e azin mag ISSUE SIX 2014
O T H E RWORL DLY ICELAND!
GIRL POWER! CHECK OUT THE CREATIVE WOMEN OF ICELAND.
YO U R F R E E C O P Y TA K E M E W I T H YO U
We are improving the airport! The new duty free area will open in May, 2015. Excuse us while we build a little. Weâ€™re improving the duty free area that will be ready in May, 2015. In the meantime, all shops are open as usual so you can get good food, a warm cup of coffee and Icelandic quality products before your travels.
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For further information, log on to www.kefairport.is/betterairport
HOTEL GEYSIR elegaNt restauraNts, spa with hot spriNg jacuzzi, beautiful Nature & fuN activities
Geysir TOp 25 besT places TO phOTOgraph On The planeT earTh popphoto.com
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 4
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W E LC O M E TO G EYSIR 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 www.geysircenter.com / www.geysirglima.com / tel: +354 480 6800 / email@example.com www.facebook.com/hote lgeysir / www.twitter.com/hotelgeysir Issue six
WOW Power to the people
WOW Power to the people
A letter from the editor
December and January are the darkest, coldest months here in Iceland but thanks the abundance of energy drawn from our natural resources we keep our homes bright and cozy, dispelling the winter blues. Reykjavik and other towns around the country are also lighting up their environment with bright lights and they’re not just for the holidays as they are mostly kept lit until the sun gets higher in the sky. Speaking of the sun, if you’re here around December 21st you’ll notice how the short daylight hours are much more like twilight, the sun never getting too high in the sky. While it makes for some awesome photographs you’ll cherish the brightness and warmth you’ll find inside. This is a great time for candles, advent lights and merriment and despite volatile weather we enjoy it immensely. After the 21st of December the days start getting longer and longer; it’s only a few minutes at a time and yet you can almost hear the Icelander’s collective sigh of relief, “at least it won’t get darker than this.” The sun will continue to stay longer in the sky until the summer solstice in the middle of June when it doesn’t even bother to set and casts its loving rays over Iceland for 24 hours. We love all types of light; sunlight, candlelight, holiday light, winter light and, let’s be honest, you can’t really enjoy the light without the darkness. Enjoy the holidays and have a bright new year, Gudrun Vaka firstname.lastname@example.org
Setting the right tone Icelandic women in music are now more visible and the gender gap may finally be closing with a new era of ‘Girl Power’.
She’s back! Ragna Kjartansdottir aka Cell7 is one of Iceland’s best known female rappers.
Passion for Nordic fashion Soffia Theódóra Tryggvadóttir has created a Nordic world on the web with her Nordic Style Magazine.
From cardboard castles to international attention Icelandic designers have no problem thinking big and Ylfa Grönvold is one of the rising stars on the scene.
What is low-cost? What do we really mean when we describe WOW air as a low-cost airline?
Whatever floats your boat Icelanders have a rich bathing culture that is constantly evolving. Check out the latest water “sport” of Icelanders.
Reaching the heavens Hallgrímskirkja Church is probably Reykjavik’s best known landmark.
WOW moments We love it when our guests share their WOW moments with us.
WOW magazine staff Editor in chief: Guðrún Vaka Helgadóttir Design and layout: Ivan Burkni / email@example.com Contributing writers: Gunnlaugur Rögnvaldsson, Donna Tzaneva, Marvin Lee Dupree, Nadja Sayej, Gerdur Hardardottir, Bergrún Íris Sævars dóttir, Paul Michael Herman, Helga María Albertsdóttir, Svava Jónsdóttir, Cindy-Lou Dale, Dísa Bjarnadóttir Proofreading: Paul Michael Herman
ERFISME HV R M
© WOW air Katrínartún 12 105 Reykjavík Iceland
un: Oddi umhverfisvottuð prentsmiðja Tel: 00 354 590 3020 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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On the cover:
The Lost Astronaut For 4 years, photographer Gisli Dua Hjorleifsson and psychiatrist and writer Mikkel R. Vossen Rasmussen have traveled around Iceland making up stories about a lost astronaut.
Issue five 2014
Let there be light
azin mag Issue sIx 2014
O t h e rwOrl dly Iceland!
Power to the PeoPle
14 WOW Cyclothon The most surprising team of WOW Cyclothon 2014 was without a doubt Team Hjolakraftur who took the pledge competition to a new level.
wow magazine – the Nature Issue
12 Letter from the CEO
In this issue
Girl Power! CheCk out the Creative women of iCeland.
yo u r f r e e c o P y ta k e m e w I t h yo u
On the cover
The Lost Astronaut. For 4 years, photographer Gisli Dua Hjorleifsson and psychiatrist and writer Mikkel R. Vossen Rasmussen have traveled around Iceland making up stories about a lost astronaut.
Photographer: Gisli Dua Hjorleifsson Model: Mikkel R. Vossen Rasmussen
60 The perfect place for space training Iceland has been depicted as another planet in numer ous films but did you know that NASA was the first to discover Iceland’s other worldliness? 62
Experiencing the elements The Cupstone has given welcome relief to many tired legs on the outskirts of Iceland’s capital.
64 The beat goes on Birgir Jónsson is one of the latest additions to WOW air’s team and that’s why he’s this issue’s Person of WOW. 66
Reykjavik’s nightlife Who would‘ve guessed that Reykjavik, with a population of just over 200,000 people, had such a thriving nightlife and music scene?
70 Cool design: PyroPet The PyroPet candle has a dark secret within. 72 Shining bright WOW air supports some awesome people. 74
Good night, sleep tight! An innovative mom from Iceland has created a wonderful sleep companion for babies, putting a parent’s mind to ease.
Flair in the air The WOW crew has some tried and tested tips for travelers who want to look their best.
Fun on board Give your cabin crew a big smile and you’re guaranteed to get one back.
Washington: The clean and quiet capital For all of its intensity, foreign embassies and intrigue, Washington, D.C. is a beautiful place to visit.
90 Cape Cod: A hidden treasure For those visiting Boston, nearby is Cape Cod, the golf, surf and beach para dise few Europeans know about.
Paris: Winter wonderland in the French capital Paris is home to many winter festivals which will help beat the winter blues.
Tenerife: Pure paradise! If you can get away from the beach for long enough, there are countless things to do on the beautiful island of Tenerife!
96 Trendy Berlin Get sassy at Berlin Fashion Week. 98
London: Off the cuff Cindy-Lou Dale investigates London’s affordable bespoke shirt alternative.
100 The Austrian Alps: a ski paradise Austria is one of the best ski destinations in Europe. 102 This and that … mainly this. 106 What’s going on? … quite a lot actually. 110
WOW horoscope What’s in your future? WOW air’s famed astrologist has the answer.
112 Bored on board? Solve these sudokus. 114 The Traveling Inquisition “Travel sites are my porn,” says sexologist Sigga Dögg.
P.S. Would you like your very own copy of WOW magazine? Take this one with you or contact us through email@example.com and we’ll send you a printed copy. You can also check out WOW magazine online at wowair.com.
ATTENTION ADVERTISERS! Shouldn’t your company be in our next issue? Contact our advertising representative and he’ll make it happen. He’s just that good! firstname.lastname@example.org
www.66north.com Issue six
A letter from the CEO
All of us at WOW air wish you very happy holidays and a prosperous New Year. We are grateful that you’ve chosen WOW air and look forward to seeing you on board our aircraft again.
Dear friends, WOW! We are very proud to have recently welcom ed our 1 millionth guest who flew with us in the beginning of December. This means that three times the Icelandic population has now flown with WOW air since our inaugural flight in May 2012. From day one feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, giving us confidence to continue on our journey to bring much cheaper airfares to and from Iceland with a smile. For 2015 we are adding 6 new destinations, Dublin, Rome, Tenerife, Billund and now also for the first time, we’re going to the US with year round flights to Washington, D.C. and Boston. We are espe cially excited about our North American launch which got fantastic reviews and feedback as a large part of our initial availability sold out in a matter of days!
Berlingske Tidende, The Independent, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, CNBC, Der Spiegel, BBC and many many more. We are proud to be at the forefront of lowering fares across the Atlantic and thus allowing more people to visit friends and family as well as exploring and learning more about the world. As such, making the world a smaller place which hopefully will facilitate a better understanding and appreciation of a wide variety of cultures and traditions.
Connecting the continents
Skúli Mogensen WOW air’s CEO and founder
By adding Washington and Boston into our network we are now able, for the first time, to offer true low cost fares across the Atlantic at never before seen prices. The whole world took notice as we got great coverage in Time Magazine, The Economist,
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All of us at WOW air wish you very happy holidays and a prosperous New Year. We are grateful that you’ve chosen WOW air and look forward to seeing you on board our aircraft again.
Svarfadur Valley is Iceland’s most beautiful place, according to its people, the Svarfdaelings. A few years ago, all sheep in the valley were quarantined and destroyed because of scrapie, a fatal and infectious disease. That’s when they founded the Herding Society, a venerable club of shepherds, car mechanics, carpenters, schoolteachers and plumbers. They are also poets and singers and festive men. And they continue to herd every year, despite the fact that there is not a single sheep left in the valley. The Svarfadur Valley Herding Society: Skál fyrir þér! Léttöl Issue six
Team Hjolakraftur How can you explain WOW Cyclothon to someone who hasn’t participated? Let’s just say that going the distance is a far cry from hearing or reading about it. Photos: Kristinn Magnússon and from private collection
WOW Cyclothon is not for the fainthearted, it’s not for those who give up easy and it’s not for those who can’t live without a 12 hour beauty sleep each night. This great relay race is a com petition of endurance and strategy and some times the difference between winning and losing is who can get the most sleep while crumpled up in a moving vehicle that speeds up and then stops every 10-15 minutes. Winning isn’t everything Finishing this long race, all 1332 km of it, around Iceland’s Ring Road, is winning in itself and finishing last does not equal losing. One group of stars of the 2014 WOW Cyclothon were the young members of Team Hjolakraftur (Cycling Power). The team consisted of 6 teenagers: Birta Guðný Árnadóttir (13), Ingimundur B. Sigfússon (13), Þorbjörg Tinna Hjaltalín (16), Sigurður Marteinn Lyngberg Sigurðsson (16), Kristín Sif Þórarinsdóttir (16) and Ása Kara Smáradóttir “That is actually a funny story. In (17), and their four 2013 I was talking to the group grown-up leaders: Árni and their parents and I told them Sæmundsson (49), Gauja that if they would work very hard Rúnarsdóttir (48), Sigfús I would want to take them to the B. Ingimundarson (49) and Þorvaldur Daníels WOW Cyclothon in 2014. son aka Valdi (43). Their goal was not to win first place but rather to conquer themselves by finish ing the whole race within the allotted 72 hours. We met up with Valdi, one of the founders of the Hjolakraftur project and asked him to tell us about the team’s journey. “Hjolakraftur is something I came up with along with a friend of mine, Eiríkur Árnason. It was, and still is, a project that aims to get children and teenagers that haven’t found themselves in other sports, to give cycling a chance. Most of the young people that we have met have heard about this project through the National Children Hospital’s Health School (Heilsuskoli). It so happens that for various reasons, some of them have been losing the battle to all sorts of
WOW Power to the people
lifestyle diseases,” says Valdi who contacted the doctors at the health school when the idea for the project came up. “They were very positive and that is actually how we managed to pilot the project,” Valdi adds. Cyclothon dreams Valdi had big ideas for the Hjolakraftur project from the word go but how did he get the idea of entering the group in WOW Cyclothon? “That is actually a funny story. In 2013 I was talking to the group and their parents and I told them that if they would work very hard I would want to take them to the WOW Cyclothon in 2014. It goes without saying that they all thought I was mad, but I was sowing a seed. At the end of the year I started receiving messages from the kids, asking when we would start preparing for the race. After that there was no turning back. Our preparations began in January by taking walks in the ice and snow, but as soon as we had the chance we started biking,” says Valdi. Taking a group of teenagers on the road is no small feat and it’s not cheap. “Before the WOW Cyclothon, I contacted some companies and individuals and asked them to sponsor us. We needed new bikes, clothing and everything. This actually turned out way better than I had hoped for and as far as the cost of participating went, we almost broke even. Our main sponsors were Tryggingamiðstöðin, Eimskip, Ormsson and Örninn. There was also an individual that made all this possible, but he asked me to keep his name a secret and I’m going to respect that,” Valdi tells us. Hjolakraftur has already started preparing for the 2015 WOW Cyclothon with some new participants and also a wider range in age. “We’re going out twice a week. Hjolakraftur is becoming a formal enterprise, and I’ve already begun looking for additional funding.” Off to the races Everything Valdi had hoped to achieve before the race materialized, but the competition itself was yet to come. “The hardest part of the
WOW Cyclothon is, without a doubt, staying awake, and eventually recovering from all that lost sleep. It’s amazing how you can drive your body for all those hours without getting tired. My experience is that the WOW Cyclothon boils down to mental strength. I used meditation while riding my part of the race, and I’m not kidding. “We had some great moments in the compe tition. The biggest was of course crossing the finish line together with the WOW girls. We teamed up with them only 15 hours into the competition and decided to finish together - a real WOW moment! After that we got a police escort down to the Harpa Concert Hall.” Mental strength is indeed the name of the game. How did Valdi and his Hjolakraftur teammates manage to keep going, knowing they were the underdog in the race? “During our preparation I had an idea for the team. We set three goals; the first one was to finish absolutely last, the second to conquer ourselves and win the hearts of others by doing this and the third was to win the fundraising competition because WOW air had promised flight tickets to the team who raised the most pledges for the race. We managed to do all that, except that the WOW girls were given the last place, even though we finished at the same time. It has to be an alphabetical thing,” says Valdi and laughs. “We all knew we were the very last teams but still we were ahead of schedule the whole time so we knew we were going to finish within the time frame for the competition. The teams have up to 72 hours to finish and we finished in 57.02, 15 hours ahead of schedule and that is a huge achievement. The most amazing thing though, is that nobody in the team ever complained about anything – we were in high spirits the whole time, and as for having a group of teenagers cycling and staying so close together on a bus for 57 hours without drama … well that is an achievement in itself, isn’t it?” says Valdi and adds that quitting was never an option. “We kept referring to the rules from the booklet we got before the race, and rule #5 [Harden the f*** up] more than any other.” Finishing last and winning “When we had less than an hour to go I could actually feel the emotions starting to take over. We decided to ride all together, almost hand in hand, the last 2 km, and the WOW girls were with us. When we saw the finish line tears start ed appearing and we saw that a huge crowd had gathered to welcome us, all the parents, grandparents and even some fans. Many tears of joy could be seen in everyone’s eyes and this was a moment of victory and pride for us all,” Valdi describes. But as we’ve already stated coming in last does not equal losing and Team Hjolakraftur won the pledge competition by a landslide. “Being the youngest team in the WOW Cyclo thon got us more media coverage than many of the other teams. That, and the fact that we are all on Facebook, gave us some competitive advantage to begin with. Before the competition started, Tryggingamiðstöðin, one of our spon sors who also had a team in the WOW Cyclo thon, decided to ask people to pledge money to Hjolakraftur instead of their own team. The same happened with Team Hledsla and in the end, one of the cyclists in the solo category, pledged
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Hjolakraftur with a huge amount. We knew that so many people saw us as underdogs who were willing to just lay it all out there and go for it, and so many people wanted to support us. The big sum we collected was mainly made up of pledges from 1,000 to 5,000 IKR. You need a lot of those to collect 1,148,000 IKR,” Valdi says, proud of his Hjolakraftur kids. Flying high Valdi and Team Hjolakraftur all received flight tickets with WOW air for their great success in the pledge competition and they’ve already put their spoils to good use. “We decided to go to Lyon, France, in September. The group decided that this should be a tour different from everything we had ever experienced, and it really was. One of the parents came up with the idea to stay in tents in a forest and that is exactly what we did! Imagine that! The camping areas were so amazing and the scenery is magnificent. We were also extremely lucky regarding the weather, with temperatures reaching 35°C. We stayed there from Wednesday until Sunday and it was incredible. We would recommend it to anybody. There’s so much to see and great routes to ride bikes. We took a city tour on our bikes and also biked to the neighboring villages of Lyon. We all want to go again.” 2015 here we come! Will Team Hjolakraftur be at the 2015 WOW Cyclothon? “As for now, new members are taking part in the Hjolakraftur project. They will form the teams, yes teamS, in the 2015 WOW Cyclothon and we have started preparing already. At least two members of the 2014 team will take part as well. Ingimundur has been coming to every session this fall, riding 50 km every time. That is outstanding for a 14 year old,” says Valdi adding that he’s currently looking for more participants for the Hjolakraftur project. “The goal each individual has may vary, but most want to take part in the WOW Cyclothon adventure. I will do my very best to help them reach their dream. “We would like to thank WOW Cyclothon for making this event so great, and providing a platform for people like us to make our wildest dreams come true,” says Valdi. With great support, Team Hjolakraftur took the pledge competition by storm, collecting a whopping 1,148,000 IKR, the only team to go beyond the one million mark. All in all, WOW Cyclothon managed to raise 15,237,244 IKR for for the Department of Orthopedic Surgery of The National University Hospital of Iceland.
