WOW magazine - Issue 1 2017

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POWER TO THE PEOPLE three2017 2015 Issue one


HOTEL GEYSIR elegaNt restauraNts, spa with hot spriNg jacuzzi, beautiful Nature & fuN activities

Geysir TOp 25 besT places TO phOTOgraph On The planeT earTh

Nice aNd cozy rooms iN chalet or oNe wiNg hotel right opposite of the hot spriNg geyser area gourmet a la carte restauraNt local luNch buffet every day hotel & spa outdoor activities all year rouNd amaziNg NortherN lights


hotel geysir 2

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W ELC OM E TO GE YSIR the geysir ceNter is directly opposite of the geothermal area of the great geysir aNd strokkur e


geysir glima bistro Coffee house With freshly ground Coffee sWeet iCe Creams & Cakes traditional iCelandiC meat soup fish soup & vegetarian soup loCal food museum of hot springs, volCano and iCelandiC glima

The geysir cenT er haukadalur / / tel: +354 480 6800 / / Issue one



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We look forward to seeing you Please book in advance at

Issue one


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/GraylineIceland Issue one 7


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Issue one




12 A LETTER FROM THE CEO 14 A WINTER ROAD TRIP Driving around in the beautiful winter is a good way to spend your vacation in Iceland.


IT’S EASIER BEING GREEN Here in Iceland, we are still fortunate to have the Central Highland, a relatively untouched vast wilderness where we can seek total solitude and connect with nature. On lower ground, we have natural gems such as waterfalls, gorges, glacier lagoons and cool lava. All this magnificent nature, for the most part, belongs to Icelanders and needs and deserves our protection. It’s natural for a landscape to change over time, but we’re talking about a very long time through natural causes like wind, rain or the sea. On the other hand, climate change, soil erosion, over-utilization, hydropower plants, dams and reservoirs and good ol’fashion pollution are all factors that could do irrevocable damage to Icelandic nature in the very near future if we don’t put our foot down. This is why we need associations such as Landvernd who go to battle for nature against those who try to destroy or exploit it, who campaign for a national park in the Central Highland to protect the area, who create and work on a program for soil and land restorations in degraded woodlands and who carry this message tirelessly to politicians and other organizations who make decisions relating to the environment. I’m thankful Iceland has such a strong advocate and I’m proud to work for a company that feels the same way when it comes to nature. I hope WOW magazine readers feel the same way and will help us support Landvernd by donating their change to Landvernd. WOW air has promised to match all donations in return. Read more about this exciting project on pages 22-28. Enjoy nature wherever you’re going.

ma gaz



Happy travels, Guðrún Vaka Helgadóttir Editor in chief




POWER TO THE PEOPLE three2017 2015 Issue one


On the cover We had a lot of trouble selecting a photo to use on our cover this time, there were simply to many, too beauti­­ful. This gorgeous land­­scape photo is shot by photographer Donal Boyd who recently moved to Iceland to pursue his passion of photographing the island’s landscape. Read more about Donal Boyd on pages 16-20.

16 FINDING THE RIGHT EXPOSURE Landscape photographer Donald Boyd moved to Iceland to pursue his passion. 22 INTO THE WILDERNESS Photographer Benjamin Hardman has been mesmerized by the Highland. Who better to explain the significance of protecting it than a guest who’s fallen in love with it. 26 HOW YOUR CHANGE COULD MAKE A BIG CHANGE WOW air wants to offer you the chance to give back to nature by donating your left-over currency to Landvernd, The Icelandic Environment Association. 30 NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS! Lace up your Dr. Martens and spray your hair green. It’s time to visit the Punk Museum of Iceland.

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Into the wilderness



From our cheapest seats to our most luxurious ones, we’ve got great seats for everyone!

Filled with contrasts, the Vatnajökull Region is a great destination all year round.

68 HIDDEN WORLD Symmetry and repeated patterns have always intrigued graphic designer María R. Dýrfjörð. 70 THE OLD REYKJAVIK CHARM

80 THE U.S. CUSTOMS DECLARATION FORM What is this? Why do I need to fill it out? 116 THIS AND THAT …mainly this.

Iðnó house is one of the historic buildings in downtown Reykjavík.




…quite a lot, actually.

It’s easier than you think.

What’s in your future? WOW air’s famed astrologist has the answer.



Here at WOW air, we give our aircraft some unusual registration names.

Solve these sudokus. 130 THE TRAVELING INQUISITION The Queen of Nordic Noir, Yrsa Sigurð­ar­ dóttir, knows how to write crime fiction but does she know how to travel?

34 YOU COULD BE HERE! Canadian teacher, Jasmine Teed thought she’d found the perfect travel companion but when he stood her up, she decided to improvise. 36 WHERE ARE ALL THE VIKINGS? Find out more about Iceland’s history at the National Museum of Iceland. 38 BEHIND THE NOIR What is it that makes us Scandinavian, oops, Nordic? 42 VEGGIE ICELAND If you’re planning to stay vegetarian or vegan in Iceland, you can follow this path to peaceful meals. 46 BEAUTIFUL AND DANGEROUS Icelandic nature isn’t really cute and cuddly and acting like it is could get you into a lot of trouble. 48 FLYING MADE SIMPLER WOW air is now offering three travel options when booking your flight tickets.

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!



WOW MAGAZINE STAFF WOW Destinations 84 Ireland and Scotland The promised land of golfers 88 Copenhagen and Stockholm Learn about relaxation Scandi style. 92 London 5 Secrets to London shopping 94 Los Angeles A day at Pasadena’s Bunny Museum 96 Pittsburgh Dining and drinking in Pittsburgh 98 Montréal Snowy wonders 100 New York In the hood 102 Miami Taking a beach break

Editor in chief: Guðrún Vaka Helgadóttir Design and layout: Ivan Burkni Proofreading: Paul Michael Herman Contributing writers: Benjamin Hardman, Eygló Árnadóttir, James Taylor, Marvin Lee Dupree, Krista Connor, Cindy-Lou Dale, Kimberly JY, Gerður Harðardóttir, Svava Jónsdóttir, Eydis Björnsdottir, Judy Colbert, Laura Studarus, Kat Richter, Theadora Brack, Joe Worthington, Caron Luteran

© WOW air Katrínartún 12 105 Reykjavík Iceland

WOWAIR.COM 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.

104 Brussels Europe’s best kept travel secret 106 Paris Treasures and trash in Paris 108 Ireland Admiring the jewels of the Emerald Isle 112 You want more? Check out our other WOW destinations. Where do you want to go?

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

Heiรฐar Logi on location wearing ร xi Powerstretch Prima jacket and workman cap.

Keeping Iceland warm since 1926 Shop at Issue one 11


Dear friends As of now all of us at WOW air are proud to be working with Landvernd, the Icelandic Environmental Association, and in giving our guests the opportunity to help preserve Iceland’s unique beauty. Landvernd works hard to safeguard Icelandic nature, protect unspoiled areas such as the Central Highland and reclaim degraded wood and wetlands, to name just a few of the association’s projects. We are grateful for your contribution aboard this aircraft and happy to announce that we will match every donation from our guests with our own contribution, dollar for dollar. Our goal is to become entirely carbon neutral in the near future and to stand at the forefront of responsible airlines of the world. The aviation industry, overall, could do a lot more to become environmentally responsible. WOW air is trying to do its share to minimize its carbon footprint through flying the newest aircraft and by supporting green initiatives. Now, WOW air continues to grow at a rapid pace and we are super excited about the year ahead. We will almost double our capacity by adding many new exciting destinations like Pittsburg, Miami, Brussels and Cork and double our daily flights to London, Paris and Amsterdam. This year, we are adding five brand new


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Airbus aircraft to our fleet which brings our total to 17 aircraft, making it one of the newest fleets in the world. While we are very proud of what we have already achieved, the good news is that we are just getting started! As far as international airlines go, WOW air is still very small and we see opportunities everywhere both here in Iceland and abroad. Clearly, this is no surprise, since people around the world welcome the opportunity to travel on brand new Airbus aircraft at very low prices. We will continue to work hard on our mission to offer the lowest fares possible as we add even more interesting destinations to our network and give more people a chance to travel the world. Thank you for your continued support and trust and we look forward to seeing you on other WOW air flights in the future. Sincerely, Skúli Mogensen Founder and CEO of WOW air


The Reyka Brand Story Our Inventive Path to Making Vodka


Born of Iceland Unique Provenance The Reyka story is one of People, Product(ion) and Provenance. And it begins in Iceland. A captivating, one-of-a-kind land of volcanoes and glaciers, geysers and lava fields, Iceland is both beautiful and rugged, fiery and icy. Resourceful people When you’re separated from the world and surrounded by such magnificent natural resources, you learn to be resourceful. And live creatively. So Icelanders bring a unique perspective to the world. We call it an inventive spirit.


Inventive Production Not only was Reyka the first vodka distillery in Iceland, but we built the only Carter-Head Still in the world that distills vodka. It gives us unparalleled purity of spirit with only one distillation. We use pure arctic spring water. To give our vodka its silky finish and allow the flavour to shine through. We use lava rocks as a natural filtration system. They help create Reyka’s clean fresh character and smooth taste. We use geo-thermal energy from volcanic activity to power our distillery without adding impurities to our vodka…or the world. Our master distiller hand crafts Reyka in preciously small batches to ensure each and every bottle retains the highest of high quality


Distinctive Results As unique as the land that inspires it, Reyka captures the spirit of Iceland to make a deliciously smooth vodka with a distinctive taste like no other. Nose: Soft, with delicate hints of vanilla and citrus. Taste: Exceptionally smooth and rounded with a classically grainy flavour profile and a soft natural sweetness; slight hint of wild fruits on aftertaste. People have taken notice. Among other honors, Reyka has won the world’s most prestigious vodka award, the 2011 International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) Trophy. Our story is really just beginning. It’s time to share Reyka, and the inventive spirit behind it, with the world. Skal! (That’s cheers in Iceland.)

Issue one


Urridafoss Waterfall

A WINTER ROAD TRIP “I’ve never heard of this waterfall; why don’t we go check it out?” I said as my finger landed on the word Urrida­ foss. It was just south of Selfoss, marked on the map spread across the kitchen table. “Yeah, sounds good. Let’s hope the Subaru can make it there and back,” said Zach as he stared out into the street to where we had parked it the day before. Thirty minutes later we had the car dug out of the overnight snow. Text and photos: James Taylor

We wanted to get outside the city to explore in spite of the onset of winter and recent snowfall. I jumped in the driv­ er’s seat, turned the key and the Subaru throbbed to life. With the heater blasting and our destination set, we headed out of Reykja­­ vik on a winter road trip. ICELAND’S MOST VOLUMINOUS WATERFALL

Urridafoss is an unassuming waterfall, which rather than be­­ ing tall, spans the wide river. It’s Iceland’s most voluminous water­­fall as 360 cubic meters of water per second flow over it.


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The snow had taken hold over the landscape as we drove over the mountains, on Route 1 into the South. Traveling through Hvera­­­ gerði and Selfoss, we proceeded along the South’s flat plain. The ground here had started to peep out from under­­neath the snow. A short way past Selfoss, we came across the Þjórsá River, Ice­­ land’s longest river that flows some 230 kilometers down from Hofsjökull, a glacier in the Icelandic Highland. A smaller road branched off from Route 1 to the south, leading to the Urridafoss waterfall. The car settled into a low growl as I cau­­­tiously steered down the icy path until we finally reached it. We jumped out of the car to explore, still not able to see if it had frozen over, but as we walked closer, the noise coming from up ahead told us that the water was still flowing with force.

Urridafoss had so far resisted the icy grips of the winter and re­­ main­­ed unfrozen. Snow upon the outcropping rocks in the middle of the falls had frozen and looked like angry, churning water, ob­­scured by mist. The water continued out towards the ocean, where the sun was starting to lower in the sky. Urridafoss is an unassuming waterfall, which rather than be­­ing tall, spans the wide river. It’s Iceland’s most voluminous water­­fall as 360 cubic meters of water per second flow over it. Be­­cause of its size Urridafoss has been sought after by power companies who want to harness its powers by building a hydro-power station and subsequently destroy the waterfall. Local residents are pro­­test­­ ing against these plans in an effort to save Urridafoss. The North Atlantic Salmon Fund as well as en­­viron­­mental groups in Ice­­land, such as Landvernd, the Icelandic En­­viron­­ment As­­soci­­ation, have also pointed out the serious im­­pacts a power plant could have on Iceland’s largest Atlantic salmon stock which in­­hab­­its the river. SAYING “HEY” TO THE HORSES Daylight hours in the winter are short, so we got back in the car to explore further down towards the south coast. After driving along

haps the reason for the location of the lighthouse. Large rock pools line the coast, a labyrinth of water, rock, ice and snow. I look­­ ed out at the Atlantic as it chopped and churned, pro­­test­­ing with ang­­er at the wind. It was easy to imagine the hori­­zon dott­­ed with ships, heading home from lengthy ocean ad­­ven­­tur­­es. We took a long path from the lighthouse down to the rock pools, stepping over patch­­es of ice. The still water in the rock pools reflected the changing colors of the sky, as the sun dipped be­­low the horizon and lit up the clouds. Shades of pink, purple, or­­ange and blue streak­­­­ed across water and sky. This icy coast was a sight to be­­­ hold and to explore in the dying light.

“I look­­ed out at the Atlantic as it chopped and churned, pro­­test­­ing with ang­­er at the wind.”

DRIVING CAREFULLY Evening progressed and it was time for us to finish our winter road trip and get back to Reykjavik. Along the way, we passed through the small coastal fishing villages of Stokkseyri and Eyrar­­bakki. Lights shone out of the houses as families stayed cozy on the cold Sunday night. After exiting Eyrarbakki, we cross­­­­­­­­ed a brid­ge sadd­­­l­­ed between the ocean and another river. The wide ex­­­­­panse of water opening up to our right was the mouth of the Ölfusá River. The water carved a path between the snowy banks as it rushed out to meet the Atlantic. Darkness had fall­­­­­en as we turned the car northwards, aiming ourselves in the di­­­rec­­­­­tion of Reykjavik. After half an hour, the wind picked up and the snow began to fall, still with mountains between us and the capital. With darkness falling fast and the snow picking up, we both acknowledged the 112 emergency number on a sign at the bottom of the mountain pass leading us back home. Snow started to gust across the road as we climbed higher, and visibility worsened. Luckily our old Subaru still had some life left in it, with its growl louder than the wind. We made it over the mountain pass and back onto Route 1, heading west. Before long, the twinkling lights of Reykja­­vik appeared in the distance, signaling the coming end of our winter road trip. The snow hadn’t stopped us from exploring more of the country, and plans were already underway for the next road trip. Let’s just hope the car can make it. v

Disclaimers * If you’re new to driving or have never driven in winter conditions, taking winter road trips in Iceland is not recommended. Make sure you and your car will be able to handle all situations that can arise on Icelandic roads during the winter season and check the weather forecast before you go outside the city. Go to for more information on how to stay safe in Iceland and remember that the Icelandic emergency number is 112. * Icelandic horses are gentle and curious creatures but do not forget that they are animals that are being bred for their unique riding features and great temperament. Do not attempt to go inside their fences and into private property unless you have a green light from the owner. Never feed horses that are not yours. Failure to heed this advice may result in damage to the horse’s temperament or illnesses related to inappropriate feeding.

the river for a while, we turned back east to get onto a bett­­er road. Before long we were headed south again, without a sign of any other cars or people. There was no movement in the sur­­­­­rounding farmhouses, enhancing the desolate landscape. The only visible inhabitants were horses standing in the snow. We noticed a group quite close to the fence, so we decided to pull off and say a quick hello. For 1000 years there has been no cross­­­­­­breeding of Ice­­ landic horses; the purest horse breed any­­where in the world, they are also some of the friendliest. They vied for the at­­tention of their two visitors, and we rubbed and scratc­­h­ed as many noses as we could. Another group appeared from over a hill, picking their way across the paddock. Long man­­­es shift­ed in the wind, covering faces of some and giving others temporary Mo­­hawks. Resilient against the onset of winter, they in­spired us to explore further on down to the ocean. We said our good­byes and walked back to the car, leaving the hors­­es stand­­ing silently at the fence staring after us. Then, as the sun sank clos­­er to the horizon, we continued on down the road toward the coastline. A SEASON OF SUNSETS A lighthouse appeared from behind a hill, sticking up in the dist­­ ance like a pencil in the snow. We pulled off the side of the road again and passed through a gate to begin a short walk to the light­­house. Knarrarós Lighthouse is the tallest building in the sout­­he­­ rn region of Iceland at 22 meters. It stands strong against the constant battering that it takes from the Icelandic weather. Wind whistled around the concrete corners of the building, com­­ ing from every direction. Visitors aren’t allowed to climb to the top, as the only entrance was a locked door at the base. Built be­­­­tween 1938 and1939, it warded ships away from the rocky coast. These rocks are a result of the largest lava flow on Earth since the ice age ended, originating from eruptions in Veiðivötn. The Þjórs­­­­ár­­hraun lava field covers 800 square kilometers of land. Large rock formations are the remnants of the lava flow and per­­­ Issue one


Through the eye of the beholder

FINDING THE RIGHT EXPOSURE Landscape photographer Donal Boyd moved from the outskirts of Boston last year to pursue running a photo and tour guide business, Donal Boyd Photography, in ร รณrsmรถrk, Iceland by Krista Connor / Donal Boyd -


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Issue one


Still, though, Boyd isn’t one to say no to adventure. With a WOW air round­­trip ticket in hand, he accepted the Iceland dare. LATENT DREAMS BROUGHT INTO FOCUS

Donal Boyd, 26, is a full-time photographer and guide from the United States who’s now set up a base in Þórsmörk, Iceland. Getting there has been one unexpected journey. Really, it all started with a dare.


n February 2015, a friend’s idea—an impulsive challenge to join him on a trip to Iceland—steered Boyd from a vagabond lifestyle toward the island nation and consequently, self-realization. He didn’t anticipate this. In fact, until that day Boyd had never considered visiting Iceland, though he was no stranger to travel. A chemical engineer and burgeoning photographer, Boyd had been jetsetting aimlessly across the globe from his home base near Boston. Rambling weekends were spent in London, Dubai, Brazil… anywhere he found alluring. Though all the while he tinkered with the idea of pursuing full-time photography, something just hadn’t clicked.


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The trip lasted a week. An artist’s ultimate fantasy of brooding mists and sprawl­­­­ ing vistas, Iceland had the same visceral effect on Boyd as on countless others; the landscape fueled his imagination. “I was stopped in my tracks,” says Boyd. He and his friend rented a Land Rover Defender from Geysir Car Rental, and from there met a German photographer ad­­venturing in his off-road 4x4. “I thought, ‘Okay, I could be this dude.’ Iceland was the final mind blowing experience for me,” Boyd says. That week he made a major decision—something spontaneous though tem­ per­­ed by strategy and not exactly out-of-character; he’d start a business, Donal Boyd Photography, in Iceland. “I realized that’s where I wanted to make my tran­­si­­ tion into photography full-time,” says Boyd. After that week, on his flight from Keflavik to Boston, and during the drive home from Boston to Raynham, Mass., and for the weeks and months that foll­­ owed, Boyd did his research. Was a move from the United States to Iceland even logical—or possible? Where would he live? He’d need an Icelandic social security number—though conveniently his already-existing dual citizenship with Ireland allowed him permanent residency in Iceland. He waded through these logistics and more with a longtime phrase from his uncle in mind: “Do what you have to do so you can do what you want to do.” It would take some time and more short trips back to the Land of Fire & Ice to place what he wanted in the forefront, swapping it with his chemical engi­­ neer­­ing degree from New England’s Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Despite his appreciation for chemical engineering, he says, cameras have been in his life since childhood, tracing back to the days when his father and uncle experi­­ment­­ed with various camera models on holidays. Boyd gravitated to the cam­­eras, even­­ tually moving from pictures of his pets to portraits and sports photography, even­­tually developing a passion for landscapes, discovered in part during a NGO trip to Namibia in 2012.


Issue one


“Photography—it’s unlike any other way I’ve connected with people and places before,” says Boyd. “With Iceland, I took a risk. I did the research, talked to the right people, asked all the questions, and made a plan for what to do if things didn’t work out.” So, in March 2016, with six months’ worth of savings and his Canon 5D Mark III and Sony A7RII in hand, Boyd purchased a one-way ticket— destination: Þórsmörk, a mountainous valley, ideal for hiking in southern Ice­­ land, where he’d end up collaborating with two companies; Geysir Car Rental and Volcano Huts. Reactions from friends and family—unanimous—“Hell, yeah, do it!” A LONG SHOT: FROM TRAVELER TO RESIDENT During his first season in Iceland, Boyd fulfilled that envious fantasy from a year prior and roamed indefinitely in a Geysir Car Rental Land Rover, managing the brand’s Instagram account in exchange for the vehicle. He drove the iconic, is­­ land-perimeter Ring Road multiple times and became better acquainted with this new roiling land. Mainly, though, he was repeatedly drawn to the highlands, that massive region making up Iceland’s untouched interior riddled with rocky deserts and precipices, volcanoes, ice caps, valleys and hot springs. The allure of the landscape brought something fresh to the table. He reasoned—new per­­ spectiv­­es that deviated from the images littered on Instagram featuring easilyaccessible, though no less imposing, destinations like Skógafoss, Selja­­lands­­ foss or Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. “I focused on capturing scenes that had never been photographed or even seen before—especially with aerial shots,” says Boyd. A new friend joined him on the highlands ventures, Australian photographer Benjamin Hardman, who, having been ahead of the trend, was already living in Iceland for some time and was stationed in Reykjavik, with an Instagram foll­ ow­­ing more than 200,000 deep. He took Boyd under his wing. “He gave me loads of advice and helped me in so many ways, down to pronouncing the vol­­cano Eyjafjallajökull,” says Boyd. During that time last summer, Boyd notes, is when his Instagram following really started to take off—now upwards of 50,000 and rapidly increasing. That was when he began spending time at Volcano Huts, a wilderness resort in Þórs­­ mörk, located in the southern highlands. This became his favorite area, thanks in part to the vehement weather optimal for shooting. He collaborated with Volcano Huts, too, in exchange for a space to store his belongings and to regroup when he wasn’t exploring with the Land Rover. Soon, his original six-month timeframe sidled past. Now he had a home base. He made friends; he explored the country enough to launch a business. He acquired a


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healthy addiction to lamb soup and learned which fast food drive-thru serve svið (singed and boiled, sliced-in-half sheep’s heads). What says “home” more than that? EXPAT ENTREPRENEUR: A CLOSER LOOK AT DONAL BOYD PHOTOGRAPHY As he says, capturing shots in remote locations sets Boyd apart from the hordes of other landscape photographers, but there’s something to be said for style, too. In his case, it’s minimalism melded with uncommon perspectives. Boyd wants to get across to viewers what he feels when he sees a place, whether it’s new angles through drone photography or focused on-the-ground shots. “There’s not a ton of things going on in many of my photographs. I want to show one specific thing without the distraction of too many colors or lines,” Boyd says. To get the best shot, he’ll plunge headfirst into a setting, particularly when the weather is most intense, like when sideways rain pelts the ground. “Every photo that I put out there has taken a lot of thought,” says Boyd. “I feel a super deep connection to a particular landscape or how the ridge line moves along the clouds or how ice is falling from a glacier in a certain way,” Boyd says. To those who have worked with him, like his photographer friend Hardman, a steady rise from obscurity has been inevitable. “Donal has really grown into his own in the space of a year. He has a natural eye for composition and a unique editing style in which all blacks fade into softer gray tones,” says Hardman. (See some of Hardman’s works on pages 22-25) These days, Boyd’s business is in full swing. Stationed at Volcano Huts, it’s a one-man show: he’s guide, photographer and photography instructor. Typically, a client will find him through Instagram and set up a customized trip, with rates depending on the details. Highland tours are recommended, “where the fring­­es of glaciers are home to the most transient, radical landscapes,” he says. “We go to places that you’ve never heard of or can’t pronounce, or where the name has been long-forgotten. I go with people who are looking for that kind of ex­­peri­­ ence,” says Boyd. Þórsmörk still tops his list of favorite places, and with limited access and nine rivers to cross, it’s an obvious place to traverse with a guide like Boyd. In the meantime, this year, Boyd is expanding his business to photography workshops in Namibia and elsewhere. Conservation of the Icelandic Highland is important to him, and he’s promoting the pursuit of a national park. And of course, he can be found outside in all weather conditions at any hour, shooting. “If my pictures make one person think more about going somewhere, that’s really cool,” says Boyd. “Since really for me, it’s all about the feeling of a place, if someone can go and experience that same intense feeling I had when I took the photo, then I guess I’ve reached my goal.” v



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 one


Icelandic nature

INTO THE WILDERNESS After first experiencing the sublime beauty of the Icelandic Highland some years ago, I was instantly mesmerized. Text and photos: Benjamin Hardman


hen I think of the Highland, my mind wanders into a sweep­­ing land of vast plains, volcanic mountain rang­­es and unforgiving weather conditions. Growing up with a camera in hand, I’ve always been drawn to photo­­graph­ ing interesting textural landscapes. Com­­­bining this with a passion for exploration, the High­­land provides an almost unlimited source of opportunity. After count­­less visits and huge difficulty in tear­­ ing myself away, I eventually made a move permanently to Iceland from my home in Australia. THE HIGHLAND Sitting higher in altitude from the coastline, the extremities of the in­­ terior land are compounded by millions of years of volcanic move­­ments. Spanning all the way to Iceland’s inception, these frequent erup­­ti­­ons have created some of the most sublime natural structures I’ve ever witnessed. From vivid green mountains to bubbling geothermal mud pots and towering explosion craters, you can find it all out there. Lock­­ ed away under a thick blanket of snow for the winter months, the onset of summer reveals these Highland sights from beneath the ice and grants us a window to explore. Filled with countless gravel roads and hiking trails, the options for High­­land summer exploration are endless. It all starts with a turn off from the Ring Road and into the wilderness. There are two main pass­­ ag­­es within the interior, the Kjölur Route, and the Sprengisandur Route, both connecting the North and South. Among the many other areas that make up the Highland, these direct routes lead you through a rugged journey between glaciers with many unique sights along the way. FIRST VISUALS For me, it all began with a visit to what has become my most beloved area, the valley of Þórsmörk: The ice had finally disappeared, nature was flourishing in vibrant bursts of green, and daylight was practically end­­­­­less. Surrounded by glaciers and volcanoes on three sides, you’ll find yourself engulfed by the natural elements that make the Highland so unique. Glacial rivers flowing down from the mountains, covering the en­­ tire valley in a vast network of intertwined streams and an abun­­dance of trailheads—a hike up into the mountainside revealed not only the monstrous scale of the glaciers but also the intense vein-like patterns as the river streams weave together. What has captivated me most in this valley is how fierce the weather con­­­­­ditions can become with only a split second notice. Sitting at the base of these glaciers, you are at the central point of colliding weather syst­­ems, wrapping around the infamous Eyjafjallajökull Volcano and drawn in from the nearby coastline. You really have to be careful in these unpredictable conditions, but it’s these moments I find myself most engaged behind the lens, constantly drawn to the dark and moody clouds. However, regardless of the weather, you may chance to see an elusive arctic fox lurking in the mountains.


