need to go to Chicago and boogie-woogie to the four-beat rhythm. If you can hold a note, pack it and bring it with you. 110 Cool things to do in LA No matter where you go, a few things are certain in La La Land: sunshine, cool places, and traffic. 112 You want more? Where do you want to go? Check out our other WOW destinations. 116 This and that …mainly this. 120 What’s going on? …quite a lot, actually. 126 WOW horoscope What’s in your future? WOW air’s famed astro­logist has the answer. 128 Bored on board? Solve these Sudokus. 130 The Traveling Inquisition We apprehended one of Iceland’s most beloved actresses, Edda Björgvinsdóttir, and found out about her favorite places at home and abroad.

P.S. Would you like your very own copy of WOW magazine? Take this one with you or contact us through and we’ll send you a printed copy. You can also check out WOW magazine online at

WOWAIR.COM © WOW air - Katrínartún 12 - 105 Reykjavík - Iceland Tel: 00 354 590 3020 - E-mail: Oddi environmentally certified printing company All rights reserved. Reprinting, direct quoting or recapitulation prohibited except with a written permit from publisher.

Welcome to Skรกlavatn domestic airport.

Keeping Iceland warm since 1926

Keeping Iceland warm since 1926 Shop at

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A letter from the CEO Dear friends, We just celebrated our 6th anniversary by adding 7 new destinations in NA and Europe, and announcing our first flight to Delhi, India starting in December this year. Who would have thought that in only 6 years WOW air would have 20 aircraft flying to 37 destinations across three continents? It has been and continues to be, an amazing journey that I am honored to be part of. It would not have been possible if not for the dedication of the entire WOW team that is working hard every day and night to ensure your safe and happy travel. From day one, we’ve emphasized the fact that it doesn’t cost anything to smile and tried our best to bring back some of the early spirit and excitement of air travel as we continue to work towards our mission of enabling everybody to fly. Most importantly, we are grateful for the fantastic feedback we’ve received from you, our beloved guests, over the years. You have continued to push us to new heights and to bring new and exciting destinations around the globe. We obviously could not do what we are doing without you. Summer cycling With summer, another WOW moment comes alive every year, namely the WOW cyclothon—probably the only thing in Iceland that has actually grown faster than WOW air. I am extremely proud to be the co-founder of WOW cyclothon with my good friend Magnús Ragnarsson and am thrilled at how quickly it has become one of Iceland’s largest cycling event with over 1000 cyclists making an epic journey 1332 km around the island in a team relay. It’s a great team effort with comradeship and competition that is still doable for pretty much everyone. I am especially proud of the fact that we have raised close to 1 million USD over the years towards some great causes such as the Save the Children Iceland, the University Hospital of Iceland, Hjólakraftur, and last year the Icelandic Search and Rescue Teams (ICE-SAR). If you are lucky enough to be stopping by Reykjavik this summer, I highly recommend jumping on one of our WOW citybikes for a spin around the city. For longer trips, rent a racer or a mountain bike and ride some of our many amazing trails all over the country. It’s a fantastic way to get off the beaten track and experience Iceland at its best in the midnight sun. Sincerely, Skúli Mogensen Founder and CEO of WOW air


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Experience the amazing LangjĂśkull glacier from the inside A rare, once in a lifetime opportunity

k Ă­ v a j k y e R d n a r e t n e c l l e f a s Ăş H m o r f s Daily departure

Find us:

#intotheglacier Issue three 15

travel guide

Ready to take on the WOW world This summer two WOW travel guides will move to Iceland and then travel to several WOW destinations. By creating awesome videos, photos and articles, they hope to enlighten, entertain and inspire others to travel. Their videos, articles and photos will be shared through WOW air’s social media all summer.


arly this spring WOW air advertised the position of the WOW travel guide, a three month paid summer job where applicants would get to travel the world with their best friend. To apply, the hopeful travel guides needed to create and upload a short video travel guide from their hometown. Needless to say, this was a dream job for many and over 13,000 applications were received and reviewed. Most were pretty decent, some were cringe worthy and others were way out there, such as traveling dogs, traveling cats and a travel guide video from Antarctica. THE FINAL PICK Eventually, two friends, Rob and Brad, were chosen after sending in their budget-friendly and fast-paced video from New York. “We watched thousands of videos and it was hard to choose just one but Brad and Rob just really nailed it. They didn’t go the traditional way and that’s one of the things we really liked about them. They were resourceful, funny and they kept our attention for the full two minutes. After watching thousands of videos we always came back to them,” says Birna Erlingsdottir, project manager at WOW air. So let’s meet Rob and Brad. Who are they and what do they plan to do to WOW our audience this summer? “Brad is a comedian with a very fancy degree in Engineering—Is your pop still upset about that Brad? I meant to ask—and Rob is a filmmaker slash travel writer slash professional eater of food who likes to write in the third person. We have worked together for a long time on comedy and filmmaking,” Rob wrote to us, “and since we travel so much, it was a natural fit to combine the two.”

Eventually, two friends, Rob and Brad, were chosen after sending in their budget-friendly and fast-paced video from New York.

adhering to WOW air’s branding and current messaging. “Then we got bored with that idea so we decided to take the camera out and go nuts around the city. We knew that WOW air was budget-minded, so we targeted anything we thought was cool that didn’t cost an arm and a leg, while still offering some lesser known tips (like you can sleep in a real NYC taxi for 39 bucks). It took us two solid days of filming, and a few days to edit it all together.” How do you plan to keep the WOW audience captive this summer? “Mostly by channeling Ingrid Bergman or perhaps the early work of Michael Haneke; excruciatingly long shots of darkness, minimal dialogue, and a vague sense of story we think is what travelers really want to see. Nothing says “Paris” like 4 minutes of blackness and the remote sound of a cat in heat. Truly, we hope that the WOW audience is us, and we’re going to explore each destination as if they came along on the trip, doing the things that we would want to do if no one was watching. So expect more of the unexpected finds, local spots and new attractions, and less of the common tourist sites that anyone with the internet is familiar with. Also, Brad is really interested in finding out what foreign dumpsters taste like. Should be exciting." LET’S GET THIS SHOW IN THE AIR The traveling duo is excited to take on the world this summer but reluctant to mention any specific destination they’re looking forward to visiting. (Except for Pittsburg; they say they really love bridges.) “We just want to take a moment to seriously thank WOW air and all the other fantastic people that entered along with us, because it’s been unbelievably inspiring to see so many people come together for the common love of travel, something for which we are truly indebted. We really do appreciate the opportunity, and can’t wait to share the WOW world with everyone out there. I don’t think we’ve even fully accepted mentally that this is really happening. It’s a dream come true.” Stay tuned on WOW air’s social media this summer to catch Rob and Brad’s travel guides and insights. And if you see them in Reykjavik, don’t forget to say hi!

Why do you think WOW air picked you? “Honestly, it was the first question we asked WOW air because there were so many incredible entries, we couldn’t understand how they could ever boil it down to just one film. We hope they picked us because they honestly saw how much we love to travel. Both of us live and breathe travel and we tried to make that excitement and passion come across in what we do. That and the fact that Rob has some decent filmmaking chops and Brad isn’t afraid to look like an idiot, diving into dumpsters and such.” ROB AND BRAD GO NUTS The duo brainstormed a lot and say that at first they approached it like a commercial pitch—targeting what would be the most effective way to telescope their message to their main demographic while


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Watch as Brad and Rob take over some of WOW air's destinations this summer.


of things to Do in húsavík 2017




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The perfect combination. A whale watching excursion with a stop by the peaceful Puffin Island.

Get close to the whales on board a traditional Icelandic sailboat and learn the old ways of sailing.



call +354 464 7272 or book your adventure at Issue three 17

Dip into Iceland


The idea of taking a bath in a warm pool out in nature, by a creek, embraced by mountains, is a bit surreal for most people. by Einar Pรกll Svavarsson


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Strútslaug geothermal pool by Syðri Fjallabak Highland road.

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Dip into Iceland

The geothermal pool at Hveravellir.

For hikers, the prospect of dipping into a warm pool in the middle of nowhere, after a long day through difficult terrain, is exciting. And if you’re the romantic type, taking the one you love to an isolated place and dipping naked into a warm bath out in nature, sur­­ rounded by colorful mountains, is as original and exotic as it can get.

We are not talking about those innumerable roadside Jacuzzis that seem to be every­­where, originating from a hose. We are talking about the real thing— the natural geothermal pools.

notably, one of our most celebrated outlaws, Eyvindur and his wife Halla during the late 18th century. After fleeing the long arm of justice from where they lived in the Westfjords, Eyvindur and Halla spent two decades living in various places in the Highland. They stayed mostly where there were geothermal pools to keep them warm during the harsh winters and to cook their meals. Two of their most famous hangouts were Hveravellir at Kjölur and Herðubreiðalindir in the eastern part of the Highland. In that sense, the outlaw couple can be considered entrepreneurs as most Icelanders today heat up their houses with geothermal water. HOT ATTRACTIONS

Since Iceland is an island partly floating on magma, a significant portion of the ground­­ water is warm and even boiling. In many places around the country, hot water surfaces at a very comfortable temperature. Sometimes, extremely hot water blends with cold and clear spring water resulting in the ideal temperature to dip into. Overall, hundreds of such sites are in Iceland—some say as many as 700. Naturally, there are some more enticing or more conveniently located than others.

From the 18th century, there have been stories involving geothermal pools. One of the most famous ones is Landmannalaugar, where farmers in the autumn, gathering sheep in the Highland took a dip in the geothermal pool after a daylong search. It was their favorite place.

At the beginning of the 20th century when Icelanders and visitors started to travel to the Highland for recreational activities— hiking and driving through the difficult terrain—geothermal pools became a big attraction. At that time, Landmannalaugar became the most popular. Hveravellir, on the Highland road Kjölur also became popular as it is also surrounded by the beautiful display of boiling hot springs. In time, more geothermal pools were discovered in the Highland. Most of them were highly attractive as the size was perfect and temperature exactly right; for instance, pools like Laugafell and Strútur. In some places, the warm water blended into a small creek, falling from a small cliff forming a natural shower like at Laugavellir. Many of these places have understandably become popular among tourists as well as local people and should probably be on your list when visiting Iceland. The Highland is a vast area in the middle of Iceland and mostly above 600 meters in altitude. It is a place booming with natur­al vibrant colors during summer and a place immersed in snow in winter.

NOT ALWAYS EASY TO VISIT The fact is that the most delightful natural geothermal pools are in the Highland. We are not talking about those innumerable road­­ side Jacuzzis that seem to be every­­where, originating from a hose. We are talking about the real thing—the natural geothermal pools. The Highland is a vast area in the middle of Iceland and mostly above 600 meters in altitude. It is a place booming with natur­ al vibrant colors during summer and a place immersed in snow in winter. Most of the geothermal pools in the highland are formed more or less naturally and are usually surrounded by hot springs, sulfur landscapes, and rhyolite mountains. Dipping into such a natural phenomenon on a calm, clear day is an experience that cannot be matched. And because some of the pools can be a bit difficult to reach they are usually not so crowded.


OUTLAW HANGOUT Although Icelanders did not take advantage of hot pools throughout the centuries, some of those pools are part of our history. One of the best known is Snorralaug in Reykholt, owned in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, a writer and a chieftain who be­­ came one of the most prominent figures in Icelandic history. Apparently, Snorri understood the con­­­ veni­­­ence of dipping into warm water for relaxation, probably after writing a page or two in some of his masterpieces. Presently the pool is only for display by the church in Reykholt. Some of the other geothermal pools that are mentioned in our history are not connected to such illustrious figures but to the less fortunate ones—our outlaws,


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Winter at Landmannalaugar.

A natural geothermal shower is a part of the experience at Laugavellir.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Einar Páll Svavarsson is a political scientist turned photographer and writer with a passion for traveling in Iceland, and decades of experience. Einar is the owner and creator of one of the largest information website about Iceland— Hit Iceland. For more see


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Issue three 21

Take a hike

LURING A WHALE UP A WATERFALL Whiskers twitching, a field mouse sits down in the middle of the path, staring right back at me and nibbling away at something clutched in his forepaws, confidently daring me to continue. by James Taylor


urprised and impressed at its boldness, I throw some small bits of apple towards the side of the path out of respect. It scampers after them and proceeds to feast among the grass, not bothered as I continue through the beautiful field of purple lupine that decorates the beginnings of the canyon. HVALFJÖRÐUR The colorful lupine offsets the overcast skies that hang over Hvalfjörður Fjord, just north of Reykjavik. Turning down route 47 instead of taking the tunnel under the fjord brings you to an almost forgotten road, rewarding those


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willing to make the journey with the sight of one of Iceland’s lesser-known waterfalls, Glymur. I’ve reached the bottom of the fjord and am gazing ahead at a large canyon stretching away inland, the falls hiding at the very end of the twisting mess of rock and moss. At 198 meters, it’s the second tallest waterfall in the country, and by all accounts, a beautiful hike. But my journey here is far from being about either of those factors; I’m here to delve into the rich world of Icelandic folklore. In English, Hvalfjörður translates to Whale Fjord, which originates from an old, Icelandic folktale that tells of an evil, violent whale called Rauðhöfði (Red Head) who sunk 19 ships and


drowned many sailors in the fjord. Looking back out at the sultry ocean surrounded by impressively high hills of greens, greys and blacks, as so often happens in Iceland it feels like I’ve been dropped into a fantasy world, one where such a beast may very well exist. I breathe in the crisp air and begin my hike. A TALL TALE Rauðhöfði was originally an ordinary Icelandic man, who unfortunately was lost at sea one day; he fell overboard while he and some companions were out on a ship. The other fishermen conducted an extensive search for him, but after finding no trace, they presumed him

dead and returned home. But dead he was not, thanks to a group of elves who had rescued Rauðhöfði from the ocean and taken him to a nearby island where he could recover. A year later, the same men from the ship sailed by the island and found him alive and well, and with much rejoicing they sailed to his rescue. However, there was a lady elf whom Rauðhöfði had made pregnant, and before he got on the boat to go home she made him promise that he would have their future son baptized at a church. The man agreed and boarded the boat toward home. After arriving, the man promptly fell back into his old life and forgot about Issue three 23

Taking a hike his promise. But, it was not going to be ignored so easily. While attending church, his newborn son appeared out of nowhere inside the church. Confused, the priest asked whose it was—but nobody spoke up. Deep down the man knew it was his son, but chose to say nothing. Enraged at this, the mother elf materialized and cursed the man, sending him into a spiraling madness which caused him to burst through the doors of the church and leap off the cliff into the raging sea below, turning into the evil whale Rauðhöfði as he fell. He was wearing a red cap at the time, which is where the name originated from, and from that moment Rauðhöfði started to terrorize sailors in the fjord, sinking ships and killing the men onboard.

waterfall, and there are a few spots where the path branches off to the edge for a viewing opportunity. After over an hour’s hiking, I finally reach the top of the trail directly adjacent the falls. Water ripples down the rock face to the left, before splitting up into two different streams that dive down to the bottom of the valley. To the right is a bigger stream of water, plummeting down and contrasting beautifully with the bright green moss and dark wet rock behind it. Birds wheel around in the floating mist, brave souls nesting in the spray. Facing back the way I just came affords me with an astounding view back over Hvalfjörður, and I’m able to trace the journey of the old priest and the whale from the fjord all the way up to where I’m standing.



For a long time, the whale killed sailors in the fjord. One day, two sons of a blind priest who lived on the fjord lost their lives to the terror inflicted by Rauðhöfði. Furious in his sorrow, he had his only daughter lead him down to the water’s edge where he put his cane in the shallows of the water.

From here, the priest’s journey wasn’t over. He lured Rauðhöfði further up the river to a lake called Hvalvatn (Whale Lake), where the whale died due to exhaustion. It is said that there are whale bones up there somewhere, but it’s an adventure for another day. However, my hike wasn’t completely over just yet either; rumor has it that on a good day, you can cross the river above the falls and hike back down the other side of the canyon.

“What does the water look like?” he asked his daughter. She studied the water and said that it was very still and beautiful. They fell into silence and waited. After some time, he asked her again. “What does the water look like?” But this time she saw a black shadow in the water streaking towards them and told her father. Satisfied, he asked his daughter to lead him further into the fjord along the coast, and as they walked by the water the black streak followed them, revealing itself to be the evil whale Rauðhöfði. At the bottom of the fjord is where the river Botnsá spills into the ocean, and they slowly started to draw Rauðhöfði upstream. ON THE EDGE That same river runs in front of me now, babbling away noisily and blending harmoniously with the birdcalls coming from the small, spindly trees crowding the banks on both sides. My gaze shifts up to the steep hills on the opposite bank, which I would soon be climbing over to continue the hike up the canyon— they look intimidating, to say the least. But first I must cross the river via a log thrown across it. Steadying myself with a rope nailed into trees on either side of the river and running at hand height; I step out onto the rocks struggling to stay above the water, and then onto the log to cross. The far bank is muddy, full of boot prints from hikers gone before me.


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The path starts a fierce descent upwards, but luckily there’s a rope strung up along metal rods that run parallel to the path providing a steadying hand. After a 5-minute climb I’m at the top, but immediately I must make my way back down the other side to continue up the canyon. More mud, rocks, and what could hardly be called a path leads me down to the bottom, crisscrossing over small streams of water flowing down to re-join the river. After this, the hike becomes much simpler; straight up the side of the canyon. The path sometimes precariously hugs the edge of the precipice with nothing but empty space to catch you should you fall, and at other times it extends more deeply inland, threading through

green vegetation, more mud and rocks. As I steadily gain altitude, I’m able to look down on the birds wheeling around the gorge, soaring on the strong gusts of wind bouncing up the canyon before perfectly landing back to their nests, situated up the sides of the sheer and jagged rock walls. Green moss contrasts with the dark cobalt rocks, and far below, the river. It was here where Rauðhöfði struggled to follow the priest as he traveled where I now did. THE LOUD RUMBLE This is where the story gets intriguing. As the whale reached the bottom of the falls, he had no choice but to climb up it after the priest. There are no details about why he needed to follow. Had the priest cast a spell on him? Was he just trying to kill the old man? All that is known is that as he climbed the falls, he caused the whole earth to tremble, and a loud rumble echoed through the canyon, the walls amplifying the noise until it reverberated throughout Iceland. Glymur roughly translates to “loud rumble.” The roar of Glymur has accompanied me for a lot of the hike up the canyon. I start to catch glimpses of the

I scramble over the dark shale, coming upon the river winding its way into the unknown. I take off my boots and tie them to my backpack before searching for a good spot to cross. Gasping as I plunge my foot into the icy water, I slowly make my way across the river that had been the whale’s pathway. At its deepest point it reaches halfway up my calf, and in only a couple of minutes, I’m resting on the other bank, massaging some warmth back into my feet before starting the long hike back down. Fairly soon after setting off, I lose the path and begin to travel much as the priest would have done; with nothing to guide me but the river charging back down to Hvalfjörður. HIKING TO GLYMUR The trail to Glymur Waterfall is very popular and only one hour’s drive away from Reykjavík. The trail is not suitable for young children and it’s closed during the winter. In total the hike takes from 3-3.5 hours. Bring your: •

Hiking boots

Weather-appropriate layers of clothing

Water bottle

Hiking poles


Energizing snacks

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

THE DUTY FREE ALLOWANCE IS 6 UNITS OF ALCOHOL, ANY WAY YOU LIKE IT Use the duty free allowance calculator on our website,, to determine how to make the best use of your allowance.

Issue three 25

The great game of disc golf

A quick break from your busy lifestyle The game of disc golf was born out of the hippie culture in Southern California and emerged in its contemporary form when fully basketed permanent courses went in the Southern California ground in the late 70’s, in places such as La Mirada, Pasadena and Huntington Beach. by Bogi Bjarnason


hile the first and oldest course in the world still operates admirably in the shade of Oak Grove, Pasadena, its closest sibling in La Mirada Regional Park has attained legendary status and remains a bucket list destination for disc golfers the world over. Further south, in Huntington Beach, the course that was erected there in 1977 went on to produce a four-time PDGA World Champion in Paul McBeth. Some 40 odd years later this sport has started to gain some serious momentum across much of the globe due to its easy accessibility, rapid learning curve and its incredibly low cost. WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? The game shares many of the rules of traditional ball golf and has a very similar objective. But while ball golfers spend upwards of four hours (and the GDP of a small, developing country) trying to get a tiny white ball into a hole in the ground, disc golfers forego the green fees and the wait for a tee time and instead smash their Frisbees into the chains of their purpose-made baskets faster than it takes to fill in a golf club membership form.


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Most disc golf courses are free to play and open to all and sundry. A novice player can get quite far into the game with only a starter set of a putter, midrange and fairway driver, and so it is quite common that new players get hooked for life, developing dozens of new friendships on an initial investment of $20. While disc golf is a professional competitive sport, its laid-back roots have led to a very friendly and inclusive culture. Real rivalries are few and far between and instead, friendships abound across all kinds of borders, as the average player often takes group trips abroad to play international tournaments for the sole purpose of having fun with friends from across the globe. DISCING IN ICELAND Disc golf was first introduced to Iceland over a decade ago and survived on the outer edges of popular awareness until finally exploding in popularity some 3-4 years ago. Today you can venture far and wide along the country’s coast without ever being more than a disc’s throw from the nearest basket. While the capital area sports

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The great game of disc golf

a whopping 11 courses of various sizes and levels of difficulty, the northern township of Akureyri is also on the rise disc-wise and offers the forested fairways of Hamrar as its crown jewel. For the more adventurous soul, the culmination of the Icelandic disc golf experience lays nestled in the mountainsides of Neskaupstaður, where avalanche barriers and the breathtaking vistas of the Norðfjörður Fjord provide a Frisbeeing experience unmatched anywhere in the wide world. SOUNDS COOL. WHERE CAN I TRY IT? While staying in Iceland, your best bet is smack-down in the center of Reykjavík at the beginner friendly course at Klambratún. There you can rent discs or purchase a starter pack from Reykjavík Disc Golf, that also provides lessons for novice and intermediate players.

Disc golf is a sport where the objective is to throw a Frisbee-like disc from a designated tee-box into a purpose-made metal basket in as few tries as possible. Hence, the main objective of disc golf is to play as little disc golf as possible. It follows many of the same rules as traditional ball golf, but the courses are generally much shorter and may include features such as heavy woods, significant elevation changes, mandatory routes and man-made island greens. Where ball golf employs an array of different clubs for different shots, disc golf relies on a multitude of different discs that vary in aspects such as weight, type of plastic, rim-width and flight patterns. The four main types of discs are putters, mid-ranges, fairway drivers and distance drivers and the aerodynamic tendencies of each type of disc are charted in so-called “flight numbers” that document their speed and ability to glide, turn and fade.

E A R LY B I R D C AT C H E S After their time in Iceland, Dan and Sarah arrive early to the airport so they can enjoy the last hours there before continuing their journey.


W W W. K E FA I R P O R T. I S

Arrive early at Keflavík Airport and we will greet you with open arms. Check in up to 2 ½ hours before your flight so you can enjoy your last moments in Iceland. We offer unlimited free Wi-Fi, many charging stations and a range of shops and restaurants, so you can embrace the last drops of Icelandic taste and feel — and of course Tax and Duty Free.

East Fjord up and comer ร sak Tandri launching out of a beautiful rough in the mountains of Neskaupstaรฐur.

MORE TIME FOR SHOPPING They use their time for tax free shopping at the airport before catching their flight back home.

Leave something for the Icelandic nature

HOW YOUR CHANGE COULD MAKE A BIG CHANGE Phenomenal nature is the top reason for visiting Iceland but Icelandic nature is fragile and could use a little help. For this reason, WOW air wants to offer you the chance to give back to nature by donating directly to Landvernd, Iceland´s largest environmental NGO, which will put your coins to good use. Photos: Courtesy of Kristján Ingi Einarsson –


WOW Power to the people

Discount for your journey The Arion Currency Card is a better way to pay in Iceland, providing you with a wide range of discounts all around the country as well as a SIM card and Icelandic mobile number for your phone. · Great discounts on popular excursions, in gift shops and at selected restaurants, fashion shops, hotels etc. · Save money – You don‘t have to pay international card transaction fees · No need to worry about the currency rate · No need to carry Icelandic krónur in your wallet · Use it everywhere – The Currency Card is accepted in Iceland and internationally Get your Currency Card at Arion Bank in Keflavík Airport, or the next Arion Bank branch.

Get your Currency Card at the next Arion Bank branch.

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Leave something for the Icelandic nature

HOW CAN I HELP? In the seat pocket in front of you, you’ll find an envelope where you can leave any foreign change or leftover currency that you would like to contribute. Your donations will be sent directly to Landvernd, the Icelandic Environment Association, that will use the funds to support its efforts to protect Icelandic nature. WOW air is simply the means of tran­­ sport­­ation. The donations come from you, our guest, and go straight to Landvernd. Let’s all help Landvernd make sure that Icelandic nature will still be as incredible when our grandkids come to visit. WHAT IS LANDVERND? Landvernd is a non-profit environmental and nature conservation organization, established in 1969. The main goals of Landvernd are to protect Iceland’s nature and environment, restore degraded environments and promote sustainability in Iceland among residents and visitors alike. This is done through education, by influencing lawmaking and decision making, and by taking action. PROTECTING THE LARGEST UNTAMED WILDERNESS IN EUROPE Landvernd’s biggest conservation goal at the moment is the establishment of a national park in Iceland‘s Central Highland. The Central Highland is one of the country‘s greatest treasures, containing many active volcanoes, glaciers, voluminous rivers and waterfalls, colorful hot springs and mud pools, vast lava fields and broad expanses of black sand,


WOW Power to the people

WOW air is simply the means of tran­­sportation. The donations come from you, our guests, and go straight to Landvernd where they will be put to good use.