Save the date! WOW Cyclothon 2015 will be held in June 23-26. Registrations for all categories will start in January. Follow WOW Cyclothon on Facebook and Instagram and flip through the live feed from the competition for additional photos and insights. Visit www.wowcyclothon.com for more information about the race, the rules and how to sign up.
W E L C O M E
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Icelandic women in music
SETTING THE RIGHT by Bergrún Íris Sævarsdóttir
A member of Reykjavikurdætur at the Secret Solstice music festival. Photo: Sigríður Ella Frímannsdóttir.
Back to the beginning Since the first settlers arrived in Iceland, our musical heritage has been growing and evolving. In the past, mothers singing their children to sleep could only dream of music as a career choice. Later, incredible role models and pioneers, such as composer Jórunn Viðar (born in 1918) and singer Ingibjörg Þorbergs (born in 1927), proved that anything is possible with the right mix of talent and hard work. Since then, countless women have had rewarding musical careers in Iceland. One name does stand out though, and an article about Icelandic women in music would be greatly flawed if one were not to mention the force that is Björk.
Björk’s own beat They say that a prophet has no honor in his own country, and the Icelandic nation has been reminded of this again and again with all of Björk’s success abroad. Born in Reykjavík in 1965, this multi-talented artist would soon find her voice too unique and her message too loud for the small market of Iceland. Björk recorded her first solo album at the young age of only 12. The album included several Icelandic songwriters, and international artists such as Stevie Wonder, Lennon and McCartney, and one song by the young girl herself. After fronting several bands in Iceland, The Sugarcubes, formed in 1986, caught the ears and eyes of people all over the world. After three successful albums, international tours and even touring the United States with U2, the band’s adventures ended in 1992 with band members pursuing their own individual projects. At the time it was hard to imagine what was in store for Björk but after winning countless awards, with her first six solo-albums selling over 20 million albums worldwide, to this day she continues to blossom and create, always marching to her own original beat. Issue six
Björk’s beginning Bands: Exodus Tappi Tíkarass Kukl Sykurmolarnir / The Sugarcubes The artist Björk Discography: Debut (1995) Post (1995) Homogenic (1997) Selmasongs (2000) Vespertine (2001) Medúlla (2004) Drawing Restraint 9 (2005) Volta (2007) Biophilia (2011) Emiliana Torrini.
Taking over the world When it comes to world fame, Björk is not the only Icelandic woman collecting fans and followers. At the turn of the century, Emiliana Torrini, a young singer/songwriter from the town of Kópavogur, signed with Björk’s label, One Little Indian. She then moved to England and recorded the album Love in The Time of Science. Emiliana’s voice was heard by millions when she sang Gollum’s song for the movie Lord of The Rings, The Two Towers, in 2002. A year later, Emiliana co-wrote the song Slow for Kylie Minogue and was nominated for Best Dance Recording Grammy Award in 2005. Her most popular song to date is the 2009 single Jungle Drum, which became a worldwide hit and was featured on television shows including Grey’s Anatomy and 90210. Other songs from the album Me and Armini, were also featured on several television shows and Emiliana’s star rose even higher.
Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir with her band, Of Monsters and Men.
Bigger than Björk? The latest musician to catch the attention of music-lovers worldwide is the modest and charming singer and guitarist Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir from the supergroup Of Monsters and Men. Wanting to start a band, this young go-getter recruited five of her friends in 2010 and after playing together for only a week, Of Monsters and Men won the annual Músíktilraunir competition (Battle of Bands). Their indie-folk-pop sound, fit perfectly in with what was ‘hot’ in the United
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All about Nanna Learn more about Nanna Bryndís and the band Of Monsters and Men by checking out their official website, www. ofmonstersandmen. com
New album Emiliana recently moved back to Iceland and released her new album, Tookah.
Also check out: Lay Low Sóley Hafdís Huld Múm AmabAdamA Mammút Sigríður Thorlacious Una Stef Beebee and the Bluebirds Highlands Vök Sísí Ey Cell7 Ylja Retro Stefson GusGus Samaris Hjaltalín FM Belfast Sykur Þórunn Antonía Lára Rúnarsdóttir Védís Hervör Solar Samsam Vicky Ólöf Arnalds Hinemoa Hljómsveitt Amina
States and other big markets and soon their single Little Talks was not only being played on every major radio station, but also being covered on reality shows such as The Voice and American Idol. Nanna is undoubtedly a great role model for young girls and she was interviewed in a book called Stelpur geta allt (Girls can do everything) by author Kristín Tómasdóttir. The band’s album My Head Is An Animal reached #6 on the Billboard chart, surpassing Björk’s album Volta which had reached #9 in 2007. Will Nanna become even bigger than Björk? Only time will tell.
Rapper Cell7 takes the stage at the Secret Solstice Festival. Photo: Sigríður Ella Frímannsdóttir
Female rap group Reykjavíkurdætur. Photo: Sigríður Ella Frímannsdóttir
Fierce feminist anthems For years, rap music seemed to belong to the boys and men of Iceland. Only a handful of female rappers (e.g. Ragna aka Cell7) had raised their voices and busted their rhymes but few lived long in this rough and unwelcoming scene. Rap lyrics were often criticized for being misogynistic and violent towards women and in 2012, male rappers got a taste of their own medicine when rapper Nadia fired back in her rap song Passaðu þig (Watch Out). A year later, a group of young women from Reykjavík held a series of open mic nights, encouraging women to step up and share their rhymes. These performances proved immensely popular, with concert guests lining up and allowed into the clubs in small groups. The rap group, which today counts about 17 members, is called Reykjarvíkurdætur, or Daughters of Reykjavík, and has taken not only the rap scene, but the entire Icelandic music scene by storm, with their fierce feminist anthems, proving that this is a girl’s world, as much as a man’s. Pushing for equality In 2012 a group of female musicians formed the organization KÍTÓN, which stands for Women in Music. Their goal was set high and necessarily so. According to musician and board member Védís Hervör, only 9% of paid out royalties go to female composers and airplay for Icelandic female musicians is way behind their male colleagues, although supply is fairly gender equal. KÍTÓN set out to push for equality in the music business, nurture female musicians, composers and performers, enhance visibility and create a positive dialogue between women in music. Their membership is constantly growing and just this summer 2014, welcomed their 240th member. Girls Rock! The non-profit organization Stelpur rokka! (Girls Rock!) is part of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance, which hosts music camps for girls all over the globe. In Iceland, the first camp was held in 2012 and has proven an extremely positive and popular project. The core of the The Girls Rock Camp Alliance is that it “values diversity of age, race, economic status, gender expression, size, physical ability, developmental ability, musical interests, learning styles, nationality, religion, thought, citizenship status and sexual orientation.” They furthermore “respect and do not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, or other discriminatory behavior or expression”. See more about this The latest muproject at www.stelpurrokka.org. The camp provides a long sician to catch needed foundation for girls in music, giving them strength and courage to find their way in the music industry, both the attention of on—and off stage. music-lovers
worldwide is the modest and charming singer and guitarist Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir from the supergroup Of Monsters and Men.
The future is theirs It is clear that when it comes to talent and potential, Icelandic girls and women are far from lacking and with the birth of KÍTÓN, Reykjarvíkurdætur, Girls Rock! and other great projects, women will continue to flourish as the great musicians they are. Today, a young girl may pick up a guitar, bass or drumstick and a week later be on her way to a huge career. A mothers lullaby is no longer only heard within the walls of her home but, as singer Hafdís Huld proved with her album Vögguvísur (Lullabies), can become a work of art, a product and a legacy. The world is out there for all who are willing to put in the hours, do the work and dare to dream.
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She’s Ragna Kjartansdóttir, better known as Cell7, is back! She was just a tiny teenager when she and her bandmates from the group Subterranean gained notorious popularity in Iceland in the late 1990s. Their album Central Magnetizm was one of the first rap albums released in Iceland. For some (like this re porter) that album has become one of the all-time favorites of Icelandic music releases. by Dísa Bjarnadóttir Photos: Sigríður Ella Frímannsdóttir and Matthew Eisman
WOW Power to the people
ore than fifteen years have passed. At Secret Solstice Festival many thirty-somethings felt quite nostalgic when they saw one of their teenage favorites back on stage, and she hasn’t change one bit! Now she has female singers along with her former bandmate Maximus from Subterranean and the bass player from Moses Hightower, Andri Ólafsson. We heard it through the grapevine that some of the time Ragna (Cell7) was gone she was in New York. We caught up with her and got to ask her a few questions about where she’s been. Hey, where have you been since 1998 and what have you been doing? In 2000, right after high school, I moved to New York where I studied audio recording for 4 years. After I came back I was pretty determined to work in the industry and
that’s what I did for the next couple of years. I worked as a sound engineer at Lazytown (a children’s TV program on Nickelodeon) and Rúv (Iceland’s national broadcasting agency) and I’m currently working at Studio Sýrland. To put it in short; I guess I got stuck in a pretty routine life. Music never left me though; it was always on my mind and I kept writing in small doses and in some sort of cosmic way the universe kept pulling me back. Then one day I lost my job and that’s when I decided to do what had been on my mind all these years, turn back to music, and so I did. Till this day I feel it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. You have traveled; do you have any fun stories to share with us? Tell us something crazy! Well, living in New York brought all kinds of crazy, both good or bad, or come to think of it, sometimes things were just plain crazy. I worked as an intern at a studio in Manhattan called Chung King
WOW Power to the people
I have to say New York is one of my favorite places. Just about eve rything peaks my interest when it comes to this city. It’s so diverse and multicultural; for me it feels like a blanket of camouflage. I can just sit back and watch for hours.
Studios. My job was mainly cleaning equipment with Q-tips and knowing which McDonalds was open 24/7. Foxy Brown, one of my favorite female rappers happened to be recording her album in the studio at the time, and you can just imagine how excited I was. Fast forward a week and I’m on the phone with her screaming at me to get her some shrimp linguini and complaining about almost everything you could think of— clearly a ball of sunshine. Also I found out that she didn’t write her own lyrics—her cousin did, and at the time he just lived in the studio 24/7 and got all kinds of female visitors, pretty late at night. Mind you that the going rate for this studio was $300 an hour. Super producer Timbaland stopped by for this one memorable session where he parked his two-story high tour bus on one side of the busiest streets in Manhattan. The day finally arrived when he called me into the studio, I thought that my opportunity was finally here, finally all this would pay off; the long hours, the crap I put up with and not to mention the lack
very special to me. It has beautiful parks, canals and the town really comes to life with the local street market which sells everything fresh from the farms. I have many good memories from there with family and friends.
of salary. This was my chance to assist Timbaland in a session, I was ready, I was excited. Then he spoke: “Yo, can you help me get on the internet? I need some cheat codes for this PlayStation Game.” So that was my one-minute of collaboration with one of the most successful producers in hip hop history.
of mine DJ Kocoon. He plays the best music at the best clubs, like Dolly which is trending and the classic club Prikið. If you happen to be in Akureyri I would not miss Græni Hatturinn [The Green Hat].
Do you have any favorite places in Iceland? I’ve been to Grillmarkaðurinn Restaurant a couple of times and the food has always been spot on, amazing. There is also this small cozy dim lit place called K-Bar, which not only has great selection of beer but also focuses on Korean cuisine. I would also recommend lunch at the Noodle Station, not only is it delicious but it warms you up inside as well. When it comes to good concert venues, they’re getting somewhat hard to come by these days but Húrra is a nice one downtown and if you prefer a small personal venue there’s always Mengi which seats up to 40 people. When it comes to just going out to party I recommend checking out a good friend
You did great at Secret Solstice Music Festival! Did you enjoy yourself and did you see anything you really liked?