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DETACH FROM TIME It was the height of summer when my friends and I packed up and drove towards the center of Iceland. Camping under the midnight sun, days were seamlessly fading into one another and all sense of time was lost. We had scrambled every clock in reach, disconnected from our devices and explored solely by sense and a map. Three days had pass­­­ed before curiosity got the better of us. “Man I feel so defeated; I need to know the time!” Judging the movements of the sun we had some pretty wild guesses, though we were all completely wrong. It is such a freeing experience, de­­tach­­ed from time, existing peacefully in nature with no distractions. Memorable stops on our timeless adventure: KJÖLUR The Kjölur Route has been used by Icelanders ever since the first settle­­­ments: An extremely harsh and desolate pathway that is notoriously haunt­­ed by spir­ its, it is the vertical route through the country, passing between two glaci­­ers and some rocky desert landscapes.

See more of Benja­min’s amazing photos on Instagram @benja­minhardman or at www.benja­min­



Sitting deep in the Northeast interior, Askja is a volcanic caldera ring that truly mirrors an interplanetary travel experience. The landscape of Askja remains in constant turmoil and reformation, with its base slowly sinking over time. Deep into the Highland, I’d experienced something I’ll never forget. The echo of nature drifted through the air, hitting my ears as I sat in silence within a vast field of lava. With so many unusual natural ele­­­ments condensed within my immediate surroundings, the endless sounds of the Highland had given so much stimulus to my mind that I was left in awe without even opening my eyes. It was late on a summers day that I’d first come to realize this, photo­­graphing under foggy mountain peaks and the glowing sun. With every movement audi­­ ble, I could hear the wind blowing in the mountains, birds chirping and steam rising out of the ground. It made me realize that despite the barren and seem­­ ingly inhospitable environment of the High­­land, there is still so much life out there, flourishing in the summer light. From then on, I always remember to take a min­­ute to sit and listen to my surroundings. A QUICK NOTE It should be pointed out that traveling in the Highland landscape must be done carefully, with the right precautions taken at all times to en­sure that the fragile nature is not harmed. The landscape of Iceland is extremely delicate, filled with sensitive green moss and volcanic soils that once disturbed have a very slow recovery time. Though the Highland is a mecca for 4x4 vehicles, venturing even slightly from the tracks will scar the landscape and cause irreversible damage. I cannot stress how important this is and must be considered whenever behind the wheel, not just in the Highland but anywhere in Iceland. Experiencing the Highland is something that will stick with you forever. Made up of landscapes unlike anywhere else on the planet, we need to do everything we can to preserve and protect this special place. With each of my photographic workshops, I donate 5% of the profits to the Icelandic nature conservation fund; A Highland National Park is what this country needs to protect the heart of the country—one of the last true wilderness areas in Europe. You too can donate to Landvernd; ask on board or head online for more information at v

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Leave something for the Icelandic nature

HOW YOUR CHANGE COULD MAKE A BIG CHANGE Phenomenal nature is the top reason for visiting Iceland but the 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, an organization dedicated to protecting and restoring Icelandic nature. All donations from our guests will be matched in full by WOW air. Photos: Courtesy of Landvernd

After most trips to foreign lands we usually come back with a few coins or more of a curr­­ ency that we can’t use at home. Some save it but then forget it on their next trip. Others might give it to their kids to play with or fool a bus driver or two. We’d like to offer you another option: Donate it tow­­ ard a great cause. HOW CAN I HELP? In the seat pocket in front of you, there’s an envel­ ope where you can leave any foreign change or other leftover currency that you’d like to contri­­bute. Your donations will be matched by WOW air and sent directly to Land­­vernd who will use the funds to support its efforts to safeguard and protect Icelandic nature. In parti­­cular, they will be used to enhance the cam­­paign for a national park in the Central Highland of Iceland, to develop a new volunteering program in soil and land restoration of degraded birch wood­lands, and in efforts to influence policy and decision making relating to the environment. 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. Help Landvernd make sure that Icelandic nature will still be as incredible when your grand­­ kids come to visit. WHAT IS LANDVERND? Landvernd, the Icelandic Environment Association, is a non-profit environmental and nature con­­serva­­ tion 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. Since people have become more aware of the danger to nature, in the last five years Landvernd has grown tenfold and now has about 5,000 members. LANDVERND’S NATURE CONSERVATION EFFORTS Over the last two decades, Landvernd’s efforts have increasingly concentrated on protecting Ice­­


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land’s unique wilderness and landscapes, especi­­ ally in the uninhabited Central Highland of the country—the jewel of Icelandic nature. Also, in the last 15 years, Landvernd has expanded to be­­come one of Iceland’s leading organization in environ­­ mental education. With education as its central theme, it has been running the international Eco-Schools program in about half of the schools in the country, in addition to a number of long-term projects, for example, on food waste, sustainable tourism, clean beaches and marinas, invasive species and off-road driving Over the past three years, Landvernd has furthermore focused on working with munici­­ pali­­ties on climate change and soil and land re­­stora­­tion with schools. “We successfully apply our rights under the Aarhus Conventional for access to information, public participation and access to justice in decisions relating to environ­­ mental issues. Recently, this also includes legally challenging various decisions taken by govern­ mental authorities and influencing the way decis­­­­ions are being made about the environment. Fin­­ally, we have in the last few years progressively lobbi­­ed for actions to be taken to safeguard nature in popular tourist destinations,” says Gudmundur Ingi Gudbrandsson, CEO of Landvernd and one of the founders of the Icelandic Society for Environ­ mental Scientists. PROTECTING ONE OF THE LARGEST UNTAMED WILDERNESSES IN EUROPE Landvernd’s biggest conservation goal at the mo­­­­­ment is the establishment of a national park in the Central Highland of Iceland. The Central

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Highland is one of Iceland’s greatest trea­­ sures, containing many active vol­canoes, glaciers, voluminous rivers and water­­ falls, colorful hot springs and mud pools, vast lava fields and broad expanses of black sand, 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. “In our opinion, Icelanders are in the enviable position of still being able to stand guard over this precious treasure and protect the Central Highland for future generations. Opinion polls show that over 60% of Icelanders

“Starting in summer 2017, we will run a pilot project with the help of volun­­­ teers in a severely degraded area affected by volcanic activities from the famous Volcano Hekla and from over exploitation through human settlement in Iceland.”

support the establishment of a national park there and only about 12% are against it,” says Guð­­mundur. There are many different interests at stake in the area including traditional land use such as grazing and hunting, out­­door activities and tourism, as well as energy development. The establishment of a Highland National Park would entail the withdrawal of any plans for further dams, hydro-electric power stations and high-voltage overhead power lines within the area because these would fragment and degrade the wilderness. A Highland Na­­tional Park would also guarantee the regulation and organization of tourism and traditional land use. A Highland National Park will thus support the protection of this unique landscape and at the same time promote opportunities for rural de­­ velop­­ment, allow for outdoor activities, tour­­ism and traditional land use based on the ideals of nature conservation and sustain­­ability. WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER A significant milestone was reached in March 2016 when nature conservation and outdoor recreation groups as well as the Icelandic Travel Industry Association sign­­ ed a mission statement on protecting the Central Highland of Iceland as a national park. Almost 30 organizations are now behind the statement. This campaign is led by Landvernd and the Iceland Nature Conservation Association (INCA), another active environmental group in the country. “Protect the Park,” a group specifically aimed at protection of the Icelandic High­­land has specifically supported and assisted Landvernd and INCA in carrying out this vision shared by the whole group. “Our campaign involves extensive


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lobbying for a national park among local governments, political parties, various stake­­holders and the society at large. You can see short videos of the stunning Highlands and sign our petition online at,” says Guðmundur. CARE: DEVELOPMENT OF A VOLUNTEER PROGRAM IN ICELAND Volunteering in the care of nature is one of the most meaningful ways to experience another country while at the same time offering great opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. This is because it brings people to the heart of that nation’s most important environmental issues with local people who care. In Iceland, history of land degradation and desertification has led to sharp declines in local biodiversity, soil fertility and in productivity and fun­­c­­­tionality of the affected ecosystems. Land­­­­­vernd is now developing a volunteer program called CARE in land restoration for foreign visitors and Icelanders alike. “Starting in summer 2017, we will run a pilot project with the help of volunteers in a severely degraded area affected by volcanic activities from the famous Volcano Hekla and from over exploitation through human settlement in Iceland. We will also develop outdoor educational programs and educational materi­­als, and create mark­­et­­­ing materials to attract future volun­­­teers,” Guðmundur explains. Thank you for your contribution toward pro­­tecting Icelandic nature. Now get out there and enjoy it! v

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

Icelandic wool

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C Never mind the Bollocks! 1980: a defining moment in Icelandic history and a cultural shift of seismic proportions was about to erupt. Punk was starting to become formularized and understood in Iceland as a music subculture and culture in its own right. by Marvin Lee Dupree Photo: Þórsteinn Sigurðsson – Instagram: xdeathrow

Large segments of the population were baffled by this movement since disco was the dominant cultural musical expression and in an interview the punk band Fræbbblarnir explained how many Icelanders seemed to be afraid of them and uttered “They must be insane” referring to their music, fashion and political ideology. THE INEVITABLE SHIFT Like many movements and paradigm shifts, it is almost impossible to place a date on when something iconic like punk


began exactly in Iceland; however, for the sake of simplicity I think most people can agree that Icelandic punk crashed its way into Icelandic society with a concert in Gamla Bíó where the now iconic bands Fræbblarnir, Utangarðsmenn and Þeyr held a concert together. Admittedly, some musical connoisseurs might rankle when reading that these bands are being labeled together as punk because, while many argue Þeyr is closely linked to punk, it is considered more new-wave. Others might argue that punk officially began when The Stranglers held a concert back in 1978 here in Iceland.

Like many movements and paradigm shifts, it is almost impossible to place a date on when something iconic like punk began exactly in Iceland.

Nevertheless, no matter what date or event is associated with the genesis of punk in Iceland, what the majority of Icelandic bands had in common with their international counterparts was an almost anti-everything ethos and a pathological aversion to what was considered as bourgeois or pedestrian conformity of the time. While Iceland was far from being the epicenter of punk, many of the trends were transposed to this tiny island nation. These included the iconic Mohawk hair style, Doc Martens’ charity shop clothes as well as a vibrant music scene, and

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COLLECT MOMENTS - NOT THINGS! “Iceland had always been one of my dream vacations. The island’s untamed and beautiful landscape make it the perfect destination for a nature enthusiast. Not only did I finally get to come to Iceland, but I also decided to take my first ever helicopter ride. I flew with Nordurflug Helicopter Tours and they made all my wildest flight dreams come true. Not only did they have lots of tour options, but they were super flexible with working around my travel schedule. I ended up choosing the Geothermal Tour at 49.900 ISK per person. The pricing was comparable to other activities in Iceland, but this experience allows you to see the country from the sky!

"it was just us and nature." Unlike being in an airplane, the takeoff in a helicopter is smooth. If I had any nerves about the flight, they immediately vanished at the sight of the stunning landscape. I was amazed by how quickly the scenery changed from the city skyline, to lava fields and volcanic craters. Being up in a helicopter gives you a true perspective of the country as a whole. The experience was worth every penny and more.

“we actually got to land on an old volcano and were able to witness up close the untamed power of geothermal energy” As if flying wasn’t enough, we actually got to land on an old volcano and witness the untamed power of geothermal energy. I got to stand right next to the boiling mud pots and hot springs without other tourists blocking the view and no safety ropes holding us back… it was just us and nature. Our pilot was very personable, knowledgeable about the country, and a veteran pilot. I was amazed to find out he has done aerials for some big film productions like Star Wars and Oblivion. Needless to say, he kept our tour very interesting! Once we got back to the office, it took me awhile to actually “get back on the ground”. This experience was so thrilling and incredible, I had to let it all sink in! It’s no wonder that Nordurflug is one of Trip Advisor's top-rated Iceland experience. I will definitely be recommending this to anyone visiting Iceland!" Get a ISK 5.000 online discount of the Geothermal Tour when booking on HELICOPTER.IS with the Promo Code: WOWAIR



-Kelsey Heide Issue one


often, at the time, what seemed to be very “radical politics.” Of course punk was a global pheno­­menon and a counterculture wave equipp­­ed with its own style, language and atti­­tude, but like many things in Iceland, punk was a bit different here. One notable example is the discourse. In a letter, one Iceland­ic punk fan was bemoaning the fact that the communists were trying to take all credit for Bubbi Mortens (if you don’t know him, play some of his classics on Spotify). NORDIC PUNK If you are seeking a break from the Vikings and tales of their conquest and bloodlust, or if just want to experience an alternative side to Icelandic cultural history, you should visit the Punk Museum of Iceland. Housed in a former public bathroom at no. 0 Bankastraeti in downtown Reykjavik, this tiny but charming museum is more enthralling than museums triple its size. The Icelandic Punk Museum is a labor of love and allows visitors to take a brief


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musical journey into Icelandic music and history from the middle of the 20th century to the beginnings of punk in order to contextualize the punk scene. One of the more memorable lines plastered on the walls—No spoilers—represents the pinnacle of the punk ethos with a tongue in cheek remark about Hitler. Other charming anti-establishment surprises also await guests, not to mention the cute bathroom stall décor. The Punk Museum encourages a hands-on approach. Within it, you have plenty of headphones dangling from the ceiling enabling you to listen to songs from many landmark and iconic albums of the period, including music from bands as Þeyr, Grýlurnar and Utangarðsmenn. Other bands include Tappi Tíkarrass whose lead singer is none other than a young Björk who had begun to conquer hearts in the early eighties. For those of you feeling super nostalgic, it is even possible to pick up some vintage cassette tapes. However, for the non-

If you are seeking a break from the Vikings and tales of their conquest and bloodlust, or if just want to experience an alternative side to Icelandic cultural history, you should visit the Punk Museum of Iceland.

hipsters it is possible to simply obtain some of the music digitally from the museum. Far from being a stuffy establishment, the Punk Museum is true to its ethos and invites guests to take a jam session which can be posted online on the museum’s FB site. Despite being small, the Punk Museum has a lot of heart and it is the closest you’ll get to the punk scene of Iceland in the eighties without hopping into a time machine. Granted the floors are not beer drenched and there is not an impenetrable fog of cigarette smoke and noise piercing music being played but the punk ethos lives on in this small subterranean enclave of punk. If you’re still clamoring for Icelandic punk after your visit, you can always check out the acclaimed music documentary “Rokk í Reykjavík” which documents the music scene in the early eighties and includes footage of a young Björk. v



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Issue one



You could be here! Ever see those beautiful Instagram photos of happy couples traveling the world and wish it was you? Well, if you have no real live travel buddy, there’s always foam and cardboard… by Eygló Árnadóttir / Photos: Jasmine Teed

Canadian teacher Jasmine Teed has traveled the world for years, teaching in different interesting places. The 32-year-old is single and often wonders how nice it would be to find a man to travel with, and become one of those perfect couples Instagramming their romantic travels, someone as ad­­­ventur­­ous as herself, someone with a similar lifestyle, goals and appetite for life. GOING IT ALONE And there was a guy… They had known each other for a few years and started dating when they were finally both single at the same time. He seemed very keen and told Jasmine he had been waiting


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for her a long time. As they got to know each other, she thought he could be the perfect guy to travel with. Already planning a two-week trip to Ireland and Iceland, she imagined inviting him to join her when suddenly he vanished and never contacted her again. Not one to cry over spilled milk, Jasmine went alone on the originally planned trip. “I wasn’t going to let my disappointment in not having found my travel partner stop me from going on more adventures. I thought: Oh well, I’m going to keep doing the exciting things I want to do and have always done. The right person for me is the per­­son who would like to do those things too.” Instead of collecting romantic self­ies with a male travel buddy, she photo­­­

grap­hed a foam cutout in the shape of a head with the words “You could be here” written on it. Jasmine took her foamy friend with her on all her trips in Iceland, and the pair took selfies in amazing locations such as Vík, Skógar­­foss and Sólheimajökull. REAL SNAPSHOTS Jasmine learned that taking couple selfies is really hard. “Trying to hold every­­thing in place and get a good angle, and click the shutter button while we were both lined up for the camera was pretty challenging. Plus, I was trying not to get blown over by the crazy Icelandic wind or get sopping wet from the water­­­ falls.” Jasmine decided not to buy and

The 32-year-old is single and often wond­ers how nice it would be to find a man to travel with, and become one of those perfect couples Instagramming their romantic travels, someone as ad­­­ventur­­­ ous as herself, some­ one with a similar lifestyle, goals and appetite for life.

bring along photographic equipment in order to get the perfect Instagram shots (nor extra clothes and makeup to look picture perfect). Ultimately she gave up on complicated setups trying to get the best photos and resorted to just taking snapshots with her phone. “Kudos to those Instagram travel couples who have all those amazing shots. I did not realize how much effort it takes to get them.” NOT SO SOLO The project ended up with its own Instagram account @ucouldbehere. With it, Jasmine wanted in part to show her vanishing date what he was missing, but also she looked at it as a funny dating advertisement (as in:

Woman seeks the right guy to take Mr. Foamhead’s place on adventurous trips). Her travel partner in crime was not at all the jealous type as Jasmine met many awesome guys on her journey, both locals and fellow travelers. “I had so much fun! I met lots of people at pubs and the different hostels where I was staying. We ended up going for suppers, going to parties and booking tours together. It was amazing. I may have traveled solo but I did not spend my time solo or feel solo.” So just because you haven’t found the perfect travel partner yet, there’s no reason to stay at home. Plan a solo trip and have a blast! You could, and should, definitely be here! v

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Where are all the Vikings? So, you’re on a plane heading for Iceland. Finding out more about the country’s history might be a good idea and for that explicit purpose you should pay a visit to the National Museum of Iceland. by Eydis Björnsdottir Photos: Courtesy of the National Museum of Iceland

Once you’re at the National Museum, you might end up with a few questions, such as: “Where is all the Viking stuff?” “When did settlement begin?” “How long was the journey to Iceland?” and “I’m a little lost, how do I get out?” If so, you are in luck, for there is a new book that answers many of the most common questions that tourists ask about Iceland’s history, along with answers to the questions our visitors should be asking, but hardly ever do. The author, Eydís Björnsdóttir, is an ethnologist who has worked at the museum for years. Here is a little excerpt from her book Hello and Welcome to the National Museum of Iceland. I could easily walk through the National Museum of Iceland and point at all the items that fit within the Viking stereotype: the swords, the silver treasures, the pagan symbols, the graves and the ships. Well, no, actually, I can’t do that—partly because none of the Viking ships survived in Iceland but mainly because the Viking stereotype doesn’t agree with me as much as it used to. I’m not sure how that happened. Did it begin when I learned that the Viking helmets had no horns? Maybe—or perhaps when I realized that not everybody believed in Odin and Thor, just as not everybody wore neon-colored clothes in the 80’s and not everybody today has a smartphone. That, just because it is the past, doesn’t mean that everybody was the same—I don’t know. Maybe it happened when I discovered that none of the ships survived. Beginnings are sometimes too easy to pinpoint and therefore, too many beginnings exist. The year of settlement is a case in point. When I was a kid, I had to learn the year 874 for exams… 874. That was THE year. The year it all started. And that’s because it’s written down in an old manuscript called Landnáma (The Book of Settlements). A few years ago it came to light that this year might not be that accurate. There’s even a museum in the town center called 871 ± 2, referring to the archaeological excavation of turf walls built before that time. So, there were people building walls in Reykjavík before 874, or so it seems. It might be best to take the dates and details in the manuscripts with a grain of salt. Many of them were written down more than two hundred years after the Settlement Era. v


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Want to find out more? You’ll find Eydís’ book Hello and Welcome to the National Museum of Iceland at the Museum Shop of the National Museum, at Penninn/Eymundsson bookstores and at other selected stores, such as What’s On on Laugavegur.

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WOW Power to the people

Some Nordic stereotypes The Danes

Know the difference In recent years denizens of the globe have become acquainted with the term Nordic Noir through shows such as Broen (remade as The Bridge in America) and Borgen and through authors such as Jo Nesbø, Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell. A hallmark trait of all the books is that they cast an unflattering light on the supposed Nordic model of gender equality, social equality and liberalism. By Marvin Lee Dupree Photos: /Quarta_


or some this might be a refreshing change since the common spiel is to sing the praises of the Nordic countries as being the most socially advanced in the entire globe, as well as being the happi­­­­est. Regardless of whether or not such lofty quantifications are valid, let’s examine the term Nordic, how Iceland fits into this termi­­­nology and what the main differences are, both in jest and in earn­­est, between all the Nordic countries. WHAT MAKES US SCANDINAVIAN, OOPS NORDIC? One of the most common questions about Iceland is the classic: Why is Iceland called Iceland and Greenland, Greenland? The next geographical quest­ ion oft­­en turns out to be: Is Iceland a Scandi­­navian country or not? Geographically speak­­­­­ing, Iceland is not Scandinavian, but neither is Denmark since the term refers mostly to Finland, Sweden and Norway’s mainland. Yet, because the Danish once had lands on the Scandinavia Peninsula, it is more common for people to call Den­­mark Scandinavian than Iceland. Historically and culturally speaking, Iceland is Scandinavian since Old Norse or what is essentially Icelandic is the Latin of the North, whereas Swedish, Danish and Norwegian are basically fancy dialects parading around as langu­­ages. To further complicate matters, Finnish is spoken in Finland, as well as Swed­­ish, but Finnish is more related to Hungarian than the Scandinavian langu­­ages. Hopefully this clarif­ies things a bit. As for what constitutes a Nordic country, well, that is somewhat more straight­­for­­ward: every country culturally or historically connected to the Scandi­­ navian countri­­es and this list includes not only Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Åland but for some, including the Scottish National Party, Scotland. So, yes, Iceland is technically a Scandi­­ navian country by proxy and quintessentially, Nordic.

Down to the nitty gritty— when you ask a native Ice­­ lander what distinguishes Icelanders from their Nordic counterparts you may receive wildly different answers but usually, there are commonalities that most Icelanders agree on. Take for example the Danes. Icelanders have a complex relationship to the Danes; they are our bigger but not older brother in many ways. In the past, Danish culture and society dominated the upper eche­­ lons of Icelandic society and any social mobility was predominately through Danish channels. So, in many ways, Ice­­­landers have complexes towards the Danish and felt a sense of elation when buying properties in Copenhagen over a decade ago. Danish people are also more ligeglad (carefree) and when they ask for the works on their hot dogs, it includes pickles which are an abom­­in­ation to many Icelanders.