Landvernd’s biggest con­­serva­ tion goal at the moment is the establishment of a national park in Iceland‘s Central Highland.

all contrasted with oases of vibrant but vulnerable vegetation. Such an amazing collection of natural jewels is rare in the world, mainly because such vast, unpopulated areas where nature alone rules are disappearing. You can see short videos of the stunning Highland and sign their petition online to urge lawmakers in Iceland to designate the amazing, untamed Highland as a national park at

fly the Blue Flag in Reykjavík, Akureyri and Húsavík. These operators minimize their impact on the environment, educate their guests about environmental matters and treat the whales with respect. Be sure to choose the environmentally friendly option when planning your whale watching adventure. Be a responsible guest in Iceland, be safe in our raw environment and treat nature with respect. Thank you for your contribution toward protecting Icelandic nature. Now get out there and enjoy it!

THE BLUE FLAG Have you ever been to a beach or a marina and seen a Blue Flag flying and wondered what it meant? The Blue Flag is an international eco-label awarded to beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators for outstanding performance in safety and environmental matters. It is one of the many environmental education programs that Landvernd runs in their effort to educate communities, tourists and the general public, about environmental matters and what they can do to help. Six marinas and three beaches fly the Blue Flag so keep your eye out for them on your travels around the island. Additionally, there are five whale watching operators that proudly

Photographer Kristján Ingi Einarsson was so inspired by this project he decided to let us use his gorgeous photographs for this article in addition to personally donating 5% of the sales from his latest photography book Unique Island to Landvernd. Now available at most bookstores in Iceland. Big thanks from all of us to Kristján Ingi!

Read more about Landvernd and its efforts to protect Icelandic nature by visiting their website,


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Festival fun

Besides pure poetry, Poetry Brothel Reykjavik brings in all kinds of variety acts.

Frank Wurzinger, The Confetti Maker will make an appearance.

Reykjavík Fringe Festival starts with a bang! Reykjavík is a city full of festivals, and the newest one is the Reykjavík Fringe Festival or Rvk Fringe for short, taking place from July 4-8. Like other fringe festivals the world over, Rvk Fringe supports independent artists. This may include up-and-coming theater makers, comedians, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, poets, clowns, burlesque performers, drag kings and queens, mime artists and acrobats—as well as artists that may already have made a name for themselves. So no matter what you’re looking for—a laugh, experimental theater or something family-friendly, you’ll be sure to find something to suit your taste.

FINDING THE FRINGE The festival takes place in various venues across the city, both traditional ones and others less so. The hub of the festival is Tjarnarbíó Theater, the city’s center for independent work. Most of the venues are located downtown, so it’s easy to get from one location to the next. Reykjavík is fortunately very walkable, so what better way to enjoy Iceland’s bright summer nights than to go from one performance to the next with a cool drink in hand, or perhaps join a Cat Walk?

Or perhaps you’re looking for something edgier? If you’d like to push the bound­aries of your comfort zone, why not take part in a burlesque workshop?

BANG! Rvk Fringe kicks off with an opening party at Hlemmur Square on July 1st, there’ll be delicious drinks, tasty finger food and previews of the week’s Fringe acts on stage. The artists hail from across the world, with most performances in English. The opening show is by Improv Iceland, a local improvised comedy group, suitable for all ages. Families can also enjoy circus acts or dance their hearts out to a live jazz band at a Lindy Hop Ball. You’ll also find stand-up comedy, live music, film screenings, gallery exhibitions, poetry slam, an immersive VR theater production as well as a boozy lecture on failure (and what you can learn from it). FRINGE OF THE FRINGE Or perhaps you’re looking for something edgier? If you’d like to push the bound­ aries of your comfort zone, why not take part in a burlesque workshop? Or have­a home-cooked meal before an intimate performance of Phone Whore, an award-winning one-woman show based on her real-life experience as a phone sex worker. Other late-night picks include a cabaret performance by local cabaret group Ladies & a Gentleman, and Smut Slam presented by Cameryn Moore, where audience members take turns telling shameless real-life stories of (mis) adventure. To round off the festival you are invited to the Poetry Brothel Reykjavík, where guests can enjoy private poetry readings by a myriad of known and unknown poets, surrounded by the atmosphere of the Roaring Twenties. JOIN THE FESTIVITIES! It’s the inaugural year of the Rvk Fringe, so it will be exciting to see how this brand new festival will make its mark on the city’s already highly artistic atmosphere. Expect to be inspired! With such a varied program you’re sure to have some extraordinary experiences. For the full schedule visit

Nanna Gunnarsdóttir, festival director. Photo: Richard Pinches


WOW Power to the people

Cameryn Moore presents the Smut Slam.

Icelandic wool

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THE WOW CITYBIKE GUIDE TO REYKJAVIK This summer WOW air will continue its side venture in Reykjavik with the WOW citybike bike sharing service, giving citizens and guests of Reykjavík a chance to better explore the capital of Iceland on their own. Photos: Garðar Ólafsson and courtesy of respective venues



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WOW Power to the people

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ike sharing systems are well known all over the world from USA and Canada to the UK and China. WOW air, an airline proud of its bikefriendly culture (not to mention the WOW cyclothon), is happy to be the one to offer this user-friendly bike-sharing system to the people of Reykjavik and its visitors. Eight WOW citybike stations have now been set up in Reykjavik for the summer, providing affordable access to bikes for short distance trips, giving riders an easy and fun way to get to know Reykjavik. BUS&BIKE DAYPASS The WOW citybike stations are mainly in the center of Reykjavik but sometimes you need to get a little bit further to see more of the city. This is why we’ve teamed up with Strætó (Reykjavik’s public bus system) so you can enjoy the benefits of using both their yellow buses and the purple WOW citybikes in one very reasonably priced day pass. Download the Strætó app to your smartphone and purchase the Bus&Bike day pass. The app will give you a code to use for the WOW citybike stations, giving you four 30-minute rides for the next 24 hours. When renting a bicycle you will need to use your credit card and the code each time. A small insurance fee will be processed from your card. Input the Bus&Bike code and you are ready to roll. The insurance fee will be returned to you within 24 hours of returning the bike. When renting a bike with the Bus&Bike code please note that you cannot take a ride that’s longer than 30 minutes at a time without getting charged for an additional half hour. To fully utilize the Bus&Bike daypass, return the bike within 30 minutes and then take it out again. App Store

waterslides, numerous hot tubs, a steam bath, gym and more.

HLEMMUR MATHÖLL One of Reykjavik’s biggest bus terminals Hlemmur has now been transformed into a bustling food hall with 10 ambitious vendors providing a sample of the best food Iceland has to offer. Close to Hlemmur, more delicious restaurants, bars, and cafés have sprouted over the past few years, making this area a lively spot and a great place to hang out. Hlemmur is the best place to start if you want to amble down the Laugarvegur Shopping Street and end in the center of Reykjavik.

Laugardalslaug is situated at the edge of Laugardalur Valley, a major green area in the city and a center for sports and recreation in the capital. Here you’ll find a youth hostel, a campsite, a botanical garden, a café and the Reykjavik Family Park and Zoo which includes most Icelandic animals, both wild and domesticated. Laugardalur Valley is also the location for the Secret Solstice, Reykjavik’s largest annual music festival (see page 84-85). A little further away is the Laugardalshöll Arena and Reykjavik Art Museum’s Ásmundarsafn. Attractions: Laugardalslaug Swimming Pool Campsite and hostel Laugardalur Valley Reykjavik Family Park and Zoo Café Flora Ásmundarsafn Museum

Attractions: Hlemmur Food Hall Ban Thai Restaurant Hlemmur Square Bus terminal Tales from Iceland Museum The Icelandic Phallological Museum Start of Laugavegur ShoppingStreet Hydra Float Spa

Google Play

HILTON NORDICA INTERSECTION This WOW citybike station is designed to help guests from the numerous nearby hotels get downtown, either by direct route to Hlemmur or by the scenic route by the sea to the Arnarhóll Station, or to Laugardalslaug.

Scan one of these codes for an easier way to find the Strætó app with your phone. THE BEST LOCATIONS IN TOWN


We like to think of the WOW citybike as a delightful addition to other public transport systems in Reykjavik. To help you navigate the city, we’ve come up with the perfect WOW citybike travel guide based on our strategically placed WOW citybike locations.

Do not let the tag “public pool” fool you. Icelanders are comfort creatures so many of our public pools are more like a spa than just a simple pool. The biggest and most popular is Laugardalslaug which has intensive facilities, including a 50m outdoor pool, a children’s pool,


WOW Power to the people

Roll towards the sea, down Kringlumýrarbraut Street, to check out the ocean front view and the famous Sun Voyager sculpture by the sea before you venture past the Harpa Concert Hall and dock your bike beneath Arnarhóll Hill. Ride straight ahead to get to the Hlemmur Station and Laugavegur Shopping Street.

Go green and bike through Laugardalur Valley before docking your bike at the Laugardalslaug Swimming Pool.

found in the cute little baiting huts, as well as Bryggjan microbrewery and bistro. A street food hall, Grandi Mathöll, recently opened in a refurbished fish factory featuring 9 artisanal food stands offering Icelandic fish and meat. There are also some great attractions here such as Aurora Reykjavik, The Whales of Iceland Exhibition, the Saga Museum, Víking Maritime Museum and numerous boutique shops. Our WOW citybike station is at the entrance of Grandi Harbor by Aurora Reykjavik Northern Lights Center and we fully recommend starting or ending your trip to the area with a visit there.

Attractions: Numerous hotels and businesses in the area Laugardalur Valley Sæbraut—the Sun Voyager Hlemmur

Attractions: Aurora Reykjavik Great food, restaurants and cafés Panoramic view over Faxaflói Bay and of Mount Esja Great museums and exhibitions Local designers and small boutiques A great maritime environment where you can watch fishing boats come and go Þúfan / The Tussock


ARNARHÓLL HILL This is as downtown Reykjavik as it gets. Beneath Arnarhóll Hill, with its statue of Ingólfur Arnarson (the first permanent settler of Iceland and the one who gave Reykjavík its name), you are in the vicinity of many interesting buildings, museums, shops and restaurants. The most noticeable is, of course, the gorgeous Harpa Concert Hall with its distinctive colored glass façade. Close by is the white Government House, originally built as a prison in the 18th century. Walk up Hverfisgata or Laugarvegur to find numerous restaurants and shops, or go further into Reykjavik’s city center by taking a slow stroll into Austurstræti Street and its side streets to find “Old Reykjavik.” Attractions: Arnarhóll Hill—statue of Ingólfur Arnarsson Harpa Concert Hall The Government House Laugavegur Shopping Street Numerous restaurants, shops, galleries, bars and cafés The Icelandic Parliament House (Althingi) and Austurvöllur Square/Public Park Reykjavik City Hall and Reykjavik Pond Reykjavik Art Museum and numerous other museums The famous Reykjavik Nightlife

Hallgrímskirkja Church towers over Reykjavik and offers a great view over Reykjavik if you buy a ticket to get to the top of its 73-meter spire, but even if you don’t, just go there to enjoy this great example of expressionist architecture. The motifs come from Iceland’s nature, such as basalt formations, mountains and icecaps. In front of the church is the statue of Leif Eriksson, aka Leif the Lucky, who is believed to be the first European to set foot in America 500 years before that Columbus guy. Nearby are countless museums, designer boutiques, galleries, restaurants and bars on Skólavörðustígur and its side streets and Laugavegur Shopping Street is just around the corner. Attractions: Hallgrímskirkja Church Skólavörðurstígur Laugavegur Shopping Street Einar Jónsson Art Museum and Sculpture Garden Numerous museums and galleries Numerous bars, cafés and restaurants Hotels and guesthouses Downtown Reykjavik AURORA REYKJAVIK – GRANDI HARBOR Grandi Harbor is still a main hub of the local fishing industry but in recent years the area has been transformed in an innovative and exciting way, becoming a great food district as well as a fashionable part of town. Try out some local favorites such as the family-owned Coocoo’s Nest, Valdís ice cream and 17 Sortir cakes, all

AURORA REYKJAVIK The Aurora Reykjavik Northern Lights Center is the unique creation of four enterprising young Icelanders—all photographers and Northern Lights enthusiasts; it’s a kind of one-stop-shop for all things Northern Lights. The center serves both educational and inspirational purposes. Don’t miss its fantastic HD time-lapse film of the Aurora Borealis; projected onto a 7-meter-wide screen, you can sit back in bean bags and enjoy this 30-minute film that features dazzling displays of auroral activity captured all over Iceland. Aurora Reykjavík’s latest addition are virtual reality goggles featuring the world’s first 360° movie of auroral displays. If you can’t catch the Northern Lights naturally, this almost real experience is definitely the next best option to witness the beauty of this truly amazing phenomenon. Opening hours: Every day 9 am – 9 pm

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PERLAN – THE PEARL This famous Reykjavik landmark just became a WOW citibike hub and with good reason. In the heart of Reykjavík, Öskjuhlíð Hill rises 61 meters above sea level. On the top of the hill stands Perlan, one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. A landmark building composed of an immense glass dome that rests on six hot-water tanks. Perlan was first opened to the public in June 1991 and became the home of the biggest nature exhibition in Iceland in 2017. All around Perlan, the popular recreational area of Öskjuhlíð Hill awaits. This is the perfect station to rent a bike to go to Nauthólsvík Beach, Hallgrímskirkja Church or to downtown Reykjavik at Arnarhóll Hill. Attractions: Perlan – Wonders of Iceland exhibition 360° viewing deck Café, restaurant and souvenir shop Öskjuhlíð Hill, recreational area and hiking trails Manmade geyser close to Perlan WWII remnants Nauthólsvík Beach Reykjavik Airport

PERLAN – WONDERS OF ICELAND Perlan – Wonders of Iceland provides deep insight into Iceland’s unique nature. The latest science and the best museum artists and technologists have joined forces to create a truly amazing exhibition. Visitors will feel the power of vol­­­cano­­­es, earthquakes and geothermal energy and see a 10 m high realisti­cally rendered bird cliff, rich with bird and plant specimens.

They will experience oceanic wonders and watch as whales swim below their feet. Walk through the 100-meter-long real Ice Cave, the first of its kind in the world and learn about Icelandic glaciers, the effects of global warming and their bleak future, in an amazing interactive exhi­­ bition. Visitors can see, feel, and enjoy Iceland’s many natural wonders all in one place. On the fourth floor of Perlan, a large observation deck gives an amazing 360° view of Reykjavík and the

Within large sea walls the cold sea and hot geothermal water blend together resulting in a more favorable temperature than usually offered by the North Atlantic Ocean. Over the summer, guests can expect a water temperature of around 15°-19°. If that’s too cold for you, we recommend a dip in the hot tub by the beach. Attractions:

NAUTHÓLSVÍK BEACH A short ride downhill from Perlan, you’ll find Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach. With its golden sand and hot water, this has become a little piece of paradise and a popular spot for sea-swimming all year round, and sunbathing, weather permitting. This is also the perfect spot for sunbathing at midnight and dipping into the Atlantic Ocean without freezing your butt off.


WOW Power to the people

Nauthólsvík Beach Nauthóll Restaurant Öskjuhlíð Hill Perlan Reykjavik University Fossvogur Cemetery Beautiful walking and cycling paths by the sea THEY SEE ME ROLLIN Bicycling is an eco-friendly way to sight-see wherever you go. Cycling reduces traffic congestion, noise and air pollution.

surrounding area. Access to the observa­­­tion deck is included in the Wond­­ers of Iceland Exhibition ticket. Following the visit to Wonders of Iceland and the observation deck, guests can buy souvenirs in Ramma­­gerð­­ in, one of the oldest gift shops in Iceland located on the fourth floor. On the fifth-floor guests can enjoy the amazing cuisine and an incredible view in all direction at Út í bláinn Restau­rant and Kaffitár Café.

We wholeheartedly recommend riding around Reykjavik while taking in the sights. Renting a WOW citybike is easy. Go to any WOW citybike station and use your credit card in the kiosk to sign in and get a code. Use your code to take out a bike and ride as you please, for up to 30 minutes for only 350 ISK. Before your half hour is up, return the bike to any WOW citybike station and buy another 30-minute credit. You can do this all day long but if you decide to go for an extra-long ride on a WOW citybike, each additional half hour will cost 500 ISK. We hope to see everyone riding bikes in Reykja­­ vik this summer, using them as an environ­­­ mentally friendly mode of transporta­­­tion while sight­seeing in Iceland’s capital city.

Find your WOW citybike station and start riding. For more information go to



“Great adventure with the rib. Seeing so much beautiful animals”

“The highlight of our trip”

“Big whale speed boat - AMAZING”

LS ALS INA IGIN RIG OR TH EO THE HHHHH “Fabulous tour, operated by fantastically enthusiastic staff”

“Best whale watching experience from the Safari tour!”

“Absolutely the best Whale watching experience in Iceland”

“Fantastic experience, worth the time and money”





Tel. +354 464 1500 • • HÚSAVÍK

Issue three 41


WOW Designs


For one week in the middle of March for the last 10 years, Icelandic creativity has been celebrated during DesignMarch, a true harvest festival for architects and designers who joyfully embrace this platform to introduce and showcase their latest works, designs, and ideas to the general public.

by Gerรฐur Harรฐardรณttir Photos: From respective designers


WOW Power to the people


ith close to 100 alluring events such as exhibitions, workshops, fashion shows and parties stretching all over Reykjavik in various galleries, museums, hotels and shops, seeking them out becomes a certified treasure hunt. Sustainability was the keyword for DesignMarch 2018, with artists and designers exploring that theme in intriguing and various ways through their work. Here’s a quick look and tiny bit of what happened during DesignMarch 2018. There’s much more to see and discover at PYROPET Einar the unicorn, is the seventh and latest addition to the PyroPet family of animal shaped candles, designed by product designer Þórunn Árnadóttir. The collection was launched back in 2011 with Kisa, a candle in the shape of a kitten. Following the instant success of the Devil’s Pet as it was originally called, the collection now includes, (beside Einar and Kisa), a dragon, a deer, a small bird, an owl and a rabbit. When lit, the candles will slowly reveal the rather sinister looking beasts lurking inside each candle as their sculptural aluminum skeletons become visible. The Pyropet collection is produced by 54 Celsius, a design firm run by Þórunn and product developer Dan Koval.

ANNA ÞÓRUNN stay. Aluminium was chosen not least be­­cause of its great recycling capabilities, the ability to keep its quality after processing and for being easy to shape into various forms. The aluminium products exhi­­bited at DesignMarch 2018 included objects such as a lamp, a chair, a bicycle stand and an acoustic speaker.

Product designer Anna Þórunn Hauksdóttir presented “Stillness,” a set of tray tables and two candleholders each with a circular motif which Anna Þórunn has described as a “symbol of the universe.” The tray tables are made of black powdered-coated steel while the candleholders are made of leftover white marble. Stillness is the latest addition to Anna Thor­­unn’s elegant col­­lec­­tion of homeware items. AnnaThorunn is one of three product designers running Mun, a recently opened workshop, gallery and design store worth a visit while exploring downtown Reykjavík. Mun, Barónstígur 25, Reykjavík

GAGN ANÍTA HIRLEKAR AND MAGNEA EINARSDÓTTIR Fashion/textile designers and Central Saint Martins’ graduates Aníta Hirlekar and Magnea Einarsdóttir, presented their AW2018 collections at their A.M. Concept Space, an inter­­­ di­­­sciplinary concept store, and an exhibition space at Garðastræti 2, Reykjavík. #ALUMINIUMRECYCLED The project #alumini­­um­­ recycled which exhibited at Reykjavik Museum of Art saw four teams of designers collaborate with metal casting foundry Málmsteypan Hella, collecting and recycling used aluminum tea light candleholders and turning them into various objects. The project’s mission was to make people aware of the importance of re­­­ cycling, a growing trend which hopefully is here to

Magnea is known for her innovative knitwear and contrasting materials where the Icelandic wool always plays a large part and Aníta for her unconstrained use of color and texture in sophisticated clothes of exceptional quality. Anita and Magnea have both been nominated for the Iceland Design Awards for their outstanding work and had their work featured in magazines such as Elle US, I-D, L´Officiel and Vogue Italia.

Gagn is a small mom-and-pop enterprise, based in Sauðárkrókur, a charming village in the northwest of Iceland. Run by architect and teacher Magnús Freyr Gíslason and his wife Kolbrún Dögg Sigurðardóttir, the focus is firmly on no fuzz design and high caliber materials in various furniture and objects for the home, designed and made under the brand name Gagn. A desk/shelve unit pe rfect for the home office, in particular, caught our attention.

WAVE For the last 3 years, Genki Instruments, a design-driven technology company run by Ólafur Bjarki Bogason and Daníel Grétarsson has been busy creating and developing “Wave,” a cool wearable ring and innovative MIDI easyto-use device. Wave allows musicians and DJs to control sound, shape effects and send commands simply by the motion of their hands. Wave is wireless, non-intrusive and easily programmable, making it possible for each user to set it up to suit their specific wants and needs. Wave is developed in close collaboration with professional musicians and premiered live on stage at Iceland Airwaves in November 2017. For more info and demo videos on how Wave actually works.

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WOW Designs

STUDIO TRIPPIN Together, fashion designer Kristín Karlsdóttir and product designer Valdís Steinarsdóttir are the design team Studio Trippin. Kristín and Valdís design and produce vibrantly colorful fashion, accessories, furniture, and home objects exclusively made from horsehides. Although highly suitable for leather and fur production, horsehides are traditionally not tanned or used to a large extent in Iceland, allowing Studio Trippin to tap into an exciting and relatively unexplored source. The Studio Trippin project was funded by the Icelandic Student Innovation Fund in 2017 and nominated for the Icelandic Presidential Innovation Award in 2018.

cultural significance of eggs, and Reykjavík Letterpress egg-inspired print series. Eggshibition brilliantly celebrated the symbolism, and the nurturing and aesthetic values of eggs.

EGGSHIBITION Gröndalshús, the historic and recently restored home of 19th-century entrepreneur, artist and poet Benedikt Gröndal, located in charming Grjótaþorp, right in the heart of Reykjavík, was the perfect venue for Eggshibiton, an exhibition dedicated exclusively to eggs. On display were illustrations by Rán Flygenring and original drawings by Gröndal himself, egg cups by ceramist Bjarni Sigurðsson, Flygenring’s handpainted chocolate eggs from Icelandic chocolatier Omnom. Also, there was a library of books on eggs arranged by publisher Angústura, a lecture by Hjörleifur Hjartarson on the


WOW Power to the people

KRON BY KRONKRON Over the last decade, hus­­ band-and-wife Hugrún Árnadóttir and Magni Þor­­­ steinsson have designed and created 1200 pairs of shoes, produced in carefully selected shoe factories in Spain and Portugal under the brand name Kron by KronKron. The KronKron style is very distinctive, with a strong character and signature look through its unique color combinations and materials, making them literally a work of art, a world disconnected from trends and fashion and a must-have

for women around the world. The design and production process behind every single pair of shoes is both complex and time-consuming, often taking up to a year and a half to complete since each pair may consist of up to 30-40 individual elements. The success of the shoe collection, launched in 2008, was quickly followed with a line of fashion for women in 2010 which became an instant hit. The vibrantly joyful and original universe of KronKron is currently being celebrated at the Museum of Design and Applied Arts with an exhibition that opened during DesignMarch. It runs until the 18th of September, featuring an example of 600 pairs of shoes Hugrún and Magni have designed together.

1+1+1+SWEET SALONE Three Scandinavian design studios, Hugdetta from Iceland, Petra Lilja from Sweden and Aalto+Aalto from Finland team up through the 1+1+1 experimental design project. With a set of rules agreed upon from the start but only minimal information shared, each studio sets out to create a product composed of three different parts. The different parts must be designed in such a way as to be easily taken apart only to be randomly reassembled, thereby creating unpredictable final products. For DesignMarch 2018, Nordic aesthetics and African craftsmanship beautifully merged together when the group premiered its latest project, Sweet Salone, a collection of raffia and clay objects handmade by artisans in Sierra Leone. The Sweet Salone project was initiated by the Aurora Foundation, an Icelandic charity foundation with the mission to support the design and crafts industry in Sierra Leone.

SIF BENEDICTA Designer Halldóra Sif Guðlaugsdóttir is behind Sif Benedicta, an Icelandic brand of high-end bags, clutches, and accessories produced in Florence, Italy. The inspiration for Sif Benedicta’s first collection, Benedicta’s Room, is found in art deco, art nouveau and 60’s pop art. Unexpected color combinations and forms and attention to details define the designs. Halldóra is a fashion graduate from Iceland Academy of the Arts and trained at Alexander McQueen fashion house in London after graduation before turning her focus to her own label. Sif Benedicta showcased her collection at Akkúrat, design store.

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Come and meet the Tulipoppers in our magical flagship store in central ReykjavĂ­k or find them in boutiques around Iceland. Check out the Tulipop channel on YouTube to watch our new animated series.