What is your favorite place abroad?
Do you want to keep up with Cell7 and know when she’s playing and where? You can visit these sites Cell7 website: cell7music.com Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ cellse7en Twitter: twitter.com/cell7music Instagram: instagram.com/cellse7en
I have to say New York is one of my favorite places. Just about everything peaks my interest when it comes to this city. It’s so diverse and multicultural; for me it feels like a blanket of camouflage. I can just sit back and watch for hours. I also love that you can go see your favorite artist perform one week at a stadium and the next in a small personal bar type of venue, and there are so many concerts to choose from that you’re always afraid you’re going to miss out on something great. Besides New York, I lived in Holland for a year, in a small town called Leiden, close to Amsterdam. It quickly became
Yes, I enjoyed it. Recently I’ve been transitioning from a DJ set to a live band, and working with this talented bunch of guys is just crazy fun. Right around our set, the sun came out, I guess I like that vibe surrounding the Secret Solstice, walking around freely experiencing music of all sorts, feeling like your abroad but in reality you’re almost in your backyard. Going home for a breather or even dinner, then coming back to this atmosphere is pretty amazing. I really liked seeing Massive Attack and the Icelandic bands such as AmabAdamA and Dillalude. But due to my own scheduling conflicts I was not able to see as much as I would have liked.
Nordic style 26
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“The goal from the beginning has been to be the media outlet where people get to know about everything Nordic related. We’re not there yet but moving toward that goal.”
A passion for Nordic fashion Soffía Theóodóra Tryggvadóttir is the owner and editor in chief of the online magazine Nordic Style Magazine where you can read about Nordic fashion, design, literature, interesting places to visit in the Nordic countries and more. It’s quite simply a Nordic world on the web. by Svava Jónsdóttir Photos: Kristinn Magnusson
e met Soffía at the restaurant Perlan in Reykjavík where the glass dome gives you an opportunity to enjoy a view of the city as well as the mountains beyond. Not unlike the glass dome of Perlan, Soffía’s online magazine, Nordic Style Maga zine, gives you the opportunity to enjoy the best of what the Nordic countries have to offer while sitting in the comfort of your own home, whether you are in Iceland, Denmark, France, South Africa, China, the United States or even Australia. “I’ve always been interested in fashion, and ever since I was really young I used to cut out fashion pictures from newspapers. When I was in high school, half of my wardrobe was something I had sewn myself. I always felt the fashion industry was really exciting but I wasn’t exactly interested in becoming a fashion designer myself,” says Soffía
markets are the Nordics along with the US, UK, Germany and Canada. “From the beginning, the objective has been to share Nordic talents with the world and be the ultimate source and destination for what is happening in the Nordics within fashion, design and culture. We have been more aligned toward fashion and design but we are always getting more and more people writing about culture. Music is now becoming very popular and this summer we started to write about Nordic Noir which is really picking up. After we started to write
An adventure in New York Soffía studied business administration in the Uni versity of Iceland and has a AAS degree in fashion merchandising management from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. “When I was studying at FIT I realized more and more that I wanted to be involved in the fashion industry. I have always been interested in the magazine business; when studying in the University of Iceland I started a magazine for the business administration department which is still being published. I was the editor in chief for two years and I just loved the process although I’m not the journalist kind of editor. I like executing things and getting the right people together to create the content. Me and my Swedish friend at FIT noticed that in New York, there was great interest in everything Nordic and that the designers in the Nordic countries really wanted to be prominent in the New York market. So we felt there was a market for a magazine that focused solely on Nordic style within various areas. This became a real passion for me. I think I spent more time working on the magazine than actually studying but usually it works very well for me to have a lot to do so I managed to get top grades in spite of the magazine.”
Contributors from 14 countries The ball began to roll and it’s still rolling. “After we launched the first magazine people started contacting me and wanted to contribute. I now work with about 35 people in 14 countries, in cluding all the Nordic countries to places such as Portugal, Canada and New Zealand, which is something I couldn’t have imagined when I started. Our readers are also spread throughout the world, and while we’ve received visits from readers from over 120 countries, our largest
Icelandic fashion design Soffía has been really interested in the fashion scene in Iceland for a long time and says it has been growing a lot. “Icelandic fashion designers are establishing better businesses and beginning to produce in quantities. Icelandic designers have always shown their individuality and creativity instead of being commercial like the minimalistic Nordic brands, but I believe that is actually chang ing in Iceland as can be seen through the collect ions presented at Reykjavík Fashion Festival. That is a good thing because the designers are enlarging their customer base both in Iceland and abroad.” Who are Soffía’s favorite Icelandic designers? “I would especially like to mention the new, up and coming designers that are prominent on the fashion scene in Iceland, e.g. Magnea, JÖR by Guðmundur Jörundsson, Kyrja and Anita Hirlekar–all very different, edgy but current. I would also definitely recommend to anyone looking for Icelandic design to check out Kiosk on Laugavegur, Reykjavik’s main shopping street, a store run by nine fashion designers. You can find some really beautiful pieces there.”
A lifestyle source
Soffía is wearing designs from Magnea.
about books, a lot of publishers contacted us and wanted us to write about their writers because it was getting a lot attention and they thought the coverage was really good. “I want Nordic Style Magazine to be a diverse magazine, covering what’s new and up and coming in the Nordic countries. The mission has not been to make money out of this but to share our passion for everything Nordic. That is what I initially wanted to achieve.”
Soffía says the magazine is her main interest and her passion and “I have sacrificed a lot for the magazine, but I often don’t feel that this is work. It’s something I love to do and I think it’s amazing to get to work with people from all around the world interested in the same topic. I think I’ve been extremely fortunate to have so many talented people work with me, people of various backgrounds who after their day jobs, contribute their time and their passion to the magazine The dream is to have an established company with an established and recognizable brand name. I would like to become the number one source for up and coming, fashion, design and everything Nordic related, a lifestyle source for a lot of people. The goal from the beginning has been to be the media outlet where people get to know about everything Nordic related. We’re not there yet but moving toward that goal.” The sun shines through the glass dome of Perlan. It’s a beautiful day! A beautiful moment! A time when anything can happen, be it an ad venture of Icelandic talents that create works of beauty, or when a young woman brings you much of the latest of the Nordic world on the web.
For anything Nordic, check out www.nordicstylemag.com.
Romance, rock and roll!
From imaginary castles to international acclaim In all honesty, there is no shortage of strong, empowering and independent women in Iceland. Not now, nor in the past. To mention but a few famous examples: Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, the world’s first elected female head of state, Björk Guðmundsdóttir, a worldwide celebrated artist for her groundbreaking music, and Annie Mist Þórisdóttir, the only female to win twice at the Reebok CrossFit Games. by Bergrún Íris Sævarsdóttir Photos: Kristinn Magnússon
he 25 year old Ylfa Grönvold was born in Reykjavík, but she and her family moved to Copenhagen, Denmark when she was young, spending most of her childhood there. Ylfa was twelve when they moved back to Iceland. “By the time I turned twenty I felt the urge to spread my wings. For about a year I traveled the world with the actors and artists of Vesturport Theatre Group, before the moment came to further my education,” says Ylfa who comes from a long line of Icelanders who have got their education in Copenhagen. “My late grandmother on my mother’s side was the first Icelander to get accepted to Dupont School of Design, where she
bread, saying hello to the neighbors along the way and then biking through the city. The Danish lifestyle gave me a greater sense of freedom than Iceland where I am more dependent on my car.”
Cardboard castles Ylfa lights up when she talks about her child hood and remembers being a very creative and happy child. “I come from a very creative family and as a child I viewed everything as a potential adventure. Cardboard boxes became castles or cottages and rags turned into beautiful curtains. My late grandmother was a sewing instructor for senior citizens and I’d spend my afternoons
Ylfa’s tips for young designers: Take courses and learn to make business plans. It will set the tone for things to come. Plan your workday and separate your work and your personal life: “We all need time to nourish ourselves as individuals. Meditating really helps me keep my creativity alive.” Have great faith in yourself and never give up, no matter what.
studied window display design. Other relatives, including my father, have studied at the Danish Royal Academy of Art, and my mother also got one of her degrees in Copenhagen. Moving to Denmark seemed like the logical choice—I spoke the language and wanted to keep the family tradition.” Ylfa was accepted at Margrethe-Skolen, located on Strøget, Copenhagen’s busiest street. “It was a wonderful time and although I moved back to Iceland, I always feel at home when I visit Copenhagen. I adore the Danish culture: the pleasure of waking up in the morning, walking to the baker for a cup of coffee and fresh baked
after school making embroideries with them. My family has always been my greatest source of role models. All of us, my parents, their spouses and my brothers, are involved in the arts and culture in one way or another. I continue to get great advice and guidance from my family and think they have an amazing ability to always see the wonderful opportunities that one gets from overcoming obstacles and hardship. Even though my parents are no longer a couple we’re still all one big family and we stick together through thick and thin. That is how I would like to see my company grow and why I strive to surround myself with good people who communicate in honest and open ways. This way, nothing can stop me,” Ylfa says with a smile.
Just for fun Ylfa created these beautiful watercolor images of WOW air’s great selection of duty free merchandise on board.
WOW Power to the people
For her graduation project, Ylfa designed a 70s inspired clothing line, a mixture of rock and romance, with velvet and hand colored lace. “I was surprised when my line was an instant hit and I started receiving exciting offers from all over the world. I’ve been lucky and quite busy from the beginning of my career. What I love most is
the whole process of designing a clothing line from scratch, but I also enjoy designing wedding gowns. There’s something wonderful about being involved in such a personal event, when two individuals start their life journey together. Lately I’ve been expanding from clothing design to other design related projects and illustrations.” Ylfa’s wonderful watercolors are in such high demand that she barely steps away from the desk. “I have a small workspace where I live and luckily my home is surrounded by beautiful nature. If I’m in need for inspiration, I just walk along the seaside or on the lava field around my house. I make it a point not to let my work and personal life conflict, which is why I try to quit working around dinnertime, although I must confess that I don’t always follow my own rules.” Ylfa’s water coloring began as a hobby but has grown immensely popular through the social media website, Instagram. “I see my artwork as screenshots of beautiful objects that please the eye and make it possible for the viewer to drift off into a world of beauty and fashion. Painting helps me relax and I started posting a few of my pictures on my Instagram page. One day I woke up only to learn that a known shoe designer who had reposted my picture had gotten over 7000 likes. It was a surreal feeling that all these people had seen my work. Then I started receiving emails and inquiries from people who wanted to buy my watercolors.” Ylfa’s design has also been noticed around the world. “I have had some success abroad. I can’t say too much at this stage but there are exciting things on the horizon. Icelandic designers are doing amazing things abroad and I’ve enjoyed following the career of Ingvar Helgason and Susanne Ostwald. Their label, Ostwald Helgason, is getting well deserved recognition and it was great seeing their show at the New York Fashion Week this year.”
A center of creativity While Iceland’s breathtaking nature can be a great source of inspiration for artists and designers, its small population doesn’t make for the most promising market. Young Icelandic designers and artists often struggle working two, or even three jobs, not able to fully commit to their passion. “Being such a small population has its pros and cons. Icelanders are great supporters of art and design and avid buyers of said designs. That really helps, when you’re finding your path in the business, although one has to be careful not to make too many copies of the same item. I would not like to see the whole little village in the same ‘Ylfa uniform’” says Ylfa and laughs. “The taxes and customs are rather unfriendly to small business owners, but I choose to look at what’s good and positive about this industry. One of the greatest things about being a designer in Iceland is the amazing nature all around. “Iceland is a center of creativity and ingenuity and I feel we are quite unique in that way. There are endless possibilities and ways to grow, both as an individual and with other artists in the field of design, music, theater, visual arts or film. An individual can create their own boundaries and limits but the possibilities are everywhere. If you motivate yourself and others, the magic will happen.” Learn more about Ylfa’s design at ylfagronvold.com. Check her out at instagram.com/ylfagronvold.
The Ultra Low-Cost Model
What does it all mean? Budget airlines, low-cost airlines, cheap flights, cheap flights … What do we really mean when we describe WOW air as a low-cost airline?
All around the world there are dozens of low-cost airlines, each with its own character, but what they all have in common is that they offer lower fares that don‘t include the extra luxuries of legacy carriers such as free luggage and carry-on items, free meals, entertainment systems, first class, special services … the list goes on. All these extra services have a cost but as it is included in the ticket price, not visible to the buyer, this cost is evenly distributed between every passenger whether he uses these services or not. The low-cost model gives travelers a chance to skip any extra services. This means that they only pay for what they use during the flight, which doesn’t include the overall cost of extra services for everyone else. This way they get lower prices with the option of adding the services they need, such as baggage, food, extra legroom etc. Come to think of it, why should you pay full price for your flight if you’re not traveling with luggage, drinking coffee or planning to watch the in-flight movie? The Low-Cost Model used by these airlines also lets them see the costs related to their flight operations.
The low-cost model gives travelers a chance to skip any extra services. This means that they only pay for what they use during the flight, which doesn’t include the overall cost of extra services for everyone else.
WOW Power to the people
Newer airplanes and bigger smiles True to the low-cost model, WOW air has placed an emphasis on operating newer aircraft which use less fuel and have lower maintenance needs. This lowers the overall cost of operations which, in turn, reduces the cost of the flight. From the beginning WOW air set its goal on offering the lowest prices to and from Iceland without letting our guests down when it comes to courtesy and excellent service offered with a smile. Excellent service, a positive attitude and a dash of humor are WOW air’s main characteristics along with our lively livery and our willingness for silliness. The fun aboard the WOW aircraft is becoming well known around the world. Low-cost carriers pride themselves in having less overhead, using search engine optimization and online marketing instead of expensive print and television ads and almost all of their bookings are done online. WOW air is no exception in these matters. There’s no need to spend money on big television advertisements when you can reach your audience online for less, again resulting in cheaper flights for everyone. On-time performance pays off Everything you bring on board the aircraft makes it heavier and increases the amount of fuel it needs to get from A to B. To keep their cost down many low-cost carriers are charging extra for check-in luggage and restricting the size and/ or weight of carry-on luggage. Smaller and lighter carryon luggage decreases the aircraft’s fuel need and it also speeds up boarding resulting in better on-time performance, one of WOW air’s main goals. For many travelers ontime performance and reliability is a key factor when choosing an airline and with considerable pride we are happy to say that WOW air is the most punctual airline to and from Iceland. In addition to the inconveniences for travelers, airport delays are expensive and something that all airlines should avoid. Good on-time performance means better prices, and, let’s face it, who wants to spend more time at the airport or on the tarmac than absolutely necessary?