The Swedes

THE ALMOST ANNOYING NEARLY PERFECT PEOPLE Throughout history, there have been numerous at­­ tempts at creating a utopia. Plato had his philoso­ phy-based Republic, Thomas More, his aptly named Utopia and there have been other attempts like the Paris Commune and the soHistorically called attempt at a communist and culturally republic during the October speaking, Iceland Revolution. A fair society is what is Scandi­navian great modern philosophers since Old Norse such as John Rawls envisioned or what is and, in many aspects, the Nordic essentially countries fit into his model. Ice­­landic is the Unfortunately, in recent years, Latin of the Nordic countries have been both North. admired and attacked for their “hygge” (hygge as a philosophy or way of social mobility and focus on human dignity and maternal and paternal leave—as well as supposedly dystopian tax rate). Numerous columns have been written in the past few years decrying the rec­­ent infatuation with the Nordic countries. One book, Almost Nearly Perfect Peo­­ple by Michael Booth, took a gleeful approach to eviscerating the Nordic countri­­es and drawing attention to their seemingly noir underbelly. Swedes are boring and are major arms dealers. Norwegians are insular. Danes aren’t really that happy and en­­force conformity through the unspoken idea of the Jante Law. Icelanders are semi-sociopathic Nor­­wegian outcasts that should not be allowed near bank­­­­ing. Cursory travel writing can of course never capture the Geist of a nation—especi­­ally if one does not have access to the main cultural tool itself: the language. v

As for the Swedes, they love rules and lines—Icelanders lack discipline and there seems to be a culturally ingrained anathema for stand­­ing in line in an orderly fashion. Also, the almost untranslatable Swedish word “lagom” encapsulates the obvious differ­­ences between Swedes and Ice­­landers. In Sweden, moderation is con­­ sid­­ered a virtue whereas in Iceland—well let’s just say we don’t do moderation that well.

The Finns

Now, the Finns are in many ways our Eastern coun­­­ter­­ points that often don’t fit as well in the circle, but instead of the heavy Ameri­­can influence that pervades Iceland, in Finland, there is a tinge of Russian in­­fluence, especially in architecture. And instead of having a complex towards Den­­mark, they have a complicated rela­­ tionship with their former overlords, Sweden. Of course, Finns are famous for being introverted but like all Nordic people seem to shed their re­­served per­­sonality when consuming copious amounts of spirits.

The Norse

Icelanders, like the rest of the Nordic countries, have an intriguing relationship with the Norwegians. To many Icelanders, Norwegians are troublingly calm and mild mannered with their love of skiing and hyttes (winter cabins) and their hyperProtestant worldview. Perhaps, that is why most Nordic countries find it ok to mock Norwegians in a friendly manner and agree with authors such as Booth who write: “When a man is bored of Oslo… he’s proba­bly been there three days.”

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The ultimate travel companion Finding all those secret spots in Iceland that no one even thinks to look for can be a daunting task but we have something that can make your vacation in Iceland a lot easier.

With over 2600 GPS POIs you‘ll have a hard time not making a few detours. Be Iceland is an informational website and a phone app designed to make your traveling in Iceland easier. PLAN TO BE THERE As soon as you land, you can book your Flybus transfer to Reykjavik through the app instead of standing in line at the ticket office. Because all the Flybuses have free wifi, the journey will also give you a great opportunity to find and book tours on your way to Reykjavik. When traveling in Iceland, the Be Iceland app will help you find interesting places nearby and help you locate most of Iceland‘s amazing natural attractions and historic places, towns, hotels, shops and restaurants. The app will also help you find ATMs and recycling stations should you need them and it lets you filter everything down to better fit your plans.


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THE TRAVELER‘S SECRET WEAPON The Be Iceland app is easy to navigate and has several categories to choose from such as Eat, Sleep, Discover, Enjoy and Shop, to name a few. The Discover category is especially handy, giving you directions to places known for their natural or historical significance close to your location. Filtering the results by your interest can lead to the discovery of something great, like a little known natural gem, a conveniently located hiking route or a historical site where you learn something interesting. If you‘re a budget traveler, this feature will become your ultimate secret weapon when planning your trip as almost all of these places are free of charge. Inside all other categories, you can filter the results to find exactly what you need with information that would never fit inside any guide book. Looking for a swimming pool? Go to the Enjoy category and filter the results to swimming pools, you‘ll find the

When traveling in Iceland, the Be Iceland app will help you find interesting places nearby and help you locate most of Iceland‘s amazing natural attractions and historic places, towns, hotels, shops and restaurants.

The Be Iceland app is free of charge and available for ios and Android through their respective stores. You can also check out the Be Iceland website, beiceland. is. It‘s a great place to start if you‘re planning a vacation in Iceland.

closest one first but you might also find one that‘s too unique to pass by. In the Enjoy category, you can find nearby tours too and book them directly. EVERYTHING YOU‘RE LOOKING FOR AND MORE Hungry? Select the Eat category and browse the closest restaurant. Or decide what you‘re hungry for and filter the results. From vegan or vegetarian to steaks and sushi and almost everything in between, the Be Iceland app‘s got you covered. For those looking for that perfect item to complete their wardrobe or a quirky souvenir, the Shop category will be a dream come true. Filter the results by fashion or design to find real Icelandic clothes or select souvenirs to find the one item that will complete your collection. v

Spend the night at a snow-powered hotel In Iceland, all electricity is generated from renewable sources; falling water, the heat of the earth and the force of the wind. Welcome to the land of renewable energy.

Issue one


Veggie Iceland Ok, so you have decided to visit Iceland and most likely you have heard about the culinary options that would make meat eaters forego meat: rancid shark, Icelandic haggis and something that used to be the head of a sheep. by Marvin Lee Dupree Photos: Brynjar Snær Þrastarson and Óskar Páll Sveinsson, courtesy of Vinýl and Gló restaurants respectively

After hearing about this food you are most likely worried about whether or not you can eat anything besides fried cheese or nuts and fruits. Cast all such thoughts from your mind because being a vegan or vegetarian in Iceland is easy peasy—actually having foregone meat for over twenty years myself, this is a statement I never expected to utter when I first started out here in Iceland. In the 90s, you were lucky to find Linda


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McCartney dinners and when you asked for a vegetarian dinner at restaurants, they would offer you a handful of lettuce and then give you a ladle of boiled potatoes. Luckily, times have changed considerably and now there is a consensus among a large segment of the population that has begun celebrating and promoting Veganuary, an animal product free month in January.

Being a vegan or vegetarian in Iceland is easy peasy.

BURGERS FOR EVERYONE! While the food culture has taken huge strides in past years, there is still not a dedicated vegetarian street food option like in London or Budapest but there are plenty of options for those of you who just want a quick eat or meal with not too much fuss. Prikið offers veggie burgers, as does the Block Burger, and Kaffihús Vesturbæjar has a vegan version. In addition, Iceland’s

RElax - enjoy - experience

- Welcome TO Mývatnssveit · phone +354 464 4411 ·

Issue one


main burger establishment, Hamborgara­­ fabrikkan, has now rolled out four different vegan options to some of their more popu­­lar burgers, so if you are with your non­­-vegetarian or -vegan friends, you can easily find something for yourself while accommodating to their “murderous” ploys. If you happen to be on your way to the domestic airport—or even if you are not, Bike Cave is also worth checking out since they have a few vegan options on the menu. With all of these fairly recent additions to the vegan and vegetarian burger scene, it is quite easy to find a burger joint for your fix. LOCAL EATS If you are seeking out a vegan kitchen, well you are in luck. Vinýl, which is located on Hverfisgata, just below the main shopp­­ing street, Laugavegur, has a wide variety of vegan options for a hungry trav­eler including a variety of tasty cakes to wash down with damn good coffee. Un­­


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For other options, Gló is the most popular place for locals who don’t eat meat— every day there is a vegetarian and vegan option available with generous helpings of three different salads of one’s own choice.

fortunately, no Twin Peaks cherry pie but let’s hope they add that to the menu. For other options, Gló is the most popular place for locals who don’t eat meat—every day there is a vegetarian and vegan option available with generous helpings of three different salads of one’s own choice. Usually, it is very busy but it is always a great choice for a good meal. Located nearby, only 4 minutes away, is Garðurinn, a smaller establishment but very cozy, that offers only vegetarian or vegan options as opposed to Gló that offers chicken as well. If you want to try something else Bryggjan Brugghús has some interesting vegetarian and vegan options: a Portobello taco and club sandwich vegan rendition. You might think that you can only eat decent vegetarian or vegan food in the capi­­­­tal but if you happen to be near Akur­­­­eyri in north­ ern Iceland, or driving through it—make sure to visit Silva, only a 15-minute drive from the Capital of the North. The food and

relaxed atmosphere are well worth the trek; not only does Silva do vege­­tarian and vegan options but it also does raw dishes. DESSERT! I would be an evil person if I did not also mention vegan-friendly places with amazing desserts. If you are in dire need of some ice cream—well, let’s just say you want to behave like a local and eat ice-cream in a blizzard—then I have soothing news. Both Joylato and Valdís offer vegan ice cream options. No matter which you go for you should not be disappointed. As for cake options, do not forget to visit 17 Sortir that always has a vegan option on the menu. So whether you are a vegan, a vegetarian or aspiring to go meat free, the options in Iceland are plenty and ever-increasing. Bon appetite. v

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!”


N M 76 5 3 5

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.

Issue one The exhibition is open every day from 9am-5pm. Please direct any inquiries to Tel: (+354) 591 2880



Nature kills! When Mother Nature created Iceland, she was in a mood. Of all the places in the world people have inhabited, Iceland is perhaps, the most precarious. by Eygló Árnadóttir / Photo: nikpal /

Icelandic nature, which is probably what you came for, is quite spect­­ acular and you should enjoy it but it can also be brutal and dangerous, so explore safely. Getting killed is an actual threat when traveling in Icelandic wilderness. The natural forces should be respected and feared; this is not the place to get stupid and reckless. Beaches Kirkjufjara and Reynisfjara near the town Vík on the South Coast are the perfect examples since three foreign visitors have been killed there in the last few years (not to mention those who


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The danger comes from so-called sneaker waves, disproportionately large coastal waves that can appear without warning.

were rescued by locals). The last fatal accident happened this January. The danger comes from so-called sneaker waves, disproportionately large coastal waves that can appear without warning. Because they are much larger than preceding waves, people walking or standing on the beach can suddenly be knocked over and sucked out to sea. Strong currents, hard rocks and the freezing water can very easily and quickly kill you. But the weather is not the only criteria; people get killed by sneaker waves on nice sunny days too. There are safety warnings but again and again, tourists disregard the signs, putting themselves and even their children at great risk. Icelanders are a relatively laid back bunch, so when they shout danger, they mean it. DO NOT visit life threatening places unless prepared to keep your family safe. And this goes not only for these beaches but Icelandic wilderness altogether. Educate yourself. Read the warning signs. Listen to your tour guide. Never get in the water and never turn your back to sea while standing close. The perfect Instagram travel picture is not worth your life.

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FLYING MADE SIMPLER As a young low-fare airline, we at WOW air are still learning and adapting our services to better suit our guests’ needs. To make our booking process and traveling simpler and faster, we’re now offering three travel options when flying WOW. For more information on WOW air’s additional services and new flight options go to

WOW Basic This is really all you need: a simple flight ticket that will get you to your destination along with one personal item. You can add anything you want to the ticket, such as a carry-on bag or checked baggage, bigger seat and cancellation pro­­­tection to name a few, for an additional fee. This is our simple ultra-low fare.

Included: • •

Flight ticket Personal item up to a maximum 42x32x25cm/ 17x13x10in

WOW Plus Bundle up—we’re now offering your dream package. The convenient WOW Plus option is loaded with add-ons at a better price. Fly in style and enjoy the extra services such as a carry-on bag, a checked bag and cancellation protection. WOW Plus will always be cheaper than adding to the WOW Basic fare; guaranteed.

Included: • • • • •

Flight ticket Personal item up to a maximum 42x32x25cm/ 17x13x10in Carry-on bag up to a maximum of 56x45x25 cm/ 22x18x10in Checked bag Cancellation protection

• • • •

Carry-on bag up to a maximum of 56x45x25 cm/ 22x18x10in Checked bag Cancellation protection Seat reservation: WOW Biz guests will always get the best seat available at the time of booking (Find out more on page 66) Priority boarding at all airports (Find out more on page 66) In-flight meal: Choose food and drink from the WOW me menu on board. Free coffee

WOW Biz For all the busy bees out there, this one’s for you. Travel in our biggest and most comfortable seats and be the first in line for boarding. Of course, you’ll get a checked bag and a carry-on bag in addition to a free seat reservation (XXL or Big Seat) and cancellation protection. Included: • •


Flight ticket Personal item up to a maximum 42x32x25cm/ 17x13x10in WOW Power to the people

• • •

NO NEED TO WAIT FOR YOUR BAG if you do like the locals and pick up your duty free goods in the arrival store before your luggage

Issue one



Kol Restaurant Skólavörðustígur 40 101 Reykjavík Tel: +354 517 7474 www. kolrestaurant .is

Cocktails and feel good food at Kol Restaurant BE PREPARED FOR A MEMORABLE NIGHT OUT AT KOL RESTAURANT.


ituated at Skólavörðustígur 40 in Reykja­­­­­­ vík, Kol Restaurant’s design con­­­­­cept is a mixture of warm modern Icelandic feel with international touc­­he­­ s and the furniture of designer Tom Dixon playing the central role. The rest­­­­­­­­aur­­ant is on two floors with an open kitchen and a mighty bar. Both floors are divided into spac­­es with cozy leather couches and a variety of diff­­­er­­ent table settings. Kol Restaurant centers on the bar where the country’s best cocktail bar­­tenders serve craft cocktails from the best ingredients available

and offer an ambitious cocktail list to begin and complete the dining experience. The selection is feel good comfort food with a twist on classic cuisine. The menu offers a variety of finger food, salads, fish, steaks and dess­­ erts. The head chefs, Einar Hjaltason and Kári Þor­­­­­steinsson, have over 20 years of ex­­­perience at Reykjavik’s best restaurants as well as work ex­­­perience in several known restaurants in London, for example Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons, Dabbous, Noma, 28/50 and Texture. Don’t miss out on this

KOL RESTAURANT Opening hours: Monday-Friday 11:30-23:00 / Saturday-Sunday 17:30-23:00


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brand new gem on the Reykjavik restaurant scene. This is a great place to begin a fun evening. v

Kol Restaurant cent­­ers on the bar where the coun­try’s best cock­­tail bar­­ tend­­ers serve craft cocktails from the best in­­gredi­ents available and offer an ambi­­tious cocktail list to begin and com­­plete the dining exper­­ience.




Vegamót Vegamótastíg 4 101 Reykjavík Tel: +354 511 3040 email: vegamot@vegamot .is www.vegamot .is

Very nice Vegamót

The all-in-one restaurant This elegant but casual two floor restaurant is located in the heart of Reykja­vík on Vega­­mótastígur, close to Lauga­­­­vegur.


he restaurant has been popular for many years, perhaps because of its wonder­ful quality of being an all-in-one, rest­aurant, café and bar. You‘ll never want to leave! Here the decor is rich on the Medi­­­terr­­anean side and yet elegant with a jazzy ambiance. In the summertime tables are moved outside to the shelt­er­ed terrace, probably one of the hottest

places in Iceland during those short summer months. This place is famous for their ‘fresh fish of the day’, served all day from lunch hours. It has very rea­­sonable prices for quality, portions and presenta­ tion and guests can choose from a wide variety of decadent dess­erts – if they make it that far. Try their excellent selection of good beers. Every day there is a special offer on bottled beers worth a taste. v

VEGAMÓT Opening hours: Mon-Thu: 11:00 am - 1:00 am Fri-Sat:11:00 am - 4:00 am Sun: 11:00 am - 1:00 am


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The restaurant has been popular for many years, perhaps because of its wonder­ful quality of being an all-inone, rest­aurant, café and bar. You‘ll never want to leave!


Issue one



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

Lebowski Bar

THE REYKJAVIK VENUE THAT ROCKS! From the entrepreneurs that brought you Café Oliver and Vega­mot, comes Lebowski Bar. You can take a quick guess where the name and inspiration comes from and even if you didn’t like the infamous 1998 movie we are cert­ain you will love this bar.


ust walking into this retro American bar puts a smile on your face and the mood is very 1960’s. You can hang out at the old fashioned porch and imagine you are in a real action movie. They don’t make bars like that anymore … oh wait they do, this one! Four big screens adorn the walls, so it’s also a great place to hang out when there are big events and sporting high­lights to be seen. And there’s also an “outside” area deco­­rated in a zappy Miami­-sunshine yellow that will cheer even the dullest of days.

Dine and jive Lebowski Bar really captures the diner style with cosy booths and a fabulous jukebox containing over 1,600 songs guaranteed to get those hips swaying. If that’s not enough there’s a DJ on every night of the week so you won’t feel the pressure of select­ing all the music by yourself. The menus are the biggest in Iceland … no literally! Their phy­­sical dimensions are huge! Doesn’t everyone say that size really does matter? Try their amazing burgers, there’s cheese, bacon, a béarn­aise sauce option and succulent beef ten­der­loin. If that’s not enough, choose from one of the 12 kinds of milkshakes to go with it.

“Careful man, there’s a beverage here!” Jeffrey ‘the Dude’ Lebowski, the protagonist of the Coen brot­­her’s comedy, is renowned for his penchant for ‘White Russ­ians’ – vodka based cock­­tails featuring coffee liqueurs and cream or milk. The Lebowski Bar has taken this now-iconic drink to a new level, offering an astounding 18 varieties of White Russian, along with an extensive bar list.

Bowling at the bar The real icing on the Le­bowski cake, however, is the bar’s gen­u­­ine bowling lane – it’s a classic. How

many bars have a bowling lane? In Iceland, not many, unless you count the bars at actual bowling alleys that certainly don’t have the cool vibe of Le­ bowski Bar. DJs and a bass player add to the music mix at weekends and there’s room to dance. Check it out dudes, you’re guaranteed a good time. v

Try their amazing burgers, there’s cheese, bacon, a béarn­ aise sauce option and succulent beef ten­der­loin.

Lebowski Bar is my favorite place to hang out at. I love grabbing a good beer, a burger & topping it with a delicious milkshake. Lebowski Bar plays oldies music which mak­­es the vibe like none other in Reykjavik. They also have happy hour from 4-7pm and who doesn’t love that! Bottom line, Lebowski Bar is a great main­stream bar where you can meet fellow travel­ers and have a drink with locals. Practice the word ‘SKÁL’ (Cheers) ~ Inga,@TinyIceland (

FIND IT ON FACEBOOK and Twitter Twitter: @LebowskiBar - Instagram: #LebowskiBar - Opening hours: 11:00 – 01:00 Sun-Thurs and 11:00 – 04:00 Fri/Sat


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Bar Ananas & SmakkBarinn Klapparstigur 38 101 Reykjavik E-mail: Tel: +354 774 4 404

A taste of summer Whatever the season, you can count on it being summer at Bar Ananas and just to make things even more interesting, they’re now offering a brand new tapas experience in a cozy establishment downstairs called SmakkBarinn.


eel the beach in the snow! Or at least have a little flashback while drinking cocktails with pineapple. Yup, it’s a beach bar in Iceland! A tropical theme designed to conquer over the cold winter. How COOL… WARM! is that? So when you don’t feel like doing that northern lights tour or going with all the other tourists into the Blue Lagoon, you can always check out the happy hour at Bar Ananas. Drink some cocktails and have the sur­­roundings constantly reminding you of warm weather and the beach. Unique in Iceland because nobody thought it would work – well, they’ve all been proven wrong. Bar Ananas is a popular spot on the Reykjavik night­­life scene with cool DJ’s all the time. Below is a restaurant called SmakkBarinn which serves Icelandic tapas. You can even order from them and eat it at the beach. No reason to give up a good tan!

SmakkBarinn A cozy place in the heart of Reykjavík, Smakk­­­ Bar­­inn and Bar Ananas are just a short walk from Lauga­­vegur, Reykjavik’s main shopping street. SmakkBarinn offers tapas in jars and it’s all Ice­­ landic with many cool combinations of food to try out. For the sake of variety, their menu changes all the time. Eating at SmakkBarinn is one thrill after another; you can taste everything on the menu without having to sell your car. All their tapas dishes are presented in jars perfect both for dining out and also just for getting a snack with some friends and still come out happy you didn’t spend a fortune on a whole meal. The next best part is the beer… Oh yeah! You can taste that too in jars. Whatever you decide to do in Iceland, you might want to try out some Icelandic tapas and party the night away at Iceland’s all season beach bar. v

SmakkBarinn offers tapas in jars and it’s all Icelandic with many cool combinations of food to try out. For the sake of variety, their menu changes all the time. Eating at SmakkBarinn is one thrill after another; you can taste everything on the menu without having to sell your car.

You’ll find both Bar Ananas and SmakkBarinn on Facebook Issue one



Hressingarskálinn Austurstræti 20 101 Reykjavik Tel: +354 561 2240

Coffee house, restaurant & night club Hressingarskálinn is a warm place with plenty of seating and a great loca­­tion in down­ town Reykjavik. It’s one of the few places that open at 9 AM to serve breakfast for hungry travelers or locals. Hressingarskálinn is a big part of Reykja­vík’s history; the house was built in 1802 and the restaurant was established in 1932. The house has hosted Hress­ingarskálinn since 1932.


itting down for a coffee has a magnetic eff­­ ect on Iceland’s most talented art­­­ists and writers. Smokers can have a seat on a heat­­ed patio with service all day. Over the summer, this place really comes alive. The yard is completely sheltered from the wind, allowing you to enjoy food and beverages in the bright sunlight. Thursday to Sunday is usually packed with people from all over the world. It’s a great place to meet strangers for

some interesting story sharing. Live bands play on Fridays and Sat­urdays, guaranteeing a crowd before all the popular DJ’s hit the floor with party tunes from 01:00-04:30 AM. The menu consists of great selections and offers everything from breakfast to a fantastic dinner. Hressingarskálinn offers Icelandic food for curious visitors. You can always try the traditional Icelandic meat soup. If not, there’s lamb or the fish stew – You won’t be

HRESSINGARSKÁLINN Opening hours: Mon-Thu: 9:00 am - 1:00 am Fri-Sat: 10:00 am - 4:30 am Sun: 9:00 am - 1:00 am


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disappointed. Hress­­­ingar­­­skálinn is stylish and old at the same time, a history well preserved. Check out Hress­­­ingar­skálinn for great prices and awesome fun! v

The menu consists of great sel­­ect­­ions and offers every­thing from breakfast to a fantastic dinner.


Sakebarinn Laugavegur 2 101 Reykjavík Tel: +354 777 3311

The one and only choice for Sushi & Sticks …SO YOU CAN CHECK IT OFF YOUR BUCKET LIST Located in a loft on Laugavegur, the main shopping street, in one of Iceland’s old­est build­ ings (1886) is a great new restaurant with a great view and an amazing at­mosphere called Sakebarinn. In its beautiful location, surrounded by windows that look down on Austurstræti, (an extension of Laugavegur leading to the Old Town) and up Skólavörðustígur (known for its cafés, local boutiques and art shops with native works), Sakebarinn lies in the very heart of downtown Reykjavík. In the winter you can see the Northern Lights from the balcony and in the summer, the amazing summer sunsets over the harbor.


he owners of Sakebarinn have a keen interest for the arts and crafts and a wealth of creative assets to play with. Although Sake­­barinn has a strong foundation in pure Japanese cuisine the current style of the restaurant proves that the owners are not afraid to break some of the rules. To them sushi is meant to be an art form. Along with its handcrafted sushi, Sakebarinn also offers a sel­­ection of sticks and other meat cours­­es, featuring whale and horse and anything that’s fresh and interesting that day. Why live on an island in the middle of the Atlantic if you’re not going take advantage of the natural fauna? Along with the local seafood, Sakebarinn also carries some more exotic things like octopus, just to keep it interesting, and with a little some­­thing for everyone. There’s love on every plate – You will feel

it with each taste. It’s no accident that the place is named Sake­­bar­­inn. It does feature the country’s largest sel­­ection of sake and a shot before a meal can truly enhance the feel of real Japanese dining. It comes in a sur­­prising range of flavors too, everything from really girly fruit sake to the fire spewing alcohol con­­tent of some of the more butch types; potato sake, warm and cold sake and Japanese plum wine. And then of course are the bottles that didn’t make it on to the menu because no one could read the labels and therefore no one knows what they are. Mystery sake! Sakebarinn is a place born to show­­case the talents the staff have collected over the years work­­ing at their first Sushi restau­­rant call­­ed Sushibarinn, which is located on the first floor in the same house. A year and a wild ride later, this sushi family has in­­corporated a

bunch of new and talented people with some great new recipes and skills they didn’t know they had and didn’t even know existed. The walls are hand painted by them, the wine selected by them, the menu is designed by them and the place is loved by them. They also love to present food so their clients become part of their love for sushi. The look on your face is what they are aiming for, the look of enjoyment. v

Along with the local seafood, Sakebarinn also carries some more exotic things like octopus, just to keep it interesting, and a little some­­thing for everyone.