Learn more about the Icelandic Tulipop world and browse the Tulishop online @tulipop



Issue three 45

West of center

Road tripping around the Snæfellnes Peninsula in winter The Snæfellsnes Peninsula reads like a historical record of Iceland’s geological backstory, with nearly every chapter of its past represented in unique terrestrial features. And just like a fine wine, it’s matured into an absolute stunner. by Shaun Busuttil


t’s 10:27 am, but it doesn’t look like it. It doesn’t feel like it either. It’s been over two hours since I landed at Keflavik International Airport and I was expecting to see Iceland in illumination by now; to see its smoking geysers, its haunting lava plains, the contours of its snow-capped mountains outlined against a pale December sky. Instead, I’m greeted with darkness—a black canvas pierced by passing headlights and glowing street lights on the Ring Road back to Reykjavik. PLANS FOR EXPLORATION I’m driving to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland. Only a three-hour drive from Reykjavik on paper, the 100-kilometer-long peninsula could be ticked off in a day. But I’m allocating two days to drive around a compact smorgasbord of pensive fjords, ancient lava flows and black-sand beaches. And snow-dusted volcanoes, such as Snæfellsjökull, a 700,000-year-old stratovolcano crowned with a glacier sitting at the western end of the peninsula, made famous in Jules Verne’s 19th-century sci-fi novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Just like Professor Otto Lidenbrock in the book, I’m keen on some exploration out here. But my expedition needn’t go subterranean in search of adventure, because there’s enough to see and do above ground to exhaust my spirit. I just hope the lights come on. LUNAR LANDSCAPES

I’m driving to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland. Only a three-hour drive from Reykjavik on paper, the 100-kilometerlong peninsula could be ticked off in a day.


It’s now 11:33 am and I’m standing on the edge of a road surrounded by the Berserkjahraun, a 4000-year-old lava field in the northern part of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The sun has finally risen, throwing light across a landscape more lunar than terrestrial. It’s desolate, raw and rugged out here, and completely captivating too: a stark beauty of jagged volcanic rock under a blanket of spongy moss in front of pyramid-shaped mountains. In the distance, I hear what sounds like screeching tires on the bitumen. But the low roar isn’t being made by an oncoming car— it’s the howl of the easterly winds blowing across the serrated surfaces of basalt on the way to Greenland and even as far as North America. GOING TO CHURCH Further along on the northern coast, near the town of Grundarfjörður, I pull into my first official stop: the 463-meter-tall Kirkjufell (Church Mountain) and its three-pronged waterfall that channels the glacial water of Snæfellsjökull Glacier. The clouds have greyed like charcoal and look grumpy as I park my car, and I swear I can see hundreds of furrowed brows up there, threatening to unleash a downpour—thankfully they don’t. But the wind

WOW Power to the people

Issue three 47

West of center is scathing and brutally insistent. And yet the photographicgravitational pull here is too strong to resist, and I spend more than an hour trying to take the perfect shot of Kirkjufell—Iceland’s most photographed mountain, and recently, a cameo star in Game of Thrones. I make a note to come back later that night in the hope of seeing the Northern Lights dance across the sky on top of the freestanding, symmetrical mountain. Although it’s possible to climb Kirkjufell any time of year, you’ll need a guide to ascend safely, especially when it’s wet. THE STAGE IS SET I’ll be spending the night at The Freezer in Rif. Formerly a fish factory, now it’s a social hostel and cultural center. As luck would have it an acting troupe is in the final weeks of rehearsal for an upcoming stage production of Journey to the Center of the Earth, incorporating the music of The Flaming Lips. After dinner, myself and Jordine, the choreographer of the play and fellow Australian, drive back to Kirkjufell to take more photos of the mountain. The chilly wind blushes my cheeks as I step out of the car in the inky darkness and flick my head torch on. Each step up the path to the top is a crunchy protest until we reach the perfect position atop the falls to frame the mountain. Although naked to the human eye, my camera captures the neon green of the Aurora Borealis. But my dodgy tripod renders them blurry on my camera, and I’m left with memories instead of mementos—and a new friend. INTO THE WEST END I set off the next day at 11 am—it’s still dark—and drive the remaining 5km to the northern entrance of Snæfellsjökull National Park. Formed in 2001 to protect the area’s unique geology and its fauna and flora, including approximately 130 species of plants (like wood millet and herb-Paris) and dozens of birds (such as purple sandpiper, ringed plover and the brent goose), the 170 km2 national park also conserves the area’s historical sites, such as the remains of an Icelandic settlement dating back over a millennia. Tendrils of hiking trails weave throughout the park too, some taking less than an hour to complete, others less than a day. In summer it’s possible to go on organized walking tours under the guidance of a park warden. Off the coast, killer whales and porpoises are routinely spotted, as well as larger whales further off in deeper waters. And unmissable throughout the park sits the 1446-metertall Snæfellsjökull—the king of Icelandic mountains. In esoteric circles, the immortalized volcano is said to be one of the seven main energy centers on the planet. AN ANGRY SEA After lunch, I stop by Djúpalónssandur Cove at the base of Snæfellsjökull. It’s a short, rocky walk through a lava field down to the black sand and pebble beach, past two small freshwater lagoons said to have magical healing properties. It’s cold and windy, and boisterous waves crash and roar onto the sea stacks in front of me. Strewn along the shore in discarded ruin are the rusted remains of a British trawler that shipwrecked nearby at Dritvík on March 13, 1948; 14 men lost their lives to the hungry, angry sea, and five were saved by an Icelandic rescue team. From 1650 to 1950, Dritvík was one of the busiest fishing stations in Iceland. THE EDGE OF THE WORLD It’s just after 2 pm and time to visit my last stop on the peninsula before driving back to Reykjavik. Lóndrangar are a pair of 75 and 61-meter-tall basalt pinnacles that are the remains of a crater that once stood here. There are warning signs around the cliff edge— where puffins, northern fulmars, and black-legged kittiwakes build their nests—explaining in no uncertain terms that Iceland is in a continual process of change; even seemingly solid rock ledges can crumble in an instant. Seagulls glide under drifting puffs of cloud above, while Atlantic swells smash against the craggy rock and cliffs below, churning the frigid sea like cream and spraying it in the air like a geyser. This is the end of a land mass—the outstretched arm of a volcanic beast. And the end of my time on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.


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B O A R D !

Elevate your encounter with Iceland! Amazing helicopter tours around Iceland for individuals or groups. You can choose from a 20 minutes city sightseeing tour up to a whole day journey and everything in between. AirTaxi! We are often available on short notice! Your wish is our command! The fleet is made up of the most modern and meticulously maintained helicopters on the market. The pilots are trained to the highest standards, experienced, friendly, multi-lingual individuals with great knowledge of Iceland’s spectacular nature. They will make your journey unforgettable. Safety and comfort of our customers is always our main priority. • We operate from Reykjavik (city) Airport. • We offer free transport services within Reykjavik city area in connection with our flights. • We can, on the other hand, arrange for a pick up and/or drop off from and to just about anywhere in the country. • You can either pick one of our tours or simply design your own. • We are flexible.

Our service team is on duty 24/7 and will happily assist you at any time. Check out our tours and prices on our website. E-mail to or call (+354) 589 1000

Issue three 49


IT DOESN’T GET MORE WOW THAN THIS The WOW premium fare is for the budget conscious business travelers and those who like to travel in comfort and enjoy the finer things in life.

WOW premium WOW premium includes a flight ticket, a personal item, two checked bags, a carry-on bag, cancellation protections, no change fee, a BigSeat, fast track through security in KEF airport, priority boarding as well as meals and drinks on board. This is a great option for travelers who want the whole package for reasonable price and smart companies who’d like to give their staff a comfortable travel option while still keeping their costs down. Included: •

Flight ticket

Personal item up to a maximum 42x32x25 cm/ 17x13x10in

Carry-on bag up to a maximum of 56x45x25 cm/ 22x18x10in

2 checked bags

Cancellation protection

BigSeat: Our biggest and most comfortable seat, always.

Priority boarding at all airports and fast track security at KEF airport in Iceland.

In-flight meals and snacks, pre-order or choose food and drinks from the WOW me menu on board.

Free coffee

If our WOW premium fares are sold out we recommend checking out our other fares, such as WOW comfy or WOW plus. And of course we’ll always have the WOW basic fare, just the flight ticket and a small personal item at our lowest price.

BIGGER AND BETTER WOW air has always been a single class airline and that hasn’t changed but we now have some first-class seats should our guests want to treat themselves to a little more luxury. On all our air­­craft we offer, of course, our standard seats, 29-31” and for an additional fee guests can select XL (32-34”) and XXL (35”+) seats as well if they want to stretch their legs while they spread their wings. Last year we introduced the BigSeat—a bigger, better and more comfortable seat, available only on our A330 aircraft, and it was a big hit. This year we will gradually begin to add BigSeats to more of our aircraft so that more guests will have the option of trying this luxurious goodness. These extra wide and comfy seats all have added legroom and they all lean back, giving you that super relaxed feeling on board. The BigSeat is now 100% guaranteed when you book the WOW biz option but no matter what option you go for you can always add an XL, XXL or BigSeat to your ticket if they haven’t already been snatched up. For more information on WOW air’s additional services and new flight options go to


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Issue three 51

Reykjavík City Center Route 1

Discover the suburbs

Three museums – One bus route Some of Iceland’s most interesting museums are a little off the beaten track but well worth the scenic bus ride into three of Reykjavik’s suburbs.


Gerðarsafn Garðabær

Hönnunarsafn Íslands



Bus route no. 1

Staying cool in Kópavogur Gerðarsafn – Kópavogur Art Museum is a progressive museum with an emphasis on modern and contemporary art. Located in the heart of Kópavogur, the museum sits next to Kópavogur Church, a symbol of the town. Gerðarsafn, which opened in 1994, is the only museum in Iceland founded in honor of a female artist, sculptor Gerður Helgadóttir (19281975). Gerður was a pioneer in abstract sculpture in Iceland and in the mid-20th century was well known in the art circles of Paris. Aside from her sculptural works she also worked in mosaic and stained glass. Works by Gerður can also be seen in France and Germany. Gerðarsafn Museum’s summer exhibition: GERÐUR | A Retrospective, seeks to open up the world of Gerður, her innovative artistic practice and the broad spectrum of her works. Gerðarsafn - Kópavogur Art Museum I Hamraborg 4 I 200 Kópavogur I tel.+354 441 7600 I Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11 am – 5 pm I

Great designs in Garðabær The Museum of Design and Applied Art collects and preserves the part of Icelandic cultural history encompassing design, especially from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. Since its foundation in 1998, the museum has showcased many of Iceland’s greatest design and curated exhibitions of great interest. Their latest exhibition is Imaginarium of Kron by Kronkron, displaying the creations of husbandand-wife team Magni Þorsteinsson and Hugrún Árnadóttir who have designed 1,200 pairs of shoes over the past ten years. This retrospective of their work features 600 pairs of unique handcrafted shoes. Also exhibiting at the Museum of Design and Applied Art is Behind the Scenes with Einar Þorsteinn. In 2014 architect and mathematician Einar Þorsteinn Ásgeirsson (1942-2015) donated most of the contents of his workshop to the museum, including diaries, photographs, drawings, calculations, sketchbooks, models and furniture. Don’t forget to stop by the Museum Shop on your way out. It features work that is related to current and past exhibitions as well as the permanent collection. Live exhibitions and pop-ups are part of the shop. Museum of Design and Applied Art I Garðatorg 1 I 210 Garðabær I Tel. +354 512 1525 I Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12-5 pm I

Summer in Hafnarborg Hafnarborg - The Hafnarfjörður Center of Culture and Fine Art Museum is a dynamic and ambitious institution and an important factor in the cultural life in the town of Hafnarfjörður. Hafnarborg preserves Hafnarfjörður’s art collection, ensuring that this heritage remains in public view. During the summer of 2018, an exhibition of both treasures and curiosities from the collection will mark the museum’s 35th anniversary. From July 7–15 the second edition of the Hafnarborg Songfest will be held at the museum. The aim is to celebrate song and increase knowledge of singing through concerts, master classes, work­ shops and videos. This year, in celebration of the centennial of Iceland’s sovereignty, the focus will be especially on Icelandic music. Hafnarborg Center of Culture and Fine Art I Strandgata 34 I 220 Hafnarfjörður I tel. +354 585 5790 I Opening hours: Wed-Mon 12-5 pm, closed on Tuesdays I


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Issue three 53

Slippbarinn Opening hours: Sundays to Thursdays: 11:30 am – midnight / Fridays and Saturdays: 11:30 am – 1:00 am / Happy hour: every day from 3-6 pm.

Mýrargata 2 101 Reykjavik Tel: +354 560 8080 Email:


lippbarinn became an instant hit, with its emp­hasis on fresh ingredients, creativity and high-quality hand-crafted cocktails. Many fine bars have since followed in Slippbarinn’s footsteps, making the Reykjavík scene exciting to any cocktail connoisseur. But no one else quite lives up to the endless innovation, ambition and sheer style of the inimitable Slippbarinn.

Bright flavors and bold presentation In the kitchen as in the bar, Slippbarinn is guided by its philosophy of flux and creativity. Starting with the solid foundation of a classic dish, the chefs


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The birthplace of Icelandic cocktail culture It has already been five years since Slippbarinn opened its doors at the trendy and ­delightful Iceland­air Hotel Reykjavík Marina, but it is still as popular as ever. As it turns out, Reykjavík in 2012 was ripe for a cocktail revolution.

bring their own twist, sometimes bold, sometimes subtle, but always deeply satisfying. An everevolv­ing menu consists of dishes that combine fresh and hearty, wholesome and flavorful, with a dash of adventure. Some classics have earned a per­manent place, however. Be sure not to miss the legendary charcuterie (created to share), the expertly prepared calamari, or what might be the best fish soup in the entire city!

Your perfect harbor hangout Almost every town in Iceland is a fishing village at heart. At Slippbarinn, you get right in touch with

Reykjavík’s roots. Located on the old harbor, in view of a still-operational dock, it’s where you can watch fishing vessels being repaired. Slippbarinn is the perfect place to while away an afternoon over a whiskey sour and the catch of the day. When it is time for a caffeine fix, head over to Slippbarinn’s baby brother, the adjoined gourmet café Kaffi­ slippur. The pastries will melt in your mouth and you will dream of them ever after.

Slippbarinn is the perfect place to while away an afternoon over a whiskey sour and the catch of the day.

VOX Restaurant Tel.: +354 444 5050 |

Geiri Smart Restaurant Hverfisgata 30 | Tel.: +354 528 7050 |


Icelandair Hotel Akureyri Tel.: +354 518 100 |

Satt Restaurant Tel.: +354 444 4050 |

The Drunk Rabbit Irish Pub Opening hours: Sunday – Thursday 12 pm-1 am Friday – Saturday 12 pm-4 am Happy hour: every day from 12-19 pm.

Austurstræti 3 101 Reykjavík Tel: +354 553 1041 E-mail:


f you happen to be in Reykjavik on St. Patrick’s Day, which is also The Drunk Rabbit’s anniversary, be sure to join the celebration.

Happy hour The happy hour, or should we say happy hours, at The Drunk Rabbit are unique with great offers on beers, wines, spirits and ciders from 12-19 every day. Besides the Guinness, eight different local beers and ales are available on tap and more in bottles. The bar is full and the whiskey selection is ex­cel­ lent. Irish whiskeys, Scotch whiskeys, bour­­bons and even an Icelandic single malt called Flóki.


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The Drunk Rabbit

Let’s make it Irish The Drunk Rabbit Irish Pub is an authentic Irish watering hole in the heart of downtown Reykjavik. Since its opening on St. Patrick’s Day 2016 it has become a favorite venue for people from all over the world as well as locals. The Drunk Rabbit serves the best Guinness on tap, has perfect Irish coffee and great craic.

Food The Drunk Rabbit is not a restaurant but as in every good Irish pub, there is a small food menu for the hungry ones. The fish & chips are probably the best you’ll find in Iceland.

Entertainment There is always great craic at The Drunk Rabbit where you can watch live sports, football, rugby or whatever you’d like. Just ask the staff if they can show your game and they will try their best to find it. Live music is a big part of the craic here and it’s on seven days a week from 10 pm ‘til closing with

different musicians from all around the world every night. Tuesday nights are session nights starting about 8:30 pm.

The happy hour, or should we say happy hours, at The Drunk Rabbit are unique with great offers on beers, wines, spirits and ciders from 12-19 every day. Besides the Guinness, eight different local beers and ales are available on tap and more in bottles.

Kaldi Bar Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday: 12:00 pm - 01:00 am Friday & Saturday: 12:00 pm 03:00 am Happy our every day from 4-7 pm

A breath of fresh air

Cool as Kaldi

Laugavegur 20b 101 Reykjavik Tel: +354 581 2200

Kaldi Bar is one of Iceland’s most unique bars. An oasis in central Reykjavík.


t might not be spacious but it makes up for it with great relaxing atmos­­­ phere in a rustic setting. Besides the congenial atmosphere, there’s a great out­­side seating area in a cozy back­­yard. Known for its wide collection of local micro brews both on draft and in bottl­es, Kaldi Bar is very popular among locals who check in at happy hour to get their fill of the unfiltered Kaldi brew. Drop by and get to know everybody, they might even give you some good tips on how to become a local.

Kaldi Bar is one of Iceland’s most unique bars. An oasis in central Reykjavík. It might not be spacious but it makes up for it with great relaxing atmos­­­phere in a rustic setting.

Issue three 57

KRYDD Restaurant & Bar Opening hours: Sun-Thurs: 11:00 am – 12 pm and Fri-Sat: 11 am – 1 am.

KRYDD Restaurant & Bar Strandgata 34 220 Hafnarfjordur Tel: + 354 558 2222 – Email:


The Gastric Gem of Hafnarfjörður! Located in the heart of Hafnarfjörður, the quaint yet funky town known as Iceland’s “Notting Hill,” the fabulously fun KRYDD Restaurant & Bar is a feast for the eyes and taste-buds.

his newly opened and vibrant dining experi­ ence, offers an original and exciting concept with a bold blend of chic modern and rustic, organic wooden touches. KRYDD is unique, with its roomy high ceilings, beautiful timber finishes, comfortable, relaxed seating and chill areas … and an impressively large bar made from reclaimed harbor wood! The walls are decorated with striking original Icelandic artwork that fuses perfectly with the elegant yet earthy feel of this impressive, new dining spot. The fabulously different and funky décor and hip relaxing ambiance promise a fun night out!


WOW Power to the people

KRYDD’s extensive, fun and varied menu offers just about anything for anyone and caters to vegans and vegetarians as well. With a vast array of surprising gastric delights, KRYDD’s kitchen is open from 11 am to 10 pm every day and the bar (with light dishes off the menu available) stays open until midnight on weekdays and 1 am on weekends. One of the few places in Iceland to offer brunch, KRYDD has a delicious “all you can eat” buffet brunch available on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm. Cocktails, cocktails and more cocktails and an extensive wine and beer list, KRYDD’s bar has happy hour every day between 4 and 6pm!

From brunches to happy hour, lunch, dinner and a fabulous and professional bar service, KRYDD should be your choice for a unique dining and drinking experience, any day of the week!

The walls are decorated with striking original Icelandic artwork that fuses perfectly with the elegant yet earthy feel of this impressive, new dining spot. The fabulously different and funky décor and hip relaxing ambiance promise a fun night out!

American Bar Open: Mondays to Thursday from 11:00 am - 1:00 am - Fri - Sat: 11:00 am 4:30 am - Sun: 11:00 am - 1:00 am

American Bar American Bar captures the American spirit; land of the free, home of the brave with a unique selection of beer and a simple yet delicious menu. American Bar is a must-visit when in Reykjavik.

Beer selection second to none With more than 50 different kinds of beer you are sure to find the beer that suits your taste. There’s beer made in the Hawaiian Islands as well as beer made from the famous Icelandic water.

Location and experience Located at the heart of Reykjavik, American Bar is easy to find. Once inside you’ll feel at home right away, especially if you’re an American; with decorations like football helmets (find your favorite team) and the American flag.

Live music, live sport and the Wheel of Fortune Live music every night brings the right atmosphere and if you want to shake it up a bit you can hit the

dance floor on weekends and dance into the crazy Reykjavik night. If you are feeling lucky you can always spin the Wheel of Fortune. Must see that game in the English PL or the Champions League? You will be well taken care of at the American Bar. HD-screens and TVs in every corner make sure that you won’t miss one second of your favorite sport.

Inside and out—all day long With more than 100 seats inside and a great outdoor area on the sunny side (for those wonderful sunny Icelandic summer days) you will always find a seat at a good table. The outside area is truly remarkable, overlooking Dómkirkjan Cathedral and Alþingi (Parliament House). When you think of central Reykjavik this is it! The menu

Austurstræti 8-10 101 Reykjavik Tel: +354 571 9999 Mobile: +354 697 9003 Find us on Facebook/AmericanBarIceland

is simple, yet delicious. The hamburgers, ribs and chicken wings are well-known to the locals for being unique and tasty. Lunch or dinner, live music or dancing, beer or cocktails; the American Bar has it all and is truly worth the visit!

Life is short—Drink early! Located at the heart of Reykjavik, Ameri­can Bar is easy to find. Once inside you’ll feel at home right away, especi­ally if you’re an American; with deco­­rations like football helmets (find your favorite team) and the American flag.

The English Pub Opening hours: Sun-Thurs: 12:00 - 01:00 Fri-Sat: 12-04:30 Open at 11 am from May 1st to September 1st.

Austurstræti 12 101 Reykjavik Tel: +354 578 0400 Mobile: +354 697 9003

The English Pub – Save water, drink beer For years, Iceland has enjoyed a diverse selection of restaurants and often sophisticated bars. However, one tiny grumble occasionally surfaced from the country’s ­Anglophiles – simply that there was no proper “pub”.


nd so the English Pub was born. From mod­­­­est beginnings it has built a hearty repu­­tation, seeking out, with the advice and guidance of its dedicated customers, the finest ale availa­­ble to mankind. Today it offers its enthusiastic clientele the chance to try a great variety of beers, foreign brands, as well as many local beers that are a must try.

Whisky galore Not content to rest on its laurels, the English Pub has ventured north of its virtual border and also offers the finest selection of whiskies anywhere in the country. Acclaimed assortment of malts includes many of Scotland’s finest, ensuring numerous Icelanders and worldly travelers make


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the pilgrimage to the pub’s humble door. Located at the very heart of downtown Reykjavik, the walls of the English Pub are adorned with hundreds of photographs – like an album of the city’s history just waiting to be explored over a quiet beer.

A sporting chance Live sporting coverage is amply catered for, with a choice of six big screens and two TV screens. Inside the pub there is room for up to 150 people, and an outdoor terrace can accommodate plenty more on those balmy Icelandic evenings! Whether it is football (Premier and Champions League), rugby or golf, there are always special offers when live events are being broadcast. Live music every night adds

to the atmosphere. In addition to the happy hour from 4-7pm every day, and for the ones feeling lucky, there is the Wheel of Fortune. Regulars like nothing more than to spin the wheel and chance a “Sorry” or preferably, win what used to be called a Yard of Ale. These days, it’s inevitably known as a meter of beer, but the winners don’t seem to mind!

Located at the very heart of downtown Reykjavik, the walls of the English Pub are adorned with hundreds of photographs – like an album of the city’s history just waiting to be explored over a quiet beer.

The Lebowski Bar Opening hours: 11:00 – 01:00 Sun-Thurs and 11:00 – 04:00 Fri/Sat Twitter: @LebowskiBar Instagram: #LebowskiBa

Laugavegur 20a 101 Reykjavik Tel: +354 552 2300 email:

Lebowski Bar The Reykjavik venue that rocks! Walking into this American retro bar, is stepping back in time. And right away you know it’s the right bar for a few White Russians and a real good time. With carefully chosen music from the 50s to the 80s, the atmosphere in Lebowski Bar comes together giving the good vibration that the Dude would definitely abide by! Just walk in to see what condition your condition is in...


ll kinds of people come here,” the staff proudly explains. “Icelanders, tourists, every­­­body. With food and music that suits everyone, our customers range from age 20 to 85.” On those rare, but beautiful “warm” days in Iceland, Lebowski is the place to be: the huge outdoor terrace opens whenever the temperature rises above “a steamy 5°C.” But even with all this going for it, what Lebowski Bar prides itself most on is its delicious, diner-style menu with one-of-a-kind burgers, thick and creamy milkshakes, and oh yeah— White Russians. White Russians. Lebowski Bar has over 23 different variations of White Russians, the most popular one being the Cocaucasian, a regular White Russian topped with Cocoa Puffs. Some call it the brunch of champions, others Cocoa Puffs Russian … Either way, it’s delicious!

Where’s the Burger, Lebowski? Made with 150 grams of beef—that’s more than a quarter pound, for the metrically-challenged— Lebowski Bar’s classic burgers always hit the spot and boast a tempting array of toppings and sauces, from chili-marinated bacon to Japanese mayo.

With its perfect balance of sweet and savory, the Honey Boo, a honey-glazed bacon and BBQ-sauce burger, has been called “the best bacon burger in town” (and there are a lot of them to choose from). The Other Lebowski, a steak burger made from extra juicy beef tenderloin, is a staff favorite. Wanna go big? Check out the “Burger of the Month” specialty offerings. Past specialty burgers have included the Once Upon a Time in the West, made with steak tenderloin marinated in La Trappe Quadrupel Ale and served with Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce and caramelized onions, among other tasty toppings. Another limited-time option was the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a piquant patty served—appropriately enough—with pepper cheese and chili sauce. Burgers are clearly the house specialty here. For non-beefy options, Lebowski Bar has something for you, too. Try the Bunny Lebowski Chicken Burger, which was declared “gorgeous” by one happy visitor on Trip Advisor, or The Stranger Veggie Burger. And if you’re looking for something lighter, there are plenty of bar snacks—from cheese-stuffed jalapeños to onion rings—to enjoy with your beer.

You’re not wrong, Walter Lebowski Bar opens 11 am for lunch and there is a DJ every night from 9 pm. All big sports events are shown on all 5 Full HD screens. “This Reykjavík place is mind-bending,” Trip Ad­­visor user Graham enthused after a recent visit. “The burgers are massive, the chips chunky and the beers and White Russians flow. There’s a happy hour to bring down Iceland’s high prices, and regular bands playing to bring the film’s rockin’ ethos to life.” Sounds good to us. But you know, that’s just, like, his opinion, man.