The best health and body experience Iceland has to offer
A world where water, art and design play together in perfect harmony Laugar Sundlaugarvegur 30a 105 Reykjavik Tel. +354 553 0000 www.laugarspa.com
Mon - Fri 06:00 - 23:00 Saturday 08:00 - 21:00 Sunday 08:00 - 19:30
The Lebowski Bar Laugavegur 20a +354 552 2300 email@example.com www.lebowskibar.is
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.
Just 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. 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 (www.tinyiceland.com)
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 Lebowski 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. WOW Challenge: Dress up as a real rockabilly chick or dude before you go to the Lebowski Bar. You’ll fit right in.
FIND IT ON FACEBOOK and Twitter Twitter: @LebowskiBar - Instagram: #LebowskiBar - Open 11:00 – 01:00 Sun-Thurs and 11:00 – 04:00 Fri/Sat 32
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Lavabarinn Lækjargata 6a Inquiries and booking: Phone: +354 845 88 68 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
At the center of the scene Lavabarinn represents what Reykjavik is famous for … nightlife! Admit it, you’re not here to collect stamps. You’re here to travel, take photos and brag about it all while sitting at a fantastic lounge drinking delicious cocktails. That’s exactly what the Lavabarinn is all about and the architecture and design is beautiful.
After drinking magical cocktails that taste like paradise, why not move down to the lower floor and shake it to some high class music by hot DJ’s from all over the world.
Lavabarinn focuses on high quality cocktails, mixed by highly skilled bartenders. The age limit is 25 so leave the kids with the babysitter and dress up. This is no place for sneakers and hoodies. If you require VIP services, then this is your place. Lavabarinn has a secret room with a secret door that leads up to the top floor; very 007. The VIP service doesn’t stop there as you’ll have your own private drink elevator, private bathroom and security to hold off all your fans. After drinking magical cocktails that taste like paradise, why not move down to the lower floor and shake it to some high class music by hot DJ’s from all over the world. It doesn’t hurt that Lavabarinn also has a Funktion-One sound system, the most respected sound system in the world. Downstairs also has a large make-up room for everyone that chooses to freshen up while in there and seats to cool down after a great dance session. There’s even an excluded outdoor smoking area for those who are absolutely smokin’ and they can bring their drinks along for the break. You won’t be disappointed by either the cocktails or the music at Lavabarinn. You might want to get in early before the line starts and secure your spot. If it’s nightlife you seek, it’s nightlife you’ll find at Lavabarinn.
Open: Thursdays from 5pm-1am—Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm-4:30 am. Happy hour Thursdays-Saturdays from 5-10pm. That’s perfect. Issue six
The English Pub Austurstræti 12 101 Reykjavik Tel: +354 578 0400 Mobile: +354 697 9003 www.enskibarinn.is
Save water, drink beer!
For years, Iceland has enjoyed a diverse selection of restaurants and often sophisticated bars. However, one tiny grumble occasionally surfaced from the country’s Anglophiles – simply that there was no proper “pub”.
And so the English Pub was born. From modest beginnings it has built a hearty reputation, seeking out, with the advice and guidance of its dedicated customers, the finest ale available to mankind. Today it offers its enthusiastic clientele the chance to sample 50 beers from around the world, as well as a staggering 15 Icelandic brands. Whisky galore Not content to rest on its laurels, the English Pub has ventured north of its virtual border and also offers the finest selection of whiskies anywhere in the country. The choice of some 60 malts include many of Scotland’s finest, ensuring that numerous Icelanders and worldly travelers make the pilgrimage to the pub’s humble door. Located at the very heart of downtown Reykjavik, the walls of the English Pub are adorned with hundreds of photographs – like an album of the city’s history just waiting to be explored over a quiet beer. A sporting chance Live sporting coverage is amply catered for, with a choice of three big screens and TVs. Inside the pub there is room for up to 150 people, and an outdoor terrace can accommodate plenty more on those balmy Icelandic evenings! Whether it is football (Premier and Champions League), rugby or golf, there are always special offers when live events are being broadcast. Live music every night adds to the atmosphere and for anyone feeling lucky, there is the Wheel of Fortune. Regulars like nothing more than to spin the wheel and chance a “Sorry” or preferably win what used to be called a Yard of Ale. These days, it’s inevitably known as a meter of beer, but the winners don’t seem to min
WOW Power to the people
Located at the very heart of downtown Reykjavik, the walls of the English Pub are adorned with hundreds of photographs – like an album of the city’s history just waiting to be explored over a quiet beer.
Vegamót Vegamótastíg 4 101 Reykjavík Tel: +354 511 3040 email@example.com I 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.
Try their excellent selection of good beers. Every day there is a special offer on bottled beers worth a taste.
The 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 shelt ered 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 presentation 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.
Hressingarskálinn Austurstræti 20 101 Reykjavik Tel: +354 561 2240 facebook.com/hressingarskalinn
Coffee house, restaurant & night club Hressingarskálinn is a warm place with plenty of seating and a great location in downtown 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.
The menu consists of great selections and offers everything from breakfast to a fantastic dinner.
WOW Power to the people
Sitting down for a coffee has a magnetic effect 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 disappointed. Hressingarskálinn is stylish and old at the same time, a history well preserved. Check out Hressingar skálinn for great prices and awesome fun!
Sakebarinn Laugavegur 2 101 Reykjavík Tel: +354 777 3311 www.facebook.com/Sakebarinn
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 buildings (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.
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.
The 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.
Sakebarinn Opening hours: Mon-Sun 5:00 PM – 00:00 Issue six
Tíu dropar Le Chateaux des Dix Gouttes Laugavegur 27 101 Reykjavík Tel: +354 551 9380
Tíu dropar / Le Chateaux des Dix Gouttes Tíu dropar (Ten Drops) is a café located in the cellar of Laugavegur 27. This is one of the oldest cafés in Iceland and for the last 30 years to this very day they serve freshly baked pancakes and waffles á la the grandmothers of Iceland, with lots of whipped cream and Icelandic jam.
Ten Drops is also known for its homemade cakes, baked from scratch according to old recipes, and of course, their hot cocoa, known by many of their guests as ‘The Only Real Hot Cocoa on Earth’. If you’re not in the mood for old fashioned Icelandic goodies you can choose from an assortment of light dishes, tea, wines and beer. We recommend the French meat soup, a popular dish and another old favorite. Where did the café go? Don’t be surprised if you can’t find the café after 18:00. Something happens around that time that transforms this little cellar into a French wine room known as Le Chateaux des Dix Gouttes or the Castle of the Ten Drops. This is a lovely place to sit and enjoy good wines along with cheese, ham or other light dishes for as little as 500 ISK a plate, and don’t worry, the coffee, cocoa and pancakes are still there! Lovely French music sets the mood and the ambiance is perfect for a deep conversation. Guests wanting to break out in song can have their turn after 22:00 on the weekends, as long as they can find someone to play the antique piano given to the café’s owner, David Bensow, by a regular. Choose your wine Guests can have their say on the wine list of Le Chateaux des Dix Gouttes and David will make special orders to fulfill their wishes. In fact, he welcomes any suggestions making the wine list one of the more, well-endowed in Reykjavík. He’s especially interested in serving good Port to his clientele. Intimate climate The little wine room and café seat only 40 guests and the mood is set in the early evening. It’s safe to say this is just the kind of place that was missing from the brimming Icelandic bar and café scene - a perfect setting for a small group of friends to reminisce over the good old days or for a first date. Be sure to taste David’s “wine of the week” or let his fair beer prices amaze you. Check out the ten drops twitter feed and find both café and wine room on Facebook.
Don’t be surprised if you can’t find the café after 18:00. Something happens around that time that transforms this little cellar into a French wine room known as Le Chateaux Des dix Gouttes or the Castle of the Ten Drops.
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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.
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.
Situated at Skólavörðustígur 40 in Reykjavík, Kol Restaurant’s design concept is a mixture of warm modern Icelandic feel with international touches 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 bar tenders 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 desserts. 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 brand new gem on the Reykjavik restaurant scene. This is a great place to begin a fun evening.
Kol Restaurant Open: Monday-Friday 11:30-23:00 Saturday-Sunday 17:30-23:00 Issue six
Den Danske Kro Ingólfsstræti 3 101 Reykjavík Tel: +354 552 0070 www.dendanske.is
When in Iceland, go Danish! You know that Iceland used to be a Danish colony, right? Even though inde pendence 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! This 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 including 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” (leeglaath), 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).
Do as the Danes do 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! 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). You can pre-order these delicious snacks for larger groups. Does this sound too tranquil? 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?). 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 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 Reykjavík 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. WOW Challenge: Imagine there’s a potato in your throat and receive every drink with the words: “Tag skaadoo haw”. They’ll all think you’re from Copenhagen. Honest!
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 14:00 – 01:00 and Fri-Sat 14:00 – 05:00 40
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Amazing 6 course menu
A unique Icelandic Feast Starts with a shot of the Icelandic national spirit “Brennivín“ Arctic char with cucumber andcoriander Smoked puffin with yuzu mayo Minke whale with celeriac purée Reindeer burger with portobello mushroom Icelandic free range lamb fillet with cinnamon potato And to end on a high note .... “Skyr“ panna cotta with white chocolate and raspberry sorbet
Our kitchen is open 17.00–23.00 sun.–thu. 17.00–24.00 fri.–sat.
sushisamba Þingholtsstræti 5 • 101 Reykjavík Tel 568 6600 • sushisamba.is
Taste the best of Iceland ... ... with a spanish undertone
Icelandic Gourmet Fiest
Starts with a shot of the infamous Icelandic spirit Brennívín
Than 6 delicious Icelandic tapas: Smoked puffin with blueberry “brennivín” sauce Icelandic sea-trout with peppers-salsa Lobster tails baked in garlic Pan-fried line caught blue ling with lobster-sauce Grilled Icelandic lamb Samfaina Minke Whale with cranberry & malt-sauce To finish our famous Desert: White chocolate "Skyr" mousse with passion fruit coulis
RESTAURANT- BAR Vesturgötu 3B | 101 Reykjavík | Tel. 551 2344 | www.tapas.is Issue six
Kaldi Bar Laugavegur 20b 101 Reykjavik Tel: +354 581 2200 www.facebook.com/KaldiBarCafe
A breath of fresh air
Cool as Kaldi 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. Besides the congenial atmosphere, there’s a great outside seating area in a cozy backyard. Known for its wide collection of local micro brews both on draft and in bottles, Kaldi Bar is very popular among locals who check in at happy hour to get their fill of the unfiltered Kaldi brew. Drop by and get to know everybody, they might even give you some good tips on how to become a local.
Kaldi Bar is one of Iceland’s most unique bars. An oasis in central Reykjavík. It might not be spacious but it makes up for it with great relaxing atmosphere in a rustic setting. 42
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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 IKR
Tapashouse - Ægisgarður 2 - Sólfellshúsið - 101 Reykjavik Issue six 43 +354 512 81 81 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.tapashouse.is
Whatever floats your boat! The Turks have their exotic hammams, the Indians their holy dips in sacred rivers, the Finns the sauna and their vigorous whipping with birch branches and here in Iceland where natural geothermal water is abundant, a rich bathing culture surrounds the numerous swimming pools found all around the country. by Gerdur Hardardottir Images: Gunnar Svanberg
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very town in Iceland has its own comm unal swimming pool and come rain, hail or blizzard, this is where many of us go on a daily basis to exercise, gossip, talk politics or flirt ruthlessly. Ergo, we usually go to the swimming pools more or less to be active. Up until now we haven’t exactly gone there with the purpose of doing absolutely nothing; floating about like seaweed seems utterly pointless to most people and you would probably be thought of as a bit of a nuisance taking up valuable space in the pool with your own private floating session. Besides, doing ‘nothing’ is practically a sacrilege in a society where the emphasis is on being industrious, ALL-THE-TIME! Hence, there are a lot of overworked, overstressed people suffering a bad case of burnout. But lo and behold, there’s now a new trend emerging in the Icelandic swimming pools as floating leisurely belly up, is becoming increasingly popular. And it could be just the right remedy for the overworked and the overstressed Icelander.
Put your cap on This latest trend can be attributed to one person, product designer Unnur Valdís Kristjánsdóttir. Unnur Valdís’s graduation project from Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2011 was a foam-filled cap, a water therapy product, designed specifically to be used for floating about, in total relaxation and oblivion. Since introducing the floating cap, Unnur Valdís has added a pair of floating straps to be attached to each thigh and wearing the straps and the cap in water turns you into a human buoy, allowing you to float about weightlessly in the warm water. With her Float products, Unnur Valdís is hoping to add a new dimension to the bathing culture in Iceland under the slogan Quiet New World. Floating has amazing therapeutic effects on the body. While floating, your mind and body reaches a state of deep relaxation and your whole body chemistry changes. In the last year or so, more and more people are getting in on the secret of floating and experiencing firsthand the amazing healing effects it has on the on mind and body. The
practice (which hopefully will become more than just a passing trend) started about a year ago when early one Sunday morning a group of people got together to float in the Seltjarnarneslaug swimming pool, the only communal saltwater swimming pool in or around Reykjavík. Calming music played from loudspeakers placed below the surface of the water while people floated about. The experience was an instant hit and by now, most of the swimm ing pools in and around Reykjavik, offer special floating sessions. Issue six
up at the stars so intriguing that I spent most of the time just staring in amazement into the sky above. The feeling you get while floating is breathtaking but you can get a bit disorientated. As the wind blew wisps of clouds along the sky I felt like the stars or I were moving at super speed and the clouds perfectly still. Although there were five of us in the pool and apart from one soft collision with a friend, I felt totally alone in the world, surrounded by total darkness and silence except for the hypnotic tunes of Sigur Rós rising up from the bottom of the pool.
At the Secret Lagoon in Fludir.