SAKEBARINN Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm Issue one



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

When in Iceland, go Danish! You know that Iceland used to be a Danish colony, right? Even though inde­­pend­ence from the Danish Crown was necessary, Icelanders still celebrate every­thing Danish, so don’t expect to meet a big Danish crowd at The Danish Pub, they are all Icelanders just act­ing like they’re Danish. Really!


his bar has made a name for itself in the Reykjavik social scene and is known locally as Den Danske Kro (we all just want a reason to speak Danish in public). This popular downtown venue serves a remarkable selection of beers in­ cluding the famous Danish white beers, the darker more malt brews and of course the tra­­ditional and almost obligatory Tuborg and Carls­­berg. If you come during the Christmas sea­­son you can taste some of the renowned Christ­­­mas brews, very popular in demand. Just ask for Julebryg (“you-le-bree”).

Get carefree or “ligeglad” (lee-glaath), shoot some darts, try the custom­ary Gammel Dansk bitt­ers or catch some live football. Watch the world go by on the outside terrace and have a taste of the tra­­ ditional smørre­brød (fantastic open sand­­­wiches). You can pre-order these delicious snacks for larger groups.

Does this sound too tranquil?

Do as the Danes do

The Danish Pub is nothing if not a place to party. The at­­mos­­phere is easy going and you can choose from a variety of shots and even cocktails if you’re not in the mood for a beer (Does that ever happen?).

The owners of the Danish Pub strive to create the true Danish atmos­phere known among the Danes (and Danish-prone Ice­­landers) as “hyggeligt”. If you truly are Danish this can be your “home away from home”. And in this spirit, check out the “house” within the pub – an off-the­-wall design in its most literal sense!

Reminder: If you thought you were in for a quiet night guess again, The Danish Pub features live music every night with special appearances and unad­­vertised happenings on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Put your musical knowledge to the

DEN DANSKE KRO Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 14:00 – 01:00 and Fri-Sat 14:00 – 05:00


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test at the Wednesday night pop-quiz; the prizes will surprise you.

Best local pub in Reykjavík Wherever you‘re from you’ll want to have a great time while vis­iting Reykjavík. The people of Reykja­ vík do anyway, so they flock to The Danish Pub for a beer “en øl” dur­­ing the Happy Hour every day from 16-19. The place is crowded and you’re guaran­­teed to meet some fun, “lee glaath” people. v

Get carefree or “ligeglad” (lee-glaath), shoot some darts, try the custom­ary Gammel Dansk bitt­ers or catch some live football. Watch the world go by on the outside terrace and have a taste of the traditional smørre­brød (fantastic open sandwiches).


Kaldi Bar Laugavegur 20 b 101 Reykjavik Tel: +354 581 2200

A breath of fresh air



t might not be spacious but it makes up for it with great relaxing atmos­­­phere 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. v

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.

KALDI BAR Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday: 12:00 noon - 01:00 am Friday & Saturday: 12:00 noon - very late / Price list Beer on draft 0.5 – 1,100 IKR Glass of vine – 1,200 IKR / Happy hour 16:00-19:00 / Beer on draft 0.5 – 650 IKR / Glass of vine – 650 I Issue one



Kopar Restaurant Geirsgata 3 101 Reykjavik Tel: +354 567 2700 www.koparrestaurant .is / info@koparrestaurant .is



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

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 visiting Reykjavik, enjoying a night out at Kopar is a must. v

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.

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


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’s 1’sty d n a l e c I ewer Microb&r Bistro

Our dockside bistro. Our bistro offers the freshest seafood and gourmet delights, the bistro presents a selection of superb dishes focusing naturally on fresh seafood, great steaks and vegeterian delights for a memorable lunch or evening feast.

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Live Jazz Join the locals for an evening of world class jazz in our beautiful brewery room.

Daily at 13:00 & 17:00 - Price: 2.900 kr.-

Sundays at 20:00 - Entrance is FREE





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Brewery Tour A 20-30 minute introduction to our brewery including a tasting platter of our freshly brewed beers.


Issue one



Reykjavik Fish Trygg vagata 8 101 Reykjavik Tel: +354 578 5656 Email:

Reykjavik Fish In the heart of Reykjavík, right next to the old harbor, you can find Reykjavík Fish, a new restaurant offering ultra-fresh seafood. Ultra-fresh means that the fish you order today was swimming last night.


he menu at Reykjavik Fish is structured to provide hearty portions of quality sea food at very reasonable prices. The crown jewel of the menu is the spelt battered fish and chips; crispy and healthy at the same time, a perfect meal with a nice Icelandic beer. If you’re up for something a little more traditional Icelandic try the “Plokkari” (plucked fish). Their recipe is the same as used in the old days except with fresh fish of course. Perfect location and Icelandic seafood at its finest. Reykjavik Fish has plenty of seats and wel­­­­comes everyone, solo travelers and big groups

REYKJAVIK FISH Opening hours: 11 AM to 10:30 PM


WOW Power to the people

alike. When you come to Reykjavík and would like to try a nice fish and chips just look for the big red door. v

Perfect location and Icelandic seafood at its finest. Reykjavik Fish has plenty of seats and wel­comes everyone, solo travelers and big groups alike. When you come to Reykjavík and would like to try a nice fish and chips just look for the big red door.


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

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

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! v

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.

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

Issue one



VON mathús and bar Strandgata 75 220 Hafnarfjordur Tel: +354 583 6000 E-mail:

VON mathús The idea to open VON mathús could be attributed to Einar Hjaltason and Kristjana Þura Berþórsdóttir’s enthusiasm and passion to realize their dream, but location and the demand for a diverse and local food culture, also played a big part in their decision. VON mathús emphasizes seasonal Icelandic cuisine combined with ingredients that complement the each dish perfectly.

Acclaimed chef Einar Hjaltason, acclaimed and experienced chef studied at Grillið, in Hótel Saga, one of the finest dining establishments in Iceland. He also took part in the opening of the Sjávargrillið restaurant. In 2012 he set his sights on England where he facilit­ ated in the opening of a new fine dining rest­aurant by the name of Dabbous, which, only eight months after opening, received a Michelin Star. After returning to Iceland, he became a head chef at KOL restaurant on Skólavörðustígur, where he recently resigned to focus on opening VON mathús. Kristjana Þura, managing partner at VON, is born and raised in Hafnafjörður and has extensive knowl­­edge in the restaurant- and the hotel sector of the service industry, having spent the last ten years working in both.

Homey atmosphere In 2013, when the couple discovered their first

child was on the way, it was as if Hafnafjörður called out to the young family. Shortly before the arrival of their daughter in early 2014, they’d al­­ ready settled in. VON actually means “hope” and the family now hopes to make their mark on the food and restaurant culture in this “town in the lava.” They felt that VON was especially appropriate for the optimism that is ever present in this port town. Einar and Kristjana associate “hope“ with “fresh and healthy,“ hence they place a heavy emphasis on seafood- and sea-based ingredients and strive to use only the freshest ingredients in their dishes. The fundamental concept of VON mathús is that there is always a homey atmosphere where personal comfort and professional service are interwoven. Their hope is that this combination along with consistently great food will make every customer satisfied and delighted whenever they dine at their establishment. v

The fundamental concept of VON mathús is that there is always a homey atmosphere where personal comfort and professional service are interwoven.

VON MATHÚS AND BAR Opening hours: Tuesdays-Thursdays: 11:30-22:00 Fridays-Saturdays: 11:30-23:00 Sundays: 11:30-14:00 Mondays: Closed Happy Hour: 16:00-18:00


WOW Power to the people

Never mind the chocolate, puffin dolls or the key ring. If you really want a souvenir that will last, a tattoo is the way to go.


You can also shop our merchandise and more at our shop or online at /reykjavikink


We are open Monday – Saturday 12 pm-8pm - We are located on Frakkastíg 7, 101 Reykjavík


Bigger and faster As we’ve already stated WOW air is a young low-fare long-haul airline that’s still evolving. But being low-fare, and thereby low-cost, we still care about offering our guests all the comforts they might want in addition to just getting them to their destination.

When starting our route between Europe and California we acquired three Airbus A330 aircraft, widebody jets that can fly for miles. All three jets have got the most modern seats of all our aircraft and even on those long flights between Keflavik and San Francisco or Los Angeles we’ve had no complaints. ENTER THE BIGSEAT WOW air has always been a single class airline and that’s not about to change but we now offer some first-class seats should our guests want to treat them­­ selves 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


WOW Power to the people

The BigSeat, or the best seat available at the time of purchase, is included in 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’re available.

Read more about WOW air’s new booking options on page 48

wings. Now we introduce the BigSeat— our most comfortable and luxurious seat yet. To begin with, the BigSeat will only be available on our A330 aircraft, on flights flown after June 1st. Our three Airbus A330 aircraft are used on our longer routes between California and Keflavik Airport and sometimes they’re also available on our most popular European routes such as Paris and London. These extra wide and comfy seats all lean back but the real bonus is the foot­­rest, giving you that super relaxed feeling on board. The BigSeat, or the best seat available at the time of purchase, is included in 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’re available.

FAST FORWARD Airports, love them or loathe them, they are a necessary part of air travel. Some can’t get enough while others can’t get through them fast enough. No matter your preference we have a new option that is bound to put a smile on your face. The Priority Boarding is available at all airports as of June 1st and allows you to board our aircraft early to secure your carry-on baggage in the overhead lockers and take your seat. The Priority Boarding will be included for guests who’ve booked the WOW Biz option. So there you have it. Fly faster and more comfortable with WOW air and keep in mind that we fly one of the youngest fleets in the world helping us minimize our carbon footprint and offer affordable flights. v

Visit us at ReykjavĂ­k City Hall Do you need helpful hints about culture, dining and other activities in our favourite city? We would love to assist you with planning your stay and booking your adventure! See you at the Official Tourist Information Centre.

Open daily from 8-20

Issue one



HIDDEN WORLD by Gerรฐur Harรฐardรณttir Photos: Unnur ร sk Unnsteinsdรณttir


WOW Power to the people

One of the most fascinating aspects of design in the mind of design enthusiasts is to follow the trail of creativity from its source of inspiration to its final execution.

“In the concrete, I can picture a clear connection to nature: the mountains, rocks and vastness. Like Guðjón, I see in them wonderful and magnificent beauty; I see in them the homes of the Hidden People.” - Maria Dýrfjörð

Sometimes designers are hit by a bolt of lightning from the same source but the outcome varies greatly, depending on the media used and individual designer. And sometimes a designer looks to the work of another creative mind for inspiration, even someone working in a vastly different field, consequently stretching previously existing work into entirely new and innovative dimensions. PATTERNS OF ART Symmetry and repeated patterns have always intrigued graphic designer María R. Dýrfjörð who, inspired by the works of Iceland’s acclaimed state architect Guðjón Samúelsson (18871950), has created Hulduheimur, a collection of 6 textile patterns. Successfully executing her own design based on some

of the magnificent buildings created by Guðjón Samúelsson, María’s designs have been digitally printed on cotton twill fabric, pillows and bed linen. The patterns beautifully reflect the forms, shapes and motives of the architecture they draw their inspiration from, with both María’s patterns and Guðjón Samúelsson’s architecture being precise in their style and execution. Guðjón Samúelsson’s most notable works include The National Theater, The Church of Akureyri, The University of Iceland and Hallgrímskirkja, one of Reykjavík’s landmarks and a popular tourist attraction in downtown Reykjavik. With his work said to be largely inspired by the geology of Iceland, especially the magnificent ba­salt lava columns found throughout, Guðjón like many

Ice­­landers believed these might be the homes of the Icelandic elves or the “hidden people” but Hulduheimur translates into Hidden World, the world of the Icelandic elves. Maria’s patterns are available in two color palettes, each complimenting the other. Muted Colors of gray give a nod to the gray shades in some of Samúelsson’s architecture while Splendor of Colors includes a range of complimentary pastel hues. v

All you need in one place • Skólavör›ustígur 19 tel.: (+354) 552 1890 SWEATERS AND SOUVENIERS, NO KNITTING MATERIAL:

• Radisson Blu, Hótel SAGA tel.: (+354) 562 4788 • Laugavegur 53b tel.: (+354) 562 1890

Issue one



The old Reykjavik charm Iðnó house is one of the historic buildings in downtown Reykjavík. The neo-classical building served as a theater and cinema. It is also a place where many Icelanders danced till dawn and still do. by Svava Jónsdóttir / Photos: © Ragnar Th / and Iðnó

Iðnó stands near the banks of the Reykjavik Pond (Tjörnin) in down­­town Reykjavík, near the mod­­ern Reykjavik City Hall (Ráðhús Reykja­­­ vík­ur), and not far from the House of Parliament (Alþingishúsið). Ducks and swans swim the pond in front of the building be it summer or winter and they’re a popular at­­traction for parents with young children. A PLACE FOR THE PEOPLE On behalf of the Reykjavík Craftsmen Guild, Iðnó was designed and built by carp­­­­en­ter Einar Pálsson in 1896. This three story house is an iron clad neo­­-class­­­ical style building and from 1897 was one of the main buildings in Reykja­­ vík where pe­­ople gathered to enjoy the latest play or concert. It also served as a cinema and a venue for conferences, meetings and receptions and a place where people danc­­ed and partied and


WOW Power to the people

Today, Iðnó offers services for all oc­­cas­­ ions—be it coffee or dinner for meet­­­ings, conferences, birth­­ days, wedd­­ings or what­­ever reception you choose, the party will be tailored to your needs.

ICELANDIC GOURMET MENU Freshly caught seafood and free range lamb – with a modern twist

may­be some even found the love of their life. From 1897-1989, Iðnó house served as the home base for The Reykjavik City Theater (Leikfélag Reykjavíkur). It’s worth mentioning that Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, Ice­­ land’s former president, the first democratically elected female president in the world, was the director of the Reykjavík Theater Company—later The Reykja­­vík City Theater—for eight years. OWNERSHIP The Reykjavík Craftsmen Guild owned Iðnó until 1918 when a half Danish and half Swedish baker bought it and it was where until 1929, people enjoyed his deli­­ catessen. For about two decades, a home economics school for housewives was also housed on Iðnó’s second floor. In 1992, the City of Reykjavík bought Iðnó and had the building renovated. Today, Iðnó has a prominent place among the pearls in Reykjavik’s center. The little square in front of Iðnó is a popu­­­­lar spot for visitors and locals alike to relax and take in the view of down­­town Reykjavik while enjoying the birds

swimm­­ing on the pond and often feeding them too. LET’S PARTY Iðnó has always been a place where people gather. On the 1st of February 1904, a turning point in the nation’s struggle for independence, Iðnó was where people gathered to celebrate. Ent­­er­­ing Iðnó is like stepping back in time and since the build­­ing has been brought back to its original glory— both outside and in—one can easily imagine the joyous atmosphere of celebrations past. Today, Iðnó offers services for all oc­­cas­­ions—be it coffee or dinner for meet­­­ings, conferences, birthdays, wedd­­ings or whatever reception you choose, the party will be tailored to your needs. The café on the ground floor is open daily dur­­ing the summer months and on hot and sunny days you can sit outside and enjoy your coffee, cake or meal in the lov­­ely surroundings of the lake, the old and distinguis­­hed neighborhood houses and the modern town hall. Iðnó still serv­es as a theater and concert venue so keep your eyes peeled for such events to get the real feeling of this hist­oric house. v


6 COURSE MENU STARTS WITH A “REFRESHING“ SHOT OF THE NATIONAL SNAPS BRENNIVÍN FOLLOWED BY A BITE-SIZED TASTE OF PUFFIN ICELANDIC OCEAN PERCH Slow cooked ocean perch, beetroot purée, spicy butter, serrano ham, beetroot ICELANDIC MINKE WHALE Shallot vinaigrette, crispy Jerusalem artichokes ICELANDIC SEA TROUT Yuzu mayo, truffle mayo, crispy quinoa, apple ICELANDIC PLAICE Samphire, green asparagus, blood orange, lime beurre blanc RACK OF FREE RANGE ICELANDIC LAMB Slow cooked lamb fillet, leeks, pickled onions, smoked celeriac purée, baked carrots, spinach and dill cream Dessert by pastry chef Axel Þ. SKYR FANTASIA Skyr fromage, Skyr mousse, strawberry & lime gel, lime sponge cake APOTEK KITCHEN+BAR

Austurstræti 16

101 Reykjavík

Tel: 551 0011

Issue one





WOW Power to the people

How to become a digital nomad Hundreds, if not thousands, dream of leaving their conventional desk jobs but don’t know how to make the transition. Many believe that becom­­ing a digital nomad requires a special skill set or a brush of luck. What if I told you that all you need is determination? by Kimberly JY

In the age of wanderlust, more and more people aspire to travel the world and live a location-inde­­­pend­­­ent lifestyle. In the fall of 2014, I made the de­­­cision to move abroad. By the summer of 2015, I quit my full-time job in Tor­­ onto and flew out of Canada. Since then, I have embraced and lived the lo­­ca­­­ti­­ on-inde­­­­­­­­pend­­ent lifestyle. I worked remotely as an independent contractor and freelance designer from any­­where with a decent internet connection—my bal­ cony in Barce­­lona, countless cafes, a hostel lounge on an is­­land in the Philip­pi­nes, and even on a sailboat anchored in a secluded cove in Costa Brava.

Here’s how I did it I made the decision This first step is very important. Make your mind up and prepare to follow through. I set a goal and a timeline Ask yourself these questions: What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? When do you want to leave and for how long? I planned out a budget Consider how much you will need to buy and maintain equipment, live abroad and travel? Do not forget about health and insurance.

I saved up Travel and accommodations aren’t cheap. What if you don’t earn enough to su­­­ stain your travels? Save up enough money to at least get you through some mont­hs of rent and travel. I leveraged the skills and contacts I already had and acquired new ones that I thought could be useful I learned that the key to becoming a successful digital nomad is resource­­fuln­ ess… You’re a graphic ­­designer? Make an online portfolio and start free­­lanc­­ ing. You’re proficient in English? Get certified to be a teacher or a tutor. You play guitar? Make online tutorials. You already have or found a job? Ask if you can work remotely. I determined my locations and time zones and planned accordingly Make sure that you will have internet access at the right time wherever you’re going. I made the move Do it and take the calculated risks involved. The reality is that there is no clear-cut path to be­coming a digital nomad but those seven steps are a good way to get started. They worked out for me. To learn more about traveling and working remotely, visit v

Issue one



Paint the sky purple Unlike most airlines, WOW air chooses the registration names of each aircraft very carefully and not according to standard practices of the alphabet. We like our registration names to be fun as they represent us in a big way. Every family is unique and the growing WOW family of Airbus aircraft is no exception. Take a look. Photos: Captain Arnar Rúnar Árnason


M o d el: 2 0 1



: 22

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T F- G M A

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T F- W O W

T F- M O M

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T F - LU V



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TF-GMA is short for Grandma, but don’t let the name fool you, she’s straight-out-of-the-box. The brand new matriarch joined the WOW fleet at the end of May 2016.


If you register a TF-MOM it goes without saying that you should have a TF-DAD too. Delivered to WOW air in March 2015, DAD is also known as Óðinn, the Nordic god of wisdom and travel. TF-DAD is the only WOW aircraft that’s not painted purpl


TF-WOW was the first aircraft registration name acquired by WOW air. It now adorns one of our Airbus A330 aircraft which was added to the WOW fleet in early summer 2016.


The second aircraft to get a WOW registration was TF-MOM, it was also the first aircraft bought and delivered to WOW air in March 2015. MOM is one of only two officially named aircraft in the WOW fleet as she’s also known as Freyja after the Nordic goddess of love.

0 M o l: 2 0 1 de





T F- S O N

T F - J OY

Delivered to WOW air in February 2016, TF-KID carries guests to both Europe and America.



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TF-SON, like his sister TF-KID, is quite crafty. The Son was delivered to WOW air in March 2016.

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TF-SIS was delivered to WOW air at the same time as TF-BRO, in September 2015, and works really hard carrying our guests to Europe.




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TF-BRO has been servicing WOW air since September of 2015 flying to various destinations around Europe.


We love everyone so naturally we had to have a TF-LUV. This wide-body aircraft was delivered to WOW air early summer 2016.


TF-GAY is the out and proud member of the WOW family. A free spirit at heart, he visits San Francisco as often as he can. TF-GAY was delivered to WOW air in June 2016.


Also straight-out-of-the-box, TF-GPA aka Grandpa joined the WOW fleet in June 2016.


M o d el: 2 0 1



The newest member of the WOW family arrived just in time for the Christmas season bearing the joy. TF-JOY might as well have been wrapped and with a bow as it came straight from the assembly line at Airbus.


Airbus A330-300

Max takeoff weight: 235,000 kg, Range: 11,750 km, Engines: 2xRR-Trent700, Cruising speed: Mach 0.82


WOW Power to the people

Airbus A321-200

Max takeoff weight: 93,500 kg, Range: 7,400 km, Engines: 2xCFM-56, Cruising speed: Mach 0.78

Airbus A320-200

Max takeoff weight: 77,000 kg Range: 6,480 km Engines: 2xIAE-V2500 Cruising speed: Mach 0.78

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





Since 1927 Issue one 75



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


WOW Power to the people

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 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 hostelstyle dorm rooms for the extremely cost conscious, suites for the private but thrifty

Get comfortable and check out for more infor­­ mation and booking.

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! v

Catch the bus to Reykjavík

from Keflavík International Airport Travel in Iceland the smart way Find your routes, plan your journey, locate the nearest bus stop and track your bus on a real-time map with the straeto-app.

Route 55 FLE–RVIK


FLE 413



Get tickets at the 10-11 shop when you arrive, opposite where you exit customs. The bus stop is close to arrivals and is well marked. Tickets are also available on the bus. Issue one



WINTER PARADISE In the Region of Vatnajökull you find the real reason why Iceland got its name. The area is dominated by Vatnajökull Glacier which is the largest glacier in the world outside the Arctic regions. In this region, you also find some of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions such as the spectacular Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Skaftafell, the jewel in Vatnajökull National Park and Mt. Hvannadalshnúkur, the highest peak in Iceland and a popular hike. Photos: Jón Óskar Hauksson and Vilhelm Örn Jensson, courtesy of Visit Vatnajökull

The Vatnajökull Region is filled with contrasts with its black beaches, white glaciers, red hot volcanoes, green birch forest and blue Atlantic Ocean. Ser­­enity, energy and the forces of nature com­­bine to make a visit to the Region of Vatna­­jökull a never-to-be-forgotten experience. Wildlife is rich in the Region of Vatna­­ jökull with thousands of migrating birds such as puffins and the Arctic tern pass­­ing through, especially in the spring and summer. Herds of reindeer are also a common sight, and if you’re lucky you‘ll spot a seal at Jökulsárlón or an Arctic fox running through the land. You will also find dozens of companies that offer all sorts of activities year round, diverse accommodation and great restaurants with local food.

The only town in the area, Höfn is a lively fishing town with a population of 1,600. Höfn is additionally known as Iceland‘s one and only lobster capi­­tal with its complement of lovely rest­aurants offering this precious product as well as various other local specialties year round.

WINTER PARADISE The Region of Vatnajökull in Southeast Iceland spans over 200 km of the Ring Road from Lómagnúpur in the west

For more information, go to

to Hvalnes Peninsula in the east. It covers the accessible southern side of Vatnajökull Glacier, an area particularly delightful to photography enthusiasts with its countless magnificent views of the glaciers and mountains both in daylight as well as when dusk settles and the Aurora Borealis light up the sky. And the region has a wide range of experienced guides and photographers who can take you to the picture perfect spots! The only town in the area, Höfn is a lively fishing town with a population of 1,600. Höfn is additionally known as Iceland‘s one and only lobster capi­­tal with its complement of lovely rest­ aurants offering this precious product as well as various other local specialties year round. Höfn is also a great base for exploring the magnificent landscape of Vatnajökull National Park, and be sure to drop by the park’s visitor center in the beautiful historical building, Gamlabúð, by the harbor.