Wanna go big? Check out the “Burger of the Month” specialty offerings. Past specialty burgers have included the Once Upon a Time in the West, made with steak tenderloin marinated in La Trappe Quadrupel Ale and served with Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce and caramelized onions, among other tasty toppings.

Issue three 61

Kopar Restaurant Opening hours: Mondays to Thursday from 11:30-22:30 Fridays from 11:30-23:30 Saturdays from 12:00-23:30 Sundays from 18:00-22:30

Geirsgata 3 101 Reykjavik Tel: +354 567 2700


Kopar Restaurant by the old harbor Kopar Restaurant is situated by Reykjavik‘s romantic harbor, in one of the old green fisherman‘s huts.

he fishing industry still thrives in Reykja­­­vik, so the old harbor is full of life. In the morning, fishermen go out to sea and return later with their catch of the day. As you stand on the pier you can feel the history of Reykjavik and watch the harbor life: fishing boats, fishermen, the catch, and young kids with their rods trying their luck off the pier. Meanwhile passersby are walking about and enjoying life. This fresh and energetic atmosphere of the old harbor is all part of the experience when you dine at Kopar. Kopar is a seafood restaurant


WOW Power to the people

featuring locally caught seafood and crustaceans. They are especially proud of their crab soup, made with Icelandic rock crab from Hvalfjordur. Kopar offers a variety of Icelandic produce, including wild game, although the main emphasis is seafood, the fruit of the ocean. Kopar‘s head chef, Ylfa, is a member of the gold medal winning national culinary team. She pre­­­ pares the seafood in a unique and delicate manner, in­­tent on giving you an unforgetable experience.

Delight yourself with great service and atmosphere, delicious food and the best view in town. When visit­ ing Reykjavik, enjoying a night out at Kopar is a must.

Kopar‘s head chef, Ylfa, is a member of the gold medal winning national culinary team. She prepares the seafood in a unique and delicate manner, intent on giving you an unforgetable experience.

Where the locals go Two local secrets on the Reykjavik restaurant scene that will leave you wanting more.

Grái kötturinn

The Gray Cat prides itself on its home­ made bread, tuna salad, hummus and pancakes. It is fre­quented by local artists and intelle­ctuals.

The right place to energize for a busy day


he Gray Cat” is a cozy, dimly lit, book-lined café in an old townhouse, and a must visit when in Reykjavik. It opens early (perfect for those who have arrived on the red-eye) and focuses on American style breakfast, lunch and brunch. Although the Cat is famous for their big breakfast dish known as “The Truck,” you will find more on the menu, such as sandwiches, bagels, hummus, eggs & bacon and last but not least; American pancakes. The Gray Cat prides itself on its homemade bread, tuna salad, hummus and pancakes. It is frequented by local artists and intellectuals. So do like the locals; sit down, read a book or plan your day while you eat eggs, pancakes or bagels and drink good coffee (Icelanders take the latter very seriously).

Grái kötturinn I Hverfisgata 16a I 101 Reykjavik I Tel: +354 551 1544 I I Mon-Fri; 7:30AM-2:30PM I Sat-Sun 8:00AM-2:30PM

Messinn at Grandi

The restaurant is located in an old fishing area close to the city center and offers a relaxed atmosphere and a great view, overlooking the Reykjavík Harbor.

If you want the best fish in Reykjavík, look no further


essinn by the Reykjavík Harbor is a new fish buffet restaurant that offers pan fried fish served in cast iron skillets, emphasizing fresh quality material in every way. The restaurant is located in an old fishing area close to the city center and offers a relaxed atmosphere and a great view, overlooking the Reykjavík Harbor. Another Messinn restaurant, located in the city center offers similar dishes and is rated as one of the top five restaurants in Reykjavík on TripAdvisor. The most popular courses are the fried Arctic char with honey and almonds, the Atlantic wolffish in a creamy mushroom sauce and the plaice fried with tomatoes, capers, lemon and butter.

Messinn I Grandagarður 8 and Lækjargata 6b I Tel: +354 562 1515 I

Issue three 63

Den Danske Kro Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 12:00 – 01:00 and Fri-Sat 12:00 – 05:00

Den Danske Kro Ingólfsstræti 3 101 Reykjavík Tel: +354 552 0070

When in Iceland, go Danish! A vibrant place on the Reykjavík social scene is Den Danske Kro or “The Danish Pub,” a popular downtown venue with locals with happy hour and with live music every night.


en Danske Kro serves a variety of beers, in addition to familiar names such as Tuborg and Carlsberg, the Danish Pub serves a selection of seasonal beers from both Denmark and Iceland. During the Christmas months, Den Danske Kro is the home of the Tuborg Christmas Beer or “Julebryg,” a popular drink in Iceland during the darkest months.

check out the interior of the pub and you’ll discover an off-the-wall design in its most literal sense! Den Danske Kro is a great place to hang out with friends, play darts, watch sports, enjoy the occasional sun and watch the world go by on the outside terrace. And to get into the spirit of things, we recommend you try a glass of the customary Gammel Dansk bitters, a traditional Danish schnapps.

Cozy Copenhagen style

The place to party

The Danes have a word to describe a cozy, friendly atmosphere—“hyggelig” and that’s something the owners of the Danish Pub have worked hard to create in this home away from home within a pub. Just

Den Danske Kro, as said before, is a popular venue among locals, and as soon as happy hour kicks off, the place starts filling up with people from the neighborhood and others who want to finish the


WOW Power to the people

workday with a cold beer. Every night there’s live music where you can request your all-time favorite. During the weekend Den Danske Kro is open late. The bartenders will be happy to see you and you are welcome to dance and sing with the guests until the morning.

Den Danske Kro serves a variety of beers, in addition to familiar names such as Tuborg and Carlsberg, the Danish Pub serves a selection of seasonal beers from both Denmark and Iceland.

ODDSSON Hello is it me you’re looking for?

Hello is it me you’re looking for? 101 Reykjavík Tel: 5113579 email:

ODDSSON Reykjavik ODDSSON is all about the surprising combinations that make life interesting.


luxurious suite on the same floor as an 8 bed dorm room. Extravagant design furniture in a lobby with stripped down concrete walls. A Karaoke room in the middle of a restaurant! Whether you are looking to splurge or save, this old warehouse turned hip-hostel is the place to rest, play, work, have a snack, meet people, make friends or just sit back and relax.

A view to get lost in Although ODDSSON is only a few steps away from the frenzy of bars, cafés and stores of downtown Reykjavík its proximity to the sea makes it feel nicely set apart from the bustle of the city center. As you kick back in the lobby’s sofa’s and take in that

expansive ocean view it’s easy to imagine yourself sitting somewhere at the edge of the world. The glorious sunset light on Mount Esja (or the northern lights over the bay if you’re lucky) only adds to the sensation. If you need to plan a trip, catch up on work or upload all those pictures you’ve been taking on your travels, why not grab a coffee at the café downstairs, spread your map, plug in your devices and make yourself at home. There’s plenty of space.

Did someone say yoga? If it’s relaxation you’re after, then be sure to memo­­ rize the weekly schedule for the hostel’s yoga studio. With a variety of sessions ranging from quiet meditation hours to full-on Yoga classes, the

studio brings ODDSSON guests, staff members, and locals all together for a little bit of bliss. Perched on the fourth floor with warm wood vibes and huge win­­dows opening up to the sky, there is nowhere better to salute the sun.

ODDSSON offers dorm rooms, single & double hostel rooms as well as en suite rooms at some of the best prices in Iceland. For an even better bargain use this code when you book your stay at 4WOW2STAY

Issue three 65

Base Hotel Hostel at Ásbrú

Valhallarbraut 756-757, 235 Reykjanesbær, Iceland Tel: +354 519 1300

It’s all about the Base e-mail:

The recently opened Base HotelHostel at Ásbrú is a budget accommodation conveniently located near Keflavik Airport on the Reykjanes Peninsula.


ase HotelHostel is at a former NATO base used by the US Army until 2006. The hotel is located in two buildings where US Army families once resided and it embraces the 55-year history of the army’s presence in Iceland in its overall theme, with quirky little touches and photographs. “We looked to the area’s history and decided to create a positive concept revolving around that history. A big part of the design process was creating a warm, comfortable and fun space that could hold all the modern art that’s now on display. To add to the challenge, everything we did must be low-cost and to keep costs down we kept a lot of the furniture that was left in the house. A good example of that are the rocking chairs found in most rooms, which were used by the army families during the military’s stay in Iceland,” says Leifur Welding, hotel designer. PERFECT FOR STOPOVERS Base HotelHostel is perfect for short stopovers in Iceland and as a base for exploring the Reykjanes Peninsula and Southwest Iceland. The affordable rooms cater to all types of travelers. “Base Hotel has a lot to offer, the lone traveler just looking for a place to rest, the couple for a fun place to be, or the family needing more space. With our community kitchen, laundry room, TV lounges, library, game


WOW Power to the people

room, 24-hour reception and bar, and shuttle to and from the airport we try to meet everyone’s needs without aband­oning our policy of being the most affordable accom­­modation in the area. The Base is not just a place to stay, it’s a place to live, even if it’s just for a few days,” says Base hotel manager Richard Eckard. At Base HotelHostel you’ll find hostel-style dorm rooms for the extremely cost conscious, suites for the private but thrifty and anything in between for everyone else who just like to stay within their budget but still get a good night’s rest. YOUR BASE IN ICELAND Because the Base HotelHostel is located close to Keflavik Airport a lot of precious time is saved on arrivals and departures for those on a brief WOW Stopover in Iceland. This affords guests more time to explore the Reykjanes Peninsula, a geologically young area displaying Iceland’s magnificent nature. From the Northern Lights to helicopter flights—whale watching to geothermal springs, the Reykjanes Peninsula’s got it all!

Base HotelHostel is at a former NATO base used by the US Army until 2006.

Refuel at Olís We welcome you to our service stations around Iceland where you can refuel and enjoy our services. Great variety of tasty food and beverages and everything else you might need on the road. Visit us at



Wide range of fresh GRAB & GO



Servicing travellers since 1927


Issue three 67

Variety is key

THE QUEENS hit the road Miss Mokki and Gógó Starr are two of the biggest names in the Icelandic variety scene. One is Iceland’s reigning drag queen and the other is the undisputed first lady of Icelandic burlesque, together—a sparkling force to be reckoned with. The pair will spend the next seven weeks touring Europe. by Eygló Árnadóttir Photos: Lilja Draumland


argrét Erla Maack, or Miss Mokki, is Iceland’s undisputed queen of burlesque and the founder of the variety show, Reykjavík Kabarett. She was introduced to the burlesque scene by her karaoke and stand-up comedy friends in New York. After spending a decade with Iceland’s first circus, Sirkus Íslands, she wanted to focus on burlesque and truly establish a thriving scene in Iceland. Her old friends from New York regularly perform at the Reykjavík Kabarett Shows, where Mokki is known as mother. “I’m a fine performer, but a fantastic producer,” Mokki says. “My biggest talent is in knowing how to arrange performers and acts,” a talent shared by her friend, Sigurður Heimir Guðjónsson, a.k.a. Gógó Starr. In 2015, Gógó was crowned the Drag Queen of Iceland and founded the performer’s troupe Drag-Súgur later that year. The pair first met at one of Mokki's popular burlesque dance classes. “The class taught me a lot, and I started allowing Gógó to be less feminine and more gender fluid and humorous,” Gógó says, “Gógó the Drag Queen became Iceland’s number one boylesque performer.”


WOW Power to the people

TOURING EUROPE Although touring alone is great fun, it can also get lonely. The idea of touring Europe together came to Gógó and Mokki last year in New York when they were accidentally booked at the Slipper Room on the same night and found their acts went very well together. “We realized what a complementary duo we really make,” Gógó says. “We both know stage artists all over the world, and it simply made sense for us to explore those connections.” The burlesque- and variety scene is different from theater. Gógó and Mokki are not touring a fullblown show but are packing four acts, each that add to established shows and festivals like Leeds Cabaret & Burlesque Festival, Stardust in Helsinki and Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Their Europe tour was crowdfunded through Friends and fans helped with the travel expenses, and friends abroad will lend couches to sleep on. Packing light is quite a challenge for variety artists, and the pair pleads to airlines to support performers, in the same way they do musicians traveling with instruments. “It’s hard to design

costumes that both look phenomenal and pack easily in a suitcase,” Gógó says—“I’m always ready with a few acts that don’t rely on costumes, just in case anything happens to my luggage while traveling.” “You have to pack smart,” Mokki adds, “In my first US tour I had a costume made of chains for a really cool, dramatic act—one of my favorites— but the costume was really heavy and unpractical for traveling. So now my most common act on the road is a balloon strip, it obviously makes for a much lighter luggage.” THE ICELANDIC VARIETY SCENE The pair agrees that although the variety scene in Iceland is young, the standard is very high. “After traveling overseas, watching other cabaret and drag performers, I can see that Icelandic variety performers are world-class—that includes the two of us!” Gógó says. “The Icelandic standard is skyhigh, which makes this line of work very challenging but also amazing.” Reykjavík Kabarett has sold out every single show, and there is a constant waiting list at Mokki’s burlesque dance classes, so clearly people in Iceland like this art form. “The variety

Issue three 69

scene is coming alive in Iceland and it’s great to be a part of its birth,” Miss Mokki says. “I’d say the scene is a mix of New York and Berlin. Rather than a pure beauty burlesque (although it’s that too) there’s a certain sophistication, sexual anarchy, feminist view, humor and originality. Our audience likes to be surprised.” The artistic core of the nation makes the Icelandic variety scene open and diverse, ranging from drag to cabaret, circus to poetry, improv and stand-up comedy. The more serious theaters have jumped on this brand-new variety bandwagon; for example, by showing Rocky Horror and Cabaret this year. “We all support each other and work together at making the Icelandic scene

Reykjavík Kabarett has sold out every single show, and there is a constant waiting list at Mokki’s burlesque dance classes, so clearly people in Iceland like this art form.

great, resulting in many versatile shows,” Gógó says. “The trouble is how few venues in the city are suitable for this art form, but we’re getting there,” Mokki adds. Putting on shows with their steady groups is a luxury; focusing on one project at a time and hanging out with their favorite crowd, but in order to be full-time variety performers, Mokki and Gógó also take on other gigs, such as teaching and entertaining at private parties. “You need to be good at networking and promoting yourself,” Gógó says. “It’s hard work, but so much fun!” For updates on Gógó and Mokki’s Europe tour, follow their Instagram accounts @mokkilitli and @gogo.starr.

VARIETY EVENTS THIS SUMMER June: Reykjavík Kabarett has a variety of short workshops. See June 6th: Improv Ísland start their weekly English summer shows June 15th: Reykjavík Kabarett in Tjarnarbíó June 15th: Drag-Súgur Show at Gaukurinn June 17th: Lip Sync Karaoke at Kiki June 21st: Poetry Brothel at Iðnó June 22nd: Reykjavík Kabarett in Tjarnarbíó June 23rd: Reykjavík Kabarett in Tjarnarbíó June 24th: Lip Sync Karaoke at Kiki June 26th: Drag-lab at Gaukurinn June 27th: Gógó Starr’s “Your Makeup is Terrible” Workshop at Kramhúsið June 29th: Reykjavík Kabarett in Tjarnarbíó June 30th: Reykjavík Kabarett in Tjarnarbíó July 1st: Reykjavík Fringe Festival’s Opening Party at Hlemmur Square July 4th-8th: Reykjavík Fringe Festival July 5th: Ladies and a Gentleman’s Burlesque Show at Gaukurinn July 8th: Poetry Brothel at Iðnó July 12th: Gógó and Mokki perform at Thtisumu – Hot in the City of Helsinki July 13th-20th: Sirkus Íslands’s Circus Shows in Reykjavík July 13th: Drag-Súgur Show at Gaukurinn July 14th: Gógó and Mokki perform at Kellerdirk, Frederiksberg in Copenhagen July 19th: Hans & Jackie’s #whatafuckingmess Drag Show at Gaukurinn July 21st: Gógó and Mokki perform at Kellerdirk, Frederiksberg in Copenhagen August 3rd-5th: Sirkus Íslands’s Circus Shows in Akureyri August 5th-12th: Mokki performs in Full Moon Cabaret at Edinburg Fringe Festival August 7th: Gógó Starr pops back home to perform in Drag-Súgur’s Pride Extravaganza (see Reykjavík Pride program at August 17th: Gógó and Mokki perform at Leeds Cabaret and Burlesque Festival August 18th: Gógó and Mokki teach workshops at Leeds Cabaret and Burlesque Festival August 18th: Drag-Súgur’s Culture Night special at Gaukurinn August 24th: Mokki performs at Oslo Burlesque Festival September 7th: Reykjavík Kabarett starts its autumn run at Þjóðleikhúskjallarinn


WOW Power to the people


brjánslækur flatey stykkishólmur


landeyjahöfn vestmannaeyjar

Issue three 71



WOW Power to the people

Speeding across the ice:

SNOWMOBILING ON VATNAJÖKULL Right now, you’re most likely reading this while inside an airplane, hurtling towards Iceland at the furious pace of around 900km per hour. When you touch down, your vehicle will speed away from Keflavík Airport at 90km per hour, heading towards Reykjavík or beyond. Traveling around the country, you might experience some of the fiercest winds of your life; gusts can easily reach hurricane force. But none of these compare to the speed felt when hurtling across Vatnajökull on a snowmobile, with nothing but the glacial horizon in front of you. by James Taylor


km is the speed limit—and don’t go too slow because it becomes more difficult,” says our guide, straddled on a snowmobile giving us a driving lesson. We’re standing on top of Vatnajökull, the most voluminous glacier in Europe, about to begin an hour-long snowmobiling expedition across the behemoth ice cap. It has already been an exciting adventure just getting here; first, we bumped up a challenging mountain road towards the glacier, and then, when the truck could go no further, we transferred into a snowcat—a large tank-like machine that took us the rest of the way to where our snowmobiles lay, under covers, waiting for us. ONTO THE GLACIER After our lesson, it’s time to ride. Lined up hori­­ zon­­tally, I watch from the end as one by one my fellow travelers take off, some smoothly and others alarm­­ingly fast. When it’s my turn, I ease my thumb down on the accelerator and slide onto the tracks made by the others, who are already blasting up the hill in front of us onto the glacier. I nervously follow, steadily building speed, the engine growling hungrily beneath me in response. I hit the bottom of the hill at 30km an hour, racing upwards to burst over the crest and tear through a world of white. The line of snowmobiles snakes out in front of me. Our guide, the furthest away already just a dark speck near the horizon. The frigid wind rushes past me, but it’s drowned out by the roar of the engine below, swallowing all noise. Heading north across the glacier, my nerves disappear as the adrenaline kicks in. I open up the accelerator, rapidly reaching the furious pace of 40km per hour. I let out a whoop of excitement that is immediately snatched away by the wind.

meters. The thickest part of the ice cap is over twice that—1000 meters. It’s no surprise that this is the biggest glacier in Europe. EXHILARATING SPEED We charge towards the east, where a large moun­­ tain face rears up and bars our progress. Swinging north, I’m confronted by a fierce wind that blows right through me, chilling my fingers through my heavy gloves. I flick on the hand warmers, pull my balaclava up over my nose and barrel forwards, hunching low against the wind. "I hit the bottom of the hill at 30km an hour, racing upwards to burst over the crest and tear through a world of white. The line of snowmobiles snakes out in front of me. Our guide, the furthest away already just a dark speck near the horizon."

Eventually, we stop again at the highest point we’ll reach for the day—850 meters above sea level—and then it’s time to make our way back to the snowcat, giving me my last chance to reach the speed limit. As we take off, I hang back a bit for some more space. When the snowmobile in front of me is far enough away, I open up the accelerator, determined. Soaring across the glacier, the engine as loud as thunder, and with flecks of snow spitting up from the sleds on both sides, I hit 50km per hour. Ahead of me is the glacier, and beyond that the ocean, sun glinting off the water. At such a speed, I catch up with the others all too soon. Later, on our descent back down to sea level in the super jeep, I catch a glimpse of the speedometer: 50km per hour. But after the thrill of snowmobiling on Vatnajökull, exposed to the elements, it feels painfully slow.

ENJOY IT WHILE IT LASTS We’re not the only things moving about up here. All of Iceland’s glaciers are shrinking—Vatnajökull by an average of 1 meter every year. It’s a frightening speed for such a thing to happen. The part of Vatnajökull we’re soaring across is made up of compacted snow, covering a range of mountains and valleys, with an average thickness of 400

For more information and booking, go to or check out some amazing posts via social media:, and

Issue three 73



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Issue three 75

Animal kingdom

THE WILD, WILD, NORTH It’s safe to say that Iceland has developed quite a reputation for being one of the most environmentally spectacular (and Instagram-friendly) countries on earth. With mountains decorated by cascading waterfalls, the stunning Aurora Borealis of the night sky, and the summer’s midnight sun, Iceland offers visitors a world of aesthetic delight. But the country offers more than that, of course, and a side to Iceland that not too many tourists know about is its rich wildlife in the northern region. by KT Browne

A WILDLIFE MECCA North Iceland stretches from the town of Borðeyri to Bakka­­ fjörður (or roughly two hours north of Reykjavík to three and a half hours east of Akureyri). Because of the region’s location and geography, it is home to a diverse wildlife ecosystem encompassing over 300 species of birds, 23 species of marine mammals, 7 land mammals, and even the odd, non-native, polar bear. Sheep and Viking horses also roam the northern countryside during summertime, making for some excellent riding opportunities. And of course, there are also a large number of bird communities, including puffin and arctic tern that add brilliant soundtracks to the great outdoors. Taking all this into consideration it’s no surprise that Iceland’s animal population far outnumbers its humans! North Iceland, in particular, is considered one of the best areas for spotting whales due to favorable weather and sea conditions. The town of Húsavík and the surrounding Skjálf­­andi Bay is wellknown as “The Whale Watching Capital of Europe,” and for good reason. Daily boat outings during the summer bring visitors up close to humpback, minke and even blue whales. Lucky viewers might even be able to catch a whale breaching!

The museum’s permanent exhibition is a fantastic window into the lives of these generally peaceful and playful sea creatures and even includes a live biological laboratory. The Seal Center is also an enterprise with a cause, regularly running research projects on the effects of tourism on wildlife in the North Atlantic region and beyond. The Whale Museum in Húsavík is another example of an organization with a purpose. As a non-profit organization, the museum’s aim is to provide a wealth of information about whales and their habitat. But that’s not all. The Whale Museum also carries out a series of research projects in collaboration with the University of Iceland, and it’s even developed a children’s “Whale School,” inviting students all around the northern region to participate in classes that teach about the life of whales in Icelandic oceans.

In addition to whale watching, north Iceland is also a hot spot for seal watching, with the Vatnsnes Peninsula and Hvítserkur considered the best places to go to catch a glimpse of these delightful, timid creatures in their natural habitat; it is not unusual to see large numbers of them lounging on the rocks and beaches, or playing in the shallow waters close to the coast. POLAR BEARS!?

The Seal Center is also an enterprise with a cause, regularly running research projects on the effects of tourism on wildlife in the North Atlantic region and beyond.

While it’s true that polar bears are not native to Iceland, they do turn up in the north from time to time, usually after a long journey from Greenland. The number of documented polar bear sightings in Iceland hovers somewhere around 600, since the 8th-9th century when the country was settled, but this number has been steadily increasing due to climate change. Though, when polar bears do arrive, they usually do so on a piece of ice. Otherwise, they swim here. Polar bears can swim up to 10 km per hour and more than 100 km at a time—and they always arrive hungry! So, if you spot a polar bear, do not approach it!! Even though they may appear adorable, polar bears are a big danger to people and livestock. In 2015 an adolescent bear came within 500 meters of an inhabited farm in Skagafjörður—an event that made the national news! WILDLIFE AWARENESS The vast wildlife of North Iceland has sparked a growing number of museums and organizations whose goals are driven by promoting sustainable tourism and ecological awareness. The Icelandic Seal Center (Selasetur Íslands) in the sealwatching hub of Hvammstangi is one example… dedicated to researching seals and teaching visitors about their threats.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF TOURISM Now that Iceland is very much in the international spotlight as a fabulous tourist destination, visitors are broadening their reasons for visiting the country and looking for sustainable ways in which to do so. An increase in awareness of climate change and Iceland’s delicate ecosystem is very much a part of this shift, and North Iceland has certainly taken advantage of this newfound appreciation of the natural environment. So if you’re heading to Iceland and want to venture beyond the Golden Circle, be sure to plan a trip to the wild, wild north. Sign up for a bird-watching, a whale watching, or a seal watching tour, and get to know a different side of Iceland. Issue three 77


WOW Power to the people

What to wear

Nowadays, we live in a high-paced and dynamic society where we’re constantly rushing from one place to another. The abundant clothing choices and low prices have made it easier for us to purchase garments on the go while often electing quantity over quality. by Donna Tsaneva

Issue three 79

What to wear


hopping has become a hobby to some or a weekly outing to others. Over the years, consumer demands have increased and evolved from necessity to perpetual fluctuating and much sought after trends. However, very few know the true cost of producing one single garment that, in most cases, based on personal experience, will soon be discarded in the back of the wardrobe and never again see the light of day. THE COST OF CLOTHES Here’s the thing; it takes about 2700 liters of water to produce one plain cotton shirt that will last a month or two. Pesticides used on cotton and paired with other harmful environ­­ mental pollutants are the main reason that the fashion industry is the second highest polluting business in the world. Scary right! Not to mention the awful and dange­r­ous conditions in which most

of the fast fashion workers, work in, day in and day out. Eco-fashion ideology—environ­­ mentally friendly fashion is a sustainable approach that bases its principles on reusing material previously deemed as waste; someone’s old jacket becomes someone’s new garment and so forth; reducing the need to produce more clothes on the mark­­et and thus minimizing the harmful environmental impact from excessive production. ICELAND AND ITS ENVIRONMENT Once upon a time, Iceland wasn’t big on the map, figuratively speaking. However, with otherworldly natural backdrops, friendly locals and being just a stone’s throw away from major international hubs, this country has quickly become the go-to holiday destination for thousands of adventurers worldwide wanting to get a glimpse of its natural wonders and unique cultural vibe.