The Secret Lagoon Personally, I’m one of those people who prefer to visit the swimming pools for relaxation rather than exercise, gossip, talking politics or flirting. For me, the swimming pools in Reykjavík are usually too crowded and too noisy for me to properly relax, that is if I visit the pools in the afternoon, at night or during the weekend. That’s why I’ve found my own “secret” swimming pool, about a 30 minutes’ drive from Reykjavík, and that’s where I go regularly when I want to rewind and meditate in private. Recently though, I was introduced to another hidden gem in the countryside, The Secret Lagoon in Fludir. Fludir is a small village just over an hour’s drive from Reykjavik, not too far from Gullfoss and Geysir on the popular Golden Circle route. Fludir is well known in Iceland for its robust geothermal activity, countless greenhouses and as one of the country’s most popular locations for summerhouses. The town also boasts what was until recently the only Ethiopian restaurant in Iceland. It is also the place where most of Iceland’s mushrooms are grown and it’s where you can find the country’s oldest swimming pool. And that’s where I was heading. The Hvammslaug swimming pool was built in 1891 and up until 1947 it was where the local children were taught to swim. The swimming pool fell into oblivion when a new fancy swimming pool was opened at Fludir and until recently, I didn’t know it existed at all. Over the past couple of years the old pool has been lovingly renovated and reopened by a local farmer and now The Secret Lagoon aka Hvammslaug is becoming a popular location for floating sessions. Starry eyed It was 8:00 pm and pitch black when my travel buddies and I took off from Reykjavík with Aurora Floating Tours to visit The Secret Lagoon to experience floating with the Float Cap for the very first time. After driving for over an hour in a thick fog, we turned off Road no. 1 onto a bumpy road leading us down to it. Right next to The Secret Lagoon is one of the many greenhouses at Fludir and it greeted us glowing in the dark like a row of gold bars. At 10:00 pm the lights were all turned off and we were completely submerged in the dark. The lagoon is in a beautiful environment,surrounded with large slabs of stone and a wooden path that circles around most of the lagoon. The path takes
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you past small geysers just a few meters from where you are floating that either bubble or erupt every 15 minutes or so. At the far end of the pool are the ruins of the old steam bath and behind them a lone tree, set against the sky. In the dark, with the steam rising from the hot water all around, it was both eerie and extremely picturesque. After tentatively easing myself into the water and putting on the Float Cap and leg straps, I let myself fall back into the comfortable 38-40°C heat of the lagoon. My body was totally weightless in the clear warm water and instantly I felt every single one of my muscles relax. Underwater loudspeakers played the hypnotic music of Sigur Rós which added an extra piece of magic to the whole experience. No matter where I was in the lagoon, which by the way is the size of a giant hot tub, it was as if I was listening to the music from headphones plugged to my ears. Unfortunately the elusive northern lights didn’t come out to play that night but there were more stars up in the sky than I had ever seen. I felt almost like I could fall asleep in this oasis but I found the experience of floating and just gazing
Rejuvenating luxury Floating in the warm water for about an hour, with the clouds slowly gathering in the sky, I felt like I was being enveloped in soft, white cotton. I was able to relax to such extent that it felt like every single organ and muscle had disentangled itself and were floating softly inside me. Yes, it was a very strange feeling, I know. I honestly started to think whether this would be what it felt like floating in a womb. After a luxurious hour in the warm water I felt energized and rejuvenated. Floating gives you a wonderful sense of freedom. It’s absolutely the perfect way to reach deep relaxation and inner equilibrium. Floating outdoors watching the stars, or if you are lucky, the northern lights dancing across the sky, is an unforgettable experience I highly recommend. I for one, am hooked on it.
Floating has amazing therapeutic effects on the body. While floating, your mind and body reaches a state of deep relaxation and your whole body chemistry changes. In the last year or so, more and more people are getting in on the secret of floating and experiencing firsthand the amazing healing effects it has on the on mind and body.
The positive effects of floating
cientists have through num erous researches linked the positive effects of floating to the theta brain waves, the brain waves responsible for the sense of deep relaxation and calmness we experience in the last few seconds or minutes before we fall asleep. Floating is an incredibly effective technique for obtaining an optimum state of deep relaxation for, while floating, our brain waves shift from beta waves to the lower frequency alpha, delta and theta waves and the chemistry of our whole body changes. While floating we experience a state of mind that Buddhist monks reach through hours and hours of mediation and years of training. Floating is the perfect tool for creative people, thought to heighten visualization, intensify the senses and increase concentration as well as stimulate left/right brain synchro nization. It promotes calmness, improves sleep, deepens meditation,
endorphin, a hormone that eases chronic pain, increases. As we float, each and every muscle in our body is totally relaxed. Floating can facilitate recovery from injuries and regular floating is said to relieve problems due to heart diseases, stabilize blood pressure, increase oxygen, boost the immune system as well as lessen the risks of strokes and cancers. Floating is therapeutic for migraine, respiratory illnesses and relieves the scorching pain experienced in fibromyalgia. Floating for an hour at a time is said to equal 4 hours of sleep.
and enhances hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis; it eliminates fatigue, decreases depression, acute anxiety and phobias. Our “fight or flight” stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin decrease, while the “happy hormone” endorphin and beta-
Find out more about floating in Iceland: Floatingtours.com Float.is Northernlightsiceland.com Secretlagoon.is
The Saga Museum brings the Viking age to life. There you’ll walk among some of Iceland’s most famous heroes and infamous villains portrayed in their defining moments.
A multilingual audioguide accompanies you, bringing to life the struggling beginnings of an Icelandic nation; the Viking settlement in 874, Leif the Lucky’s discovery of America, the founding of the world’s first parliament and the epic clan feuds that marked the settlement. This is as close as you’ll ever get to meeting Vikings in the flesh. Try on the clothes and weapons of the Viking age. Great fun and a great photo opportunity.
The shop has a wide selection of traditional Viking handiwork, souvenirs and clothing. We also run a webstore at sagamuseum.is.
Grandagarður 2, 101 Reykjavík Tel.: (+354) 511 1517 Open: Daily from 10:00 to 18:00 www.sagamuseum.is Issue six
Reaching the heavens Hallgrímskirkja Church (The Church of Hallgrímur) is probably Reykjavík’s best known landmark. The spire of this Lutheran church is 73 meters high and from there you can enjoy the magnificent view over Reykjavík and the surrounding mountains that stand like sculptures around the capital. Yes, it truly gets you closer to heaven. by Svava Jónsdóttir Photos: Kristinn Magnússon
eykjavík is a city full of adventures and one of them is visiting Hall grímskirkja Church which towers over most of the city. The church is a grand work of art, a sculpture made of concrete, seen prominently displayed from almost anywhere in the city – and also from far outside the city. It’s kind of like the mantlepiece framing the heart of the nation’s capital.
In front of the Hallgrímskirkja Church there is a statue of Leif Eriksson, or Leif the Lucky, who is believed to be the first European to set foot in America some 500 years before that Columbus guy.
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Motifs of Icelandic nature In 1937, the then state architect Guðjón Samúelsson (1887-1950), was commissioned to design the church. The main building of the University of Iceland and the National Theater are other examples of his design work that can be seen in Reykjavik. Samúelsson wanted to create a style of national architecture and at the same time Hallgrímskirkja Church is a great example of expressionist architecture: You can see motifs from the Icelandic nature in the building, such as basalt formations, mountains and icecaps.
It can be said that the church represents an adventurous landscape and the building time was an adventure too, since the church wasn’t completed until 1986. But who was this Hallgrímur fellow the church is named after? Well, Hallgrímur Pétursson was a clergyman born in 1614 who became one of Iceland’s most beloved poets. He influenced his countrymen’s spiritual develop ment and his Hymns of Passion are still read in his church (and many others) on Good Friday every year. Pure and simple In front of the Hallgrímskirkja Church there is a statue of Leif Eriksson, or Leif the Lucky, who is believed to be the first European to set foot in America some 500 years before that Columbus guy. The statue was a present from the USA on the 1000th anniversary of the National Assembly, Alþingi, in 1930. Alexander Stirling Calder designed the statue.Inside the church the architecture is so pure and simple, and yet so grand. Maybe it’s OK to talk about an
almost white wonder as the church is mainly white inside. There are regular masses you can attend in the church or you can just sit, contemplate and pray. On other occassions you can enjoy one or more of the many concerts that are held there. You can also walk around and enjoy various works of art in the corridors, the big white statue of Christ, the windows and of course the church which is a work of art in itself. An awesome sound Hallgrímskirkja Church is the home to a grand pipe organ by the German organ builder Johannes Klais of Bonn. It has mechanical action, four manuals and pedals, 102 ranks, 72 stops, 5,275 pipes and weighs 25 tons. The organ is 15 meters tall, the largest one in Iceland and there are many who have enjoyed its beautiful sound and powerful notes during concerts and religious services. Before you leave why not take the elevator to the top of the spire, get a little closer to heaven and enjoy a bird’s eye view of Reykjavik.
H V Í TA H Ú S I Ð / S Í A – 1 4 – 2 5 8 0
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Worth the experience Issue six
JUST A MOMENT …
We love getting WOW moments from our guests. Please keep them coming! Have you ever gotten such an awesome photo that you think the world deserves to see it? We love it when you share, and those who share a WOW moment have a chance to win round-trip tickets with WOW air, which means another great chance for a WOW moment. Send in your WOW moment through moments.wow.is or moments.wowiceland.co.uk and you could be one of those happy snappers. Here are some WOW moments so you can check out the competition. Don’t forget – if you live at any of WOW air’s destinations you could send in a WOW moment from your hometown to win tickets to our hometown.
t the bes oment in scene m W O like “A W d dream on lunar an our honeymo on land.” e Ic to trip Rocio Sent by
“Walkin go A truly m n water on the a fa Sent by gical WOW mo ntastic glacier m lagoon. Katheri ne Gree ent!” nwood
Barcelona: “I couldn’t stop jumping for joy.” Sent by Bergdís Rún Jónasdóttir
“Love in th Sent by e City of Love.” Jesse R oscoe
“Austria ROCKS! Sent by Zohara Kristín
Let us tag along @ us to your travelgrams with @wowair and tag your awesome photos with #wowair or #wowmoment.
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“A WOW -k Berlin W iss by the all Sent by .” E Sigurða iríkur rsson
We offers six different tours from Reykjavík
Free Pick up at hotels and guest-houses
Adventure Tour with Lunch We ride along comfortable riding paths in Heiðmörk and Rauðhólar accompanied by specially trained guides. Lobster soup is served in our beautiful café. The tour is about 3 ½-4 hours, the time spent on horseback being around 1-½ hour. Max 8 people on each tour Tour from around 09:00 – 13:00 at the hotel. Tour from around 13:45 - 18:00 at the hotel. Price 11.900 isk
BOOK NOW +354 477-2222
www.reykjavikridingcenter.is Issue six
Dreaming of space
THE LOST ASTRONAUT Imagine a person arriving from another planet or universe stuck between time and space. He wakes up in Iceland amidst dramatic landscapes, elves, trolls, and hidden people. Trying to find his way back home he explores this strange land. For the last four years, professional photograph足er Gisli Dua Hjorleifsson and psychiatrist and freelance writer Mikkel R. Vossen Rasmussen have been doing just that. They call it the Lost Astronaut Project.
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The suit is a replica of the Russian astro naut’s and pilot’s undergarments and was for sale at the Russian space station. The helmet however was found later online and it’s exactly the same kind as the Russian astronauts used.
isli and Mikkel share a passion for nature, and sea kayaking. Gisli is from Iceland and used to work as a ranger in the mountains of Iceland every summer and autumn, thereby gaining great knowledge of its nature and wildlife. Mikkel, from Denmark, is an avid nature enthusiast and hiker and on top of that he’s a big fan of science fiction and everything that has to do with astronomy. Over the last four years these two friends have been working on a book built around Gisli’s photos and an astronaut costume Mikkel got after a space adventure in the US and Russia. Their tale is set in Iceland as they both love the rough nature with its black deserts, rough sea, snowy mountains and phenomenon like geysers, volcanoes, hot springs and glaciers. “We’ve been traveling to Iceland together for the past four years. Every time it has been like a mental escape from everyday life where we could immediately enjoy the presence and beauty of nature. We experienced the simple life of camping in the middle of nowhere, without internet or mobile connection,” says Gisli. As they both share the same passion for winter bathing there was one rule on every trip: They had to jump and swim in ice cold water every day – and what is the perfect place for this both summer and winter? Iceland of course!
How it started From a very young age Mikkel has been obsessed by science and space travels. Early on he started saving for a space trip, determined to make his boyhood dream a reality. In October 2010 Mikkel started his space journey by traveling to the US where he went through flight training in an Albatros fighter jet and experienced zero-gravity. He then went straight to Russia for his MIG-29 edge of space flight and aerobatics and came back as an astronaut. Along with him he brought an astronaut suit that has since been the two friend’s inspiration. The suit is a replica of the Russian astronaut’s and pilot’s undergarments and was for sale at the Russian space station. The helmet however was found later online and it’s exactly the same kind as the Russian astronauts used. Since Mikkel returned from his space encounter he and Gisli have been going on trips to Iceland every year driving through the countryside and camping in the mountains. “We brought the astronaut suit with us and in the beginning the idea was to shoot some surreal pictures with the astronaut in Iceland’s wilderness, and creating a graphic novel about an astronaut that was stuck in Iceland. On one of these trips, Mikkel really got to know about the Icelandic culture, its people, and their thoughts and beliefs. He started writing a diary of his funny and cool experiences and his entries evolved into a bigger project. After all, Icelanders can be a bit weird, especially in the eyes of a foreigner, and that’s interesting. I think we’re a little bit like aliens to those who happen to meet us up in the wilderness,” says Gisli.
A book from outer space Once Gisli and Mikkel had lots of written material and pictures from their exploits the idea for the Lost Astronaut really began to form and it got them more focused on the project. Mikkel started researching and writing the book and Gisli de veloped the ideas for pictures and some videos
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started to appear. The idea was to show the world the beauty of the dramatic landscapes of Iceland; a land of mountains, black deserts, fire, water and ice and at the same time give a glimpse of the Icelandic people and their folklore. The book is based on all their fantastic adventures in Iceland and, in a surreal way it’s turned into a science fiction story, yet at the same time keeping it real – very real. “The book is an alternative tour guide, it’s not too long and it includes many locations that can inspire you to go and explore Iceland further. The target audience are those who like anything a little beyond what’s normal – the twisted and at the boundary between fantasy and reality,” says Mikkel.