ACTIVITY, ACCOMMODATION AND RESTAURANTS Have you ever imagined looking inside a glacier? Wintertime offers this unique opportunity. A trip into the ice caves of Vatnajökull’s southern crawling glacier reveals a wonderous world of colors and refracted light providing a thrill for any photo enthusiast. Local guides who know every crevice of the glacier seek out caves formed during the winter months and offer tours. Travelers should only go on such trips under their guidance. Much of the activity in the Region of Vatnajökull revolves around the glacier and the nature around it. You can choose between glacier walks and ice climbing, a thrilling snowmobile ride on Vatnajökull or a comfortable tour of this mighty glacier in a super jeep. The area also offers ATV tours and geothermal baths at Hoffell, reindeer excursions, a visit to the Thorbergssetur cultural museum, a local mineral stone collection, the local handicraft store, the petting zoo at Hólmur and much more. There are various possibilities in accommodations and you’ll be sure to find a warm welcome by knowledgeable hosts. Several restaurants are in the area and most of them offer dishes made with local ingredients. Be sure to ask for the local beer Vatnajökull, brewed from icebergs from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and the locally sourced Arctic thyme. ACCESSIBLE YEAR ROUND The Vatnajökull Region is well accessible all year due to good weather conditions and frequent transportation. Eagle Air has a daily flight from Reykjavík to Höfn Airport during the summertime and five days a week during other seasons. Buses between Reykjavík and Höfn (Strætó) are scheduled daily throughout the year. There are also three car rental companies in Höfn. v


WOW Power to the people

Issue one



s Declaration Fo

The U.S. Custom

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. If you’re traveling with fruits we recommend disposing of them before or during your flight to the U.S. but what happens if you answer yes to any of the questions? It’s not as terrible as you might think and being truthful will save you a lot of trouble and a fine of up to $300. See the next page for more information on answering YES.


FR: 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.

Le formulaire de déclaration en douane américaine

Qu’est-ce que c’est et pourquoi dois-je en remplir un ? Pour remplir ce formulaire, utilisez uniquement des majuscules. Si vous faites une erreur, notre personnel vous donnera un nouveau formulaire. Chaque voyageur entrant ou chef de famille entrant doit fournir les informations suivantes (UNE SEULE déclaration par famille) 1. Nom, Prénom, Initiale du deuxième prénom. 2.

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


WOW Power to the people

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 82 pour obtenir plus d’informations si vous répondez « OUI ».


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


Ligne aérienne / numéro du vol / Nom de vaisseau

10. Vous vouages our raison d‘affaires: OUI/NON 11. Je suis / nous sommes porteurs de (a) fruits, plantes, produits alimentaires, insectes: OUI/NON (b) viandes, animoux, produits provenant d‘animaux ou d‘animoux sauvages: OUI/NON (c) agents pouvant causer des maladies, cultures cellulaires, escargots: OUI/NON (d) terre. J‘ai / Nous avons visité une exploitation agricole en dehors des Etats-Unis: OUI/NON

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-Unis est de : montant en USD

12. J‘ai / nous avons touché ou traité du bétail: OUI/NON

Visiteurs - La valeur totale de tous les articles qui resteront aux États-Unis, y compris la marchandise commerciale est de : USD

13. Je suis / nous sommes porteurs d‘espèces ou d‘instruments monétaires d‘une valeur

Signez sur la ligne pour déclarer que votre déclaration est véridique.

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


VALUR Birth date Day 1 7 Year 8 0 Number of Family members traveling with you 2 First (Given)

2 3


4 (a) U.S. Street Address (hotel name/destination)

BOSTON HARBOR HOTEL 70 ROWES WHARF (b) City BOSTON (c) State MA Passport issued by (country) ICELAND Passport number A0182382 Country of Residence ICELAND FRANCE ~ SPAIN Countries visited on this

5 6 7 8

trip prior to U.S. arrival

9 Airline/Flight No. or Vessel Name


10 The primary purpose of this trip is business:



(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

x x x x x x

(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)

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:

0 0

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.


Hákon Valur Magnússon



Date (month/day/year)

CBP Form 6059B (04/14)

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.Deutsch Residents—declare all articles that you have acquired abroad and are bringing into the United States. Die US-amerikanische Zollerklärungthe value of all articles that will Visitors (Non-Residents)—Declare remain United States. muss ich dieses Was ist dasin the und warum Declare all articles on this Formular ausfüllen? declaration form and show the value in U.S. dollars. For gifts, please indicate the retail value. Duty—CBP officers U.S. residents GER: Vor der Ankunft in denwill USAdetermine müssen Sieduty. das Formular der US- are normally Zollerklärung ausfüllen. Wenn Sieexemption mit Ihrer Familie unterwegs sind,accompanying entitled to a duty-free of $800 on items braucht nur dasVisitors Familien­(non-residents) ober­haupt diesesare Formular ausfüllen. Wenn them. normally entitled to an exemption Sie US-Boden betreten, Sie dieses Formular dem US-Zoll. of $100. Duty übergeben will be assessed at the current rate on the first $1,000 above the exemption. Wenn Sie auf Ihrer Reise Obst mit sich führen, empfehlen wir Ihnen, Agricultural and Wildlife Products—To prevent the entry of dangerous dies vor oder während dem Flug in die USA zu entsorgen. Aber was agricultural pests and prohibited wildlife, the following are restricted: geschieht, wenn Sie eine dieser Fragen mit Ja beantworten? Das ist vegetables, plants, plant products, soil, meat, meat products, nicht so Fruits, schrecklich, wie Sie vielleicht denken, und Ehrlichkeit spart birds, snails, and other live animals or animal products. Failure to Ihnen eine Menge Ärger und eine mögliche Geldstrafe von bis zu declare such a Customszur and Border 300$. Siehe Seite 82 für items weitereto Informationen Antwort JA. Protection Officer/ Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialist/Fish and Wildlife Inspector can result in penalties and the items may be Bitte verwenden Sie beim Ausfüllen dieses Formulars nur subject toFalls seizure. Großbuchstaben. Sie einen Fehler machen wird Ihnen unsere Controlled substances, Crew ein neues Formular geben.obscene articles, and toxic substances are Jeder ankommende Reisende bzw. jedes verantwortliche generally prohibited entry. Familienmitglied muss die folgenden Angaben machen (es ist pro Familie nur EINE schriftliche Erklärung erforderlich)

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 1. Familienname, Vorname, Zweiter Vorname States more than $10,000 (U.S. or foreign equivalent, or a combination 2. of both), Geburtsdatum Tag/Monat/Jahr you are /required by law to file a report on FinCEN 105 (formerly 3. Customs Anzahl der mit Ihnen Familienmitglieder Form 4790)reisenden with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. instruments includein den coin,USAcurrency, travelers checks and 4. Monetary (a) Adresse/genaue Anschrift instruments such as personal or cashiers checks and stocks and bearer (Name des Hotels/Reiseziel) If you have someone else carry the currency or monetary bonds. (b) Stadt instrument (c) Staat for you, you must also file a report on FinCEN 105. Failure to the required report or failure to report the total amount that you are 5. filePass ausgestellt von (Land) carrying may lead to the seizure of all the currency or monetary 6. Passnummer instruments, and may subject you to civil penalties and/or criminal 7. prosecution. Ständiger Wohnsitz (Land) SIGN ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THIS FORM AFTER READ THE IMPORTANT ABOVE AND 8.YOU Auf HAVE dieser Reise besuchte Länder vor IhrerINFORMATION Ankunft MADE in den A USA TRUTHFUL DECLARATION. 9.

Fluggesellschaft/Flugnummer oder Name des Schiffes


Ich (wir) führen folgende Waren ein: (a) Früchte, Pflanzen, Lebensmittel, Insekten: JA/NEIN (b) Fleisch, Tiere, Tier- oder Wildprodukte: JA/NEIN (c) Krakheitserreger, Zellkulturen, Schnecken: JA/NEIN (d) Erde, oder waren Sie auf einem Bauernhof/einer Ranch/ Weide: JA/NEIN

Description of Articles 10. Der Hauptanlass dieser Reise ist geschäftlich: JA/NEIN (List may continue on another CBP Form 6059B) Value

CBP Use Only

12. Ich war (wir waren) in unmittelbarer Nähe von Vieh/ Nutztieren (z.B. Anfassen oder Umgang damit): JA/NEIN 13.

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 Total Artikel, die nicht als Gegenstände zum persönlichen Gebrauch gelten): JA/NEIN PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT STATEMENT: An agency may not conduct or 15. US-Bürger - der Gesamtwert sponsor an information collection aller and aWaren, personeinschließlich is not required to respond to this information Handelswaren ich/wir erworben odercontrol im number. The control unless die it displays a current habe(n) valid OMB number Ausland erworben habe(n) (einschließlich Geschenke for this collection is 1651-0009. The estimated average time to complete thisfür andere, nicht Sendungen in die USA)is und in application is 4aber minutes. Your response mandatory. If you have any thelautet: burden estimate youBesucher can write- der to U.S. Customs and comments die USA regarding einführe(n) Betrag in US-$ Protectionaller Office of Regulations and Rulings, 90 K Street, Border Gesamtwert Artikel einschließlich Handelswaren, die NE, 10th Floor, DCverbleiben 20229. ist: $ Washington, in den USA

CBP Form 6059B (04/14) Auf der Linie unterschreiben, um zu erklären, dass Sie eine wahrheitsgemäße Erklärung abgeben. Issue one



s Declaration Fo

The U.S. Custom

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.

Français Le formulaire de déclaration en douane américaine

Deutsch 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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. v

Issue one


Ireland and Scotland

The promised lands of golfers Simply put, Scotland and Ireland are the two ultimate golf destinations in the world. No other locales exemplify the true tradition of the ancient game invented by Scottish shepherds over 500 years ago in the Kingdom of Fife. Today, both lands are chockablock with joyously dramatic seaside links-style courses playing through incredible dune land just like the first golfer in recorded history, Mary Queen of Scots, played on in the 1500s. Photos: Courtesy of Carr Golf

For nearly three decades, Dublinbased Carr Golf, winner of Golf Digest Magazine’s Editors’ Choice Award as 2016’s “Best Tour Operator,” and led by executive chairman and golf vacation expert Marty Carr, has built its reputation on creating the ultimate golf escapes to Ireland and Scotland. We recently interviewed him for tips and ideas on planning these “bucket list” getaways with golf clubs in tow.


“We’re all about pro­­ viding an exceptional trip for our clients. We deliver a unique VIP experience for golf­­­ers wanting to play the best courses in the world.”

THE FAMILY GAME Carr, the youngest of six siblings, com­es from one of the most famous golfing families in Ireland as his father J.B. Carr was a heralded player. When asked about his early golf life he says, “When I was growing up, my father was in the twilight of his career. He was probably Europe’s best amateur player in the 1950’s and 60’s. He won 40 championships including three prestigious British Amateurs, which were considered ‘majors’ in those days.” However, Carr learned his talents in golf weren’t necessarily in shooting low scores. “I am an average golfer compared to some of my family mem­­ bers and always say ‘I have the name but not the game.’ I made my way into the golf industry in my late 20’s. I was working in the U.S. in finance and I was bored and ready for a change. My family was, and continues to be, steeped in golf and it was something we were deeply passionate about. I felt there was an opportunity, so with my brother we founded Carr Golf. My father always said if you find a job you love, you’ll nev­­ er work a day in your life.” When asked what sets Carr Golf apart from other golf tour companies he says, “We’re all about providing an exceptional trip for our clients. We deliver a unique VIP experience for golf­­­ers wanting to play the best courses in the world. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail and having a ‘no stone left unturned” approach to cust­ omer service. No request is too difficult. You name it; we do it. Most importantly, golf is in our DNA and it’s like we’re going on the trip with you.”


WOW Power to the people


According to Carr, it’s all about the right con­­ nec­ti­­ons in the golf tour industry. “Thanks to our father, our family has a long legacy with some of the world’s greatest places to play like Ireland’s Ballybunion, Royal County Down, Royal Portrush and Waterville as well as The Old Course at St. Andrews and Turnberry in Scotland, to name a few. Probably what sets us most apart from other tour operators is that we won’t provide a quote or transact with a client unless we have specific guaranteed tee-times and confirmations for accommodations.” He stresses that when considering which golf tour company to work with, you need to ask the right questions. “First, you need to have a budget because that really dictates what tour company you should be talking to. It’s important to know or seek advice on what courses you want to play, the number of rounds, the number of days, whether you want to self-drive or have a coach, the type of accommodations you prefer, really all the nuts and bolts of the daily itinerary. You can do it yourself or bring in someone like Carr Golf to make it hassle-free. We work with all sizes of groups from large to small and provide them with exactly the experience they seek.” KNOW WHAT YOU WANT


Waterville Feature.

Carr offers advice for someone taking a golf tour in Ireland for the first time: “It all depends on how long you’d like to travel. But assuming you’re coming from North America, for vacations of a week or so duration, consider either a trip to the south­­west of Ireland, the north/northwest or in and around the Dublin area. These are all fun destinations by themselves with clusters of some of the greatest golf courses in the world. For longer trips, consider doing two or all three regions.” Carr continues, “One of the biggest factors we often find for how much ground a client wants to cover is whether they want to drive themselves or have a tour guide who chauffeurs them around the country. Many folks from North America feel uncomfortable driving on the other side and the roads can be a bit narrower than they’re used to. Our guides are top-notch and can certainly make a golf vacation even more enjoyable. They know the lay of the land for any additional requests for sightseeing or local restaurants. They handle all the little things like getting the luggage to your room and golf clubs to the courses. It’s money well spent.”

Issue one



Ireland and Scotland For first-time visits to the birthplace of golf, Carr stresses that it’s important to know the lay of the land. “Scotland has three main regions: the west coast with incredible courses like Turn­­berry, Troon and Prestwick; the east coast highlighted by St. Andrews, the birth­­ place of the game with its iconic Old Course; and the Scottish Highlands with exceptional links courses like Brora and Royal Dornoch where we’re hold­­ing our inaugural Donald Ross In­­ vitational Tournament in October. Again, these areas all have clusters of great golf courses, many hosting multiple British Opens.”

Royal Dornoch 3rd.

“When I was growing up, my father was in the twilight of his career. He was probably Europe’s best amateur player in the 1950’s and 60’s. He won 40 championships including three prestigious British Amateurs, which were considered ‘majors’ in those days.” – Marty Carr.

Marty Carr.

IT’S ALL IN THE LINKS But wat makes golf in Scotland and Ireland so intriguing and special? “I think it’s the fact that we have ‘linksstyle’ golf courses. The definition of ‘links’ comes from the Old English word ‘hlinc’ which describes the arable strip of land adjacent to the sea. These are­as are fairly unique to the U.K. and Ireland and ideal for incredible courses. On top of this, you have very friendly people, good food, great pints, safe environments, and, most importantly, good ‘craic!’” Carr also speaks of the many sights and activities for those who don’t play the game but travel with those who do. “There are loads of activities for non-golfers. The scenic attractions are spectacular whether it’s the Cliff of Moher or the Giants Causeway. The vill­­ages throughout the country have real character: There are world-class shopping and spas, distillery tours at Bushmills in Northern Ireland and the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, and, of course, hundreds and hundreds of friendly, welcoming pubs.” SPECIAL EVENTS Two of the most successful “special” events Carr Golf hosts annually are the Father & Son and Father & Daughter Tournaments. “Twenty-eight years ago, we started a father and son event in southwest Ireland at Waterville Golf Links in County Kerry. It’s grown to be one of the best tournaments in golf.” Carr continues, “As I have two daught­ ers and one of my best pals has three, he persuaded me to start the father and daughter tournament 10 years back. Next year, we will have 40 teams and it’s equally fun. What can be better than heading off to a cool event with your son, daughter or dad? There is noth­ing like it.” Asked to share any humorous or unusual requests from


WOW Power to the people

Royal County Down.

clients over the years, Carr laughs and says, “I can’t mention most of them! The best one I can talk about was in the height of the financial boom; a guy sent a helicopter just to get some long tees delivered. Hey, we do whatever the client wants!” Carr sums up the lively interview by saying his favorite golf experience was: “Playing golf with Arnold Palmer and my brother Roddy on Old Head of Kinsale. That was special—also playing in the AT&T Pro-Am at Pebble Beach.” He concludes with his dream foursome: “My dad, my brother Gerry, and the rest of my family could draw straws for the fourth slot.” v

Go out swinging Ireland and Scotland are the best golf destinations in the world. Let Marty Carr and his staff take care of everything. For more information on Carr Golf visit, 1.855.617.5701 (U.S. toll-free) or +353.1.822 6662.

WOW air offers cheap flights to Ireland and Scotland from USA and Canada several times a week, all year round. Go to for more information and booking. Ireland and Scotland have golfing down to a tee. Get into the swing of things and take a WOW flight to Dublin, Cork or Edinburgh from USA or Canada.

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Price ISK 3,500 per person. 555 7000 Issue one 87

Hygge and Fika

Tasteful treats at the Leckerbaer coffee house. Photo: Thomas Hoyrup Christiansen


WOW Power to the people

Relaxation Scandi style Picture a steaming cup of black coffee sitting beside a rich, buttery pastry on a heavy wooden table beside a window looking out onto a busy high street. When you imagine this how do you feel? The Danes and Swedes take a similar approach to relaxing over a hot drink and a snack. by Joe Worthington Photos: Wonderful Copenhagen, and

In Denmark, they call it Hygge (sounds like “hooga”). In Sweden, it’s called Fika (sounds like “feeka”). But what do both terms mean? Is Hygge the Danish art of relaxation with a steaming cup of coffee and a pastry? Is it inner peace and tranquility after a hard day at work? Or is it, in fact, the moment that you finally shut out the outside world and commune with your inner self? Well, Hygge is whatever you want it to be, and so is Fika. The Danes, being the complicated people that they are, have never found a translation to suit the word. Fika, the Swedish version of Hygge, follows a similar vein, emphasizing re­ laxa­­tion with some comfort food and a hot drink. THE ART OF MAKING THINGS COZY In the uber-cool Danish capital (no, I don’t mean the temperature) you can find locals taking a Hygge break at the end of a busy day of shopping along the 1.1 km Strøget shopping street; workers taking their break from the banks and accountancy companies, students enjoying Hygge between lectur­­es, and tourists spending some much-needed relaxation time in a cozy café after exploring the historic Scandi­­navian capital. But we still don’t truly under­­ stand what exactly Hygge means yet. In the Swedish capital, they enjoy Fika, which literally translates as “to have coffee.” But this translation over-simplifies this most Swedish of tra­­ditions. Yes, you find hundreds of Stockholmers enjoying coffee and a pastry, much like their Danish cousins, but there’s much more to it than that. Fika is a state of mind. It’s a way of recon­ciling with the world around you and emptying your mind for just a short time in an increasingly hectic world.

Nyhavn. Photo: Martin Heiberg

Issue one


Hygge and Fika HYGGE IN COPENHAGEN Hygge loosely translates from Danish to “coziness.” The Danes take this to mean enjoying life with those around us who make us feel good, making every moment count and savoring those famous Danish coffees, cakes and smørrebrød, open-faced sandwiches that have made Copenhagen’s cafes so popular. There are countless places to enjoy Hygge when in the Danish capital and here’s a selection of the best Hygge hotspots to choose from. Nyhavn is the obvious choice for Hygge. With rows of cafes and coffee shops among the brightly color­­ ed houses surrounding Denmark’s former busiest port making this a great place to find one. Pick any of the cafes along the street. Order a tall black coffee, ingenting (meaning “nothing”) shortbread and a meringue biscuit, and find a comfortable window table. Then gaze out the window and try to imagine what Nyhavn was like during its hey­­ day, when huge wooden cargo ships filled with sug­ar, spices, coffee beans and tea leaves from all corners of the world filled the waters, as dockers hauled big wooden crates to and fro. Try to find building No. 9 which has remained unchanged since 1681, and numbers 20, 67 and 18 where Hans Christian Andersen wrote his best works, The Princ­­ess and the Pea, Little Clause and Big Clause, and The Tinderbox. Are you relaxed yet? Or you could try Leckerbaer, a typical Danish coffee and cake shop on Ryesgade Street in the Østerbro district. Chefs behind this ultra-con­­­ tempor­­ary creation are Jakob Mogensen and Gabi Bär Mogensen. Here you can try a big mug of frag­­rant hot chocolate with Vienna Bread (wiener­­ brød) in the quiet and cozy surroundings of the Mogensen’s homely establishment. Let the steam encircle your nose and the gentle chatter stroke your ears. Let your thoughts drift away and empty your mind. Surely, you’re experiencing Hygge now? EVEN MORE HYGGE Hygge can also mean enjoying the company of others, so head over to the off-beat Freetown Christiania where you’ll find Spiseloppen, a Danish restaurant with long communal tables, dark wood­en ceiling beams, tall rounded windows and a relaxed atmosphere. Sample tasty roasted deer fillets with Pommes Anna, chocolate cake, and locally brewed Carlsberg beer as you lose yourself in the conversation. Now, that’s Hygge, right? Hygge isn’t anything specific; it’s a feeling that everyone experiences differently. The Danes are quite good at relaxing with a nice cup of something hot, a delicious cake or pastry in an atmosphere reflecting their satisfaction. Hygge can also mean: to savor a moment of calm on the busy streets of the capital. But if you’re not getting enough of it, then head over to neighboring Sweden and its historic capital Stockholm for some Fika time. FIKA IN STOCKHOLM So, if Hygge is relaxing and enjoying the moment in Copenhagen, what is Fika in Stockholm? The literal translation of Fika from Swedish is “to have coffee,” so, of course, savoring a nice cup of strong coffee is involved. But, just like Hygge, Fika is about more than just its literal meaning. In Stockholm, Fika is a daily event. It is something to be savored whenever the opportunity presents itself. It’s time away from the world. Coffee is the mainstay of Fika, so it’s no wonder that the Swedish capital has one of the highest numbers of coffee shops per capita of any city in the world. Drop Coffee, just a few doors down from Mariatorget T-bana station, is an award-winning coffee shop owned and run by baristas who


WOW Power to the people

Nyhavn. Photo: Thomas Hoyrup Christiansen

roast their quality beans in their own roastery. As the name suggests, wat­­er is left to drip through the beans until it is the perfect tem­­perature. As you sit and watch the water dripping and splashing into the jug below, let your mind wander and enjoy the mini­­malism of the café. The Swedes also like to enjoy a traditional pastry in their Fika Time. The most loved coffee time treats include Mazarins, a pastry case filled with ground almonds and sprinkled with icing sugar, Punchrulle, brightly colored marzipan dipped in dark chocolate and filled with cookie crumbs and butter, and Kanelbulle, the traditional Swedish cinnamon bun tied in an intricate knot and baked to perfection. Kaffeverket sells all these and more in their cozy gray and green tiled café, just off Sankt Eriksplan. Combine a succulent and buttery pastry with a smoking pot of fresh coffee and you’ll experience a little of what the Swedes love so much about Fika. Survey the bustling street through the window and see the world go by. But remember, just like Hygge, Fika can be whatever you want it to be. The best way to understand Hygge and Fika is to Hygge can also mean: to savor a moment of calm on the busy streets of the capital. But if you’re not getting enough of it, then head over to neighboring Sweden and its historic capital Stockholm for some Fika time.

think of a traditional British afternoon tea, where people socialize over a hot cup of something and a tasty morsel or two of local specialties. But un­­like the British equivalent, Hygge and Fika can be enjoyed at any time of day and as often as you like. And even if you still don’t understand exactly what Hygge and Fika mean, you can use them as an ex­­cuse to visit these two Scandinavian capitals, to watch Copenhageners and Stockholmers taking part in these daily traditions. v

Gamla Stan, Stockholm. Photo: iStockphoto / adisa

Get ready to relax and experience the Hygge and Fika of Scandinavia. You’ll find cheap flights to Copenhagen and Stockholm from USA and Canada all year round with WOW air. Northern Europe is just an easy connection away. WOW air offers flights to Iceland, Denmark and Sweden several times a week. See available connection on

“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 one


Hop and shop

Photo: Andrew Parker and

5 Secrets to London shopping London is rarely the first city that comes to mind when planning for a budget-friendly holiday. But if you know where to look—and where to shop— you can beat the crowds and make the posh capital your own. It doesn’t hurt that the exchange rate for the GBP works to most other currencies’ favor. by Kat Richter Photos:

LIBERTY LONDON While most tourists flock to Harr­ ods, savvy shoppers should set their sights on Liberty London instead. Its mock­­-Tudor façade was all the rage in the late 19th century, when founder Arthur Li­berty began selling objets d’art thanks


Photo: Kat Richter, Debbie Williams and


WOW Power to the people

to a loan from his soon-to-be father in law. Between the decadent candies and sumptuous upholstery fabrics (some of which have been used by the Queen herself), you’ll think you’ve wandered onto the set of Downton Abbey.