Eco-fashion ideology—environ­­mentally friendly fashion is a sustainable approach that bases its principles on reusing material previously deemed as waste.


WOW Power to the people

Living on an island like Iceland, surrounded by immeasurable untouched nature, unswervingly reminds locals and visitors alike on a daily basis just how vulnerable we are towards mother nature and how our daily doings have a direct impact on our environment and consequently our future. The bond between humans and nature and respect for nature is fundamental to those who wander its lands, as the frail reality of our mutual existence can’t be seen any clearer than here; footprints in the delicate moss are are here to stay. ICELAND’S UNIQUENESS Iceland is quirky and artistic with its own peculiar character. Anyone who has visited Iceland can vouch for the fact that it is the most laid-back and relaxed country when it comes to many aspects of its temperament and lifestyle—it’s the epitome of feeling comfortable in your own skin and celebrating your individuality

sold are donated from the public for charitable causes. Icelandic charity shops are often much cheaper than thrift shops and boast a wide assortment of clothing, apparel and books. Secondhand shops: In a country as expensive as Iceland, secondhand shops are the Holy Grail of good bargains and unique finds. These shops are called vintage shops and for a good reason. Most of the items including jewelery, handbags and accessories have a distinctive so-called “old-school” look. However, in all vintage shops, you can easily find clothing essentials such Icelandic sweaters or lopapeysa, an endless supply of checked shirts and converse shoes. Spútnik and Gyllti kötturinn are two of the most popular and well-stocked ones in central Reykjavik.


A word of warning: Although labeled as “used items” Icelandic secondhand shops have a much higher price tag than European

SUSTAINABLE FASHION IN ICELAND In all honesty, I pictured Iceland as a “ski resort” type of country only to discover that the only person who was dressed like that was none other than me! Believe it or not, one of Iceland’s best-kept secrets is the country’s astounding sense of style and unique mix-matching of old and new apparel that creates a distinctive vintage and most soughtafter look. Over the years, numerous different sustainable fashion outlets have slowly made their way into the Icelandic fashion world and well, judging by their popularity, they’re definitely here to stay! Three types of eco-friendly stores can be found while strolling around Reykjavik’s downtown area notably around Laugavegur and its colorful little maze-type side streets: Charity shops: In Iceland, charity shops are managed by the Icelandic Red Cross. They are run by volunteers and all items being


At first glance these three types of eco-fashion stores are quite different in concept, however, they all have an ultimate goal of reusing already existing clothes to create a unique and individual style for a sometimes cheaper price while being environmentally conscious about it all—now that’s what I’d call a master plan! Happy shopping!


HA Designer sustainable fashion: Here is where environmental thinking and creativity come hand in hand to produce a different innovative variety of sustainable fashion. Like thrift shops, designer eco fashion stores are based on recycled already existing materials and reproducing unique, one-off garments while using eco-friendly, zero-waste products. One of Iceland’s homebased designer sustainable outlets, USEE STUDIO, for example, takes discarded and unwanted still usable fabrics and materials from clothing factories all around the world and creates unique extraordinary and one of a kind garments.



Free Wi-Fi Pickup Service Warm Overalls


or American thrift shops since, as previously stated, vintage is considered unique and unique is something that is much sought after.


and uniqueness. This is what makes it a haven for many creative souls as there are no guidelines or expectations; there are no trends or pressure of fitting in and abiding by society’s imposed norms. They simply don’t exist. Individualism and uniqueness are much cherished in many aspects of life, including fashion.


Over the years, numerous different sustainable fashion outlets have slowly made their way into the Icelandic fashion world and well, judging by their popularity, they’re definitely here to stay!

A gigantic adventure for the whole family
















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BOOK NOW! +354-560-8800 Issue three 81

The summer solstice or the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere takes place on the 21st of June each year. 82

WOW Power to the people

Up all night

ICELAND’S NEVER SETTING SUN When you hear the word Iceland, you might imagine a country full of notoriously cold and windy winters, mystical northern lights and slowly floating crystal clear chunks of glaciers. It’s hard to imagine that this country ever sees the light of day—let alone near 24-hour periods of daylight. Well, as hard as it is to imagine, these days truly do exist and are much celebrated by locals and visitors alike. by Donna Tsaneva

The summer solstice or the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere takes place on the 21st of June each year. This is when the sun is at its highest point in the sky, or, in astronomical terms, when the Earth reaches its maximum axial tilt towards the sun. During the summer months, Iceland enjoys near 24-hours of daylight—with the sun barely setting around 12 am and rising at 3 am. This natural phenomenon creates a glorious array of unique and endless skyline horizons mixed with warm tints of dreamy colors as the sun slowly disappears, only to make its reappearance shortly after. Wondering what to do in the midnight sunlight? This short compilation will get you up and going in no time. ROAD TRIPS During the summer months, from late June to early September, all of Iceland’s roads are accessible by car, providing a great network of routes and activities. For a country like Iceland that encapsulates unique otherworldly natural backdrops, longer days allow for even more countless hours of memorable road trip escapades for tourists and Icelanders alike. There’s something truly unique about driving around the country’s South Coast, with waterfalls on one side and the black beaches on the other while admiring the twilight slowly falling upon you. A midnight road trip to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon should definitely be on the to-do list since it takes a good five hours to drive there from central Reykjavik, making it impossible to accomplish in one go during the winter months. Seeing the icebergs that broke off from the glacier slowly making their way into the Atlantic Ocean illuminated by the midnight rays is, quite a sight to see. The Highland, Westfjords and some northern destinations are also great places to go during these months since accessibility can be limited, if not dangerous, during the winter. NIGHTLIFE AND MUSIC With a quirky and unique creative vibe, it comes as no surprise that Iceland boasts an exceptional and dynamic nightlife and music scene. Once the temperature starts rising and the days get longer, the town comes to life, and entertainment becomes a daily occurrence. Icelanders are night owls, therefore bars and clubs usually open late and close late as well, giving you plenty of time to try a genuine Icelandic beer (or ten). A night out during summertime is another unique experience. Regardless of the time, you’ll be stumbling back to your hotel room in ubiquitous daylight. We can’t talk about nightlife and music without mentioning the Secret Solstice Festival, which is the highlight of the summer solstice, spread over a couple of days in mid-June, with both local and international musicians sharing the stage. Think merry-go-rounds, Jacuzzis, multiple open stages and yes, you guessed it, 24-hour daylight, talk about once in a lifetime experience! REYKJAVIK OCEAN VIEWS Last but not least, if you happen to find yourself wandering around Reykjavik during the early hours of the morning, do yourself a favor and head to Grotta Lighthouse from where you can enjoy spectacular views of the sun slowly disappearing in the Atlantic Ocean. With a clear sky, you could even see Snæfellsnes’ icecapped volcano in the far distance! Wherever you are and whatever you choose to do during the summer solstice in Iceland, make sure to enjoy it to the fullest. Issue three 83

Secret Solstice

The music festival where the sun never sets 84

WOW Power to the people

With a booming music and creative community of Secret Solstice fans and artists, this festival is colorful, one-of-kind and full of music and fun.

On June 21-24, Iceland’s Secret Solstice Festival is back for its fifth year, during 96 hours of straight sunlight in Reykjavik, the world’s most northerly capital. Photos: Birta Rán and SOLOVOV, courtesy of Secret Solstice


his is a unique music festival experience, is taking place in Laugardalur Valley, in Reykjavík’s biggest public park. The exclusive side events are ever popular and combine specially curated music performances with stunning views of Icelandic nature and a fresh approach to throwing an amazing party. These standout events include a pool party in the geothermal natural pool of Hreppslaug, a glacial rave in the middle of—you guessed it—a glacier, and an intimate lava tunnel concert with performances by some of the best acoustic artists in Iceland. NAME-DROPPING Headliners will include the British sensation Stormzy, the metal legends Slayer, American hip-hop icon Gucci Mane and the supreme distinctive voice of Bonnie Tyler. Other notable artists include Clean

Bandit, Death From Above, J Hus, Goldlink and the funk legend himself—George Clinton, performing with both of his bands, Funkadelic and Parliament. As Slayer and George Clinton announce their retirement from the stage after summer 2018, this festival will be one of the last opportunities to see these two music pioneers on stage. More than 120 artists are performing, including the very best of the Icelandic music scene, legendary DJs and groundbreaking bands. AMAZING ENERGY With a booming music and creative community of Secret Solstice fans and artists, this festival is colorful, one-of-kind and full of music and fun. The sun will supply constant sunlight, fueling an energetic concert experience for everyone. Don’t miss out. This will be the best festival yet!

Festival passes to Secret Solstice Festival 2018 start at $249 USD. Camping passes are available to purchase with your ticket online. Limited super VIP tickets including Odinn and Package of the Gods are also on sale through the Secret Solstice website. Full tour packages including flights, tickets and accommodation with Iceland’s top services including hotels and rentals. Airport transfers are also available via the Secret Solstice website.

Issue three 85


Pour remplir ce formulaire, utilisez uniquement des majuscules. Si vous faites une erreur, notre personnel vous donnera un nouveau formulaire.

s Declaration Fo

The U.S. Custom

Chaque voyageur entrant ou chef de famille entrant doit fournir les informations suivantes (UNE SEULE déclaration par famille)

What is this and why do I need to fill this out? Before you arrive in the U.S., you will need to fill out the US Customs Declaration Form. If you‘re traveling with your family only the head of the family needs to fill out the form. When you arrive on US soil you will hand this form to the U.S. Customs agent.

Français Le formulaire de déclaration en douane américaine

Qu’est-ce que c’est et pourquoi dois-je en remplir un? Avant votre arrivée aux États-Unis, vous devrez remplir le formulaire de déclaration en douane américaine. Si vous voyagez avec votre famille, seul le chef de famille doit le remplir. Lorsque vous arrivez sur le sol américain, vous donnez ce formulaire aux autorités douanières américaines. Si vous voyagez avec des fruits, nous vous recommandons de les jeter avant ou pendant votre vol vers les États-Unis mais que se passe-t-il si vous répondez « oui » à l’une de ces questions ? Ce n’est pas aussi terrible que ça en a l’air et dire la vérité vous évitera pas mal d’ennuis et une amende pouvant aller jusqu’à 300 $. Consultez la page 88 pour obtenir plus d’informations si vous répondez « OUI ».


Nom, Prénom, Initiale du deuxième prénom.


Date de naissance Jour/Mois/Année.


Nombre de personnes voyageant avec vous.


(a) Adresse Aux États-Unis (Destination ou nom de l‘hôtel) (b) Ville (c) Etat


Lieu de délivrace du passeport (nom du pays)


Numéro de passeport


Pays de résidence


Pays visités pendant ce voyage avant l‘arrivée aux aux Etats-Unis

9. Ligne aérienne / 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: OUI/NON (b) viandes, animaux, produits provenant d‘animaux ou d’animaux sauvages: OUI/NON (c) agents pouvant causer des maladies, cultures cellulaires, escargots: OUI/NON

E A R LY B I R D C AT C H E S After her time in Iceland, Naomi arrives early at the airport so she can enjoy her last hours there before continuing her journey.


W W W. K E FA I R P O R T. I S


WOW Power to the people

Arrive early at Keflavík Airport and we will greet you with open arms. Check in up to 2 ½ hours before your flight so you can enjoy your last moments in Iceland. We offer unlimited free Wi-Fi, many charging stations and a range of shops and restaurants, so you can embrace the last drops of Icelandic taste and feel — and of course Tax and Duty Free.

This Space For Official Use Only

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Welcomes You to the United States

(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) á plus de 10 000$ US: OUI/NON


Je suis / nous sommes en possession de marchandises commerciales (articles des tinés à la vente, échantillon de démonstration ou tout autre article autresque des effets personnels): OUI/NON


Résidents - la valeur totale des biens, y compris la marchandise commerciale, que j’ai/nous avons achetés ou acquis à l’étranger (y compris les cadeaux pour une autre personne, mais pas les articles envoyés aux États-Unis) et que je/ nous rapportons aux États-Unisest de: montant en USD

Customs Declaration


19 CFR 122.27, 148.12, 148.13, 148.110, 148.111, 1498; 31 CFR 5316

Each arriving traveler or responsible family member must provide the following information (only ONE written declaration per family is required). The term "family" is defined as "members of a family residing in the same household who are related by blood, marriage, domestic relationship, or adoption." 1 Family Name Middle

First (Given) 2 Birth date




3 Number of Family members traveling with you 4 (a) U.S. Street Address (hotel name/destination) (b) City 5 Passport issued by (country) 6 Passport number 7 Country of Residence 8 Countries visited on this trip prior to U.S. arrival 9 Airline/Flight No. or Vessel Name Yes


(a) fruits, vegetables, plants, seeds, food, insects:



(b) meats, animals, animal/wildlife products:



(c) disease agents, cell cultures, snails:



(d) soil or have been on a farm/ranch/pasture:



12 I have (We have) been in close proximity of livestock: Yes


11 I am (We are) bringing

(such as touching or handling) 13 I am (We are) carrying currency or monetary instruments over $10,000 U.S. or foreign equivalent:





(see definition of monetary instruments on reverse) 14 I have (We have) commercial merchandise: (articles for sale, samples used for soliciting orders, or goods that are not considered personal effects)

Visiteurs - La valeur totale de tous les articles qui resteront aux États-Unis, y compris la marchandise commerciale est de : USD Signez sur la ligne pour déclarer que votre déclaration est véridique.

15 RESIDENTS—the total value of all goods, including commercial merchandise I/we have purchased or acquired abroad, (including gifts for someone else but not items mailed to $ the U.S.) and am/are bringing to the U.S. is: VISITORS—the total value of all articles that will remain in the U.S., including commercial merchandise is:


Read the instructions on the back of this form. Space is provided to list all the items you must declare. I HAVE READ THE IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON THE REVERSE SIDE OF THIS FORM AND HAVE MADE A TRUTHFUL DECLARATION.

X Signature


Die US-amerikanische Zollerklärung

Was ist das und warum muss ich dieses Formular ausfüllen?

Vor der Ankunft in den USA müssen Sie das Formular der US-Zoller­ klärung ausfüllen. Wenn Sie mit Ihrer Familie unterwegs sind, braucht nur das Familien­ober­haupt dieses Formular ausfüllen. Wenn Sie US-Boden betreten, übergeben Sie dieses Formular dem US-Zoll.

(c) State

10 The primary purpose of this trip is business:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is responsible for protecting the United States against the illegal importation of prohibited items. CBP officers have the authority to question you and to examine you and your personal property. If you are one of the travelers selected for an examination, you will be treated in a courteous, professional, and dignified manner. CBP Supervisors and Passenger Service Representatives are available to answer your questions. Comment cards are available to compliment or provide feedback. Important Information U.S. Residents—declare all articles that you have acquired abroad and are bringing into the United States. Visitors (Non-Residents)—Declare the value of all articles that will remain in the United States. Declare all articles on this declaration form and show the value in U.S. dollars. For gifts, please indicate the retail value. Duty—CBP officers will determine duty. U.S. residents are normally entitled to a duty-free exemption of $800 on items accompanying them. Visitors (non-residents) are normally entitled to an exemption of $100. Duty will be assessed at the current rate on the first $1,000 above the exemption. Agricultural and Wildlife Products—To prevent the entry of dangerous agricultural pests and prohibited wildlife, the following are restricted: Fruits, vegetables, plants, plant products, soil, meat, meat products, birds, snails, and other live animals or animal products. Failure to declare such items to a Customs and Border Protection Officer/ Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialist/Fish and Wildlife Inspector can result in penalties and the items may be subject to seizure. Controlled substances, obscene articles, and toxic substances are generally prohibited entry.

Date (month/day/year)

CBP Form 6059B (04/14)

The transportation of currency or monetary instruments, regardless of the amount, is legal. However, if you bring in to or take out of the United States more than $10,000 (U.S. or foreign equivalent, or a combination of both), you are required by law to file a report on FinCEN 105 (formerly Customs Form 4790) with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Monetary instruments include coin, currency, travelers checks and bearer instruments such as personal or cashiers checks and stocks and bonds. If you have someone else carry the currency or monetary instrument for you, you must also file a report on FinCEN 105. Failure to file the required report or failure to report the total amount that you are carrying may lead to the seizure of all the currency or monetary instruments, and may subject you to civil penalties and/or criminal prosecution. SIGN ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THIS FORM AFTER YOU HAVE READ THE IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOVE AND MADE A TRUTHFUL DECLARATION.

Wenn Sie auf Ihrer Reise Obst mit sich führen, empfehlen wir Ihnen, dies vor oder während dem Flug in die USA zu entsorgen. Aber was geschieht, wenn Sie eine dieser Fragen mit Ja beantworten? Das ist nicht so schrecklich, wie Sie vielleicht denken, und Ehrlichkeit spart Ihnen eine Menge Ärger und eine mögliche Geldstrafe von bis zu 300$. Siehe Seite 88 für weitere Informationen zur Antwort JA.

Bitte verwenden Sie beim Ausfüllen dieses Formulars nur Großbuchstaben. Falls Sie einen Fehler machen wird Ihnen unsere Crew ein neues CBP Description of Articles (List may continue on another CBP Form 6059B) Value Use Only Formular geben. Jeder ankommende Reisende bzw. jedes verantwortliche Familienmitglied muss die folgenden Angaben machen (es ist pro Familie nur EINE schriftliche Erklärung erforderlich) 1.

Familienname, Vorname, Zweiter Vorname


Geburtsdatum / Tag/Monat/Jahr


Anzahl der mit Ihnen reisenden Familienmitglieder


(a) Adresse/genaue Anschrift in den USA (Name des Hotels/Reiseziel) (b) Stadt CBP Form 6059B (04/14) (c) Staat


PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT STATEMENT: An agency may not conduct or sponsor an information collection and a person is not required to respond to this information unless it displays a current valid OMB control number. The control number for this collection is 1651-0009. The estimated average time to complete this application is 4 minutes. Your response is mandatory. If you have any comments regarding the burden estimate you can write to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Regulations and Rulings, 90 K Street, NE, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229.

MORE TIME FOR SHOPPING To remember her time in Iceland, she brings back home unique souvenirs that she bought at the airport.

Issue three 87


s Declaration Fo

The U.S. Custom 5.

Pass ausgestellt von (Land)




Ständiger Wohnsitz (Land)


Auf dieser Reise besuchte Länder vor Ihrer Ankunft in den USA

(c) Krakheitserreger, Zellkulturen, Schnecken: JA/NEIN (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

9. Fluggesellschaft/Flugnummer oder Name des Schiffes 10. Der Hauptanlass dieser Reise ist geschäftlich: JA/NEIN 11. Ich (wir) führen folgende Waren ein: (a) Früchte, Pflanzen, Lebensmittel, Insekten: JA/NEIN (b) Fleisch, Tiere, Tier- oder Wildprodukte: JA/NEIN


Ich führe (wir führen) mehr als $US 10,000 in Bargeld oder Zahlungsmitteln oder den Gegenwert in anderen ausländischen Währungen mit (Siehe die Definition von Gegenstände zum persönlichen Gebrauch gelten): 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


US-Bürger - der Gesamtwert aller Waren, einschließlich Handelswaren die ich/wir erworben habe(n) oder im Ausland erworben habe(n) (einschließlich Geschenke für andere, nicht aber Sendungen in die USA) und in die USA einführe(n) lautet: Betrag in US-$ Besucher - der Gesamtwert aller Artikel einschließlich Handelswaren, die in den USA verbleiben ist: $

Auf der Linie unterschreiben, um zu erklären, dass Sie eine wahrheitsgemäße Erklärung abgeben.

What happens if you say “Yes”? Sometimes we just want to avoid trouble and think that saying NO to everything will make things easier. That’s not the case and in fact, it can even cause more problems, delays and even fines. Be truthful on your Customs Declaration form and all will be good. Worst case scenario they’ll confiscate your banana but we promise you can buy a new one once you’re out of the airport. Yes to 11 (a), (b) or (c) Your customs officer will refer you to an agricultural specialist who will ask you additional questions and might ask to inspect your food items. In many cases, you’ll be allowed to take your food with you. This often depends on where you got the food and how it’s been processed. Fruits, vegetables and raw meats are usually confiscated. You can research ahead of time at which is a U.S. Government run site. Yes to 11 (d) and/or no. 12: An agricultural specialist will ask to inspect the soil or clothes, shoes or luggage that has been in contact with livestock or farm soil to determine if they contain any dangerous organisms. If they find potentially dangerous substances they will disinfect your items before allowing you to bring them in. For bringing soil into the US, you need a permit. Yes to no. 13 or 14: If you are carrying currency worth over $10,000 you will simply be given a special form to fill out for the Treasury Department. For items intended for sale, you should have already filed a “formal entry” before embarking on your journey. You could do so “on the spot” but these matters are subject to many rules and regulations and can be complicated.



Le formulaire de déclaration en douane américaine

Die US-amerikanische Zollerklärung

Que se passe-t-il si vous répondez « OUI » ?

Was passiert, wenn Sie JA sagen?

Certaines personnes semblent penser que répondre « non » à toutes les réponses leur évitera des ennuis. Ce n’est pas le cas et en fait, cela peut même vous causer plus de problèmes, des retards et des amendes. Dites la vérité sur votre formulaire de déclaration en douane et tout ira bien. Dans le pire des cas, ils confisqueront votre banane mais promis, vous pourrez en acheter une nouvelle à votre arrivée à l’aéroport.

Einige Leute nehmen an, dass sie keinerlei Ärger bekommen, wenn sie überall NEIN sagen. Das ist nicht so. Tatsächlich kann dies sogar mehr Probleme, Verzögerungen und sogar Geldbußen verursachen. Seien Sie bei Ihrer Zollerklärung ehrlich, und alles wird gut. Im schlimmsten Fall konfisziert man Ihre Banane, aber wir versprechen Ihnen, dass Sie sich eine neue kaufen können, sobald Sie den Flughafen verlassen haben.

Oui aux questions 11 (a), (b) ou (c) Votre agent douanier vous dirigera vers un spécialiste agricole qui vous posera des questions supplémentaires et qui pourra inspecter vos fruits. Dans de nombreux cas, vous sera autorisé à garder votre nourriture. Cela dépend souvent de la provenance la nourriture et de la façon dont elle a été transformée. Les fruits, les légumes et la viande crue sont généralement confisqués. Vous pouvez faire des recherches avant de partir sur le site qui est un site du gouvernement américain. Oui aux questions 11 (d) et/ou 12 : Un spécialiste agricole inspectera la terre ou les vêtements, les chaussures ou les bagages qui ont été en contact avec du bétail ou le sol d’une ferme pour déterminer la présence d’organismes dangereux. S’il trouve des substances potentiellement dangereuses, il désinfectera vos objets avant de vous laisser les garder. Pour importer de la terre aux États-Unis, il vous faut un permis. Oui aux questions 13 ou 14 : Si vous transportez des devises d’une valeur supérieure à 10 000 $, vous devrez simplement remplir un formulaire spécial pour le ministère des finances. Pour les objets destinés à être vendus, vous devriez déjà avoir rempli un « formulaire d’entrée officielle » avant de prendre votre vol. Vous pouvez faire cela sur place mais ce genre de chose est soumis à de nombreuses règles et règlementations et peut être compliqué.


WOW Power to the people

Ja zu 11 (a), (b) oder (c) Ihr Zollbeamter wird Sie an einen Spezialisten für landwirtschaftliche Produkte weiterverweisen, der Ihnen zusätzliche Fragen stellen wird und evtl. darum bittet, Ihre Lebensmittel inspizieren zu dürfen. In vielen Fällen wird man Ihnen erlauben, Ihr Essen mitzunehmen. Oft hängt es davon ab, wo Sie die Lebensmittel erworben haben und wie sie verarbeitet wurden. Obst, Gemüse und rohes Fleisch werden in der Regel beschlagnahmt. Sie können vor Abflug auf der Website der US-Regierung nachlesen, was erlaubt ist. Ja bei 11 (d) und/oder Nr. 12: Ein Spezialist für landwirtschaftliche Produkte wird Sie darum bitten, die Erde oder die Kleidung, Schuhe oder das Gepäck inspizieren zu dürfen, welche(s) in Kontakt mit Tieren oder landwirtschaftlichem Boden war, um zu bestimmen, ob diese gefährliche Organismen enthalten. Wenn er potenziell gefährliche Stoffe findet, werden Ihre Gegenstände desinfiziert, bevor Sie die Erlaubnis erhalten, diese einzuführen. Für das Einführen von Erde in die USA benötigen Sie eine Genehmigung. Ja bei Nr. 13 oder 14: Wenn Sie Bargeld im Wert von mehr als $10.000 mit sich führen, erhalten Sie einfach ein besonderes Formular, das Sie für das US Finanzministerium ausfüllen müssen. Für Gegenstände, die für den Verkauf vorgesehen sind, sollten Sie bereits vor Ihrer Abreise eine „formelle Einfuhrgenehmigung“ einholen. Sie tun könnten dies auch „vor Ort“ erledigen, aber diese Vorgänge unterliegen vielen Regeln und können sehr kompliziert sein.