The idea was to show the world the beauty of the drama tic landscapes of Iceland; a land of mountains, black deserts, fire, water and ice and at the same time give a glimpse of the Icelandic people and their folklore. The Lost Astronaut Project is the first collabora tion between the two friends and to promote it they have created a Facebook fan page for The Lost Astronaut, where they show backstage news, videos and photos produced over the last 4 years. The Facebook site is made like a small diary of their many experiences in Iceland from 2010 to 2014. See www.facebook.com/astronautlost. Gisli and Mikkel have also made a website for The Lost Astronaut where you can pre-order a hard copy of the book: www.findingthelostastronat.com. The Lost Astronot is a large project with many future opportunities and a project Gisli and Mikkel really believe in. “We believe that people will understand it when they see the project and read the book,” they say. Unfortunately their book won’t be ready before this Christmas but it will, if all goes according to plan, be released in early 2015. Copies are available through their webpage and as soon as they are printed they will also be available at The Viking gift and souvenir shop on Laugavegur shopping street. When we asked Gisli and Mikkel if they have any other projects for the future, there were no hesitations. “Iceland is only the beginning of The Lost Astronaut’s adventures on our planet. We are already thinking of new travel plans for the astronaut and his journey in our world has only just begun. And with respect of different cultures and countries and with funny perspective we hope to develop the idea for future projects. Whether it will be a new book or a movie or something totally different no one knows,” Gisli and Mikkel concur.
“Iceland is only the beginning of The Lost Astronaut’s adventures on our planet. We are already thinking of new travel plans for the astronaut.”
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City Sightseeing Departure: 09:00 Price: 5.500 ISK
Whale Watching Departure: Various Price from: 9.500 ISK
Northern Lights Departure: 19:00*, 20:00 Price: 6.400 ISK Northern Lights Deluxe New Departure: 19:30* Price: 13.900 ISK
Golden Circle Departures: 08:30, 10:30, 13:00 Price from: 9.000 ISK
Price from: 2.200 ISK*
Price from: 1.700 ISK*
*One way price if booked return
Book your tour now! Contact Information - 24 hour booking service Book now at www.grayline.is or call +354 540 1313 Bus Terminal, Hafnarstræti 20, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland Tel. +354 540 1313 | email@example.com | grayline.is Issue six
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The perfect place for space training
Lunar landscape During the past decade Hollywood product足 ion companies have been frequenting Iceland to produce a myriad of films. Economic reasons may have factored into their decision for filming here, nonetheless, another crucial reason for their choice of location can without a doubt be attributed to the gorgeous landscape which more and more people are now discovering. by Marvin Lee Dupree Photos: Thinkstock.com and NASA
ften these films exhibit haunting and majestic visuals, theref ore filmmakers have been streaming to Iceland in order to utilize it as a backdrop, especially in representing distant planets or depicting interstellar possibilities, and they might not be that far off.
What on earth! Many of the films shot here have included science fictions such as Prometheus, Interstellar and Oblivion. All of these depict Icelandic nature as otherworldly. However, before Hollywood began exploring Ice land’s nature, geologists, astronauts and other experts came to Iceland to simulate the prospective conditions on the moon. This galactic fellowship included famous astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, who would later both set foot on the moon along with Neil Armstrong in 1969. During the summer of 1965, preparation for the moon landing was held in Iceland near the Askja caldera which is located in the highlands, an hour’s drive from Akureyri in northern Iceland. Another trip was also taken in 1967 and this time Neil Armstrong also joined. Interestingly, Askja had erupted in 1961 and many of the craters were still hot during their visit. Part of their training also took place in the rock-strewn fields near Krýsuvík on Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland. In archival records from Nasa, one can read that experts believed that the Iceland landscape most closely resembled the landscape on the moon.
During the summer of 1965, preparation for the moon landing was held in Iceland near the Askja cald era which is located in the highlands, an hour’s drive from Akureyri.
Near Askja caldera.
Fire, ice and fun So, you might wonder what these people were doing in these locations while they were in the land of fire and ice. When Neil Armstrong was here, he used the chance to go fishing and to attend a country dance, however most of the time the astronauts were gathering geographical
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specimens that were believed to be similar to the moon’s. In 1965 a team of 28 geologists and astronauts were trained under the guidance of domestic and American experts. As mentioned above the base of Askja volcano was chosen since the landscape bore a striking resemblance to the moon. The area is so desolate that the training officer for the 1965 expedition told the New York Times that “there are no motels” and “there is nothing growing there. A little moss is all you find and you have to look for that.” Incidentally, there are more accommodating locations in the general area where you can comfortably spend the night.
Become a “Thulenaut” If you don’t want to be so extreme but are still interested in seeing where the astronauts trained and other geographical wonders such as Mt. Herðubreið, you can check out the Askja Lunar Tour starting off at Lake Mývatn. The tour itself takes only around half a day, giving you plenty of time to relax at Mývatn Nature Baths, the cozy, northern version of the Blue Lagoon. Seeing all this beauty with your own eyes is the best way of experiencing this unique and amazing landscape.
Experiencing the elements The Cupstone, a piece of artwork made from a rock has given welcome relief to many tired legs on the outskirts of Iceland’s capital. Text and photos: Gunnlaugur Rögnvaldsson
uring the cold winter there is nothing like immersing yourself in warm water, be it flowing on your feet or around other parts of the body and now, you can have the highly unusual experience of hot water flowing from the middle of a huge rock, thanks to Ólöf Nordal, a renowned Icelandic artist. In walking distance from the center of Reykjavík, this particular artwork, known as Cupstone, a large rock with flowing warm water, is on the northern coastline on the Seltjarnarnes peninsula. Coziest rock ever! Cupstone is a great venue to rest and rejuvenate after a long day. Along the very picturesque walking path around the Seltjarnarnes peninsula, you can enjoy it at sunrise, during the day or if you are lucky, watching the northern lights, with your feet all warm and cozy. “When you feel the warmth of the water on your feet, the blood rushes through your body, making you feel physically and spiritually alive, and closer to nature and its wondrous powers,” says Ólöf about this extraordinary piece of art and its marvelous effects. Water from a drilled hole in the vicinity is cooled from 99 degrees Celcius to 40 degrees and then runs into the rock through piping. The water has a unique blend of water and salt, resembling water from the well-known spas in Baaden Baden in Germany. According to Olof the water in Cupstone has healing powers and a great Ph factor for the skin. Rock art The rock used for Cupstone was found after much search in a mine, way out of town. Olof, who wanted exactly the right shape and size, carefully searched to find the right piece. The rock she found is gray basalt and as the stone is actually artwork too; it had to be the perfect form. Olof is well known for her artwork, mixing Icelandic traditions and culture with natural surroundings and modern times. It was important to her that the rock did not disturb the contour of the land, in the place she found for it, and that it
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harmonized with the geography of the coastline. Making the water flowing rock was no easy task. It could have easily cracked when parts of the inside were removed. With patience and precision, the stonecutters at S. Helgason dug into the middle, making adequate space for 3-4 pairs of tired feet. It is part of the bathing experience to take your shoes and socks off, dig into the warmth of the Cupstone and stand barefoot on the rocks and grass around, before and after your dip. “When you undress in nature, even if it is just for a footbath you respectfully connect to your surroundings with your body and other senses. As you warm up to nature, your body becomes part of it, feeling all the elements on so many levels,” says Olof. Don’t get cold feet Not all locals know about the Cupstone and that was the idea in the beginning, so that people would gradually discover it. There is lighting inside the stone that creates a special ambience during dark days and nights of winter. In many ways bathing is a big part of Iceland’s history and culture, as can be seen from various
“When you feel the warmth of the water on your feet, the blood rushes through your body, making you feel physically and spiritually alive.”
natural and manmade geothermal pools all over the country. “With cold feet, we don’t have our head on straight. With warm feet you don’t feel the cold or wind around you anymore and the blood rushing through your veins clears the mind. Soaking your feet in this hot rock lets you experience the elements of the land, sea, sky and earth as a whole, but you need to actually do it to understand this awesome experience,” says Olof.
You can watch mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets and even the northern lights from the scenic coastline at Seltjarnarnes.
Notice the ease in this gentleman’s face as he relaxes in the footbath. Cupstone is meant to be a footbath but it also works out quite well as a tub, if you don’t mind cold feet and toes, that is.
e c r u o s A ealth h f o O N LY*
isk. 600 TS UL AD 130 isk. CHILDREN
Th er m al sw im m in g po ol s
Hot t ubs and jacuzzi
Sa un as , steambat hs an d sh ow ers
Se ve n lo ca t io ns
Op en earl y un t il la te
Thermal hermal pools and b baths in n Reykjavik are a so source of health, relaxation and pureness. All of the city´s swimming pools have several hot pots with temperatures ranging from 37˚ to 42˚C (98˚–111˚F). The pools are kept at an average temperature of 29˚ C (84˚ F).
Tel: +354 411 5000 • www.spacity.is
*Admission January 2014 . Price is subject bj t tto change h
Reykjavik's Thermal Pools
A Person of WOW
The beat goes on One of the latest additions to the great WOW family is Birgir Jónsson, our new Chief Operating Officer (COO). He is a great addition to the team and he happens to do some WOW-ing outside the office as well. Photos: Brynjar Snær, Ólöf Erla, Ragga Arngríms, Falk-Hagen Bernshausen, Matti Svanur and from private collection.
irgir had a somewhat unusual start here at WOW air. “I initially joined WOW air as a consultant working with the management team on some restructuring and strategic planning projects. I was then offered the chance to join the team on a full-time basis. It was actually quite a luxury to be able to get to know the people and the company before jumping into the pool. It made the decision much easier and I was much more excited than I would be had I not known the people and the future plans. There is some serious ambition floating about in this company!” says Birgir adding that the best thing about working for WOW air is the people. “There is a genuine focus on the customer, it’s a place charged with ambition and I feel privileged to be part of it.” A perfect fit As COO Birgir manages the company on a daily basis in close cooperation with its founder and CEO Skuli Mogensen. “I basically ensure that the company functions as it is supposed to and that everyone gets to experience the famous WOW factor in action. It’s a really fast paced working environment; the airline business is notoriously challenging and unforgiving but it’s also a lot of fun, espe cially when you get to work with all the great people at WOW air,” says Birgir and adds that he really hasn’t any in-depth experience from the airline business as such, apart from the fact that he used to be CEO of one of the first Icelandic low cost carriers a few years back. “I do have a pretty broad management background from the international milieu through my living and work experience in Asia, USA and Eastern and Western Europe. In many
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“There is a genuine focus on the customer, it’s a place charged with ambition and I feel privileged to be part of it.”
aspects all business is the same in that the same principles apply. You have to try to make more than you spend and have some fun while you are doing it.” Sounds like a perfect fit to us! The beaten path Birgir is more than “just” a COO and a clever businessman, he’s also a renown ed drummer in Iceland. “I’ve played drums on and off on a professional level since I was a teenager. For the last few
years that’s been the focus of my life and I am very aware of the privilege I’ve enjoyed. I’ve recorded, toured interna tionally and generally been very active in the Icelandic music scene. And that is really my passion. I mostly play hard rock and metal, and my band DIMMA has been very successful in Iceland. I am the type of person that goes all in whatever I do and thus it was a huge personal achievement for me when I was offered an endorsement contract with Sabian Cymbals, one of the world’s premium drum brands. When I have a bad day I go to their website and see my name alongside many of my drumming idols; it usually does the trick,” says Birgir. It almost goes without saying that someone who’s so involved in the Ice- landic music scene has some great tips for guests who want to experience it. What does Birgir recommend? “Iceland is flooded with good music. It is actually ridiculous. Everyone is in a band or is creating some art. There are some nice venues in Reykjavik for sure. Bar 11 is a real rock club. It has quality live music in a room that looks like a dungeon, really my kind of place. If you are in Akureyri you have to visit Græni hatturinn (The Green Hat). It is a world class live music club where you can be sure to see the cream of Iceland’s music scene in whatever style. It is all curated by the proprietor, Haukur Tryggvason, a rare breed of a guy that actually loves music and knows how to run a high quality establishment. Every visit is a joy no matter if you are perform ing on stage or part of the audience.” Down time “I’m married to a great girl called Lisa and lucky enough to have four hairy boys at
home, Alex, Daniel, Kári and Sindri, ages 12 to 21. With a team like that you don’t need any pets,” Birgir jokes. When asked what he does to relax he’s quick to answer: “Spend time with my family, read a good book or a drum magazine, listen to Slayer and turn off the phone.” Birgir’s favorite place in Iceland is Neskaupsstaður. “In the summer it is home to the best party in the universe when all the rock and metal fans of Iceland gather for Eistnaflug (Flight of the Testicles) Metal Festival. I have played there for many years and it is always perfect. Everybody is welcome and it’s a place that teaches you about solidarity and to love your fellow man however he might look and no matter how much he knows about Star Wars. There is also
lots of beer,” informs Birgir who also recommends staying off the beaten path to foreign guests. “Not literally, obviously, as it is illegal to drive offroad, but Iceland is beautiful and full of surprises and great things. Make your own experience and see the things that are not the typical tourist attractions,” he adds. Since Birgir is now working for WOW air we had to ask about his favorite destinations. “Copenhagen is growing on me, I used to dislike it because I thought it was too close to Iceland but I am slowly understanding it and learning to love it. I am also a big fan of Alicante. The city itself is a well-kept secret, full of nice restaurants and culture. I have a lot of nice memories from both of these great cities.”
Osushi is a unique rest aurant in Iceland. The method of dining involves snatching small plates from a conveyor belt. Pricing is distinguished by the color and pattern of the plate – most range between 230 - 440 ISK. Everything off the convey or belt is tasty and if you don’t really fancy sushi, you can instead choose for example teriyaki chicken, noodle salad, tempura and desserts. The vibe in Osushi is friendly and relaxed. The restaurant is located almost next door to Althingi (the parliament) which is in the heart of the city.