Between the decadent candies and sum­ptu­ ous upholstery fabrics (some of which have been used by the Queen herself), you’ll think you’ve wander­­ ed onto the set of Downton Abbey.

CAMDEN MARKET If your design tastes are more eclectic, head to Camden Market in the northwestern part of the city. Yes, it’s crowded and a bit grungy, but it’s also the only place in London where you can find eco-friendly bamboo pajamas, studded leather jackets and handmade garments from the Middle East all in the same place. When you need a break from the crowds, slip into Proud Camden, an old horse hospital turned, night club, bar and art gallery. Order yourself a drink or a hot chocolate. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a live performance.


Photo: Earth_quake and

AFTERNOON TEA No trip to London would be complete without a traditional afternoon tea. You can pay through the nose at Harrods or you can head to the National Gallery instead. Few tourists know that the renowned museum also offers splendid view of Trafalgar Square from its dining room. Enjoy a selection of Coronation chicken sandwiches, scones, and Devonshire clotted cream, or add a glass of bubbly for a few extra pounds while you take in the sights.


OXFORD STREET To shop like a local, make your way to Oxford Street. There you’ll find popular brands like Topshop, Monsoon and Uniqlo amid all the hustle and bustle you’d expect of Britain’s capital. Unless you want to spend all day waiting for a fitting room, however, avoid Oxford Street on the weekend (and especially the low-priced retailer Primark) at all costs.


CHARITY SHOPS For a true bargain, head to one of the city’s many secondhand shops. Plan stra­tegi­­cally and aim for an especially posh neigh­­bor­­hood such as Knightsbridge, where you’ll find cast-offs from the well to do. And remember: your purchases will go to sup­­port one of Britain’s many non-profit orga­­nizations, so you can shop to your heart’s content almost entirely guilt free.


Photo: Encrier and

Hop, stop and shop your heart out, the British pound hasn’t been this affordable in decades and neither have flights across the Atlantic. WOW air offers daily flights to London from USA, Canada and Iceland all year round. Find your connection at

“Great first meal in Reykjavik” “Amazing food, excellent staff” “Best restaurant in Iceland”

Scandinavian cuisine Hönnun: Marknet ehf.

Enjoy a four course Icelandic set menu in one of Reykjaviks oldest buildings

Lækjarbrekka restaurant - Bankastraeti 2, 101 Reykjavik - Tel: (+354) 551 4430 - - Issue one


Hopping Over the Los Angeles suburb

A day at Pasadena’s Bunny Museum “Wow!” Regardless of the language or nationality of her visitor, it’s usually the first word co-owner and curator of The Bunny Museum Candace Frazee hears when she opens the door to greet her visitors. And for all intents and purposes, wow is an appropriate word. Text and photos: Laura Studarus

Located in the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena, The Bunny Museum (which also doubles as Frazee and her hus­band Steve Lubanski’s personal home) hous­­­es 30,000 collectibles. To enter is to step into a mini­-wonder­ land, where everything rabbits rule and there’s nary a butt­on or bandana that hasn’t been given a bunny make­ over. (A water pitcher named Elvis Parsley: Why not?) BUNNIES EVERYWHERE On closer inspection, a certain order appears—a shelf for Valentine’s Day trinkets, another for salt and pepper shakers, yet another for snow globes and a whole corner for Christmas that features a tree with carrot-orange lights. As for the couple’s herd of live rabbits; they lounge wherever they want. The nearly ten-kilo Flemish giants looking like Easter Bunny body doubles. As I look closer at the museum’s offerings, they take refuge in the couple’s stuffed bunny-lined TV room, lovingly dubbed “The Warren,” a term which for lay­­peo­­ple translates to a network of inter­­con­­necting rabbit burrows. HONEY-BUNNY “Twenty-three years ago Steve gave that to me on Valen­­­ tine’s Day be­­cause I called him honey-bunny,” Frazee


WOW Power to the people

Located in the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena, The Bunny Museum (which also doubles as Frazee and her hus­band Steve Lubanski’s personal home) hous­­­es 30,000 collectibles.


All year-round

ase Purchicket t your oard! on-b

explains gesturing to a red-andwhite stuffed bunny in a place of honor near the front door. “We were dating.” She returned the favor with a similar gift at Easter. Shortly after, the couple’s affini­ty was cemented with a themed wedd­­­ing where Lu­­banski surprised every­­­one by dressing as the Easter Bunny during the reception, and friends gifted the couple with high-end, rabbitdecorated dishes (some of which have since shattered and been memori­ alized in their backyard “Garden of Broken Dreams” art piece). Over the years, bunnies have be­come a love language of sorts for the couple, resulting in a daily exchange of gifts. “Steve likes to send me mail,” Frazee reveals. “So maybe two or three days a week I’ll go to the mailbox and there will be a card. Of course, I give him three or four birthday cards and five or six Christ­­­ mas cards. If we go shopping to­­geth­ er at an antique store, we might find 20 things together. It doesn’t have to be a separate gift.” BUNNY BUSINESS Opened eighteen years ago amid jok­ es from friends and family that their collection was museum-worthy, the Bunny Museum takes its mission to represent the bunny across cultur­­ es very seriously. Standing in the couple’s dining room/sitting area, visitors can view tribal masks from several different cultures, a Mexican wedding suit (the bunny is a symbol of fertility, naturally), large velvet painting, and several eggs from the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Look closely and you might even peep a few famous faces. (Frazee confesses

an affinity for Lola Bunny—Bugs Bunny’s buxom blond girlfriend from Space Jam. She’s well-represented, alongside Miffy, Thumper, Peter Cotton­­tail and any other notable rabbit you can shake a carrot at.) With more pieces of art than Los Angeles’ Broad Museum and a more compelling niche than most galleries, The Bunny Museum has attracted its fair share of attention. (It should come as no surprise that in 1999 C Guinness World Records certified the couple as “owning the most M bunny items in the world,” a record Y that no one is likely to beat.) In their yard are eight wire frame bunnies,CM repurposed from Rose Parade floats Frazee volunteered to help MY deco­rate over the years. They’ve also CY welcomed over 27,000 guests from over 46 countries. (On the day I visit CMY I’m number 26,398 in their running guest book.) Elijah Wood and the K Yeah Yeah Yeahs are among the more famous faces to drop by. Even still, Frazee remains incredibly pragmatic about her fascination turned career. Sure, she’ll spend money on pieces from antiquity, and even owns a civil war flask. But she won’t, for example, shell out for jewel encrusted rabbits. After all, this started as a love story. Keeping the end goal in mind is important. “This is a very happy place,” Frazee says. She smiles at her bunnies as she speaks. “People leave happy.” v

The Bunny Museum will reopen at their new location 2605 Lake Avenue, Altadena, CA 91001 on March 20, 2017.

Hop over to Los Angeles for a bunny good time. WOW air offers cheap flights to Los Angeles, California from Europe several times a week, all year round.

WOW air offers connections to Los Angeles from almost all WOW destinations in Europe with a stopover in Iceland. Go to to find out more.

All aboard for adventure!

100% ING




We BBQ your catch on-board!


WE GO THE EXTRA MILE! Book online / Issue one 95 Call us +354 560 8800, or visit our ticket sale at the old harbour

Foodie city

A view over Pittsburgh from LeMont restaurant.

Dining and drinking in Pittsburgh When you hear the question, “Jeet jet?” (translates to “Did you eat yet?”), you know you’re in Pittsburgh (formerly known as Steel City), a new destination for WOW air come June 2017. Text and photos: Judy Colbert

In a town proudly known for its steel-making past, Heinz Ketc­hup and other condiments, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, institutions of higher learning including the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon, extraordinary architecture, sports, museums, and culture, you can add a thriving and exploding dining and drinking scene. FOOD FOR EVERY MOOD “Everyone” says you have to have an impossibly large fries-and-coleslawin-the-sandwich Primanti Brothers (a.k.a. Permanny’s) meal or become a member of the “Sheetz Freaks” crew


WOW Power to the people

From January to March, you are wel­ come to join the people of Montréal as this fun-loving city celebrates its northern character with color and action. The winter line-up known as Les Hivernales features a dozen original, varied and vibrant activities promising lots of outdoor fun.

Fresh market along the Strip District.

Narcisi Winery. Photo: Courtesy of Narcisi Winery.

(Sheetz is a Pennsylvania-based gas station/ convenience chain that started the Made to Order system that’s open 24/7). Pierogis (or “rogis”) are enough of a local favorite that you’ll find them in many restaurants and even the subject for an annual festival. For dessert, you should try the burnt almond torte at Prantl’s. Pittsburgh has always enjoyed a multi­-ethnic diversity in its restaurant off­­erings because of the influx of immi­­grants from Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Africa, Swed­ en, Spain, Russia, Greece, Italy, Poland, Eastern Europe, and Ukraine to work in the steel mills or otherwise follow the American dream. They set up neighborhoods that celebrated their heritage, And now, there’s an influx of French bistros, cupcake shops, Vietnamese, Indian, Pakistani, and even Ethiopian restaurants.

Charcuterie, Fairmont Pittsburgh Hotel. Photo: Courtesy of Fairmont Pittsburgh.

food, beer and wine. Chefs have moved from major cities to the smaller feel of Pittsburgh. Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance provides locally-grown food to as many as 100 restaurants (including food trucks and coffee shops), subject to what’s available during each season. IN GOOD SPIRITS

FROM FAST FOOD TO FINE DINING There’s more than fast food, though, so it’s time to explore fine dining at LeMont on Mount Washington, which, since 1960, has been overlooking Point State Park and downtown Pittsburgh (where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers merge to form the Ohio River). Another noteworthy establishment that could give you a spiritual experience is the Church Brew Pub that opened in 1999 in the former St. John the Baptist Church in Lawrenceville. The Strip District has about eight blocks of vendors selling fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and fish, with a few great and unassuming rest­ au­rants tucked in here and there. For the most part, dress is casual, and the prices are relatively low, compared to New York, Chicago, St. Louis, San Francisco, and other cosmopolitan cities also known for their fine dining. Well off the I-95 East Coast corridor and not in the mid­-West, it takes the best of both worlds and creates its own

performed every Wednesday through Saturday night at the hotel’s bar Andy’s (named in honor of Pittsburghers Andy Warhol and Andrew Carnegie). Cooking classes, from a romantic dinner for two to a lesson in preparing sushi, are offered about once a month at the Fairmont so you can take edible memories home with you. v

With a population that’s part working class and part whitecollar, the beer scene has been boom­ing, with nearly 20 breweries in the city limits and another ten or so planned for early 2017. A push for wine and cocktails has come with the restaurant growth. Of the 200 or so wineries in Pennsylvania, three are located in the Pittsburgh area, helping promote the interest in wine and cocktails to go with the booming food business. Narcisi Winery is located ten miles north of the city and produces a selection of wines from dry red to sweet fruit varieties. All the grapes are grown locally with Vidal Blanc and Frontenac at the winery where there’s a tasting bar and dining options. Kavic Winery, run by the grand­­children of Italians and Serbians who brought the winemaking tradition to Pittsburgh is ten minutes from down­town. Wooden Door Winery, about 30 minutes from downtown, has more than 30 local wines for tasting. LET’S MEET UP IN PITTSBURGH As the meeting industry heats up in Pitts­burgh, more business visitors are discovering the treasures of this exciting city and they’re returning, with spouse and children in tow, so you’ll find lots of restaurants suitable for families. “It’s an exciting time to be in the center of the action in downtown Pitts­burgh and a part of the food and beverage movement,” says Matthew Sterne, general manager of Fair­­mont Pittsburgh Hotel, where Habi­tat is the fine dining secondfloor restau­rant. “There are so many amazing restau­rants in our innovative city and we’re proud of all of our Pittsburgh chefs.” As part of that movement, live jazz and other music is

Church Brew Works.

WOW air offers cheap flights to Pittsburg from Europe starting in June. Go to for flight information and booking. Whet your appetite Pittsburgh. We’ve got flights to Pittsburg for the whole family.

Issue one


All in Montreal!

Montréal’s snowy wonders In 2016, Montréal was already an awesome, world-class city. But 2017 promises to be a banner year, making an already great destination, even better. That’s because, in 2017, Montréal is celebrating a very special “occasion.” This great city is celebrating its 375th birthday—and, in spite of its age, Montréal manages to stay young and vibrant thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of its long-term residents and newcomers. Photos: Courtesy of Tourisme Montréal

This vitality and talent are show­­­ cased in a whole year of activities organized to celebrate this important milestone. The celebrations started in January with a range of winter acti­­­ viti­­­es known as Les Hivernales that al­lowed people to experience the best of Montréal’s Northern character. Come in early February and catch the final days of Igloofest, where electronic music lovers dance under the open sky. Next up, you can watch any number of fearless competitors brave the cold during the Ice Canoe Challenge, the Hypothermic Half Marathon and the Polar Hero Race. Tired of standing on the sidelines and want to get mov­­ing? You can take part in a magical night­­ time bike ride (Snow Moon by Bike) or outdoor curling (Curling en Lumiere). Curling is a distinctively Canadian sport (it involves ice, after all) related to bowls, boules and shuffleboard. It’s also very easy to learn, so grab a broom and start sweeping! ILLUMINATING ART Art always has a way of brightening one’s day, and Illuminart takes this truth to a whole new level! This free event consists of 25 illuminated and im­­­mersive outdoor installations placed along a 3.6-kilometer circuit that is so innovative, it has to be seen to be believed! Many of the installations are interactive, so, after you’ve got over your amazement, you can jump right in and feel a part of the action. And, speaking of an unusual take on familiar elements, what do you think of an opera based on the music and lyrics of Roger Waters’ The Wall? Another Brick in the Wall – The Opera, showcases the struggles of an entire generation of young people who are faced with the collapse of their dreams and the world as they know it. The show will highlight the mythical dimensions of this struggle through original music, performed by accomplished con­­ temp­orary opera singers and classical musicians.


WOW Power to the people

It will showcase 67 international works reflecting the universal values of humanism, tolerance and openness. The city’s other major art venue, the Contemporary Arts Museum, is presenting a multidisciplinary exhibition entitled Leonard Cohen – A Crack in Everything, a tribute to this global star and touchstone of Montréal’s culture.

INSPIRING ROMANCE Montréalers won’t wait until spring to think about romance; they’re into the tender passion all year long! Aime comme Montréal (Love like Montréal) is a photojournalism project that celebrates the romance, the city’s di­­ versi­ty and inclusiveness that is bas­­ed on a book of the same name launched in fall 2016 featuring in­­spir­­ing, intimate photographs. The project displays photos of 60 inter­­cult­­ural or mixed-race Montréal couples in some of the city’s most iconic places. What better way to prove that Mon­­trealers truly welcome people from other cultur­­es than by showing how the city’s residents have opened their hearts to them? Be inspired by these larger-than-life photos of real-life intimacy to bring more peace, love and mutual under­­ stand­­ing into your world. Some people like to gaze into their lover’s eyes; others like to gaze at art. Montreal has two renowned art

muse­­­­ums, both of which are offering some­­thing special in 2017. From May to October, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts has created and organized—in collaboration with the McCord Museum and with the support of Concordia and McGill Universities—a major openair art exhibition and peace walk, La Balade pour la Paix. It will showcase 67 international works reflecting the universal values of humanism, toler­­­ ance and openness. The city’s other major art venue, the Contemporary Arts Museum, is presenting a multi­­ disciplinary exhibition entitled Leonard Cohen – A Crack in Everything, a tribute to this global star and touchstone of Montréal’s culture. For history lovers, there’s the McCord Museum. For Montréal’s special year, this popular downtown museum is focusing in on Expo 67—one of the city’s proudest moments—through the lens of fashion. The World’s Fair pro­­ vided fashion designers with a unique opportunity to shine on the world stage, and the McCord is giving visitors a behind-the-scenes peek at Montreal’s 1960s fashion scene with clothing, photos and real-life stories. Head a few streets further south and you can step back in time almost 300 years! Pointe-à-Callière Museum is bringing history to life during a four-day event featuring costumed actors, musicians, craftspeople and street performers that will recreate daily life in the city when

Montreal was a French colony. The event also features First Nations skills and knowledge. MONTRÉAL’S JOIE DE VIVRE It would be difficult to imagine another destination where you could find the same mixture of innovation, vibrancy, romance, fearlessness and accomplishment! These are just some of the qualities showcased by the line-up of events for Montréal’s 375th anniversary. But, don’t take our word for it! Head on over to, where you’ll find all the aforementioned activities—and more! Also, you can download the 375MTL app. It’s a great way to learn all about the festivities and find out which activities fit best with your interests. Montréal’s innate joie de vivre means it’s always a good time to visit. But, now that the 375th anniversary festivities are underway, the timing for a trip there has never been better. v

WOW air offers cheap flights to Montréal from Europe, up to seven times a week all year round. Join the WOW club and get all our deals directly to your inbox. Montréal is the place to be in 2017. Hop on a purple plane to Canada this year and have a WOW Stopover in Iceland on the way.

Issue one


New York City

In the Hood Home to gospel, jazz, hip-hop and the best soul food in the US of A, Harlem is the one your mother warned you about. She’s pierced, tattooed, laughs too loud, and smokes too much. While most cities seduce you with their subtle charms, Harlem just knocks you on the head and drags you in. Text and photos: Cindy-Lou Dale

Harlem earned its reputation as the mecca for jazz and blues. Venues like the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater made stars out of entertainers such as Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Michael Jackson, D’Angelo and Lauryn Hill. While the Cotton Club closed its doors years ago, The Apollo Theater still lights up with major headline acts. IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LEGENDS Back when it all began, Harlem’s 7th Avenue and 131st Street were known simply as “The Corner,” where Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Florence Mills and Eubie Blake entertained audiences from around the world. Today, Harlem continues to shape the world’s cultural and musical landscape, playing live jazz in hidden haunts found in neighborhood dives, small clubs in old brownstones, soul food restaurants, and others secreted away in art deco clubs from the 1930s. Walking in the footsteps of jazz legends like Charlie Parker, Jimmy Smith, and Billie Holiday, you’ll hear the music in the city’s bones; the side­­walks ooze jazz’s rich history and lead to ob­­scure, dark and crowded side-street clubs like the American Legion (248 W 132nd St.) and Bills Place (148W 133rd St.) —all crowded with seri­­ous jazz junkies, nodding their heads in slow rhyth­­ mic agreement to the unhurried infectious blues thump. This is where fresh talent destined for greatn­ess is to be found.


WOW Power to the people

THE HOME OF HIP-HOP On Sedgwick Avenue, the birthplace of hip-hop (where the likes of Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash first scratched records), you’ll find NYC’s pro­­­­vocatively potent hip-hop poets; a multifaceted street talent teaching empowering life lessons, shaping the way its listeners deal with regrets (by jamm­ing to Jay-Z); fostering self-esteem (when listening to Mos Def); exerting self-worth (based on cues from Queen Latifah); getting career advice (from Ice-T’s rhymes); and reflecting on spirituality (with Kanye West). Hip-hop is a cultural phenomenon first brought to the world by Harlem in the 70s. Its insightful lyrics are cultural expressions providing motivational lessons by the city’s wizened street poets—lyrics that positively influence the way its listening audi­­ ence maneuvers and copes with their worlds. Some of the hip-hop pioneers began their careers as DJ’s playing two copies of the same wax album on two turntables, while simultaneously per­­form­­ ing rap to get the crowd excited. Eventually, the rappers became the main attraction, the source of commercial success. Today hip-hop’s lyrical skills and heart-thumping beats are everywhere— some of the best acts are to be found at Platinum Pleasures on Lafayette and Fat Back Pussycat on 130W 3rd St. Hip-hop has taken the world by storm, becoming cultural staples on every con­­ti­­nent—like the UAE’s own Sharjah Brothers, Illmiyah and Arableak, who’ve given hip-hop an Arabic and Muslim sensibility.

At a spontaneous block party, I came across a young man in a wheelchair who rapped about the first time he picked up a microphone as a kid, to the day he lost the use of his legs through gang violence. He rapped about his incarceration, his self-rediscovery, and rise back to the top of his game, becoming a hip-hop Grand Master. His lyrics spoke a gritty tale of righteous redemption. It left no question unanswered and no apologies were made.


LITTLE TEMPLES OF GREAT FOOD AND AMBIANCE For sustenance, I sought out the home of soul food at Sylvia’s Restaurant on Malcolm X. This is where you get to rub shoulders with locals and world leaders like Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama who had dined there earlier that week. They all come for the Harlem-style juicy whitemeat chicken sitting on top of made-toorder waffles, lathered with maple syrup. Sunday is the day to go with live gospel music. Have a look at their Gospel Menu. Then taste what you’ve been missing in their corn­­meal dusted fried Catfish with two (any style) eggs. Then there’s the Southern-style cuisine at Amy Ruth’s on West and 116th St with a different special for every day of the week; and on Lenox there’s Jacob’s Restaurant for black-eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread. For something unexpected, go see the thousands of fish protruding

The “Sex and the City” New York that tourists seek out is confined to the narrow rectangle of Manhattan, cent­ered on Times Square and Central Park. Alas, few visitors venture beyond this world and as such Harl­­em, despite its growth from faded bohemian seediness into a bloss­­oming center of culture, is disregarded, and mistakenly con­­ sidered by some as a blighted innercity neighborhood.

Once you’ve worshiped at NYC’s shops and shown your thanks on Fifth Avenue, head to Harlem for a divine diversion. Down a side street off 146th St, is Greater Hood Memorial AME Zion Hip-Hop Church. Find them on Facebook.


Another NYC must-do is to partake in a guided bargain hunt of the Garment District with Pamela Parisi of Elegant Tightwad. Whether your taste turns to Prada and Gucci or the Banana Republic and The Gap; whether you want only the chic, current season styles or a timeless classic Chanel suit from the 50s, she’ll take you on a designer label shopping safari and show you sought after labels at drop-dead prices. www.


To partake in a hip-hop tour, contact; for jazz there’s and for a Harlem walking tours (including a gospel­tour) see

from a wall of ice at the Sea & Sea Fish Market on St. Nicholas. For strong Caribbean flavors try the oxtail at Tropical Grill on Adam Clayton Powell; for your sweet tooth, there’s Make My Cake; and for Jewish pastries go to Lee-Lee’s Baked Goods on 118th St for outrageous goodness. MORE THAN MANHATTAN You’ll not be alone in your love of Harlem. Millions from around the world have fallen under her spell. The “Sex and the City” New York that tourists seek out is confined to the narrow rectangle of Manhattan, centered on Times Square and Central Park. Alas, few visitors v­­ enture beyond this world and as such Harlem, despite its growth from faded bohemian seediness into a blossoming center of culture, is disregarded, and mistakenly considered by some as a blighted inner-city neighborhood. Sure, it’s a ghetto, but it’s one brimming with a complexity of flavors anchored to the past with ties to the present. It’s a sensory experience, a vibrant fusion of music, a colorful and noisy explosion of sounds; it’s chaotic, intoxicating, raw, in-yourface and utterly exciting.­­

WOW air now offers cheap flights to New York EWR every day of the week all year round. For more information and booking go to Hip-hop over to NYC for some serious soul searching. WOW air’s cheap flights to New York will get you there.