“The Icelandic Museum of Rock 'n' Roll is as eccentric in its telling as the tale it celebrates.” David Fricke, Rolling Stone.


Visit Iceland's largest music museum and enjoy our history of Icelandic rock and pop music. Browse through the timeline of Icelandic pop and rock music with the Rock 'n' Roll app on Ipads, spend time in our soundlab, cinema, karaoke booth, gift store, exhibitions or simply grab a cup of coffee at our café (free wifi!).

The museum is located in Keflavík only 5 minutes away from Keflavík International Airport. Open daily from 11am - 6pm For more go to

The Icelandic Museum of Rock 'n' Roll

Issue three 89

The best of Britain’s South West

Sightseeing in deepest Devon Out on a leg at the end of England, Devon is the thigh (where Cornwall is the calf), jutting into the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by a craggy coastline. This is prime rural England with rolling hills, golden sandy beaches and picture postcard villages. by Oli Lynch Photos: Mark Bell, The Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway, Dartmoor and Plymouth


robably most famous as the location for Fawlty Towers, John Cleese’s classic sitcom from the late 1970’s, tourists are finally waking up to the splendor of Devon with record numbers visiting in 2017. As my home county, heading to Devon in the summer is always a pleasure, with some of the best beaches in the British Isles. Due to limited public transport, the county is best explored by car, but explorers will be rewarded with beaches to match the south of France, rustic pubs and great atmosphere. EXETER A pocket-sized city with a large university population, the joy of Exeter is the old winding lanes dotted with boutique shops, old pubs set by the riverside, and its vibrant nightlife (thanks to those students). Throughout the summer, the city hosts an assortment of events including the popular Let’s Rock Festival as well as regular markets celebrating local food and crafts. With a good regional airport, the city is well served by trains from London and the Midlands and makes a great base to explore the rest of the county. DARTMOOR You may or may not come across the fabled Beast of Dartmoor, but the windswept and rugged vistas will more


WOW Power to the people

If you prefer something more sedate, Lydford Gorge is a tranquil oasis with a waterfall and kid-friendly walking routes, or you might enjoy the slow pace of market towns like Tavistock, WidecombeIn-The-Moor or Okehampton.

than compensate. In the summer, the National Park is the perfect place for hiking, mountain biking and even swimming in lakes and rivers. Never mind the Brontes, Dartmoor has its own literary pedigree as the location for Hound of the Baskervilles, one of Sherlock Holmes’ most famous adventures. And you can see why; craggy tors, lonely granite houses and wild horses add a mysterious air to this hauntingly beautiful landscape. Hiring a mountain bike and hitting some of the many bike trails is one of the best ways to experience Dartmoor’s wilderness. The Granite Way between Okehampton and Lydford, Drakes Trail from Tavistock to

Plymouth and Haldon Forest near Exeter are the most popular cycle routes. If you prefer something more sedate, Lydford Gorge is a tranquil oasis with a waterfall and kid-friendly walking routes, or you might enjoy the slow pace of market towns like Tavistock, Widecombe-In-The-Moor or Okehampton. BURGH ISLAND With around 450 miles of coastline, Devon isn’t short of a pretty beach or two. But Burgh Island near the village of BigburyOn-Sea definitely takes the gold medal for the most picturesque. Situated on a spit just offshore, the island gets cut off at high

Out on a leg at the end of England, Devon is the thigh (where Cornwall is the calf), jutting into the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by a craggy coastline. This is prime rural England with rolling hills, golden sandy beaches and picture postcard villages.

tide. Then it is best accessed by the sea tractor—a sort of monster truck tractor that rides through the shallow waters. But the main attraction is the art deco Burgh Island Hotel. Just looking at it, you can imagine writers and bon viveurs propping up the bar in the 1930’s and you’d be right; Agatha Christie and Noel Coward were both frequent visitors and the hotel even makes it into a Hercule Poirot novel. The other building on the island is the Pilchard Inn, a 700-yearold pub serving traditional ales. You can almost see the gruff old fishermen of yore spinning tall tales of the sea by the open fireplace! ...And the beach is pretty fabulous too. TOTNES Totnes has a bit of a reputation for being a center of “alternative” living. Long a magnet for vegans long before being vegan was mainstream, you’re likely to spot chakra realignment or meditation workshops and artisan food cafes alongside boutique clothes shops and independent art galleries. In fact, Totnes was named the most eccentric town in Britain by the Daily Telegraph

newspaper, and after a stroll down the high street, it’s easy to see why. Like many towns in the region, Totnes also has a castle set just off the main street which offers great views of the surrounding area. There is also a wellmaintained steam train which takes you to Buckfastleigh, another quaint market town around 7 miles away. As Totnes is on the mainline train route, it makes a great base for exploring Devonshire’s south coast. BARNSTABLE AND THE NORTH COAST The north coast of Devon is blessed with some fantastic surf beaches such as Croyde, Woolacombe and Saunton Sands. In the summer months, there are still find pockets of beach where you can set up a windbreak and feel like you’ve got the beach to yourself. Barnstable is a sleepy market town with a very rural character which defines the area. The pannier market is the buzzing center of the town where you’ll find local food and drinks, arts and crafts or even just a great place to stop and try to decipher the local accent.

The other building on the island is the Pilchard Inn, a 700-year-old pub serving traditional ales. You can almost see the gruff old fishermen of yore spinning tall tales of the sea by the open fireplace! ...And the beach is pretty fabu­lous too.

LYNTON & LYNMOUTH The sleepy twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth sit on the edge of Exmoor, the smaller moorlands on the north coast of Devon. The main draw for visitors is the world’s steepest water-powered funicular railway which takes visitors between the two villages. The stunning scenery is made for cliff top walks, and refueling with a traditional cream tea (scone, jam and clotted cream) or fish and chips in the village is a proper English delight. PLYMOUTH Although not the prettiest of cities, Plymouth sits in one of the most spectacular natural locations with a huge harbor opening out onto the English Channel. The city is home to the Mayflower Steps which can be found in the old town Barbican area. This was the last stop for the Pilgrims en route to the new world. Plymouth also boasts the UK’s biggest marine aquarium. If you appreciate a G&T you’ll find yourself at home in the Plymouth Gin distillery which has been producing the fine tipple for over 200 years (making it the oldest gin distillery in the world).

Escape the big city and experience the real English countryside. Devon will feel like a dream, relaxing and charming all at once. WOW air offers cheap flights to London every day of the week, all year round. Find your flight to the UK at

Issue three 91

New York bites

Black Tap's Texan burger. Photo: Courtesy of Black Tap.

Manhattan burger bliss New York City is arguably the best place in the world to indulge in the ever-popular hamburger. Restaurants here offer a world of creative choices: beef, turkey, tuna, bison, lamb, and veggie burgers on brioche, gluten-free and sprout buns with sauces and toppings including truffle ketchup, sweet chili relish, and guava barbecue. by Eva Leonard Photos: Courtesy of respective restaurants.

BLACK TAP Black Tap’s three locations in New York City offer burgers with international flavors and ingredients, like pork chorizo, falafel, steak au poivre, pizza, and Wagyu beef. For dessert, if you’re feeling adventurous, try Black Tap’s Crazy Shakes—towering milkshakes topped with sweets like chocolate-covered pretzels, lollipops, and cotton candy.


WOW Power to the people

For dessert, if you’re feeling adventurous, try Black Tap’s Crazy Shakes—towering milkshakes topp­­ ed with sweets like choco­­latecov­­er­­ed pretzels, lollipops, and cotton candy.

BURGER JOINT Tucked away behind a curtain off the lobby of Le Parker Meridien Hotel in Midtown, Burger Joint has been one of New York City’s bestkept secrets for more than 15 years. Wine and beer are also on the menu at this tiny, casual spot, which is cash-only. You’ll also find a Burger Joint in Brooklyn’s Industry City. Black Tap Burger Salad.


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Issue three 93

New York bites

Burger & Lobster.

imported Gruyère, caramelized onions, and rosemary-garlic aioli.

into the potato skins burger, a ribeye patty topped with peppery potato skins, cheddar cheese, bacon, and crema. The gaucho burger features a ribeye patty crowned with crispy onions and guava barbecue sauce. BARE BURGER

BURGER & LOBSTER If you like the idea of savoring beef and seafood in the same bite, this enormous restaurant decorated with lobster traps and tanks is the place for you. At Burger & Lobster’s two Man­­hattan locations, you can order beef burgers heaped with pieces of fresh lobster meat, and if your craving is especially carnivorous, you can also tuck into burgers topped with barbecued pork.

Bare Burger offers locations throughout New York City and a menu that’s loaded with deliciously organic and all-natural options. You can choose beef, turkey, bison, or meatless patties, sprout, gluten-free, and brioche buns, and sauces ranging from seven-spice Thai ketchup to buttermilk ranch. Milkshakes include the vegan Velvis, made with coconut ice cream, banana, peanut butter, chocolate sauce, and hemp milk.

JAX B-B-Q The Better Than Caesar burger is topped with burrata cheese, baby arugula, stone fruit relish, and balsamic glaze.

At JAX B-B-Q, burgers are hand-pressed and made with a custom blend of grassfed Angus beef. The B-B-Q slab bacon burger also features hand-cut slab bacon, Vermont cheddar, and house barbecue sauce. Turkey, lamb, and vegetarian burgers are on the menu too, and you can top it all off with house-infused truffle ketchup.

SHAKE SHACK Shake Shack has expanded globally, but it all started here in New York City where there are now almost 20 locations, including one at JFK International Airport. You’ll sometimes find long lines, but plenty says it’s worth the wait for the incredibly tasty burgers made with all-natural freshly ground 100-percent Angus beef. With outdoor seating in the park, the Madison Square Park Shake Shack is a great spot to enjoy burgers in the sun. CORNER BISTRO At this classic West Village bar, open since 1961, patrons praise the juicy eight-ounce burgers that can be ordered plain or topped with cheese, bacon, and/or chili. It’s a casual pub environment—burgers are served on paper plates with onion, lettuce, and tomato. Corner Bistro is also known for its cheap beer. FIVE NAPKIN BURGER

A.G. Kitchen, Skins Burger.

A.G. KITCHEN The Latin-influenced fare served at A.G. Kitchen includes ten different types of burgers. Meat and potato lovers can tuck


WOW Power to the people

With four locations in New York City, Five Napkin Burger features an extensive menu that includes a barbecue bacon ranch burger, lamb, ahi tuna, veggie burgers, and a burger salad. The Five Napkin Burger is ten ounces of all-natural beef with

KINGS OF KOBE This tiny burger place in Hell’s Kitchen serves all-natural American Wagyu burgers and hot dogs, with an inventive selection of toppings. The Better Than Caesar burger is topped with burrata cheese, baby arugula, stone fruit relish, and balsamic glaze. The Queen Rules burger is loaded with prosciutto, pepper jack cheese, bibb lettuce, sweet chili relish, and jalapeno aioli. Don’t wander hungry around the city that never sleeps. Grab a tasty burger and really take a bite out of the Big Apple. WOW air offers cheap flights to New York City every day of the week, all year round. We now fly to both Newark and JFK airports. Find your flight to New York at

A WARM WELCOME Fur store and workshop Feldur is a family run fur brand that specializes in design and production of high quality fur products. The shop and workshop is located in the heart of ReykjavĂ­k where you will find a wide collection of fur products. Inside you can also see the furrier at work, altering and repairing old fur coats and making new products.

Issue three 95

Store and Workshop | Snorrabraut 56, 105 ReykjavĂ­k | Collection and online shop

Danish delights

The top five of Copenhagen Capital of the happiest people on earth, Copenhagen is a historically charming yet modernly chic city filled with various sites and experiences that make it a must-see destination. Should you find yourself in this Nordic haven, check out these five places to get the best of the City of Spires. by Kristofer Seppälä


WOW Power to the people

1. FOOD: TORVEHALLERNE Stop by the city’s most popular food market, made up of over 60 stands filled with plenty of options and a communal atmosphere. From spices to wine to fresh-cut meat, this place has it all. And it’s the perfect place for a made-to-order meal, whether it’s a traditional Danish smørrebrød or a modern paleo-friendly wrap. Should you be in the mood for the best cup of coffee in your life, stop by the Coffee Collective and be spoiled. Coffee back home won’t quite taste the same anymore after a cup from this caffeine oasis.

Capital of the happiest people on earth, Copenhagen is a historically charming yet modernly chic city filled with various sites and experiences that make it a must-see destination.

2. HISTORICAL BUILDING: RUNDETAARN Attached to the Trinitatis Church and an academic library, the Rundetaarn (Round Tower) is a 17thcentury tower containing the world’s oldest functioning astronomical observatory. Today the top of the tower serves as the most popular venue to see Copenhagen’s skyline. And the journey to the top is just as unique as the view at the end of your trek. The tower contains a wide spiral ramp instead of stairs. This was originally designed for a horse and carriage to transport equipment up to the observatory. Czars on horseback and early 20th-century cars have ascended to the top, and bicycle races down the tower have been held since 1888. 3. NEIGHBORHOOD: NYHAVN Perhaps the most recognizable destination, Ny­havn is a quaint waterfront neighborhood with rows of Dutch-style houses on opposite sides of a canal that dead-ends here. Originally a commercial port for cargo and fishing ships, the area now serves the purpose of a town square with restaurants and pubs. Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish writer best known for The Little Mermaid, at one point lived in one of the picturesque homes. If you want to take a selfie at an iconic location, Nyhavn is the place to do it.

Perhaps the most recognizable destination, Nyhavn is a quaint waterfront neighborhood with rows of Dutch-style houses on opposite sides of a canal that dead-ends here. Originally a commercial port for cargo and fishing ships, the area now serves the purpose of a town square with restaurants and pubs

Denmark’s first public hospital, the building has since been converted into a museum featuring decorative art and designs from the Middle Ages to the present. Its most unique permanent exhibition is a hall of design chairs featuring the history of how Danish design came to be a worldwide brand. The museum also has a gift shop perfect for getting travel-size souvenirs of Danish art and craft to bring back home. And if you are 25 or younger, admission to the museum is free! 5. ACTIVITY: TIVOLI GARDENS Ever wonder where Walt Disney found inspiration to build Disneyland? Take a walk through the world’s second-oldest amusement park and it’s not hard to see the similarities. A Moorish palace, a pirate ship, a Chinese-style pantomime theater, and various actual gardens throughout the park are some of the visual attractions that capture the childlike wonder and imagination. And of course, there’s a variety of rides, restaurants and shops. A day in Copenhagen would be incomplete without spending an evening here to see the gardens lit up, and of course—fireworks to light up the night sky. Supercool Copenhagen will amaze you so pack your appetite for all things Nordic and get to know this amazing city.


WOW air offers cheap flights to Copenhagen every day of the week, all year round. Find your flight to Denmark at

Who would have ever thought that an exhibition on chairs could be interesting to see? Originally


Skólavörðustígur 19 & Borgartún 31

t: +354 552 1890

Issue three 97

WOW in Israel


WOW Power to the people

This is literally the lowest place on the planet or 431 m below sea level.

A Dead Sea spa date It’s possible to have high times in low places and that is especially true at the Dead Sea, a landlocked lake on the borders of Israel and Jordan. This is literally the lowest place on the planet or 431 m below sea level. by Guðrún Vaka Helgadóttir Photos:


o get to the Dead Sea from Tel Aviv (ca. 98 km) there are a lot of tours to choose from. We recommend staying for at least one night and getting pampered at one of the luxurious spa hotels on site. We stayed at the beautiful Isrotel Hotel right on the water and enjoyed a warm Dead Sea mud bath and a dip in their Dead Sea pool where we got our first taste (literally and figuratively) of the Dead Sea. Spoiler: It tastes horrible. WHERE SALTY MEANS SWEET Famous for many reasons, the Dead Sea is best known for being extremely salty. It is so salty in fact that you will float without even trying. This makes swimming nearly impossible and actually quite dangerous; just stay floating on your back and you will be fine. Don’t forget to take a shower after your dip in the lake and drink plenty of water. The salinity of the Dead Sea is 33.7 percent, almost 10 times saltier than normal seawater so it is impossible for any living creature to survive in it except for some minuscule quantities of bacteria and microbial fungi … and us humans of course—but that’s because we usually have the ability and good sense to get out of the water before we mummify. It is recommended that Dead Sea bathers not spend more than 20 minutes at once in the water. But where does all this salt come from? The water in the Dead Sea comes from the Jordan River flowing from the north into this landlocked lake, situated in the Jordan Rift Valley. Like all rivers, the Jordan River collects particles of salt and other minerals on the way to the Dead Sea, its final destination. From there the water has no place to go but up and exposed to the intense heat of the desert sun the water evaporates much more quickly than in the ocean. Once evaporated, what’s left are vast quantities of salt and minerals. The Dead Sea might be among the strangest places on Earth, with its negative altitude and lifeless and salty shores. But there is much beauty to be found here. The water offers brilliant colors and salt formations and its salt-encrusted beaches make it feel otherworldly. We recommend waking up before sunrise and heading into the water. Then just lay back and

float about as the sun rises slowly but surely over the Judean desert. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE Hanging around in spa treatments and floating about in a salty lake is not all you can do in the area, although that may be what lures you in. All around is the Judean desert full of adventures. We recommend taking a real desert safari and learning about the area. You can be sure that there is either a biblical or historic connection waiting around every corner but the real kicker is having a well-trained driver take you through the desert road; guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping. The Dead Sea is really in the middle of nowhere so there are not a lot of options for dining out, except maybe the hotel restaurants. However, a relatively short drive will take you to one of the best eating experiences in the area, a Bedouin tent called Taj Mahal. With an exotic environment and great atmosphere, this Middle Eastern restaurant serves some of the most delicious dishes we had in Israel. Guests can choose between sitting on mats and cushions on the floor or on regular seats. Going all the way is recommended, including the water pipe and belly dancer. MASADA Built by Herod the Great (or maybe not so great) between 37-31 BCE, Masada is one of Israel’s most popular attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ancient summer palace was strategically raised high on a flat plateau above the Dead Sea, a fortress that was hard to penetrate. Today, getting to the Herod’s old palace is a little easier thanks to a modern cable-car. What remains of Masada is both an architectural masterpiece and an archeological dream come true. With colorful murals still visible on the wall, a large Roman-style bathhouse with a mosaic floor and the luxurious western palace—perhaps the most impressive is King Herod’s bedroom overlooking the gorge below. Masada is the largest and most complete Roman siege camp that remains today and fully worth a visit as it has some great stories the most famous of which is the Siege of Masada, one of the final events in the First Jewish-Roman War.

Take the trip of a lifetime to Israel. You’ll be floating on air and the Dead Sea’s salty waters. Book your flight to Tel Aviv, Israel at and have the trip of your dreams.

Issue three 99

Gorgeous Germany

The spirit of Frankfurt When you hear the name Frankfurt numerous affiliations may spring to mind—sausages for one, or Frankfurt International Airport, perhaps the German Stock Exchange, or the International Automotive Exhibition. by Cindy-Lou Dale


et, few travelers to Frankfurt get to look beyond the international airport and the glitzy trade shows. In contrast to the bustling inner city life with its internationally renowned shopping opportunities, there lies the colorful historical quarter of Sachsenhausen. CREATIVITY ABOUNDS Strolling through Frankfurt’s city center confuses one’s senses. There is no division between historic buildings and state-of-the-art architecture—they share the same block. This city is home to the German Stock Exchange, the European Central Bank, the Deutsche Bundesbank and over threehundred financial institutions, yet, despite this staid environment, Frankfurt produces some of the most revolutionary creative minds in Europe and promotes the arts like no other European city, providing more than forty museums and exhibition venues and over sixty theaters. While Frankfurt is a proud German city, more than a quarter of its population is foreign. It is one of the world’s most significant trade fair locations in the world, attracting more than two million people annually, yet take to the streets for its traditional folk festivals.


WOW Power to the people

HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES? No sojourn in Frankfurt is complete without a quick visit to the serene Sachsenhausen district for a glass of the renowned Ebbelwei, an aromatic apple wine, which has been the city’s most popular beverage since the time of Charlemagne, 1200 years ago. Locals traditionally enjoy it in rustic apple wine pubs, where it is served in an earthenware jug, commonly referred to as the “bembel,” and drunk from a special ribbed glass, known as the “gerippte.” Over the years, the grey jug with its blue design has become the premier symbol of Frankfurt’s time-honored apple wine culture. True apple wine aficionados enjoy their apple wine pure; only in special circumstances will they take it mixed with sparkling mineral water. This watered down version, known as the “sauergespritzer,” is particularly popular among first-timers. A sweet version, called the “süßgespritzer,” also exists. This variation of the locals’ beverage of choice is however frowned upon by the majority of apple wine enthusiasts. In the winter months, Ebbelwei takes on a delicious dimension and is served piping hot, infused with sugar, cinnamon, cloves and lemon.

Three must-see Frankfurt sights: The Römerberg: Frankfurt’s Old Town Center is an irregularly shaped square with the Justice Fountain at its center. Not only is it Frankfurt’s most picturesque public square, it’s the city’s busiest pedestrian zone, home to numerous tourist attractions from its many Kulturschirn open-fronted shop, to the Römer, a complex of 11 lovely old buildings from the 15th to 18th centuries. Goethe House and Museum: Frankfurt has the distinction of being the birthplace of Germany’s greatest writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. His family home, Goethe House, is where Goethe was born on August 28, 1749, and where he lived until 1765. There shows how the well-to-do family (and their staff) would have lived. Next-door is the Goethe Museum, a 14-room gallery showcasing artworks from the writer’s time, including masterpieces of the Late Baroque and Romantic periods.

St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral: Built with red sandstone of Gothic style in the 13th and 14th centuries, the 95m tall cathedral still manages to stand out in this city of skyscrapers. Beneath the tower is the magnificent Crucifixion by Hans Backoffen, sculpted in 1509. Seven famous children of Frankfurt Dr. Alois Alzheimer—a neuropathologist who in 1906 identified the memory-loss ailment named after him Johann Wolfgang von Goethe—a poet, playwright, novelist, essayist and artist. Leading philosopher Theodor Adorno World famous composer Clara Schumann The father of immunology, chemotherapy, hematology and pharmacology Dr. Paul Ehrlich Anne Frank Founder of the Roths­ child financial empire, Mayer Rothschild

When you hear the name Frankfurt numerous affiliations may spring to mind—sausages for one, or Frankfurt International Airport, perhaps the German Stock Exchange, or the International Automotive Exhibition.

A buxom barmaid made a concerted effort to convert me to Ebbelwei: “It’s made from fresh regional apples that contain minerals known to strengthen the immune system while also helping to prevent heart and cardiovascular disease. And it’s said to improve blood flow to the brain, promoting mental vitality.” Also important, its alcohol content is at a mere five percent, and no more than 36 calories per 100 milliliters, making it safe for diabetics or those watching their weight. AN APPETITE FOR MORE Ebbelwei is best accompanied by a traditional cheese dishes like Handkäs mit Musik, small round regional cheeses marinated in oil, vinegar and chopped onions, served with bread and butter; Schneegestoeber which is a Camembert mixed with cream cheese, pepper and paprika is served with an accompaniment of either dark farmhouse bread or potato salad and sauerkraut. Then there are the traditional German sausages like the bratwurst; or an authentic Frankfurter Würstchen—thin

lightly smoked, flavorful pork sausages that are almost always eaten in pairs, served alongside an obligatory splat of cold green sauce made from borage, chervil, cress, parsley, salad burnet, sorrel, chives and sour cream. Alternatively, a plate of pork cutlets slow cooked in sauerkraut and traditionally served with mashed potatoes and yellow mustard. With your appetite now sated, head back to the city glinting with glass, steel and concrete skyscrapers. At its heart, Frankfurt is an unexpectedly traditional and pleasant city, with half-timbered buildings, huddled in its quaint medieval old city quarter and cozy apple wine taverns serving hearty regional food. There are village-like neighborhoods filled with outdoor cafes, boutiques and street art, and beautiful parks and riverside paths. The city’s cache of museums is second only to Berlin and its nightlife and entertainment scenes are bolstered by a spirited student population. For further motivation see

Don’t forget about Frankfurt! Germany’s business city will surprise you and so will the surrounding countryside. WOW air offers cheap flights to Frankfurt every day of the week, all year round. Find your flight to Germany at

Issue three 101

Midwest USA

Eat Cleveland From grabbing a breakfast bagel at one of the city’s firm favorites, to stopping for a mid-afternoon dessert, followed by every trendy gourmet indulgence imaginable, let’s eat our way around Cleveland. by Cindy-Lou Dale


leveland is one of America’s top foodie cities, enriched by culture and cuisine and waves of immigrants who have created eateries serving traditional dishes from their home countries. Be it fine dining, a hole-in-the-wall or a trendy club, it’s all here, sometimes infused with a touch of elegance; always with a huge culinary twist.

WOW Power to the people



As an alternative to a buzzy coffee shop where burnt coffee and loud music do nothing for the soul, kick off the day with a glass of juice from the cosmopolitan Restore Cold Pressed (1001 Huron Rd East). There’s a welcoming urban rustic calm to the place with a menu that’s divided into categories, making it easier to choose. I recommend the detox juice of apple, beet, carrot and lemon—ask for activated carbon to be added, which guarantees a good kick in the pants.

Market Garden Brewery is Cleveland’s go-to place and the city’s first Ameri­ can beer garden. Their brewm­aster keeps the brewery stocked with a line-up of tasty beers like Chinook Strike, Wallace Tavern, Double Down Brown and Retro Hippo, which go well with the Lobster and Cheese Mac constructed from uber-fresh in­­ gredients gathered from the West Side Market next door.