Pósthússtræti 13 / Borgartúni 29 / Reykjavíkurvegur 60 HF. Tel: 561 0562 / www.osushi.is Issue six
Up close and personal When you finally find yourself on-board your WOW airplane, slowly sipping some red wine or soda and mentally preparing for your once in a lifetime Icelandic adventure, chances are your plans are exclusively focused on those breathtakingly picturesque landscapes¸ the waterfalls and glaciers vividly depicted in magazines and advertisements. Text and photos by Donna Tzaneva
The midnight transformation Keeping it real, one would never assume that Reykjavík, a capital with a population of just over 200,000 people would have a thriving nightlife and music scene that could easily compare with much bigger European capitals. There are many elements that make Reykjavik’s nightlife, a one of a kind experience, and, if you’re open to it, it’s guaranteed to become an unforgettable part of your Icelandic adventure. The heavenly demeanor of peace, quiet and an overly laid-back stress free attitude that lingers around the streets of Reykjavik during the day is swiftly
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replaced by an energized crowd of partygoers looking for fun and willing to make a pact with the devil (or in this case, alcohol). Once the clock strikes midnight, the capital transforms into a party hub catering to a wide variety of tastes and expectations. It is interesting to point out that Reykja vik’s bars serve numerous purposes … Now you’re probably wondering what that means. Well, during the day they are coffee houses where one can get their much needed morning kick of caffeine or a hot croissant. However, once night hits, they metamorphose into bars flowing with that effortless Icelandic quirkiness.
A few insider tips: There’s usually no dress code. However bear in mind that locals pay a lot of attention to their looks. If you come with knee high muddy boots after a day of exploring the Icelandic ‘wilderness,’ chances are that you won’t be kicked out, but let’s just say it’s not appreciated.
We’re glad to share the fact that most of the bars have free entry, which makes bar hopping ever so enjoyable (we all love freebies). There are no clubs as such in Reykjavik. Therefore, if you don’t like the music or scenery in one location, you can simply barhop until you find what suits you.
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The legal age to drink in Iceland is 20 but most bars have an over 21 policy so be warned! The majority of bars offer happy hour between 5-8 pm, which should greatly be taken advantage of! To sum up: As a tourist, you need to adjust to Iceland’s differences, and in this case specifically its nightlife. Don’t get me wrong, Reykjavik’s nightlife is one of a kind and absolutely amazing, that is once you embrace its uniqueness!
The majority of the Reykjavik party locations are located on the main street of Lauga vegur and its side streets of Bankastraeti and Austurstraeti which are well within walking distance (one can usually just go out the front door of one bar, walk 10 meters and be at the doorstep of another). This is also useful knowledge: If you happen to separate from your friends, chances are they won’t have gotten very far. We’re glad to share the fact that most of the bars have free entry, which makes bar hopping ever so enjoyable (we all love free bies). There are no clubs as such in Reykjavik. Therefore, if you don’t like the music or scen ery in one location, you can simply barhop until you find what suits you. The bars also have generous opening hours. As a rule, from Sunday to Thursday, they stay open until 1 am and on weekends they are normally open until 3 am or later. This gives you plenty of time to party and mingle with the ever so friendly Icelandic locals. And if you get right in there with them, experience the effects of downing ‘traditional’ topas or opal shots which you’ll most likely regret the following morning … Special thanks to Lebowski Bar and Kiki for allowing us to shoot at their location.
and her sons ... Two charming Icelandic Christmas tales about the troll Grýla and her sons, the 13 Yule Lads, by one of Iceland’s most acclaimed writer and illustrator, Brian Pilkington. An excellent introduction to the Icelandic Christmas family and unique customs that occur during the holiday season in Iceland.
Perfect for children and anyone who is still a child at heart!
www.forlagid.is – alvöru bókabúð á netinu
Capturing the duality of cats’ personalities to perfection, Kisa may look all cute and geometric on the outside.
What’s new pussycat? Designed by product designer Thorunn Arnadottir and product developer Dan Koval, the PyroPet candles are a new brand of candles shaped as animals. by Gerður Harðardóttir Photos: Courtesy of PyroPet
irst introduced online in 2010, Kisa (Ice landic for kitty) is the first member of the menagerie to see the light. Ever since its debut, design aficionados have been dying to get their hands on this novel, if rather macabre product. Capturing the duality of cats’ personalities to perfection, Kisa may look all cute and geometric on the outside, but lurking inside is a ghoulish, hissing beast with razor sharp teeth and claws, waiting to get out! Meow!! PyroPet candles retail around the world. For more info, log onto pyropetcandles.com. Available in Iceland at Spark Design Space, Epal, Hrím Hönnunarhús, Kraum, Aurum Icelandic Design, Snúran and Minja.
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For more information about the designer, visit www.thorunnarnadottir.com
Meet the WOW stars
wow magazine – winteraction
WOW air proudly supports a bevy of artists, athletes and projects. The people chosen are individuals who have done something WOW worthy, are good role models and an inspiration to others. WOW air’s goal is to help its stars reach their goals by sponsoring their international travels. Skúli Mogensen, CEO of WOW air says, “Iceland has so many noteworthy people doing good things in arts, sports and culture, it’s really unbelievable.”
to the pe
Issue one 2014
WOW star: Vilborg Arna
GoinG where few women have Gone before Lighten up:
Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival
Power to the PeoPle Issue one 2014
cool adventures in iceland
your free copy take me with you
Vilborg Arna Vilborg Arna became recognized in Iceland when she decided to do a solo ski walk to the South Pole which she accomplished around Christmas in 2012. After getting there she knew
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she couldn’t stop and now she’s working on finishing the Adventurer’s Grand Slam. The Grand Slam includes the Seven Summits Challenge and reaching both the South Pole and the North Pole. Vilborg’s goal was to finish the Seven Summits in one year but the tragic events at Mt. Everest put a halt to that plan. This fall, Vilborg took on Cho Oyu, the world’s 6th highest mountain, on the borders of Tibet (China) and Nepal, returning home to Iceland just recently “It was an amazing journey in a mag nificent environment. I traveled through both Nepal and Tibet, met some old friends and made new ones. This was also the first unsupported expedition over 8,000 m for an Icelander. When I got home I took a short rest period before starting training for my second attempt at Everest which I’ll take on next spring. I love exerting myself outside in nature and keeping active is very important to me but at the same time I need to prepare my mind before taking on these great mountains. I do this by meditating during my practice trips, visualizing the situations that might come up and trying to find the best solutions for each one,” says Vilborg who, along with a good friend of hers, is putting the finishing touches on her activity book for families that is scheduled to come out at the same time as her Everest expedition. “I’m really just waiting for the snow and ice to come so I can go skiing and ice climbing,” Vilborg explains.
h a ic ve fe
Ásgeir Trausti: He‘s just getting started
st yo iva u l si
lifts you up where you belong
eu ea ro r pe d 20 ? 13
What‘s the deal With skyr? Ásgeir Trausti:
“I didn’t even plan on releasing a record” Run touRist, Run! A cool way to travel and get your blood pumping this summer
From ale to beer
lIfTS you up where you belong
The history of modern beer making in Iceland
Icelandic designers are cool and creative
Issue one 2013
Issue one 2013 Your free copy / take me with you
highlight of his career so far. From Australia Asgeir will travel to Japan to play in Osaka and Tokyo and then to South Korea before returning home for a short break. Asgeir and his crew will open for the Irish Hozier in 16 concerts around the United States in February and in March and April and until next summer he’ll again tour Europe for various concerts and festivals. The follow up for In the Silence will come to an end after the summer and Asgeir is looking forward to spending more time in Iceland to make more beautiful music. We can hardly wait to hear what this talented artist will bring us next! In other news a special triple edition of Ásgeir’s albums was released in November. The box includes both Icelandic and English versions of Ásgeir’s hit album along with 14 extra tracks, remixes, an un plugged version and never before heard songs.
All About london
For more informations, dates and tickets chekc out www.asgeirmusic.com
This magazine is really expensive but you get it for free. Special prize, only for you my friend!
guðmundur Felix: Put your hands together for our latest WOW star
has got it going on
rie hi nc s! ei ce la
when I got a message saying something about ANSM and some “protocol.” My doctors took me to dinner and explained that because my operation is the first of its kind it is “out of protocol” and that they would have to jump through some additional hoops before I got on the list,” Gudmundur told us. The doctors are now telling him that a lot has happened regarding his case and the protocol for arm transplants but when another patient suffered a chronic rejection it put a halt to all other operations. “These matters have been taken care of now and we’re back to just waiting, hoping to get answers from ANSM and CPP (a committee for patient protection) soon, so we can get back on track. The doctors said that as it’s unlikely that I’ll get on the list before Christmas I could go visit my family in Iceland instead and I’m very much looking forward to that,” says Gudmundur. All of us at WOW air send Gudmundur Felix our best wishes and hope he’ll get the news he’s waiting for very soon.
Wild norTh Guðmundur Felix:
PuT your hands TogeTher for our laTesT WoW star “i can’t wait to give my daughters a proper hug” I C e l A n d a designer’s paradise
Where did all TheSe Icelanders come from?
WOW haS gOT iT gOing On issue two 2013
Ásgeir Trausti became the most popular singer/ songwriter in Iceland in just under a year; his first album selling over 30,000 copies (Yes, that means over 10% of Icelanders have his album!) and named “Album of the Year” 2013. His album, In the Silence, has been released in Europe and like the rest of us here, the critics are loving it. The album has reached the Top 40 lists in most European countries and even reached the Top 10 in Australia. This summer he’s been booked at various festivals around the world and there seems to be no stopping this talented young artist. Ásgeir just came home from a month long tour around Europe where he played at Koncerthuset in Copenhagen, Shepherd’s Bush in London and Rockefeller in Oslo to name just a few. This December he relaxed at home in Iceland but it will be a short holiday as December 27th he’ll be jetting to Australia to play at The Falls Music & Arts Festival and the Southbound Festival before headlining his own concert at The Forum in Melbourne as well as two concerts at the Sidney Opera House which will undoubtedly be the
Since the move to Lyon, Gudmundur has been waiting to get on the transplant list and while the wait is trying at times he still manages to enjoy Lyon.
All About CopenhAgen Issue two 2013 Your free copy / take me with you
This magazine is really expensive but you get it for free. Special prize, only for you my friend!
Gudmundur Felix Asgeir and his crew will open for the Irish Hozier in 16 concerts around the United States in February and in March and April and until next summer he’ll again tour Europe for various concerts and festivals.
Despite losing both his arms at the shoulder in 1998, Gudmundur Felix leads a full life as a father of two grown girls while running a business. His persistence got the attention of French doctors who have agreed to make him the world’s first double arm transplant recipient. So in June 2013 Gudmundur moved to Lyon where he’s been residing during the preparations for the transplant. Since the move to Lyon, Gudmundur has been waiting to get on the transplant list and while the wait is trying at times he still man ages to enjoy Lyon. “I was set to have my name on the transplant list early last spring Issue six
Good night, sleep tight! Every parent knows how stressful a baby’s first year can be. From trusting that your baby is sleeping peacefully and breathing just fine, to getting a full night’s sleep yourself, the sleep related worries and problems seem endless. Now, an innovative mom from Iceland has created a wonderful sleep companion for babies, putting a parent’s mind to ease. by Bergrún Íris Sævarsdóttir Photos: Birna Bryndís Þorkelsdóttir
ot only is the Lulla Doll lovely to look at, but it also has some possibly lifesaving attributes. With real life soothing sounds of a heartbeat and calm breathing, the Lulla Doll helps babies stabilize their own breathing and heartbeat. That way, it improves the quality and safety of the baby’s sleep and at the same time helps parents rest more easy. “In the past, I have had a lot of ideas and small projects, but I knew instantly that this idea was special,” says the inventor, Eyrún Eggertsdóttir. “When the idea for the Lulla Doll came to me, I almost felt like I’d had it for years and had just finally realized it. It combined so many things that I had been thinking about, reading and practicing and all of a sudden it just sort of clicked. I literally jumped off my couch, announced to my boyfriend that I’d had this awesome idea and that I was going to make it happen.” Eyrún then called up a friend who signed her up for a start-up workshop, starting the very next day. Since then, the Lulla Doll has taken up all of her time. “There have been times when I have been really overwhelmed, not being an expert in anything related to designing a product or running a business but I’ve surrounded myself with an excellent team, making this all possible.” Eyrún recruited Birna, designer and photographer, and Sólveig,
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The Lulla Doll decreases stress levels, stabilizes heartbeat and breathing and helps babies fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
an expert in sales and marketing, and founded Roro Care. Soon the Lulla Doll started coming to life. This team of three moms who know firsthand how precious their little ones are and how much parents want to ensure their child’s safety. After getting help from doctors, nurses, musicians, engineers and other experts, Roro Care and the Lulla Doll have caught the eye of media from all over the world. “We get positive feedback everywhere we go so there’s a big reason to be hopeful for the future,” says Eyrún.
“So many people, friends and family, have contributed to this project. I never would have come this far without them,” says Eyrún.
Eyrún, Birna and Sólveig. “When forming the Roro Care team, I chose people with a diverse skillset and ones that were different than my own.” To learn more about the Lulla Doll, visit www.rorocare.com, where you can order your very own.
Myndaðu meira Með frábærri 5MP „selfie“ myndavél
5MP gleiðlinsa á framhlið símans Nýjasti Windows 8.1 hugbúnaðurinn Yfir 350.000 öpp, m.a. fyrir Instagram, Twitter, Vine og Snapchat Þráðlaus hleðsla Gorilla glass III skjávörn
Kynntu þér úrval Lumia síma hjá söluaðilum um allt land. Opin kerfi er umboðs- og þjónustuaðili Lumia á Íslandi.
LUMIA 830 Issue six
The WOW crew puts some flair in the air The WOW air crew spends a lot of time and, let’s be honest, a considerable amount of money trying to find out what really works when it comes to their “grooming.” Sharing is caring so they really wanted to let you in on what they know so you can arrive at your destination looking and feeling your best. And please if you have any good tips for us we would love to know. by Helga María Albertsdóttir Photos: Kristinn Magnússon and WOW air’s photo collection.
WOW Power to the people
We often get questions on our hairdos so we’ve decided to give our guests a guide for WOW hair. The first “do” is an easy one. It only takes 5 minutes. We call it “The early pick-up do.” Get ready in just 5 minutes WHAT YOU NEED: Hair brush 2 elastics A few bobby pins Hair spray Hair doughnut
THE EARLY PICK-UP DO
Comb your hair in a ponytail.
Place a “doughnut” around the ponytail.
Distribute the hair to cover the “doughnut” and place an elastic to hold in place.