Issue one


Miami museums

Taking a beach break Not only is Miami a beach city, it is also host to a vast number of culturally diverse museums. So after soaking up the luscious sun, why not check out the museum scene? Text: Caron R. Luteran Photos: Caron R. Luteran and Meinzahn

THE WHEEL DEAL If you’re tiring of roller blading, jogging or strolling around Miami, you can jump on a CitiBike and ride over to the Miami Auto Museum at the Dezer Col­­­lection ( to get your fill of wheels. A visit to the Classic Cars exhibit will take you down an auto­­­ mo­­­bile memory lane of American and European “classic” blasts from the past. If movies are your thing, there’s the Batman section in the Hollywood Build­­ ing where the iconic Batmobiles that the cave dwelling character drove, along with cars that Her Majesty’s agent 007 used during his chase or flight scenes in the James Bond movies. LOVE, SEX AND ALL THINGS EROTIC If you love love, being loved or wonder about love, then a visit to the World Ero­­­­tic Art Museum (WEAM) in the heart of South Beach (SoBe) might be the perfect venue for Valentine’s Day, an engagement, anniversary or dare we say, a first date? This 12,000 square foot space with 20+ rooms offers a hist­­orical collection of more than 4,000 works of “erotica fine art” in the heart


WOW Power to the people

If you love love, being loved or wonder about love, then a visit to the World Ero­­­­tic Art Museum (WEAM) in the heart of South Beach (SoBe) might be the perfect venue for Valentine’s Day, an engagement, anniversary or dare we say, a first date?

of SoBe. Think Adam and Eve, Marilyn Monroe and Lady Godiva! WEAM was founded by Naomi Wilzig in 2005 when she was in her 60’s. The exhibits focus on a myriad of “unique” antiquated and contemporary pieces from a range of art mediums that de­­pict the erotic from Hollywood, other cultures as well as alternative lifestyles. It’s good to remember that erotic does not equate with pornographic. It has aided in the development of civilization via fertility symbols and this museum helps to educate visitors on this important topic. REALITY CHECK: FOR WE ARE LIVING IN A MODERN WORLD If gazing at contemporary art is your thing, head on over to ICA Miami (Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami) where you can be stimulated by the works of Tracey Emin or to the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami where you can see a lot of great art from up-and-coming artists. The eagerly awaited opening of the Bass Museum in SoBe in Spring 2017 is sure to please art enthusiasts, too. OUTDOOR ART APPRECIATION A walk through the large scale outdoor “open air” sculpture garden at the Perez Art Museum Miami on Biscayne Blvd is always refreshing followed by

a stop at Verde Restaurant, a great place to grab a bite to eat or drink while taking in the natural waterfront views of Biscayne Bay. Another artsy area to check out is the new Faena District around 3201 Collins Avenue where you can see Damien Hirst’s woolly mam­moth skeleton sculpture. Many Miami hotels such as the Delano with its Philippe Starck design and exaggerated design elements as well as Casa Claridge’s feature works of art or art influences in their interiors. Wynwood Walls (thewyn­wood­ features urban street art/graffiti and is best seen during the daylight hours and on a not so sunny a day as the glare might impede your view. Also, be sure and check out Lincoln Road Theater and the Art Deco District with more than 800 or so cool buildings scattered through­­out Miami. FOR MORE ART DECO…. Visit Art Deco Museum & Welcome Center Miami Design Preservation League (mdpl. org) at 10th Street and Ocean Drive. This small muse­­um will give you a taste for Art Deco and how it found a home in Miami from Paris. Art deco is more than just neat and colorful buildings found in the Miami area, it is a lifestyle design. The exhibits show how art deco style came to Miami and integrated into consumer goods such as furniture and clothing/accessories design. They offer a variety of walking tours for an additional fee.

WOW air now offers cheap flights to Miami. Our first Florida flight is in April and we will fly there three times a week all year round. Go to for more information and booking. Sun, art and good food … Could life get any better? Hop on a WOW flight to Miami, Florida and find out.

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Issue one


Brussels sprouts

Europe’s best kept travel secret The secret of Belgium’s capital city, Brussels, is to go with the flow and allow yourself to become part of its charming everyday life. Text and photos: Cindy-Lou Dale

Having been previously ruled by Spain, the Netherlands and France, Belgium is one of those countries that find it easier to describe itself by what it is not: It’s not French, nor is it Dutch, neither German. Belgium is a country with an identity crisis as its population encompasses French, Dutch, German; some Arabic tongue is also spoken and further still, a large percentage of the population are expat English-speaking foreigners. With all that variety, Brussels takes the mix in its stride and pulls everything together into an offbeat, almost bizarre sense of being. With this cultural diversity, it’s no wonder that Brussels has seized the 21st century with fresh vigor, leav­ing other European cities wondering who stole their tourists. One source of the tourism in­­flux is Belgi­um’s fashion: While other European


WOW Power to the people

cities rested on their laurels, Belgium became a trend­­sett­er in style, surpassing France; while the buzz­­ing side­­­­walk café scene has outmatched those of Paris. Yet, the urbanization of Brussels will not leave you woozy with its splendor; rather you will feel compelled to seek out its intimacy and explore its secret treasures. EATING IN BRUSSELS The capital’s restaurants rival those of Paris and London—both in value and excellence. It’s not an inexpensive city for dining and it has high stand­­ ards. Here restaurants that fall short of excellent simply close. Mussels and chips is the classic dish and can be found in nearly all Belgian restaurants. However, certain districts of Brussels specialize in specific food: Ixelles has excellent Thai, African and Italian bistros, mainly around St-Boniface Church. Place du Grand Sablon has an abundance of these restau­­rants, although a little pricier. Drinking in Brussels is a national pastime. The Grand’ Place is lined with terrace bars, full of life in the summer. Le Roi d’Espagne has the most ambi­­ ance and Place St-Géry has designer bar terrac­­es with oodles of mood, as is the timeless art deco bar of L’Archiduc which is claimed to remain open until dawn.

SLEEPING IN BRUSSELS Most visitors to Brussels are on business, therefore hotel rates drop significantly on weekends, so don’t write off the five-stars entirely. The most cele­­brat­ ed luxury hotel is the five-star Amigo only a few meters from the Grand’ Place. Of the mid-range options, the Mozart is oddly kitsch and often noisy, but only a step from the Grand’ Place. Overlooking the flea market in the Maroll­­es is the Galia. The George V is a budget favo­­rite near the bars of St-Géry. SHOPPING IN BRUSSELS Escape the shopping malls and try something more idiosyncratic, like the shabby area between Boulevard Lemonnier and the Grand’ Place, where you’ll find second hand bookshops, record shops and clothes shops. By the Grand’ Place is the Galeries St-Hubert, which is filled with designer boutiques and quirky sidewalk cafés. SIGHTSEEING IN BRUSSELS The lower city, centered around the superbly ornate Grand’ Place is considered by many as the most beautiful medieval square in all of Europe, with elegant 17th-century guild houses and narrow atmospheric lanes leading off it. In summer, daily flower markets are held there, which are often accompanied by a concert. Nearby, St-Géry flour­ ishes on stylish bars contained in an old covered market on Place St-Géry. The cafés, restaurants and nightspots buzz in the summer months, as does St-Catherine, a canopied terrace lined with seafood restaurants. Immediately south of Grand’ Place, amid the grimy old stores in rue de l’Etuve, is the symbol of Brussels—the little statue of the urinating rascal—Mannekin-Pis. Further south in the earthy Marolles quarter, rue Haute

DID YOU KNOW The science of anatomy was founded by Andreas Vesalius of Brussels, who went on the write the first complete textbook of human anatomy. The world’s first collection of maps in book form was published by Abraham Ortelius of Antwerp. The much-loved plastic—Bakelite—was invented in 1913 by Leo Hendrik Baekeland of Ghent. The Belgian inventor Jean Joseph Lenoir developed the world’s first internal combustion engine in 1860. Filled chocolates, known as pralines, were invented by Jean Neuhauss, whose 19thcentury shop remains in the Galeries St Hubert in Brussels. Millions of cartoon fanatics enjoyed the adventures of Tintin, created by the Brussels cartoonist, Hergé. Whooping cough medicine was invented by Belgian Jules Bordet.

hosts the daily flea market at Place du Jeu de Balle. Throughout the lower town are murals of Belgium’s comic-strip heroes like Tintin. The upper town boasts dramatic architecture and parks, with a string of grand names along its Boulevard. The Royal Quarter overshadows everything else with the palace and the foun­­­ tain­­ed Parc de Bruxelles leading through to the Belgian Parliament. The Fine Arts Museum boasts old masters like Bruegel, Rubens, Magritte, Delvaux and Monet. A short tram ride from Bruss­­ els Mont­gomery to Tervuren takes you through parks and the beautiful Ambassa­­dorial District. Tervuren is home to the African Art Muse­­um and Léopold II’s spectacular monu­­ments and parks.

The capital’s restaurants rival those of Paris and London—both in value and excellence. It’s not an inexpensive city for dining and it has high stand­­ards. Here restaurants that fall short of excellent simply close.

OUTSIDE OF BRUSSELS Some 10 miles, southwest of Brussels is the small Flemish town of Leuven. It has a big uni­­ vers­ity and an even bigger history. The number of in­­­habitants amounts to +90,000. The student numbers are around 22,000. The entire city lives off and with the university, which was founded in 1425 by Pope Martin V. It is considered to be the oldest Catholic university in the world. St Peter’s Church is certainly worth a visit for its embellished interiors, especially a triumphal crucifix dating back to 1500 and the choir chairs which are even older. Leuven also boasts the longest bar strip in Europe—sixty pubs which serve a great many of the 360 varieties of beer produced in Belgium. The Old Market Square offers plenty of choices to find a spot that fits your mood. The Den Horen is the oldest brewery in Leuven and dates back to 1366. In 1717 the master brewer Sebastian Artois gave his name to one of Belgium’s bestknown export products, Stella Artois, probably the most uttered words in the city. v

Beautiful Brussels awaits. Do something different and hop on a WOW flight to Belgium this spring.

WOW air offers cheap flights to Brussels from USA, Canada and Iceland starting next June. Find your flight on

Issue one


French flea markets

Treasures and trash in Paris Bewitched by kitsch? Join the rave. Throughout the year, the City of Light stays retroactive with weekend flea markets and pop-up bazaars. But where to start? Text and photos: Theadora Brack

Meet the fleas: The infamous rag-andbone pickers (forerunners of today’s dumpster divers) got the puces party jumping in the late 1800s, and two oldies still exist. MARCHÉ AUX PUCES DE VANVES Métro: Porte de Vanves If you’ve only got time to visit one Parisian flea market, this is the one. With its bustling vibe, it’s impossible, not to feel happy-golucky here. There’s even a piano player!


WOW Power to the people

You’ll find everything from plastic key chains, perfume bottles, bolts of fabric, and vinyl records, to ice buckets, ashtrays, and bottle openers, all sporting logos of French bar classics like Suze, Ricard, and Picon.

Pirouetting straight to the point: the treasur­­es are eclectic and affordable, and the dealers are friendly and fun.

Marché aux Puces de Vanves. Keep your peepers peeled for lightweight winn­ers like 19th century sweetheart postcards and photographic calling cards.

WOW factor: You’ll find everything from plastic key chains, perfume bottles, bolts of fabric, and vinyl records, to ice buckets, ashtrays, and bottle openers, all sporting logos of French bar classics like Suze, Ricard, and Picon. You might also un­­ cover old medical leech jars, shrunken heads, or even genuine Old Masters—stageprop perfect for Antiques Roadshow.

What to buy: Keep your peepers peeled for light­­­weight winners like antique illustrations, maga­­zines, postcards, buttons, lace, powder boxes, and photographic calling cards—the 19th century version of Facebook. Take heed: Collect but one, and you may want the entire lot. A favorite carte de visite stall is kittycorner to the piano player. Follow the music!

THE POP-UPS Scattered around Paris are temporary bro­­­­cantes (dealer-run antique sales) and vide-greniers where the neighborhood locals empty their closets. Recent finds include pink Valentino heels, Charles Jourdan boots in noir, and Ted Lapidus hexagonal sun­­glass­­es, none for more than 20 euros. You’ll also spy gently used scarves, hats, and Catherine Deneuve-worthy trench coats—but without their usual exorbitant price tags.

Tip: Look for bargain tables with handwritten all-one-price signs. This strategy once scored fab ski pants from the Sixties in tangerine, mustard and turquoise, with original tags still a-dangling, and for just one euro. A gentle warning: Porte de Vanves is sweet but short: 9 am to noon Saturday and Sunday are the peak hours. By 1 pm most dealers are packed and gone.


Marché aux Puces de Vanves. Arrive early: 9am to noon Saturday and Sunday are the peak hours at Porte de Vanves

Have a “quest” in mind. Previsualization helps narrow the hunt while increasing your chances of finding the object of your desire. What’s missing from your closet? Ballet slippers? A striped Breton sailor shirt? Both are timeless French classics. Need a showstopper for the house? Old maps, chalkware cats, mannequins, mounted beetles or absinthe glasses offer charmed vintage at its best. Grab a pen and make your wish list.

Le Paul Bert is the perfect dandy of a spot for a beer before a stroll through the market.

MARCHÉ AUX PUCES DE SAINT-OUEN Métro: Porte de Clignancourt

Marché aux Puces de Vanves. Pretty in pink: Vintage fashion magazines are not only the perfect souvenirs but they also offer swell Sephora-worthy beauty tips. (Photo by Wendy Brack-Fritz)

Here’s where Chef Julia Child bought her first antique mortar and pestle “. . . about the size and weight of a baptismal font,” she wrote. “One look at it, and I knew there was no question: I just had to have that set!” That very mortar and pestle is now at the Smith­­­­sonian’s National Museum of American History. “Everything has a history!” as Julia would say. Who else found inspiration at SaintOuen? Elsa Schiaparelli, André Bre ton, Pablo Picasso, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Andy War­­hol, and Coco Chanel— just to name a few. WOW factor: The market still has a certain Proustian charm, meshing past and pre­­ sent. It’s also photogenic, rain or shine, and the perfect place for more than a few exi­­­­stentialist Instagram moments with your inner-flâneur. After sipping a beer at Le Paul Bert, strike out on a slow roll through the labyrinth of shacks and tents, chockfull with the faded gilded and gloriously gritty. What to buy: Finding bargains at SaintOuen can be a challenge. But with a little quill power, what about some vintage postcards? Never more than a few euros, these feather light souvenirs will fit well if you’re traveling light. Check out Caveyron Devey in the Passage Lecuyer. Tip: At Caveyron Devey, the cards are meti­­­culously organized by genre. Looking for some­­­­thing specific? Cats? Circuses? Just ask. Also, if offered a seat at their table to paw through a box, take them up on it. You’ll look like a real aficionado and your feet will thank you.

Marché aux Puces de Vanves. Elvis is still the king at Porte de Vanves.


Marché aux Puces de Vanves. Always in heavy rotation, Porte de Vanves Flea’s collection is fun and affordable.

Tip: Look for bargain tables with handwritten all-one-price signs. This strategy once scored fab ski pants from the Sixties in tangerine, mustard and turquoise, with original tags still a-dangling, and for just one euro.

Before setting out, consider your shopping kit: water bottle, Métro tickets, maps with the mark­­ ets circled, maybe a folding umbrella. Don’t forget a sturdy bag for your finds, available at almost any grocery store for just a few cents. They make perfect souvenirs, too. Also, do carry cash, since many dealers don’t accept credit cards. Just keep it on you in a safe place. GETTING AROUND

Marché aux Puces de Vanves. Happy Hunting! As Èdith Piaf once crooned, “Non, Je ne regrette rien!”

Time is precious but it’s possible to visit both of these fleas and even a few brocantes in one day. Just get on the bus, Gus. For the price of a Métro ticket, you can spend a weekend morning at Porte de Vanves, then hop on the 95 bus all the way to Saint-Ouen at its final stop. No need to keep track of the stops—everyone gets off at the end. Just rest your feet and gloat over your early successes as the whole fantastic panorama of Paris rolls by. Forty-five minutes later, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running once more. v

WOW air now offers cheap flights to Paris all days of the weeks and twice daily from March to the end of October. Go to for more information, inspiration and flight deals. The capital of France could prove to be a bargain, just hop on one of our cheap flights to Paris and see for yourself.

Issue one


Three days in Ireland


WOW Power to the people

Admiring the jewels of the Emerald Isle Experiencing a destination—or two, or three—on a tight schedule can be tricky but certainly not impossible. And it doesn’t have to be stressful or rushed, or so I learned soon after arriving at Dublin Airport. I had just a few days to take in the capital cities of Ireland and Northern Ireland, along with the island’s lolling hills of absurdly infinite shades of green. by Krista Connor Photos:

DAY ONE: JOLLY JAUNTS IN DUBLIN I meandered around the Republic of Ireland’s capital the best way I know how—on foot. Dublin is all brownstone and brick and buoyant residents. Music permeates the streets. Bands camp out on any given sidewalk, tangled in a wild mess of drums, electric violins and boisterous song. These street performers, seemingly a little more established than your average buskers, such as technofolk band Mutefish, always draw a foot-stomping crowd. Everything felt so quintessentially Irish. So, naturally, my next stop was a pub, randomly selected: the Hairy Lemon on Stephen Street. Here, for me, the common myth rings true. Guinness really does taste better drunk freshly from the taps of its home city. Turns out I wandered into the Creative Quarter, located on the south side of the city center. The area touts 300 years of artisan inventiveness, and these days it’s still a portrait of craftsmanship with a contemporary twist. Boutiques, studios, cafés and restaurants draw visitors and locals alike. I purchased a watch at a pop-up mark­­­et and ducked into a handful of other pubs and restau­­ rants, some of dark, imposing architecture, others stick­­ er-laden and bawdy. Of course, a trip to Dublin is incomplete without a foray into the Temple Bar district, a juxtaposition of plants draping from balconies, warm street lamps, cobble­­ stone­—and very loud tourists. I met up with Sarah, an old friend who now lives here, and together we faced the iconic Temple Bar. It’s a confusion of packed bodies and live ’90s punk music, and when I, ever frugal, asked the bartender for a half-pint of something, my friend shook her head in ad­­monition and quickly doubled my order. “We’re in Dublin!” she shouted over the din… I should have known a half-pint was heretical. Sláinte! DAY TWO: A PRIVATE TOUR OF BELFAST, TEA AND GAME OF THRONES Early the next morning, I caught a bus to Northern Ireland, a two-hour dream of bucolic countryside punctu­­ ated only by sleepy towns tucked away in the hills. I was Belfast-bound, where I’d meet up with a friend of Issue one


Three days in Ireland a friend, Peter Edgar, who is conveniently a city expert involved with a handful of think tanks motivating the city with invention and innovation. The city felt vibrant, hopeful, and we spent an afternoon pursuing history, literature and amusement. Historic landmarks such as Belfast City Hall, the Ulster Museum, and Queen Anne’s Cathedral that are peppered throughout the city offered insights into the city’s rich past, while the Botanic Gardens at College Park were a fresh-air break of flowerbeds, rose gardens, sculptures and birdlife. I got a glimpse of the city’s love for two of its great writers, C.S. Lewis and Jonathan Swift at Belfast’s oldest library, Linen Hall and in Queen’s University’s read­­­­ing room dedicated to Lewis, and while viewing the iconic hilltop, Sleeping Giant (aka Cave Hill), outside of Bel­­­fast. It’s said to be Swift’s inspiration for Gulliver’s Travels. Then, there was one very-UK full pot of tea— one for each of us—and chocolate croissants at Black Bear Cafe on Stranmillis Rd. Lastly, at sunset, we pulled up at the shipyards where the ill-fated Titanic was built and where a monolith memorial museum, Titanic Belfast, now stands. Nearby is Titanic Studios, where, most notably, portions of seasons one through six of HBO’s Game of Thrones were shot from 2010-2015. We lingered for a moment, hoping Jon Snow or Arya Stark would step outside, but soon we shrugged and headed back through the streets of Belfast. DAY THREE: THE ANCIENT GLOW OF GLENDALOUGH After returning via bus to Dublin for my final day in Ire­ land, I joined one of many daily tours heading south to County Wicklow (a place just as delightful as its name suggests). My destination was Glendalough, located in the Wicklow Mountains National Park, one of the most important monastic settlements in all of Ireland. I spent an entire afternoon wandering around the site and exploring nearby hills and trails. Glendalough was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century, surviving Viking raids and eventually developing into Monastic City until the Normans destroyed most of it in 1214. A handful of relics remain, including a stone tower and church, and one imposing graveyard. I entered the settlement through a granite archway appropriately deemed The Gateway, where a woman perc­­hed faerie-like on the crumbled steps. Playing Irish bagpipes called “uilleann pipes,” she tapped out celestial notes in some sort of communion with the encircl­­ing mountains, the river and the wind. TIME FOR MORE? ADD A ROAD TRIP TO CORK If you have a few more days to explore, at least one longer road trip through Ireland is essential. Cork, with an inland route and various scenic stops along the way, is a solid destination. Car rentals are available at Dublin Airport, and public transportation is also an option, though renting naturally provides more flexibility. The fastest way south—just under three hours—from Dublin to Cork is an easy drive via highways M7 and M8. But what’s the hurry? Depending on the selected route, a handful of stops can be made in one day. Visit towns Kildare and Kilkenny, riddled with ancient castles and brightly-hued buildings along the docks, followed by the cluster of medieval buildings at Rock of Cashel. The Blarney Castle—home to the legendary Blarney Stone—is a feasible final stop before arriving in Cork for the evening. The cosmopolitan city melds a growing hipster scene with plenty of traditional snug pubs, live music and welcoming locals. Oliver Plunkett Street and Washington Street are rather lively on weekend nights, while the narrow streets are packed with restaurants and shops growing more and more popular. Whenever you’re ready to leave Cork—or should we say: if you are ever ready—WOW air will be waiting to fly you home from Cork Airport. v


WOW Power to the people

WOW air now offers cheap flights to two destinations in beautiful Ireland, Dublin and Cork. Pick a starting point for your travels around the Emerald Isle. You’ll find cheap flights to Dublin and Cork on Prepare to fall in love with Ireland. WOW air will get you there but would you prefer to fly to Dublin or Cork, that’s the question?


Cristiano Ronaldo is born to break all the records. His motivation is to win at every occasion to challenge the human statistics. Like TAG Heuer, Ronaldo surpasses the limits of his ďŹ eld and never cracks under pressure.

Issue one

Laugavegi 15 & Kringlunni - 511 1900 -


Photo: oneinchpunch.



WOW Power to the people

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 30 destinations and will continue to add more this winter as well as increase flight frequency to top destinations such as London, Paris and California. You can check out all our flight destinations and low fares at

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, all year round, except in January and April.

ALICANTE Warm up by the Mediterranean Sea and taste the best of Spain. WOW air will offer cheap flights* to Alicante from Iceland, with available connections from USA and Canada, up to four times a week from the end of March 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 daily flights* to Amsterdam from USA, Canada and Iceland up to two times daily, all year round.

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 daily flights* to Berlin, Germany from USA, Canada and Iceland, all year round.

BOSTON The city that’s famous for Cheers and good shopping. 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. Issue one


LYON Experience the gastronomic capital of France with all its history and vibrant cultural scene. WOW air flies to Lyon four times a week during the summer, with available connections from USA and Canada. MILAN

BRISTOL Mellow and less crowded than the big cities, Bristol is a more intimate affair. Get close and experience the atmosphere of this fun and vibrant city and visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site city of Bath on your way there.

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, 2-3 times a week from June to September. TENERIFE SALZBURG

WOW air offers cheap flights to Bristol and Bath two times a week, until the end of March and three times a week from June. DÜSSELDORF This great city on the Rhine is famous for its art and culture, luxury fashion and lifestyle.

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

WOW air flies to Düsseldorf, Germany from Iceland, with available connections from USA and Canada, three times a week until the end of September.

WOW air now offers up to four flights* a week to Edinburgh from USA, Canada and Iceland. FRANKFURT Frankfurt am Main, aka “Mainhattan” is Germany’s most cosmopolitan city but that doesn’t mean history isn’t appreciated there. When you visit Frankfurt don’t miss out on the Mosel Valley for a taste of Germany’s best wines. Prost! WOW air offers daily flights* to Frankfurt am Main from USA, Canada and Iceland, all year round.

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. Check out Canada! WOW air offers cheap flights* to Toronto from Europe, every 5-6 times a week this winter and every day of the week from May 2017.

EDINBURGH 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!

Relaxing on a tropical island sounds like a dream and Tenerife is a dream come true.

WARSAW SAN FRANCISCO San Francisco is the cultural, commercial and financial center of Northern California. 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 five times a week this winter and every day of the week from April 2017.

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 2017. WASHINGTON, D.C. Are you ready for a monumental trip? Get acquainted with the history of the United States of America and enjoy this great capital. WOW air offers cheap flights* to Washington, D.C. from Europe, every day of the week, all year round.

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

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 weekly flights to Gran Canaria from Iceland until March.


WOW Power to the people

The WOW Stopover allows you to visit Iceland at no additional airfare. It’s kind of like getting two vacations for the price of one. Find out more at

* Note that the availability of connecting flights between USA and Europe may vary depending on the flight frequency to each city. WOW air connects London, Bristol, Edinburgh, Dublin, Cork, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Lyon, Stockholm, Alicante, Barcelona, Milan, and Warsaw to New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco in the US and Toronto and Montréal in Canada.

Issue one




The Wapp - Walking app The Wapp is an app with walking and hiking routes in Iceland. Each route comes with GPS activated pop-up facts, stories and photos of the surroundings to make your walk even more enjoyable. In little over a year, the number of routes have gone from 10 to 110, with Einar Skúlason, the entrepreneur, steadily adding new ones every month. Although most of the routes are amidst Iceland’s beautiful countryside, the most popular one is in the city. “The Reykjavík Walk,” which has been free from the beginning, courtesy of WOW magazine, takes you to a few of the spots in downtown Reykjavík that relate to love and passion. Almost 10,000 people have downloaded The Wapp - Walking app. It’s free to download and around 30% of the routes are free, but others can be bought for a minimal price. It’s best to download the routes in a Wi-Fi connection and use the Wapp in offline mode once you start walking.

One flight and one whale, please!

WOW air on TripAdvisor We love giving you that WOW feeling and servicing our guests with a smile even if we don’t have all the amenities and “free” stuff of those big legacy carriers. WOW air is on TripAdvisor and we would love to get your fair and honest feedback after your travels. Help us out by giving us your review. We hope it’s a good one, but we welcome all feedback so we can do even better in the future.