For solids, head to the Cleveland Bagel Company (4201 Detroit Ave) and feast on cinnamon Cleveland-style bagels, which are a cross between the squiggly bagels from Montreal and the doughy New Yorkstyle ones. When I spotted a fellow patron order one with bacon and peanut butter add-ons, I also had to have one.

POST-LUNCH COFFEE For a birds-eye view of the Public Square, take the elevator to the Observation Deck on the 52nd-floor of the Terminal Tower; built in the 1920s, it is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. There you’ll see a stunning 30-mile view across the downtown architecture, Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River. Back on the ground, pop into REBoL, located in the heart of the Public Square. A street food kitchen and brew bar, REBoL serves organic coffee and craft beer. Its unique setting is prime “people watching” real estate. Their mindaltering cold coffee “Nitro-Toddy” will add a spring to your step.

MID-AFTERNOON SNACK With all the advancements of the 21st century there’s no beating Sweet Moses (6800 Detroit Ave), a vintage soda fountain and treat shop in the Gordon Square Arts District. Here they serve up homemade

From grabbing a breakfast bagel at one of the city’s firm favorites, to stopping for a mid-afternoon dessert, followed by every trendy gourmet indulgence imaginable, let’s eat our way around Cleveland.

Cleveland is one of America’s top foodie cities, enriched by culture and cuisine and waves of immigrants who have created eateries serving traditional dishes from their home countries.

ice-cream, fudge, sundaes topped with hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry. The interiors are like scenes from the movie Grease—authentic Bastion-Blessing soda fountains, gleaming Tennessee marble, restored counters and ancient wrought-iron ice-cream chairs from granddad’s youth. What to have—no doubt about it—a tall banana milkshake with a little something extra to boost you up. Sip, swallow (you may feel the need to chew), then fall into an intoxicating cloud of milkshake delirium. You’ll cozy up to the lusciousness of it all and may even have another. Beware, this is the reason you’ll be returning to Cleveland.

DINNER, STARTERS The riverside, industrial chic Alley Cat Oyster Bar (1056 Old River Rd) is a seafood nirvana, with an added sense of theater at sunset. Who’d have guessed there was such a thing as an oyster menu? Nauset Beach oysters from Orleans, South Lake Oysters from Cape Cod, St Simon oysters from New Brunswick, Blue Point from Long Island— each have their own distinctive taste.

DINNER, MAINS Owned by Cleveland-born celebrity “Iron” chef, Michael Symon, known for his meatcentric fare, Lola Bistro is a nationally acclaimed restaurant with an Eastern European take on staple comfort foods like beef cheek, venison and pork shanks, and a focus on local produce and hormonefree meats.

AFTER DINNER DRINKS Spend the night out listening to live jazz at Nighttown (12387 Cedar Rd), a genuine art-deco relic dating back to the 1920s having the ambiance of a turn-of-thecentury New York restaurant, complete with tuxedo-clad patrons and walls festooned with memorabilia from another era. No wonder they’ve been voted one of the top 100 jazz clubs in the world.

There’s only one true way to get to know a city and that’s through its food. You need to eat it among the people who create it. That way it’s seasoned with a sense of place, the neighborhood, culture and traditions.

When Cleveland breaks out the crystal, she shines! Find out more about this gem at WOW air now offers cheap flights to Cleveland, Ohio, four times a week. Find your flight to Cleveland at



Mexican food that is a true fiesta for your taste buds! We are at eight locations in the Reykjavik area and one in Akureyri: The N1 service stations at Hringbraut and Bíldshöfði. The shopping malls Kringlan and Smáralind and Akureyri center among other places.

Issue three 103

Incredible India

Spice up your life in New Delhi India is a unique country and in many ways completely different from what most Westerners are accustomed to. With its ancient culture, incredible architecture, countless religions, glorious food and abundance of rich historical traditions, India is truly in a league of its own. Read up on Mother India and its peoples. Fly with WOW air to India and experience the adventure of a lifetime. . by Guðrún Baldvina Sævarsdóttir Photos: Garðar Ólafsson and Guðrún Baldvina Sævarsdóttir


WOW Power to the people

Read up on Mother India and its peoples. Fly with WOW air to India and experience the adventure of a lifetime.


ndia is the world’s seventh largest country and frankly resembles more of a continent, covering an area of over 3 million square kilometers. The official language is Hindi but many people speak excellent English. THE PEOPLE Indians make up the second largest nation in the world, with over 1.3 billion people. That means there are almost 3,800 times more Indians than Icelanders, who recently celebrated reaching a whopping 350,000! Overgeneralizations about a nation so large are obviously quite silly ventures, but we’re doing it anyway. Indians are an incredibly calm people and sail through their chaotic and loud traffic with stoicism and relaxed hand gestures. In our experience, most Indians are friendly, conversable and quite helpful when they come across confused tourists looking for some world-famous monument. India is home to a great variety of religions, but around 80% of the is Hindu, 14% is Muslim, followed by Christians, Sikhs and Buddhists. As a result, there is an abundance of holy places in India and visiting these ancient places of worship is an amazing experience, especially the Hindu, Bahá’í and Sikh temples, that are so exotic to the average Westerner. Part of this experience is feeling how welcome tourists are in most of these places, as long as they respect the proper protocols and dress codes. Go out of your way to get a closer feel for India’s many religions but keep in mind that the temples are places of worship so respect is key. NEW DELHI

Delhi is a “megacity” with over 26 million inhabitants. The inevitable culture shock is usually first brought about by the immense traffic of both cars and people. But this is also a place of great economic inequality and Delhi is a place of extreme luxury as well as great poverty.

India and the river Ganges. Varanasi is an important religious center in India and the country’s holiest city for both Hindus and Jains. There is plenty to see here but for most, the over 80 “Ghats” of Ganges tops the list. Ghats are places where steps provide access to the river and we recommend a boat tour at sunrise to witness the daily rituals of people bathing and washing in their holy river. This city is a spiritual journey, and a trip to Varanasi will never be forgotten.

Delhi is a “megacity” with over 26 million inhabitants. The inevitable culture shock is usually first brought about by the immense traffic of both cars and people. But this is also a place of great economic inequality and Delhi is a place of extreme luxury as well as great poverty. Delhi encompasses both Old Delhi in the north and the capital New Delhi in the south and they couldn’t be more different. Old Delhi feels like an opening scene in an action movie, complete with its rickshaws, donkeys, carriers and the colorful and grimy street culture. Walking through the spice and textile markets is a unique experience where you really feel the heartbeat of this old city. It’s wise to bring something to cover your mouth and nose when walking through the spice stalls, the scent might be divine but the air is dense from colorful herbs. Most travelers get over their germaphobia on day one in these markets but take it easy on the street food unless your digestive system is all the worldlier. Be careful of thieving (although adorable) apes who hang out near the fruit stalls, waiting for their chance to grab a banana or two. New Delhi is also a unique destination with its carefully planned colonial areas from the time the British ruled these parts. It’s home to glorious monuments, awe-inspiring palaces and beautiful gardens. You could spend years getting to know Delhi but we (and the UNESCO World Heritage Center) recommend you start with the Red Fort, Qutab Minar and Humayun’s Tomb. Don’t miss India Gate the and Presidential Palace and when it all gets too much, take a breather in the beautifully serene Lodi Gardens. AGRA Agra is a city of 1.5 million people, a 3-hour drive south of Delhi. We can’t really recommend Agra as a destination since its neither beautiful nor particularly exciting compared to its bigger brother in the north. However, Agra is home to one of the most beautiful buildings in the world: the Taj Mahal. Take our word for it when we tell you it truly is worth the drive. A professional Taj Mahal photographer recommends getting there at 6 am for the spectacular sunrise and to beat the daily wave of tourists. VARANASI Varanasi is a longer drive southeast of Delhi but well worth the extra trip for those who want to experience up close the historical and rather magical relationship of the people of

A lifetime wouldn’t suffice to get to know the country of India and its culture but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Experience a real adventure in incredible India and start your journey in New Delhi. You can now buy cheap flights to New Delhi, India with WOW air from North-America and Europe. Our first flight departs in December. Find your flight at

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Listen up Chicago! If you’re a jazz fan and you’re in Chicago, you’re in the right place. by Kelly Sargent


azz is often described as a true American original, the baseball of music, but like the country itself, it’s a mélange. It evolved from rhythms and improvisational style brought from Africa, combined with European melodies and musical structure—mixed in the melting pot that America has always been. JAZZING UP THE MISSISSIPPI Jazz first emerged in the unique cultural cauldron of New Orleans


WOW Power to the people

before traveling up the Mississippi River to Chicago in the early 20th century where it flourished in the hurly-burly of its transplanted northern home. Remarkably, a landmark from Chicago’s early Dixieland days still exists in its original location. The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge (4802 N. Broadway) in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, began life in 1907 as Pop Morse’s Roadhouse. Three years later the name changed to include

the word “green” to distinguish itself from the abundance of red-light establishments in the area. When a US Constitutional amend­ ment banned alcohol in 1920, speakeasies proliferated, and the Mill was one of them thanks to police payoffs and the club’s new mob management. Al Capone’s favorite booth is still there, situated at the west end of the bar. Also still in existence: a trapdoor to the basement that led to a series of

tunnels used to move illegal booze into the club, and its drinking, gambling patrons out in the event of a raid. Long since respectable, the Mill offers live jazz every night except Sunday. JAZZ CLUBS OLD AND NEW It depends on your definition of “jazz club” as to which is Chicago’s oldest, but by any measure, the Jazz Showcase (806 S. Plymouth Court) is in the running. Founded by Joe

If you’re a jazz fan and you’re in Chicago, you’re in the right place.

Jazz is often described as a true American original, the baseball of music, but like the country itself, it’s a mélange. It evolved from rhythms and improvisational style brought from Africa, combined with European melodies and musical structure— mixed in the melting pot that America has always been.

Segal in 1947, it’s a jazz institution where luminaries such as Count Basie, Dexter Gordon, Kenny Burrell, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner and many more have performed. Say hello to 92-year-old Joe who still shows up for work. In contrast to the city’s oldest, Winter’s Jazz Club is its newest. Located at 465 N. McClurg Court on the promenade facing Ogden Slip just off Lake Shore Drive, Winter’s exudes modern, upscale sophistication and urbanity. It’s a venue designed especially for jazz connoisseurs, where the music is meant to be heard, as lights from the city flicker on the water.

Winter’s focus is straight-ahead jazz featuring vocalists, and Elaine Dame, described in reviews “as having quietly risen to the top ranks of Chicago jazz singers,” has a regular gig there. Andy’s, at 11 East Hubbard Street, two blocks north of the Chicago River and two blocks west of the Magnificent Mile, is another popular downtown club. Andy’s started life as a saloon in 1951, reinvented itself in 1977 as a jazz club and now presents shows at noon, 5 pm and 9 pm every day of the week. You can catch singer Rose Colella there Tuesday evenings. Rose comes by her chanteuse status naturally. Her grandmother was a jazz singer in the 1930s and ’40s and




About the author: In addition to having written for the Des Moines Register and commercial clients, Kelly and her husband own Brainstorm Iowa and manage a 17-piece big band.

a friend of the legendary Ella Fitzgerald. Don’t miss Paul Marinaro if you can help it. Paul, who has been attracting rave reviews for his rich baritone voice, was praised by renowned Chicago Tribune music critic Howard Reich as having “one of the most beautiful vocal instruments in the country.” BIG JAZZ After winning the first annual Ella Fitzgerald competition in Washington, DC, Alyssa Allgood’s debut album was named Best Release of 2016 by Huffington Post and five other publications. Jazz guitarist Andy Brown is popular at every club in town, and if big bands are your thing, the Chicago Jazz Orchestra is the oldest and best. Look for the Chris Greene Quartet, voted Best Jazz Entertainer at the 2018 Chicago Music Awards, and check out Dee Alexander, who received the same award ten years earlier. In addition to these outstanding performers and memorable venues, it’s worth flying into the city just for the Chicago Jazz Festival alone. Held in landmark Millennium Park, this year the Festival runs from August 30 to September 2—four solid days and nights of jazz. Even better, it’s free!

To really jazz things up you need to go to Chicago and boogie-woogie to the fourbeat rhythm. If you can hold a note, pack it and bring it with you. WOW air offers cheap flights to Chicago every day of the week until October and four times a week during the winter. Find your flight to Chicago on

The Icelandic Phallological Museum is one of the most informative, humorous, and unusual museums in the world. The world famous “Penis museum” in Reykjavik is the only museum in the world to contain a collection of phallic specimens belonging to all the various types of mammal found in a single country. The founder, Sigurður Hjartarson started the collection 40 years ago and made it first accessible to the public in 1997 with the opening of the museum. The Icelandic Phallological Museum contains a collection of more than 220 penises and penile parts belonging to all the land and sea mammals that can be found in Iceland. There is also a foreign section that holds more than forty examples and a folklore section that has some twenty pieces on display. All in all, more than 380 biological examples. In addition to the biological section of the museum, visitors can view a collection of about 350 artistic oddments and practical utensils related to the museum’s chosen theme. The museum is in a 250 square meter location on the upper part of Reykjavik’s main shopping street, Laugavegur, only a 10 minutes walk from the city’s centre. There is a souvenir corner with a small exclusive selection of things related to the museum’s theme.

Seeing is believing! No pornography or offensive material in the museum.

Laugavegur 116 • 105 Reykjavík • Tel.: (+354) 561-6663 (+354) 690 3774• • Opening hours: Summer: Daily from10 am - 6 pm • Winter: Daily from 11 am -6 pm • Next to Hlemmur bus station

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Cool things to do in LA When people say they’re going to LA; they’re going to both a city, and a county in Southern California that has 88 cities which include such iconic places as: Beverly Hills, Culver City, Malibu, Santa Monica and West Hollywood. But no matter where you go, a few things are certain in La La Land: sunshine, cool places and traffic. by Caron R. Luteran Photos:

GETTING AROUND LA When you arrive at LAX Airport you can reach Downtown LA by getting off at Union Station or in Hollywood on the FlyAway Bus. Once in the LA area, you can use a TAP card ( to navigate LA on the Metro ( HOLLYWOOD HIGHLIGHTS Hooray for Hollywood! Don’t look down at your smartphone; look up at the Hollywood sign! Take a stroll along Hollywood Blvd. and see all the stars on the Walk of Fame which is free fun as well as good exercise. A trip to the Hollywood Museum is a must for film fans and next door is Mel’s Drive-In at 1660 N. Highland Avenue if you’re hungry. It’s a quintessential American diner that’s open early to late and 24 hours on Friday and Saturday. Inside is the casual Celebrity Bar with two happy hours Monday-Friday from 4 pm to 7 pm and 10 pm to midnight. To pay your respects to legends; head over to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery! How about a hike at Runyon Canyon Park? Who knows whom you might pass on the trail?


WOW Power to the people

A trip to the Hollywood Museum is a must for film fans and next door is Mel’s Drive-In at 1660 N. Highland Avenue if you’re hungry. It’s a quintessential American diner that’s open early to late and 24 hours on Friday and Saturday.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN DOWNTOWN LA Once downtown, you can either walk or use the DASH Bus (la­­ to sightsee for 50 cents. Chinatown is located around N. Broadway and during the day you’ll find food, crafts, herbs, antiques, arts and a temple. Chinatown Summer Nights happen at the end of the month from 5 pm to midnight at Central Plaza and Mandarin Plaza. Think food trucks and music. Perhaps you’d like to take in the 1-1/2 or 2-1/2 hour Undiscovered Chinatown walking tour ranging from $20 and up. On the first Thursday of the month from 6 pm to 10 pm, foodies can attend Chinatown After Dark and listen to music at Far East Plaza. The historic center downtown has many architectural styles such as art deco and beaux arts. Check out the cage elevators at the Bradbury Building or the many theaters on Broadway. Get off at the Civic Center Metro stop for The Broad, a contempor­ary art museum in a cool iconic modern building at 221 S. Grand Avenue. Free tickets can be booked online one month in advance or by standby on visit day except for Mondays when it’s closed. A must see sight is Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity

Mirror Rooms. You’ll have to get another ticket to see the two rooms once inside but talk about mirrors and LED lights! Selfies!! Down the street from The Broad is a museum of contemporary art which features art from Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Joan Miro, etc. There’s free admission every Thursday from 5 pm to 8 pm. Stop by Lemonade for creative and diverse modern dining if you’re hungry. You can’t miss Frank Gehry’s sleek wavy steel Walt Disney Concert Hall at 111 S. Grand Ave which offers free one-hour tours or self-guided tours inside. Head on up to the rooftop of the Blue Ribbon Garden to see the lovely rose shaped fountain. This peaceful urban garden has scenic LA views. The LA Central Library is down the street from The Broad and has more than books. Check out the art deco architecture, rooftop pyramid and the chandeliers in the Tom Bradley Wing. Perhaps you’d like to go on a free one-hour Architecture and Art Tour given at 12:30 pm on weekdays. Maguire Gardens behind the library offers an Art in the Garden Tour at 12:30 pm on Saturdays. Little Tokyo seems like Tokyo with its many restaurants serving sushi, ramen noodles

Beverly Hills, Culver City, Malibu, Santa Monica and West Hollywood. But no matter where you go, a few things are certain in La La Land: sunshine, cool places and traffic.

and shabu-shabu meat & veggie hotpots. There are a revolving sushi bar and tea room, too. Some temples in this area offer meditation and a tea ceremony. Check out for more info. For art, Gallery Row has some galleries on Spring and Main and from 2nd to 9th Streets and is close to Little Tokyo. It has a Downtown Art Walk on the second Thursday of every month.

Check out the art deco architecture, rooftop pyramid and the chand­ eliers in the Tom Bradley Wing.

South Park area near the Pico Metro Station: If you’re a fashionista, the Fashion Institute of Design Museum & Galleries at 919 S. Grand Avenue in the fashion district shows fashions, film fashions, fragrance, jewelry and Versace’s menswear exhibits for free. The Staples Center is the place to see a live concert or the LA Lakers playing basketball. If you’re heading to LA be cool and do cool things. WOW air offers cheap flights to Los Angeles every day of the week until October and 4-5 times a week during the winter.



@aurorareykjavik @aurorareykjavik





Can’t catch the Northern Lights? Don’t worry, we have already done it for you Visit us and enjoy our multimedia exhibition

OPEN EVERY DAY FROM 09:00 - 21:00

Grandagarður 2 - 101 Reykjavík. Near the old harbour. Tel: (+354) 780 4500 -

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WOW destinations

You want more? WOW! We’ve got so many destinations we don’t have room for articles about all of them. WOW air now has over 30 destinations and will continue to add more as well as increase flight frequency to our top destinations such as London, Paris and California. You can check out all our flight destinations and low fares at Dallas skyline.


WOW Power to the people

ALICANTE Warm up by the Mediterranean Sea and taste the best of Spain. WOW air now offers cheap flights* to Alicante from Iceland, with available connections from USA and Canada, up to four times a week until the end of October 2017. AMSTERDAM A city of art, architecture, cool people and canals, and don’t forget windmills, weird wooden shoes and tulips. Amsterdam is a fairytale and a great place to visit. WOW air offers cheap flights to Amsterdam from USA, Canada and Iceland daily or two times a day*, all year round. BARCELONA Barcelona truly is the perfect destination; tasty tapas, seaside promenades and mind-blowing architecture. Getting there is the easy part. WOW air offers 2-4 flights a week* to Barcelona from Iceland, with available connections from USA and Canada, until the end of October 2018.

BERLIN The capital of cool and quirky is one of our most popular destinations. With history on every corner, a nightlife scene that truly lives up to its name and great shopping for everyone, Berlin won’t let you down. Hop onboard. WOW air offers cheap flights* to Berlin, Germany from USA, Canada and Iceland, daily or two times a day, all year round. BOSTON The city that’s famous for Cheers and good shopping.

waffles, premium beer and mussels this cool destination will surprise you. WOW air offers cheap flights to Brussels every day of the week* during the summer and four to five times a week during other seasons. CINCINNATI Also known as the Queen of the West, Cincinnati offers historic architecture, innovative food and festivals fit for royalty. WOW air offers cheap flights to Cincinnati, Ohio, four times a week.

WOW air offers cheap flights to Boston from Iceland all days of the week all year round. Connecting flights* to Boston are available from most WOW destinations in Europe.

A trendy hot-spot with a wide range of tourist attractions, Brussels, Belgium is a perfect destination for a fun family vacation or a short city break. Known for fine chocolate, tasty

Dublin has become a modern European city without losing the grip on its Irish roots and just a stone’s throw away is the spectacular Irish nature. WOW air flies to Dublin, Ireland from USA, Canada and Iceland daily or two times a day, all year round. DÜSSELDORF This great city on the Rhine is famous for its art and culture, luxury fashion and lifestyle. WOW air flies to Düsseldorf, Germany from Iceland, with available connections from USA and Canada, from the start of June to the end of October. EDINBURGH



The dream turned out to be real after all and WOW air is going to Dallas. Big houses, big hats, big cars, big portions and big ideas … Welcome to Dallas, Texas! WOW air offers cheap flight to Dallas, Texas, three times a week.

Enjoy Scottish hospitality, listen to the smooth sounds of bagpipes, swim with the Loch Ness Monster, taste the national dish—haggis— and wash it all down with some fine Scottish whiskey. We guarantee you’ll get hooked on Scotland! WOW air now offers up to four flights* a week to Edinburgh from USA, Canada and Iceland.

Snæfellsjökull Art, science and history of an Icelandic volcano A unique book by Iceland’s most noted volcanologist.


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WOW destinations

GRAN CANARIA The city of Las Palmas in Gran Canaria is warm all year round so it’s a perfect destination for both the chilly and the chill. WOW air offers a weekly flight to Gran Canaria from Iceland during the winter months. LYON Experience the gastronomic capital of France with all its history and vibrant cultural scene. WOW air flies to Lyon up to four times a week* from June to October, with available connections from USA and Canada. MILAN Get ready for high fashion and high culture and don’t forget to feast your eyes on da Vinci’s Last Supper. WOW air flies to Milan, Italy from Iceland, with available connections from USA and Canada, up to four times a week* from June to September MONTRÉAL This cultural gem has been nicknamed La Belle Ville or the Beautiful City and it’s more European than American at its core. Here you’ll find design, art, culture, nightlife and culinary scenes that rival the best in the world. And don’t forget about the hockey.

ST. LOUIS From the world renowned symphony orchestra and the magnificent Gateway Arch monument to the home of the Budweiser and the Cardinals, St. Louis might surprise you. Meet your there? WOW air offers cheap flights to St. Lois, Missouri, 4-5 times a week*. SALZBURG


Looking for that perfect winter destination? European ski resorts are known for being budget friendly and the Austrian Alps’ best ski resorts are just a short drive from Salzburg Airport.

The capital of Sweden is a city of contrasts, an urban paradise full of fun and history but with a relaxed and modern atmosphere.

Pack your skis; WOW air flies to Salzburg from Iceland once a week from the end of December to the end of February every winter.

WARSAW The capital of Poland has some historic charisma and is a great destination if you’re on a budget. WOW air offers flights to Warsaw from Iceland, with available connections from USA and Canada, two times a week from June to September.

WOW air flies to Stockholm Arlanda airport, from USA, Canada and Iceland, offering four flights* a week, all year round. TENERIFE

SAN FRANCISCO Well known for its liberal attitude and as the birthplace of the “hippie” counterculture, the Sexual Revolution and the Peace Movement, San Francisco is also home to one of the largest and oldest pride parades and the festivities are truly something to witness and be a part of. Free your spirit! WOW air offers cheap flights to San Francisco every day of the week from April to the end of October and five times a week during the winter months.

Relaxing on a tropical island sounds like a dream and Tenerife is a dream come true. WOW air offers two flights a week to Tenerife Sur from Iceland all year round. TORONTO


This hip and happening city is a cultural melting pot where you’ll find world renowned restaurants, a vibrant nightlife and super friendly Canadians.

Are you ready for a monumental trip? Get acquainted with the history of the United States of America and enjoy this great capital.

Check out Canada! WOW air offers cheap flights to Toronto from Europe, every day of the week*.

WOW air offers cheap flights* to Washington, D.C. from Europe, every day of the week, all year round.

WOW air flies to Montréal, Canada four to seven times a week, all year round. PARIS

The WOW Stopover

The city of lights sparkles with art, culture and culinary delights. Experience the passionate Paris and all it has to offer. Just say Oui!

When flying between North America and Europe take advantage of our WOW Stopover option.

WOW air offers cheap flights* to Paris from USA, Canada and Iceland, twice a day, every day of the week, all year round.

The WOW Stopover allows you to visit Iceland on your way to or from your destination. It’s kind of like getting two vacations for the price of one.

PITTSBURGH Pittsburgh is fast becoming the city everyone is talking about. With a charming small town feel and friendly atmosphere this big city is a travel destination on the rise. WOW air offers cheap flights to Pittsburgh from around Europe 4-5 times a week.