When you book a flight with WOW air through our website, you can plan the whole trip at the same time and book interesting tours at tours. The hand-picked tours found on our webpage are categorized to make is easier for you to choose from. Ranging from glacier hiking and geothermal baths to a city food tour and whale watching, you’re bound to see something your heart desires. Make your journey even more exciting and carefree by booking the flight and adventure tours at the same place. Then there is nothing left to do but catch a plane and enjoy Iceland!


Jóhann Jóhannsson nominated for a Bafta Award Icelandic winter is finally hot With its endless sunlit nights, high summer used to be the far most popular season to visit Iceland. In 2010 for example, half of the tourist population visited during summer, while not even one fourth of them traveled in November-March. Something then shifted—a whopping 61% more travelers visited Iceland in November 2016 than in the same month a year before. In 2017, Icelandic


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tourism is expecting an increase of visitors in the winter months that will finally make numbers of foreign guests fall equally between seasons. With the crazy that is Icelandic nature, you could say the drama­­ tic change of seasons make two different countries and many guests want to experience both. Our winter lov­­ing guests usually stop for shorter periods than summer guests, and

mostly stay in the capital and its surroundings rather than venturing to the other parts of the country, which is a shame really; the North, for example, is wonderful to visit in the winter. We’re glad the word is spread­­ ing. The winter in Iceland can be dark and stormy, sure, but also magical with its Northern Lights, long starry nights, frozen water­­falls, ice caving and so much more.

Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson is nomin­ ated for a Bafta for best original music in the film Arrival. The film is a unique science-fiction by FrenchCanadian director Denis Villeneuve and stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker. Jóhanns­ son decided early on that the human voice would be central in the film’s soundtrack, since the story mainly involves language and interaction. Villeneuve listened to Jóhannsson’s music while shooting the film, so it had a great influence on the whole filming process. This is Jóhannsson’s third Bafta nomination. He was nominated for best original music for The Theory of Everything in 2014 and for Villeneuve’s thriller Sicario in 2015 (which also got an Oscar nomination). The Bafta Awards ceremony will be held February 12th. Jóhannsson and Villeneuve obviously have a good thing going together; fingers crossed third time’s the charm!



At the signing of the agreement. From the left: Jón Viðar Matthíasson Chief of Reykjavik Fire Department, Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir Chief of Police, mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson, Helga Árnadóttir CEO at The Icelandic Travel Industry Association and Einar Sturla Möinichen owner at Hressó.

by Eygló Árnadóttir

Fresh Icelandic fusion

Safe partying! An agreement on a safer nightlife in downtown Reykjavík was recently signed by nightclubs and parties that have mutual interests when it comes to keeping club goers safe. The clubs that signed; Hressó, Kofi Tómasar frænda, BarAnanas, Vegamót, English Pub, Den Danske Kro and Lebowski Bar, can now be considered safer places to party, since they have made a contingency plan in communication and cooperation with the Police and Fire Department. These clubs and their bouncers have distinct markings saying the guests’ safety is a priority. The staff gets professional training in preventing, recognizing and treating violence and sexual harassment. These clubs also have a lot of security cameras, both inside and outside, located by police advisement. Every three months the parties will meet, review the clubs’ safety rules and evaluate the results.

Sushi Social offers a deliciously unique take on homegrown ingredients, fusing Iceland’s freshest flavors with Japanese and South American influences. The menu offers a great selection; tempting smaller courses, “Juicy- Sushi”, amazing steaks and sweet desserts.

Tourist Information Center opened in City Hall This January, the Reykjavík Tourist Information Center was opened in City Hall, after 15 years operating at nearby Aðalstræti 2. The information center provides unbiased, reliable information on what to do on your visit. The center’s priority in bookings and sales is to manage the distribution of tourists and promote responsible tourism. There is also an emphasis on promoting culture and arts to guests, and their access to events is facilitated through a centralized ticket sales system. Through a successful collaboration with the Icelandic Search and Rescue team, the information center also has a major role to play in safety during travels in Iceland and ensures that updates on important safety measures are readily available to tourists. Last year, 475,000 tourists received the information center’s help and guidance at the former location. The Tourist Information Center is open every day from 8 am to 8 pm.

Our kitchen is open 17.00–23.00 sun.–thu. 17.00–24.00 fri.–sat. Sushi Social Þingholtsstræti 5 • 101 Reykjavík Tel 568 6600 •

Issue one




Sigur Rós touring in North America This spring, the world famous Icelandic band, Sigur Rós, will tour North America and Mexico. Continuing an experiment that started last year, the group will be performing as a trio. The tour is primarily comprised of theater shows with live

visuals, making for some of the most intimate performances the band has presented in years. The tour starts in Mexico City in early April. Later that month, Sigur Rós will do three concerts at an LA symphony music festival devoted to Reykjavík, then

hit Canada in late May and finally end the tour in June in Louisville, Kentucky. Get your tickets at




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



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DV. 17.07.11




ALSO BEST 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Crime novel of the year One of Iceland’s many headcount records is the mind blowing number of books published per head. In spite of being a tiny nation, we have some outstanding authors published all over the world. The queen of crime novels being Yrsa Sigurðardóttir (see interview on page 130), who made her name with a series of tense psychological dramas. Sigurðardóttir’s many crime novels have been translated into 13 languages. In her latest book, Why Did You Lie?, she has established herself as one of the best Nordic authors, according to The Times. The book brilliantly ties together three chilling plot strands, all coming together in a killer that nursed a grudge for years. Why Did You Lie? was crowned the best crime novel of the year 2016 in Britain, by The Sunday Times.



by Eygló Árnadóttir

Game of Thrones back in Iceland In January, the Game of Thrones crew filmed material for season 7 in Iceland which is set to air later this year. It is the fifth time that Icelandic nature makes up the backdrop for this very popular TV series. The GoT crew filmed at spectacular places such as Svínafellsjökull Glacier, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and the black beach of Dyrhólafjara. According to sources, the crew was filming under the direction of Alan who is slated to direct the sixth episode of season 7, the next to last episode of the season. As Game of Thrones’ fans know, that one is usually a big episode




(and a bloody one). This seems also to be the case in season 7, judging by the big names travelers have spotted, photographed and uploaded on social media. The crew in Iceland includes Kit Harrington (Jon Snow), Ian Glen (Jorah Mormont), Joe Dempsie (Gendry) and Paul Kaye (Thoros). Actress Masie Williams (Arya Stark) gave fans a sneak peek into this newest season last summer by tweeting her reaction to the script she had just read. Her words included: “Holy balls… nothing will prepare you for this.” So we should be in for a treat.

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 Issue one




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. Photos: From respective events

A movie lover’s paradise Located in the heart of downtown Reykjavik, Bio Paradis 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 films, 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. Located in Hverfisgata 54, 101 Reykjavik.

Events in February and March

Reality Bites 17 February

German Film Days. 10-19 February

WHAT: Happy Hour WHEN: Every day from 5 - 7 PM No need to explain, happy hour means the same in Iceland as everywhere else.

WHAT: German Film Days WHEN: 10-19 February For the seventh edition of German Film Days, Bíó Paradís will present six films, all of which represent the best that current German cinema has to offer. The German Film Days will open with TONI ERDMANN directed by Maren Ade. The German Film Days are organized by Bíó Paradís in cooperation with the GoetheInstitut Denmark and the German Embassy in Iceland. All films will be screened in German with English subtitles. You’ll find the screening times on the cinema’s webpage, www.

WHAT: Reality Bites - Friday Night Party screening WHEN: 17 February at 8 PM If you loved this 90s hit about a documentary filmmaker and her fellow Gen X graduates facing life after college, you’ll be in good company at Bíó Paradís this Friday night. Don’t miss out on this chance to sing along to My Sharona!


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WHAT: Rocky Horror Picture Show – Costume screening WHEN: 10 March at 8 PM WHAT? Stockfish Film Festival WHEN? 23 February – 5 March WHERE: Bíó Paradís More than 30 films will be screen­­ ed at Stockfish 2017. The festival provides the public access to the ‘creme de la crème’ of international award-winning films that are screen­­ed at other major film Festivals and some interesting events attended by Icelandic and for­­eign film industry professionals including Q&A sessions, panels, masterclasses and much more. Stockfish Film Festival creates a platform in Reykjavík to encourage collaboration between domestic and international film communities. The festival appeals to both people in the film industry and those interested in the well-being of international filmmaking. The festival will screen some of the most promising up-and-coming films in the world and invite inter­­national filmmakers to discuss the state of filmmaking, the film industry and the filmmaking com­­mu­nity. A festival pass grants access to all screenings and events as long as room permits. Addi­­tionally, it gives great deals at the festi­­val home and venues. For more information, schedule and festival passes go to

Spoof sci-fi and camp horror make The Rocky Horror Picture Show a one of a kind cult classic, this bizarrely entertaining and highly satisfying musical is a huge box-office draw. When a straight-laced couple is stranded on a stormy night, they take refuge in a dark, old mansion full of weirdos led by a mad transvestite scientist. Channel your inner Frank-NFurter and show up! After all, it’s just a jump to the left …

children’s interest in film and film culture, promotes association with life and environment of other children around the world and brings children a wider range of experience through the art of cinema.

WHAT: Reykjavík International Children’s Film Festival WHEN: 30 March – 9 April This year marks the 4th edition of the Reykjavík International Children’s Film Festival, which will be the most ambitious festival to date. The festival’s objective has been to increase independent children and youth films’ and film culture’s presence in Iceland, providing the audience with a broader and more diverse range of films and events than they currently have access to in Iceland. The festival will present shorts, animations and international award-winning feature films for children and youth. It is an extremely important cultural event that enhances film literacy in children and young people, raises

WHAT: Czech Film Days WHEN: 8-9 April Czech Film Days are held for the first time in Bíó Paradís this year. During the Czech Film Days, Bíó Paradís will screen a few awe-inspiring Czech children’s films, two cuttingedge works of contemporary Czech filmmaking, and a real gem of Czech cinema, the cult classic Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970). All films will be screened with English subtitles

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ATV • Caving • Combo tours • Diving • Glacier Hike • Golden Circle • Hiking • Horse Riding • Hot Springs • Ice Caves • Kayaking • MultidayIssue toursone 121 Northern Lights • Rafting • Snorkeling • Snowmobiling • Super Jeeps • Trekking • Volcano Hiking • Whale Watching




Raumzeichnung (to the East, the mirror), 2016, 10 km of clear PP tape. Photo: © Monika Grzymala.

WHAT: Points of View exhibition WHERE: Reykjavik Culture House on Hverfisgata WHEN: Ongoing At the Culture House, the exhibition Points of View – a journey through the visual world of Iceland is on permanent view. It provides a unique journey through Iceland’s visual legacy, offering an innovative guide to a nation’s cultural history. The exhibition gives visitors the opportunity to view the collections of six major Icelandic cultural institutions simultaneously: The National Museum of Iceland, National Gallery of Iceland, the Icelandic Museum of Natural History, the National Archives of Iceland, the National and University Library of Iceland and the Árni Magnússon Institute of Icelandic Studies. Artworks of various styles and mediums are presented thematically alongside museum objects and archival materials such as books and maps. The large historic building housing the exhibition dates to the year 1909 and is widely considered one of Iceland’s most beautiful buildings. The exterior is quite impressive, but a visit inside to view the interiors should not be missed. Think carved stone pillars, original oak furniture, and black-and-white tiled marble floors. The exhibition provides plenty of fun educational activities for children and their families.

WHAT: Monica Grzymala – Drawing Spatially / Raumzeichnung WHEN: 14 January – 25 February WHERE: BERG Contemporary, Klapparstígur 16, 101 Reykjavik Berlin­-based installation artist Monika Grzymala (German, born in Poland, 1970) has studied stone sculpting and restoration, as well as visual arts at various German universities. The central theme of Monika Grzymala’s work is the line and drawing in three-dimensional space. In her installations, the artist uses various materials: adhesive tape,

paper, wire and even living trees. The creations are always adapted to the exhibition site, connecting different visible and non-visible aspects. The tangled lines that Grzymala stretches through her installations gather and disperse, curve around, rise and fall. Guests follow the gathering movement not only with their eyes but with their bodies as they walk through the exhibition. BERG Contemporary is open Tuesday to Friday from 11 am – 5 pm and on Saturdays from 1-5 pm.

The Culture House is a part of the National Museum of Iceland -

Photo: Benjamin Hardman

WHAT: Beer festival WHEN: 19-25 February WHERE: Mikkeller & Friends and Kex Hostel Icelanders will celebrate 29 years of beer freedom with a beer festival starring the best of the Icelandic beer trade along with fellow breweries from the US, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Scotland and Sweden and some great food. Kex Hostel’s gastropub, Sæmundur í Sparifötunum, will offer a


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beer oriented menu for the duration of the festival and local breweries will introduce their products and methods. Omnipollo’s Hatt will pop up with their famous pizzas at Hverfisgata 12 and take over the taps of Mikkeller & Friends. Festival passes will give you access to the festival where you can taste the festival beers. The passes also provides you with special access to the people behind the beers, including access to the exclusive final event in the city of Reykjavík that’ll include live music, exclusive beers and a beer oriented menu. The festival pass includes tasting of all beers at the festival, meet and greet with the people behind the beers, a workshop, live music, toe bag, beer coasters, bar snacks and more. Participating at the festival this year are 14 international breweries and 8 Icelandic breweries. They include Mikkeller, To Ol, Other Half, Boneyard, Omnipollo and Founders to name a few. Check out the Beer Festival schedule as well as other events at

WHAT: DesignMarch and Reykjavik Fashion Festival WHEN: 23-26 March WHERE: Around Reykjavik and the capital area For the 9th year running, the Icelandic design scene will get together for DesignMarch, an innovative annual celebration of design and architecture in Iceland, taking place in March each year. During March 23rd - 26th, the city of Reykjavík and its neighboring towns will host over 100 exhibitions, workshops, pop-up events, seminars and parties, highlighting the latest and greatest in Icelandic architecture, furniture, fashion, graphic and product design.

This year, Reykjavik Fashion Festi­­ val will be running parallel with DesignMarch with fashion shows, featuring established and fresh talents, taking place at Harpa Concert Hall by the Reykjavik harbor. DesignMarch is one of the most popular events held in Iceland each year, drawing around 30,000 visitors and increasingly attracting the attention of international buyers, bloggers, producers and the press busy introducing Icelandic design to the rest of the world. DesignMarch is organized by The Iceland Design Centre. For more info and calendar of events go to and



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.

Issue one





WHAT: Jono Duffy - Australiana WHEN: 12 February WHERE: Tjarnarbio Cinema Jonathan Duffy moved from Australia to Iceland in 2015 and has, since then, consistently been answering one question: “Why the hell did you move to Iceland?” In Australiana, Jono will dish the dirt on what it was like growing up in the Land Down Under; what he misses, and ultimately the reason he said goodbye. Part comedy, part cabaret, part dance party, Australiana is pieced together with carefully selected music by Australian artists that have been remixed by Icelandic dance duo “Dusk.” This show was performed to a sellout crowd during the 2016 Reykjavík Pride Festival and is back with some additional stories and maybe even a new song or two. Go to for tickets.

WHAT: Sonar Reykjavik WHEN: February 16-18 WHERE: Harpa Concert Hall The fifth edition of the Sónar Reykjavik Festival takes place in February 2017 throughout four stages at the unique Harpa Concert Hall. The four stages are; SonarClub, SonarHall, SonarComplex (seated) and SonarLab in the underground car park which has seen some legendary shows in previous years. Confirmed acts for Sónar Reykjavík 2017 include; Fatboy Slim (UK), De La Soul (US), Moderat (DE), Ben Klock (DE), Tommy Genesis (CA), Helena Hauff (DE), B.Straits (UK), FM Belfast, Aron Can, Emmsjé Gauti, Samaris, Kött Grá Pje, Sin Fang, SxSxSx and Øfjord. Find tickets at

WHAT: Reykjavik Folk Festival WHEN: 2-4 March WHERE: Kex Hostel Reykjavík Folk Festival is a three-day feast of folk music in the wonderful setting of Kex Hostel. Folk music has a long history in Iceland, from the rhyme songs of the old Nordic sagas to the recent success stories of young folkinspired artists like Of Monsters and Men, Ólöf Arnalds and Ásgeir. Reykjavik Folk Festival celebrates the diversity and breadth of the Icelandic folk music scene by mixing artists and bands of different age and style that all share a common depth to the wonderful world of folk music. Go to or buy your tickets by the door (per evening or three-day festival pass) Photo: Lilja & Rósa Birgisdætur

WHAT: Eistnaflug Rock Festival WHEN: 5-8 July WHERE: Neskaupsstadur, East Iceland Eistnaflug, aka The Flying Testicle Festival, has been held annually, during the second weekend in July, since 2005 in Neskaupsstaður, East Iceland. Its main focus is heavy metal, rock and other indie/rock music. The biggest festival of its kind in Iceland, it more than doubles the population of Neskaupsstaður when festival visitors and metal-heads sweep into the small town. The Eistnaflug festival has come a long way since it was first held as a party event for a few bands and their friends. That first time the bands and all the visitors fit into one bus. For the last couple of years, the festival has attracted various kinds of metal and other rock fans and bands totaling a number of 20002500 attendees, both Icelanders and foreign visitors, in 2016. The festival’s expansion has made it possible to offer internationally known bands, the first of which played in 2009. Then in 2010, the festival went on full blast with the appearance of one of the flagships of extreme metal, the British grindcore band Napalm Death. Since then, the festival has been aiming high and for the last two years they’ve had many international bands including Behemoth, Kvelertak, Carcass, Opeth, Marduk, Melechesh, Pertubator and Meshuggah. This summer, things will also be ambitious. Some of the bands already announced are Neurosis, Bloodbath, Anaal Nathrakh, Dillinger Escape Plan and many more.


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The Icelandic heavy metal scene is proudly presented at the festival. The big three this year are Sólstafir, Dimma and Skálmöld. Also, one of the best bands within the Icelandic black metal scene, Misþyrming, Auðn and Zhrine, all of whom have made a name for themselves around the world, will perform. The biggest focus of the festival is on the heavy and hard part of the music scene, but at Eistnaflug, they also show diversity by having indie and pop music from Iceland including the Icelandic king of disco Paul Oscar. Therefore, it is guaranteed that every music lover will find something to suit his or her taste. Every year the metal heads gather at the Eistnaflug Festival in celebration of great music. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, how you dress or look, you can always find common ground within spirit of metal and friendship at this brilliant festival. Check out the schedule at and remember the festival’s motto: IDIOTS NOT ALLOWED! Photos: Gaui H Pic

Varma is dedicated to maintaining Icelandic tradition in developing, designing and manufacturing quality garments and accessories from the best Icelandic wool and sheepskin shearling.

Varma is available in various tourist shops around Iceland

Issue one




Tomorrow, the stars will offer you two paths to choose from. One leads to happiness and wealth, the other to boring people, food poisoning and warts. So… good luck choosing!

These days, you are deeply contemplating having a child. The stars know your heart and are also wondering if you are ready. Let’s see at the end of this flight if kids still seem like a good idea.





On Valentine’s Day, someone declares their endless love for you and asks you to elope with them. Would be sweet and romantic if it wasn’t your sister’s husband.

The new year has got you so energized and clearheaded, you take control of everything in your life. But you cannot take control of the wheel in busses, though, so stop doing that.

20 APRIL - 20 MAY


21 MAY - 21 JUNE How are those New Year’s resolutions coming? The gym? Going vegan? Read Hemingway? Oh, you’re sitting on the couch, eating chips and watching The Bachelor? The stars forgive. There’s always next week.



22 NOVEMBER - 21 DECEMBER Stay away from cold weather. This week, the stars guide you toward a warm climate. Oh, you’re flying to Iceland? Lots of hot saunas and swimming pools so you should be fine. No ice caving, though, unless you manage to squeeze yourself into three parkas.


22 JUNE - 22 JULY Your love for man buns only grows stronger and finally next month, your hair will be long enough to sport one yourself. Pity you’re female so no one really notices.



22 DECEMBER - 19 JANUARY Your aunt gives you a horrible looking hat as a gift. Sweet thing that you are, you wear it so not to hurt her feelings. But actually, it’s fine, since your new hairdresser is about to give you an awful haircut.

23 JULY - 22 AUGUST You will soon realize that the love of your life is actually right there. You met in college but hated each other for years. Then you became best friends and now you’re getting married! Oh no wait… sorry, forgot to turn off When Harry Met Sally before getting my star charts. You’re still single.


23 AUGUST - 22 SEPTEMBER This week, your lifelong dream will come true and change you forever. You’ll see an elephant in the wild! This happens in Northern Europe so it’s probably a hallucination. Still counts!


20 JANUARY - 18 FEBRUARY Remember that the tongue is sharper than the sword. Now stop pointing that thing at people, you could seriously injure someone.


19 FEBRUARY - 20 MARCH The answer to your question is in this magazine. That question that’s always in the back of your head. Your “What is the meaning of life?” question. The answer is hidden in these pages. Read very thoroughly, so you won’t miss it.

Disclaimer: This horoscope is total and utter nonsence. Any accuracies, real or imagined by readers, are purely incidental.


WOW Power to the people

Issue one




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?


WOW Power to the people

Issue one



TRAVELING WITH THE QUEEN OF NORDIC NOIR Yrsa Sigurðardóttir’s books have been translated into 35 languages. The Icelandic author who writes about mysterious crimes says that her favorite place in Iceland is the Westman Islands and abroad it’s Rome—a city she has never visited. by Svava Jónsdóttir Photos: Courtesy of Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

“There are just too many beautiful spots around to simply single one out but if tortured and forced to select one single place I’d choose the Westman Islands.

“I started off writing humorous books for children. After completing five such novels I became really tir­­­­ ed of being funny and wanted to delve into some­­­thing dark­­er for mature readers. So I switched to writ­­ing crime, beginning with a series about attorney Þóra Guð­­­­­mundsdóttir and managed to write six books be­­ fore getting bored again. The last Þóra book Sil­­­ence of the Sea won the Petrona for best Scandi­­­navian book in translation the year it came out in English.” THRILLING A NATION

Yrsa Sigurðardóttir wrote three standalone thrillers, one of which was the ghost story I Re­­mem­­ ber You which will soon premier in the movie adaptation. Another is Why Did You Lie? which was recently chosen as the crime book of the year by the Sunday Times. “After these three novels containing disposable characters, I felt the need to start a new series and have now written three books about protagonist Freyja and Huldar, a child psychologist and police­­­man that team up to solve pretty gruesome and challenging murders,” says Yrsa. The first book in the series, DNA, aka The Legacy in English, was awarded the Icelandic Crime Book Award and the second which just came out in Norway, to be titled The Vortex in English, was reviewed as being one of the big titles of the year. The third book which revolves around bullying has yet to be translated. Yrsa’s books for adults are now available in 35 languages.

RELAXED ISLAND ATMOSPHERE Yrsa travels extensively for book promotions and participates in literary crime festivals around the world. She also travels a lot in Iceland but admits that she is hard-pressed to point out her favorite place in the country. “There are just too many beautiful spots around to simply single one out but if tortured and forced to select one single place I’d choose the Westman Islands. These islands lie off the south coast of Iceland, accessible by plane from the Reykja­ vík Domestic Airport or by ferry. The only inhabited island, Heima­ey, contains a volcano that is only 44 years old—hav­ ing erupted in 1973—a baby in a volcano’s lifespan. The sur­­­ round­­ing sea is littered with very impressive, smaller is­­­lands, some of which are used for sheep grazing in the summ­er. Also, the atmosphere is somehow relaxed. In parti­­cul­­ar, I always have a super time when going to the open air music festival held in a dormant volcano crater each year at the beginning of August. THE ART AND ARCHITECTURE Asked about her favorite place abroad, Yrsa claims Rome. “It’s a city I have never been to but have dreamt of visiting for years. I think the major attraction of the city is its history and the spec­­ tacu­­lar monuments the past has thankfully left behind. The art and the architecture, coupled with the beautiful langu­­age, the good food and wine, as well as the good weather I imag­­ine I‘ll encounter, is certain to make for a trip I’ll enjoy every minute of. The only thing stopping me is finding the time to stay long enough to see and do all I want.” Be sure to pick up a book by the Queen of Nordic Noir on your travels. It will definitely keep you on the edge of your flight seat.


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D R E S S CO D E I C E L A N D Issue one | Bankastræti 7 | Aðalstræti 10 | Austurhraun 3 | Smáralind | Kringlan | Akureyri


– Visit our stores: Skólavörðustígur & Kringlan, Reykjavík. Hafnarstræti, Akureyri. Geysir, Haukadalur. –

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