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Find out more at

Go further with

WOW air’s now offers additional travel options in collaboration with You can book connecting flights outside our network at the best possible price. Would you like to fly to South America, Asia or Africa? Our booking engine in collaboration with will find you the easiest connection. * Note that the availability of connecting flights between USA and Europe/Asia may vary depending on the flight frequency to each city. WOW air connects London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Lyon, Stockholm, Alicante, Barcelona, Milan, Warsaw and Tel Aviv to New York, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and St. Louis in the US and Toronto and Montréal in Canada. #myvatnnaturebaths

This and that …

mostly this

by Eygló Árnadóttir / Photos: Various outlets

Dining at the harbor Grandi Mathöll is a unique and pioneering street-food hall, located in a refurbished fish factory at the old harbor district in downtown Reykjavík. The food hall features nine artisanal food-stands offering, among others, Icelandic fish and meat, Vietnamese and Korean street food, fresh Icelandic vegetables and freshly brewed coffee. While enjoying delicious food and sipping on wine, champagne or craft beer on tap, guests can enjoy watching Icelandic fishing vessels landing fresh fish (some of which may actually end up on their plate). Celebrating Icelandic culture and industry, Grandi Mathöll is the obvious destination for anyone who loves to explore delicious food, quality products and culture. Citizens and visitors of Seyðisfjörður can now expect some prime partying. Photo: iStock/Sloot

Get to know the street-food traders at the website

A city icon moves to the country While Reykjavík has rapidly grown from a town to a metropolis, many of the onceneglected small towns around Iceland are blossoming in business and culture. The upcoming move of legendary bar Sirkus from downtown Reykjavík to Seyðisfjörður, a small village in the east, embodies this change. For years, Sirkus was a second home to Iceland’s creative crowd with a reputation that spanned the globe with Björk occasionally DJ-ing and bands such as GusGus and Sigur Rós relaxing there in between their world tours. Many local bands took their first steps at Sirkus and new talents were discovered. So it was the end of an era when it closed in 2007. Since then, owner Sigga has kept the remains of the bar in storage; the stereo, chairs, artworks, the sound box that once belonged to Sigur Rós … After closing Sirkus, Sigga moved to Seyðisfjörður and this summer she plans on reopening it in its original form right at the harbor of the small town. A version of the iconic bar was opened in the Faroe Islands in 2009, so if you want to check out both places just jump on the ferry Norræna that sails between Seyðisfjörður and the Faroe Islands.






+354 788 55 66


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When in Reykjavík go Mexican Icelandic cuisine isn’t all about traditional fish and lamb courses. If you ask food blogger Hungry Harriet, you can also get worldclass Mexican food in Reykjavík (the second-best burrito she has ever had and a cheese sauce she would happily fill her bathtub with and eat her way through). In the very heart of Reykjavík, the Mexican themed restaurant and bar El Santo offers outstanding cocktails, great atmosphere and a lively menu of superb Mexican street food with an Icelandic twist—all at a very reasonable price (and plenty of vegan and

gluten-free options). A summer night is a perfect time to pop in since the restaurant is mostly built of large windows, bringing in that endless daylight you won’t want to miss a minute of. Go to El Santo’s website to book a table and check out the ever-changing special offers or the timing of happy hours.

goes: “When I explore new places, I will leave them as I found them. I will take photos to die for, without dying for them. I will follow the road into the unknown, but never venture off the road. And I will only park where I am supposed to. When I sleep under the stars, I will stay at a campsite. And when nature calls, I won’t answer the call on nature. I will be prepared for all weather, all possibilities, and all adventures.”

Make a pledge! The website “Inspired by Iceland” has great tips and info for travelers and now entreats them to sign a pledge to be a responsible tourist. The pledge

Sign the pledge here: icelandicpledge/

Completing The Golden Circle

Geothermal baths - Natural steam baths Local kitchen - Geothermal bakery Open daily

10:00 - 23:00 (Summer 09/06 - 20/08) 11:00 - 22:00 (Winter 21/08 - 08/06)

This and that …

mostly this

by Eygló Árnadóttir / Photos: Various outlets

Woman at War

Float therapy

Woman at War, a female-powered action comedy by Icelandic writer/director Benedikt Erlingsson (Of Horses and Men), has received very generous reviews and recently won the SACD Award at Critics’ Week (only the fourth film with Icelandic ties to ever have been selected for Critics’ Week). The SACD Award is given annually to one of the competing feature films with the idea of promoting and encouraging emerging film authors. The film tells the story of Halla, played by talented Icelandic actress Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir (Metalhead, Of Horses and Men). Halla is


an independent middle-aged woman who embarks on an environmental mission to protect the Icelandic Highland. She will risk anything in her war against the local aluminum industry until an orphan unexpectedly enters her life. Charles Tesson, the artistic director of Critics’ Week, said Woman at War delivered a jubilant, endearing and inventive portrait of a woman while simultaneously addressing political issues. You can catch Woman at War at Bíó Paradís theater this summer.


The benefits of float therapy (floating in sensory deprivation tanks) have been known for decades but its rapidly gaining popularity in this digital age with a growing need to “digitally detox” and leave all distractions behind for a moment. The brand-new Hydra Flot Spa, located in downtown Reykjavík, gives you an opportunity to float in over 1000 liters of pure Icelandic water. The added 300 kg of therapeutic Epsom salts make the body float effortlessly, giving a truly unique weightless sensation not found anywhere else in nature. This weightless floating without the distraction of light or sound (or with soothing LED light and/or musical soundscapes) puts the body in a state of total relaxation, similar to the benefits only found in deep sleep. This is great news for all tired and overstressed bodies and also the perfect answer to jet lag and rainy days in Icelend. More information at


all our menus, we make our own way



Always been the best from the reviews in our local people and local newspaper. There's a reason why we get an award every once a year


Laugavegur 130 við Hlemm TEL : 5522444, 692- 0564 116

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Do not get stuck with other Thai foods you have eaten

also best 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Katrín Elvarsdóttir, Yellow Bedroom, 2017, Archival pigment print, 57x86 cm. Photo courtesy of BERG Contemporary and Katrín Elvarsdóttir.

The search for truth Icelandic photographer, Katrín Elvarsdóttir, has been nominated for various awards and has played a part in changing views towards photography as an art form. Her work reflects ideas that have come to the fore in Nordic photography in the last decade and focus on notions of lyrical narrative. In her new exhibition, The Search for Truth, Katrín explores the blurred limits of imagination and reality, and how our memories tend to gradually come free of reality until something in our surroundings brings the past back to life. In such moments, the past takes over our body and everything becomes clear for a second before it recedes again to rejoin the narrative of our own life. The photographer’s subject becomes, more often than not, the lyrical moment when the individual’s experiences cannot be separated from the surrounding reality. The exhibition is on display at BERG Contemporary:


JERSEY & BEANIE 11.990 kr

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This and that …

mostly this

by Eygló Árnadóttir / Photos: Various outlets

A new future of manhood

Iceland has been ranked the best country in the world for gender equality by the World Economic Forum for nine years running and repeatedly catches the world’s attention for yet another step

towards equality. Recently, the Canadian organization Promundo honored Iceland for pioneering a new future for manhood. Iceland’s collective support for engaging men in gender equality as part of

its foreign policy agenda and of equitable parental leave at home has led to up to a 90% uptake in paternity leave by men, which can have considerable long-term benefits for women, men and children, and on advancing gender equality. Iceland pioneered the exclusive paternity leave in the 2000s, at the time the longest exclusive paternity leave in the world. The results are better relationships between Icelandic fathers and their children, more equal division of household tasks, and changed ideas about masculinity among young people. To get more men and boys engaged in gender equality, the government has also organized Barbershop events around the world and developed a Barbershop toolbox in partnership with UN Women and Promundo to assist others to organize similar events.

When you think you’ve tried it all… …make a reservation at brand-new ÓX, the smallest and possibly most unusual restaurant you will find in Iceland. The tiny room only seats eleven guests who all share a table, surrounding the two chefs at work (at a kitchen furnishing built by the owner’s grandfather 60 years ago). There is no ordering of a menu, each guest simply books a ticket like you would to a show. Watching the chefs creating exquisite food selections is a show in itself. The menu consists of thirteen oldfashioned Icelandic courses in new and interesting forms, combined with

classic European cuisine. Sitting at the table, chatting with the chefs and other patrons, the feeling is more like dining at a friend’s house—if your friends happen to be very skilled chefs. Between that warm ambiance and a new beverage accompanying every dish, it’s almost impossible not to make new friends among the locals and fellow travelers at the table. ÓX restaurant is located downtown. When you have booked your ticket, you will receive an email with directions on how to find this hidden gem. Take a chance on a table at or email to

Visit the most popular flea market in Reykjavík A vast selection of vintage items as well as favorably priced tourist goods

Open weekdays from 12 to 18 and Saturdays from 12 to 16. The nearest bus station is at Grenársvegur. Góði hirðirinn | Fellsmúla 28 | 108 Reykjavík | 520 2200


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Learn Icelandic the fun way!

Want to learn Icelandic but can’t make it through that awful pronunciation? Nuchjarin Punnapoptaworn agreed with you and hated not even knowing how to pronounce the name of her hometown, Kirkjubæjarklaustur. While studying Icelandic at university, she had an idea of making learning more fun and colorful than using textbooks with endless grammar exercises. Along with her husband she came up with Icelandic alphabet flashcards, “Save íslenska,” to increase the Icelandic vocabulary in their own Thai/Icelandic household. The cards teach bilingual children and non-Icelanders, guests and residents, to pronounce Icelandic words using parts of English words. The couple launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund the project so head to to get your deck of cards, or check at local stores to see if the cards have arrived.

City buses go electric The number of electric cars in Reykjavík steadily increases with the citizen’s growing awareness of reducing their ecological footprint. A quarter of all new cars registered are now electric vehicles (their share doubled in a year) and recently the first electric bus hit the streets. Thirteen more electric buses are soon joining the city’s transportation company Strætó’s fleet, and together those fourteen buses are expected to reduce carbon dioxide release of 1,750 tons each year. Strætó plans on putting up quick-charging stations where the buses can be charged every two hours, in order to last on the streets all day long. Iceland’s minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, applauds this big step towards reaching Iceland’s goals in renewable energy on the roads, which he hopes will be the country’s next big revolution.

Tank up at N1 on your way around Iceland

95 locations around Iceland



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LAMB soup Traditional Icelandic meal

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burger & fries Classic meal

Keep moving Issue three 119



What’s going on over here? Quite a lot actually, and if you know where to go you can live each night in Iceland like there’s a full blown festival going on. by Eygló Árnadóttir / Photos: Courtesy of respective venues or events

WHAT: Icelandic Sagas: The Greatest Hits WHEN: Several dates this summer WHERE: Harpa, Reykjavik Concert Hall Icelandic Sagas: The Greatest Hits is a fast-paced and hilarious 75-minute theatrical comedy in English that takes you on a journey through Iceland’s literary heritage. The Icelandic Sagas are narratives, mostly based on historical events that took place in Iceland in the 9th-11th century. They tell of heroes and anti-heroes, villains, feisty females, betrayal, dispute, love, hate and last but not least, pillaging, plundering and murder. The Sagas are often hilariously grotesque, they hint at homosexuality, make light of gory murders and happen in a world where innocent things, like where to sit at a party, can turn into bloody family feuds and good poems can get you out of trouble with angry kings. This, of course, makes for great theater. Get your ticket to Icelandic Sagas: The Greatest Hits at and

A movie lover’s paradise Located in the heart of downtown Reykjavík, Bíó Paradís is a nonprofit organization run by Iceland’s professional filmmaking guilds. Screening the latest art house releases from all around the world as well as cult films and Icelandic film, it is Iceland’s first and only art house cinema. The theater provides a warm, cozy environment for film lovers of all kinds—both in its three-screen theater and its well-stocked bar.

Events this summer

They tell of heroes and anti-heroes, villains, feisty females, betrayal, dispute, love, hate and last but not least, pillaging, plundering and murder.

WHAT: Cool cuts: Best of Icelandic cinema WHEN: All summer long A careful selection of the best of contemporary Icelandic filmmaking lets you explore and get to know Icelandic culture through cinema. This summer, Bíó Paradís will screen: The Swan, Under the Tree, Breathe Normally, Jar City, 101 Reykjavík and Sigur Rós’ Heima. Check out the website

WHAT: “Hú! in Paradise” WHEN: 14 June-15 July WHERE: Bíó Paradís

WHAT: Friday night party screenings WHEN: Every Friday night at 20:00 WHAT: Wonders of Iceland Exhibit WHEN: Every day from 8 AM – 8 PM WHERE: Perlan / The Pearl When in Reykjavík, Perlan is hard to miss. It is a huge glass dome structure that sits on top of a hill less than a kilometer away from the city center. Perlan has created a unique museum of natural wonders. Its first exhibit opened last summer, inside one of the six hot water tanks that carry the glass dome. The glacier and ice cave exhibition illustrates Iceland’s glaciers, their history and bleak future, and gives visitors the amazing opportunity to experience traveling through a real man-made ice cave—the first indoor ice cave in the world. The most recent addition to the Wonders of Iceland


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exhibit takes up the entire ground floor of Perlan. A cutting-edge technology, backed by the most recent scientific research, gives you insight into the unique nature of Iceland and creates an unforgettable experience for the whole family. Discover the wonders of the ocean that surrounds Iceland in a virtual fish tank, including a life-size whale, and witness an enormous lifelike replica of one of Westfjord’s most famous bird cliffs. Feel the force of an earthquake and see how this wonderful island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean came to be. To buy tickets and learn more about the Wonders of Iceland exhibit, visit The Reykjavík Observation Deck is included in the admission fee. You can get to Perlan by a free shuttle bus from Harpa Concert Hall every 30 minutes.

Friday means nostalgia at Bíó Paradís. Independence Day? Oh yes! Back to the Future? Take me back Doc! Titanic? “Every night in my sleep I see you, I feel you...” Always great offers at the bar (all beverages and snacks are allowed in the screening rooms). WHAT: Best of the winter program WHEN: All summer long Carefully curated selection of the best films last year’s international filmmaking had to offer: The Shape of Water, The Square, I, Tonya, BPM, On Body and Soul and many more! All films are screened with English subtitles.

During the FIFA World Cup, Bíó Paradís will turn into a football lovers’ paradise. Every match will be broadcasted live, free of charge! At the Euro Cup 2016, the Ice­­landic men’s football team—along with the slightly uncanny, synchronized singing and clapping horde of Icelanders—stole the hearts of football fans (and haters) around the globe. The “HÚ!” Viking clap has truly become a national treasure and will echo around the world again this summer when the country competes in the World Cup for the first time. At the height of all the HÚ!-mania, local cartoonist and comedian, Hugleikur Dagsson, published his drawing of the HÚ! stick figures. Bio Paradis will also be the exclusive retailer of Hugleikur’s HÚ!-related merchandise, such as his world famous T-shirts. Viking beer will be flowing from the tap all summer and hot dogs sizzling on the grill.

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What’s going on over here? Quite a lot actually, and if you know where to go you can live each night in Iceland like there’s a full blown festival going on.

WHAT: Reykjavík Fringe Festival WHEN: 4-8 July WHERE: Various venues across the city The Reykjavík Fringe Festival is a multidisciplinary arts festival. This year’s Fringe boasts an exciting array of, among others, stand-up comedy, improv, theater, poetry slam, music, dance and film from across the world. The festival’s performances come from Iceland, the Nordics, England, the U.S., Australia and Israel—to name a few—and most performances will be in English. Tjarnarbíó is the festival’s central hub, where allaccess wristbands for the festival will be available from July 1st. Tickets for individual events will also be available at each event. Read more about the festival on page 34 and visit for the full schedule.

WHAT: Icelandic Opera Brothers WHEN: 9 June WHERE: Harpa Concert Hall The opera Brothers, by Icelandic composer Daníel Bjarnason and librettist Kerstin Perski, is directed by the well-known opera director Kasper Holten. World-premiered in Denmark in 2017, Brothers got rave reviews. This Icelandic Music Awards “Composition of the Year” will be performed by the Icelandic opera this summer. The opera is based on Susanne Bier’s film Brothers, which tells the story of two brothers in a love triangle. Get your ticket at

Close-Act Theatre from the Netherlands will bring their Saurus performance to Iceland for the first time at Reykjavik Arts Festival.

WHAT: Reykjavík Arts Festival WHEN: 1-17 June WHERE: Various venues across the city Reykjavík Arts Festival is one of the oldest and most respected arts festivals in the Nordic countries. Since its inception in 1970, hundreds of artists from all parts of the globe have performed or exhibited at this multidisciplinary festival.


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Reykjavík Arts Festival presents, to the widest possible audience, exhibitions and performances of contemporary and classical works in major cultural venues and unconventional spaces throughout the city, with a special focus on new commissions and the creative intersection of the arts.

Find out more at

Proudly Making Iceland a Hot Destination. We could talk forever about how interesting our clean energy production at Hellisheidi is. But, instead, let’s see what some of our guests at the Geothermal Exhibition have to say on TripAdvisor: “A must see activity”, “Bucket List”, “... interactive and inspiring”, “Now I’m impressed!”


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We hope to welcome you too on your trip to Iceland at the most powerful exhibition in the world.

Only 20 min. drive from Reykjavík. A perfect stop on your way to or from the city.

The exhibition is open every day from 9:00-17:00. Please direct any inquiries to Tel: (+354) 591 2880 Issue three 123



What’s going on over here? Quite a lot actually, and if you know where to go you can live each night in Iceland like there’s a full blown festival going on.

WHAT: Eistnaflug (The Flying Testicles Music Festival) WHEN: 11-14 July 2018 WHERE: Neskaupstaður, East Iceland Deep in the fjords of East Iceland, under the never-setting midnight sun, metalheads have found something so genuinely different, that year after year they traverse the desolate, barren shoreline of this volcanic island on the edge of the earth to partake in the head-banging bacchanalia. The festival is Eistnaflug, and the 2018 edition promises to be yet another banger, with acts such as black metal giants Watain and the spellbinding Poles in Batushka already confirmed.

WHAT: Secret Solstice Music Festival WHEN: 21-24 June WHERE: Laugardalur Valley Nothing gives the Icelandic nation a boost of energy like the endless daylight during the summer solstice. After months of darkness, Icelanders don’t waste a minute of that anticipated glorious light, so our little city truly becomes one that never sleeps. The Secret Solstice Music Festival celebrates these 96 hours of continuous daylight for the fifth time

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So let your hair down and get over there, ‘cuz this festival will be one to remember! – Tickets available through

Photos: Hjalti Árnason

this year, with a lineup including Bonnie Tyler, Gucci Mane, Clean Bandit and Slayer who are on their final world tour, along with many more top names in rock, hip-hop and dance music from Iceland and around the world. The festival is held close to downtown Reykjavík, and if the bustling city isn’t enough for you, there are also spectacular add-on side events inside glaciers and lava tunnels to try out. Everything you need to know is on the festival’s website:

BLT bacon

Subway Melt

Come look at all the pretty horses. Photo: / 9th-

WHAT: The National Icelandic Horse Competition WHEN: 1-8 July WHERE: Reykjavik

Spicy Italian





See Iceland’s top breeding horses and the strongest tölt competition of the year. Enjoy being surrounded by Icelandic families and horse farmers who simply love the Icelandic horse. Icelandic folk singing might ensue at night. The National Icelandic Horse Competition is a biannual event centered around the unique Icelandic horse. You can get a week or a weekend pass with the Reykjavik City Card that gives you access to both the tournament and Reykjavik’s museums, thermal pools and city buses (Strætó), and more activities during the tournament. Tickets and more info available at




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WHAT: Midgard Reykjavik Convention WHEN: September 15-16 WHERE: Laugardalshöll Arena, Reykjavík Midgard is Iceland’s first all-inclusive convention—meaning no single fandom or genre is emphasized—and will, therefore, be home to fans of video games, board games, cosplay, tabletop games, comics, artists, movies, TV series and books. This two-day event will be packed with panels and workshops, vendors and exhibitions, competitions and tournaments. Guests include Jeremy Bulloch, Brian Muir, Dan Abnett and Nick Jameson. More information at


Our Master Watchmaker never loses his concentration

With his legendary concentration and 45 years of experience our Master Watchmaker and renowned craftsman, Gilbert O. Gudjonsson, inspects every single timepiece before it leaves our workshop.

All the watches are designed and assembled by hand in Iceland. Only highest quality movements and materials are used to produce the watches and every single detail has been given the time needed for perfection.

Limited to 300 pieces

Issue three 125

June - July 2018





Your trip to Iceland is cut dramatically short when you find out on your first day there that ram testicles are considered a delicacy.

Something regarding your health needs to change pronto! Like maybe eat healthier and start exercising. Or maybe you need a whole weekend on the couch with Netflix and junk food. Rest is important too!

TAURUS 20 APRIL - 20 MAY Taurus gets a bad rep for being lazy. You organize a Taurus only marathon to prove everyone wrong. No one bothers to show up. You should befriend the Leos, that energetic bunch will embrace you.

GEMINI 21 MAY - 21 JUNE Strong forces in your life make you feel stuck in the middle of a difficult situation, pulled in every direction. The stars recommend either moving further away from your parents or getting divorced.

CANCER 22 JUNE - 22 JULY Your social calendar will be full this summer. Don’t mind those who mock you for throwing birthday parties for each one of your cats.

LEO 23 JULY - 22 AUGUST This week is a bit tough on you. You feel disoriented, forgetful and all out of place. But this will soon pass. Now go get your glasses out of the fridge so you can read the rest of the magazine.


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SCORPIO 24 OCTOBER - 21 NOVEMBER The third moon in your Saturnus house makes today the absolute worst day for you to act on the impulses awakened by the Aquarius presence in your life. Understand? Good, because it’s vitally important that you remember this.

SAGITTARIUS 22 NOVEMBER - 21 DECEMBER Why so blue about summer being here? Don’t you know that every bod in a swimsuit is a swimsuit bod? The stars find you gorgeous and they know everything!

CAPRICORN 22 DECEMBER - 19 JANUARY You need to put down your phone every once in a while. Seriously, unplug for a few minutes each day. Are you even listening? #liveinthemoment Great, you got it.

AQUARIUS 20 JANUARY - 18 FEBRUARY Today you will find yourself in either a very challenging or a really fantastic position, involving either a close friend or a stranger. Either way, it will have something to do with a pineapple.





The stars are telling you to travel internationally as much as you can this year; it’s greatly important for your wellbeing. No, I’m not just saying that because an airline pays my salary… Come on, I’m a serious astrologist!

2018 is the year of the Pisces. Enjoy it while it lasts, Aires is next and they will ruin all of your good work. Disclaimer: This horoscope is total and utter nonsense. Any accuracy, real or imagined, is purely accidental.

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BUT HOW DO I DO IT? The object is to insert the numbers in the boxes to satisfy only one condition: Each row, column and 3x3 box must contain the digits 1 through 9 exactly once. What could be simpler? Kids




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Issue three 129


THE SCENE-STEALING BJÖRGVINSDÓTTIR Edda Björgvinsdóttir is without a doubt one of Iceland’s most beloved actresses. She’s funny and is known for her comedy but she can also be very serious. Her recent role in the Icelandic drama film Under the Tree is very serious indeed and the film has won several awards abroad. by Svava Jónsdóttir Photos: Ásta Kristjánsdóttir and still from Under the Tree


dda Björgvinsdóttir is very busy. “These days, I’m working on publiciz­­ing my beautiful “Strength Cards” as well as holding lectures and courses on the deadly import­­ ance of humor in com­­muni­­­cation and management. I am an actress at the National Theater now and play a part in a hit musical with the famous Icelandic “Stuðmenn” songs as the bearded lady. This spring I’ll start rehearsing for a new play and also probably work on a new project, a TV-series that will be premiered in Icelandic television next year. I have just opened a new website and one of my very good friends is helping me—technology is not my forte. We’ve been uploading a lot of material like my films, TV-programs, theater work, interviews and articles; there’s lots of stuff and it’s actually a never-ending project. For a look at my life, go to www.edda­­” STEALING THE SCENE Björgvinsdóttir stars in the Icelandic film Undir trénu or Under the Tree which was premiered last year and has since won several awards abroad as well as the EDDA Awards—the annual film and TV awards in Iceland, presented by the Icelandic Film & TV Academy. “I just posted a critique of the film in Venice Review on my webpage that was published after the film’s premiere in Venice. I’m so proud of what it says that it literally brings tears to my eyes. There you can read: “The movie belongs, however, to the scene-


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steal­ing Björgvinsdóttir, who spits acrimony and expletives with such force and assurance that she instantly thrusts the character into the annals of memorable screen matriarchs.” FAVORITE PLACE IN ICELAND The eco-village Sólheimar in South-Iceland is Björgvinsdóttir’s favorite place in Iceland. “The wonderful Rudolf Steiner village of Sólheimar it is, in my opinion, the country’s most beautiful place and its best-hidden gem. Established as a children’s home 88 years ago, Sólheimar is considered the oldest Eco-Village in the world. A close-knit community that focuses on environmental issues and vivid cultural life, today it offers people with special needs varied and creative employment opportunities like jobs in organic horticulture and forestry. “I’ve had the opportunity to direct four plays with the wonderful Sólheimar drama club, which is one of the oldest drama clubs in the country. I wrote and directed a play about Sesselja Sigmundsdóttir, the founder of Sólheimar; her love, her sorrow, her struggle. It was chosen as a guest exhibition at the National Theater that year. We are very proud of that.” Björgvinsdóttir says that in the future she hopes to buy a house in Sólheimar “When I grow up.”

FAVORITE PLACE ABROAD Björgvinsdóttir lived in London for a while and says she loves the city. “The Camden Market, Covent Garden, Portobello Market, Old Spitalfields and Hampstead Heath are my favorites. Edwards’ pancake hut in Hampstead Village is unique and sells the best pancakes in the world! I would like to have a house in Hampstead, too, and I hope to buy one in 30-40 years when I retire, hehe. It would be great being able to live part of the year in Sólheimar and the other part in London Hampstead. That’s a cool goal.”

dress code iceland

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b a n ka s t rĂŚt i + k r i n g l a n + s m ĂĄ ra l i n d + a u s t u r h ra u n + a k u rey r i + w w w.c i nt a m a n i . i s Issue three 131

132MEN: WOW Power to the people Skólavörðustígur 16. WOMEN: Skólavörðustígur 7 & Kringlan. HOME: Skólavörðustígur 12. GEYSIR: Hafnarstræti, Akureyri and Haukadalur.

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