Grab two strands of hair and start twisting together.
Add a little more hair each time you twist.
Continue to twist as far as you can.
“Are you getting married?” “No, we’re just going to work.”
Secure with a bobby pin at the end.
Use hairspray to keep the hair in place.
Voilà! 5 minutes.
Sharing is caring How to land at your destination looking like you just left the house.
Our favorites: The NUDEtude eyeshadow Palette and the Silk Fibre Lash Mascara
THE THE FACE OF AAFLIGHT FLIGHT THEFACE FACEOF OFA FLIGHT ATTENDANT ATTENDANT ATTENDANT
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H20 WATER. The cabin humidity levels are around 5-10%, which is actually lower H20 IS THE WAY TO GO H20IS ISTHE THEWAY WAYTO TOGO GOtothanDRINK the Sahara Desert! Drink water before your flight and try to drink around 25 cl for WATERWATERWATERWATERWATER WATERWATERWATERWATERWATER WATERWATERWATERWATERWATER
If you could choose only one thing to do for yourself while you’re in the air it should be
IfIfyou could choose only one thing to do for yourself during could choose only one thing toto dodo forfor yourself Ifyou you could choose only one thing yourself every hourduring ofduring your flight. You will feel (and look) a lot fresher when you arrive. Use a good your travel it’s should be to drink WATER.The cabin your cabin moisturizing cream your travel travel it’s it’s should should bebe toto drink drink WATER.The WATER.The cabinwith UV filters during the flight. If you want to go the extra mile, use a moisturizing facemask like the Glamglow Youthmud mask to look glowing and rested humidity humidity levels are around 5-10%, that actually lower humiditylevels levelsare arearound around5-10%, 5-10%,that thatisisisactually actuallylower lower after a flight but avoid exfoliation methods that strip your skin of its natural oils in the than the Sahara Desert! Drink water before your þight and than the Sahara Desert! Drink water before your þight and than the Sahara Desert! Drink water before your þight and hours after you land. try to drink around 250 ml. for every hour of your þight. You trytry toto drink around 250 ml. forfor every hour ofof your þight. You drink around 250 ml. every hour your þight. You will feel (and look) a lot fresher at the end of your trip. Use will willfeel feel(and (andlook) look)a alotlotfresher fresheratatthe theend endofofyour yourtrip. trip.Use Use aagood moisturizing cream with UV Þlters during the þight. IfIf If moisturizing cream with UV Þlters during the þight. agood good moisturizing cream with UV Þlters during the þight. you want to go the extra mile use a moisturizing facemask you want to go the extra mile use a moisturizing facemask you want to go the extra mile use a moisturizing facemask like the Glamglow Youthmud mask to look glowing and like the Glamglow Youthmud mask toto look glowing and like the Glamglow Youthmud mask look glowing and rested after a þight but avoid exfoliation methods that strip rested restedafter aftera aþight þightbut butavoid avoidexfoliation exfoliationmethods methodsthat thatstrip strip your skin of it’s natural oils ininin the hours after you land. your skin ofof it’s natural oils the hours after you land. your skin it’s natural oils the hours after you land.
What What we are obsessing over: GREEN JUICE Whatwe weare areobsessing obsessingover: over:GREEN GREENJUICE JUICE
What we’re obsessing over:
The whole crew has been struck by the Kale/Green juice movement we all suddenly The whole crew has been struck byby the Kale/Green juice movement we allall suddenly The whole crew has been struck the Kale/Green juice movement we suddenly seem to really need our daily dose of GREEN. seem to really need our daily dose of GREEN. seem to really need our daily dose of GREEN.
The whole crew has been struck by the Kale/Green juice movement. Suddenly we all seem to really READY TAKE OFF popular WOW hairstyles easy to do, even READY FOR TAKE OFF popular WOW hairstyles easy toto do, even need our dailyFOR dose of GREEN. READY FOR TAKE OFF popular WOW hairstyles easy do, even
at 44 4 o´clock in the morning. For the “how to”of all three styles atat o´clock inin the morning. For the “how to”of allall three styles o´clock the morning. For the “how to”of three styles check out wowair.com/wowhair check checkout outwowair.com/wowhair wowair.com/wowhair
TIP! TIP! TIP!
WOW tip! Applying dry shampoo to clean hair will make sure your hairdo will go the distance.
Applying Applying Applying dry dry dry shampoo shampoo shampoo to clean toto clean clean hair will hair will hair will make make make Ready for take off sure your sure your sure your These popular WOW hairstyles are so easy to do, even at hair do hair do do 4 o’clockwill inhair the morning. For the “how to” of all three styles go the will gogo the will the check out wowair.us/magazine/crew. distance distance distance 78
WOW Power to the people
Do Apply concealer on the under eye area and where needed to hide imperfections. A concealer two tones lighter than your skin tone looks good on areas where light naturally hits your face like your forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. Choose one that matches your skin tone to hide blemishes and other imperfections. If you are using liquid foundation apply a generous drop of foundation on the back of your hand, which warms up your product and makes it go on smoother. Apply the foundation to your face using the foundation brush in a small circular motion. It will take you a couple of times to know how much you need for your face and for the occasion. After that it will be a breeze. Know that with this method you can apply layers if you need more coverage for an evening out or a special occasion. Next you apply bronzing powder under your cheekbones and chin to give your face some definition and blend with the foundation brush so it looks natural. Once you’re happy with your look, apply transparent powder to set it.
Don’t All that glitters is not gold! Be careful wearing shimmery bronzing powders or glittery eye shadow on a morning flight since the light accentuates the shine and it might not be the look you were going for.
If you haven’t been using a foundation brush to apply your make-up base believe us when we tell you it’s really worth the little extra cost. First of all it saves you from having all your make-up on your fingers and gives your face a flawless look that lasts the whole day. We love the Real Techniques brushes for the great quality and the little travel bags.
We have more! Check out wowair.us/magazine/crew See anything you like? Check out our in-flight brochure for some great products.
Acknowledgements Models: Málfríður “Fríða” Sigurðardóttir, Silvía Santana Briem, Margrét Björnsdóttir Make-up artist: Jóhanna Gilsdóttir
The art of shading.
We wish you a WOW flight
Fun aboard The magnificent WOW cabin crew makes the sky a better place to fly. Notice the WOW atmosphere on board. If you give the cabin crew a big smile, you‘re guaranteed to get one back.
A flight of horrors? In October our crew put on their best face to celebrate Halloween but our guests weren’t so easily scared. Photo: Eva Bjork Aegisdottir.
We teamed up with Ölgerðin and got some ale to share with our guests. Needless to say the crew was very popular that day.
Photo: Eva Bjork Aegisdottir.
Photo: Eva Bjork Aegisdottir.
A flight full of fans! We don’t usually fly to Prague but when our national football team had an important match in the Czech Republic we offered a special flight to this great city. And so it was, that a WOW aircraft, filled with our national team’s most devoted supporters flew to Prague. We salute the crew on board that day. Even though Icelandic football fans are no hooligans, keeping these excited supporters in their seats during take-off and landing must have been a challenge. Unfortunately Iceland lost the match after a very exciting game so spirits weren’t quite as high during the flight home.
A flight of ales! Our crew loves nothing more than giving out freebies and, as the season of gifts and merriment sort of begins in Iceland with the arrival of the Tuborg Christmas brew (Julebryg), on November 7, we teamed up with Ölgerðin and got some ale to share with our guests. Needless to say the crew was very popular that day.
WOW Power to the people
Snap a picture or cut out and end a perfect three course dinner with A FREE DESSERT
TRYGGVASKÁLI TRYGGVASKÁLIIS ISAA PARTICULARLY PARTICULARLYBEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL A’LA A’LACARTE CARTERESTAURANT RESTAURANT
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Reykjavík 55 55 Reykjavík
TRYGGVASKÁLI TRYGGVASKÁLIIS ISTHE THE OLDEST OLDESTAND ANDMOST MOSTHISTORIC HISTORIC HOUSE HOUSEIN INSELFOSS, SELFOSS, BUILT BUILTIN IN1890. 1890.
Address Austurvegur 1, Selfoss Selfoss Website www.tryggvaskali.is www.tryggvaskali.is E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Tel. (+354) 482 1390 1390 Gps 63°56’16.30” N N 21°00’12.64” W W
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INFORMATION INFORMATION Address AddressAusturvegur Austurvegur7, 7,Selfoss Selfoss
Reykjavík Reykjavík 55 55
KAFFI KAFFI KRÚS KRÚS HAS HAS AA 60 60 COURSE COURSE GRAND GRAND MENU. MENU.
Gps Gps63°56’14.97” 63°56’14.97”N N
21°00’02.13” 21°00’02.13”W W
Tel. Tel.(+354) (+354)482 4821266 1266
Website Websitewww.kaffikrus.is www.kaffikrus.is E-mail Efirstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Austu Austurvegu rvegur r 1coast 1 Southcoast 11 South
CROSSROAD CROSSROAD TO Geysir, Geysir, Gullfoss, Þórsmörk, Landmannalaugar, Landmannalaugar, Eyjafjallajökull, Eyjafjallajökull, Hekla, Katla, Vestmannaeyjar, Vestmannaeyjar, Vík, Jökulsárlón, Jökulsárlón, and all south coast.
On On the the menu menu we we have have for for example; example; pasta, pasta, salads, salads, real real hamburgers, hamburgers, sandsandwiches, wiches, chicken, chicken, fish fish and and of of course course our our pizzas pizzas from from our our wooden wooden fire fire oven. oven.
Fákasel Horse Park Ingólfshvoll 816 Ölfus +354 483 5050 www.icelandichorsepark.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Iceland’s only horse park Experience Iceland’s only horse park where you can mingle with locals, dine on fresh Icelandic food and, most importantly, get to know the country’s unique breed of horse. Fákasel Horse Park is Iceland’s leading tourist attraction for all things related to the Icelandic horse, and one of the country’s best equine competition facilities. A fun, entertaining and educational place for the whole family to visit all year round.
The name of the show refers to Norse mythology, according to which the Icelandic horse descends from the greatest horse of all time, Sleipnir the eight-legged horse of Óðinn.
From the greatest horse of all time… The 45 minute show, The Legends of Sleipnir, employs large-scale multimedia and special effects to weave together Iceland’s history and old Norse mythology in an exhibition riding which demonstrates the Icelandic horse’s beauty and suniqueness. The result is a magical theatrical experience that emphasizes the Icelandic horse’s special features and pays tribute to its historical relationship with hu mans throughout Iceland’s history. The name of the show refers to Norse mythology, according to which the Icelandic horse descends from the greatest horse of all time, Sleipnir the eight-legged horse of Óðinn. The stage itself is the biggest in Iceland (1600 m2) and lit up with first-class theater lighting. A 40 meter long screen serves as a backdrop for the performance, and an original soundtrack was composed by one of Iceland’s leading musicians and producer, Barði Jóhannsson. This is truly a one-of-a-kind experience, and and located just 30 minutes from Reykjavik. Daily shows at 7 pm.
WOW Power to the people
Icelandic gourmet menu The restaurant at Fákasel Horse Park offers an original Icelandic gourmet menu with great variety of delicious food. The interior has recently undergone a custom remodeling to create a unique, warm and cozy atmosphere and the staff adds that special Icelandic touch which will make you feel right at home. The chef has created an impressive menu featuring the freshest locally grown ingredients. The result is a menu with a wide selection of delicious food where everyone will find something to their liking. A group menu is available with three course meals, and the newly renovated facilities ensure quality and prompt ser vice even while accommodating large groups. The café offers a wide selection of pastries and coffee beverages. The restaurant and café are open daily from 10 am to 10 pm, all year round.
WORLDâ€™S SMALLEST WATCH MANUFACTURER
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. www.jswatch.com
The Realm of Vatnajokull
Land of ice and fire In the realm of Vatnajokull you‘ll find the real reason why Iceland got its name. The area is dominated by Vatnajökull glacier, the largest glacier in the world outside the Arctic region. You‘ll also find more of Iceland‘s most popular tourist attractions such as the spectacular Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, Skaftafell, the jewel of Vatnajokull National Park and Hvanna dalshnúkur, the highest peak in Iceland and a popular hike. Photo: Þorvarður Árnason
WOW Power to the people
he Vatnajokull region is filled with contrast with its black beaches, white glaciers, red volcanoes, green birch forest and blue Atlantic Ocean. Serenity, energy and forces of nature combine to make a visit to the realm of Vatnajökull a never-to-be-forgotten experience. Wildlife is rich with thousands of migrating birds such as puff ins and the arctic tern passing through, especially in the spring and summer. Herds of reindeer are also a common sight in the region and if you’re lucky you’ll spot a seal at Jokulsarlon 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.
Winter paradise The realm of Vatnajökull is in southeast Iceland and covers over 200 km of the Ring Road from Lómagnúpur in the west to Hvalnes in the east. It covers the accessible southern side of Vatnajokull glacier and photography enthusiasts should find the area particularly delightful as it provides countless magnificent views of the glacier and mountains both in daylight and also as dusk settles when the northern lights light up the sky. Have you ever imagined gazing inside a glacier? Wintertime in the realm of Vatnajokull glacier offers the opportunity of a unique experience; a trip into the ice caves of Vatnajokull’s southern crawling glaciers is an adventure that no one should miss. The colors and refracted light in the ice reveal a world of wonders, providing a thrill for any photography 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.
Höfn – culture and cuisine! There is one town in the area, Höfn, a lively fishing town with a population of 1800. Known as the lobster capital of Iceland, Höfn has lovely restaurants offering this precious product as well as various other local specialties year round. Höfn is also a great base for exploring the magnificent lands of Vatnajokull National Park; and be sure to drop by at the park’s visitor center in the beautiful historical building, Gamlabúð, by the harbor.
Activity, accommodation and restaurants Much of the activity in the realm of Vatnajokull revolves around the glacier and the nature around it. You can choose between glacier walks and ice climbing, a thrilling snowmobile ride on Vatnajokull or a comfortable tour 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, a handicraft store, the petting zoo at Hólmur and much more. There are various possibilities in accommodations to suit different needs where you’ll be sure to find a warm welcome by knowledgeable hosts. Several restaurants are in the area and most of them offer local food and drink. Be sure to ask for the local beer Vatnajökull, brewed from icebergs from the Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon and the local herb arctic thyme.
Accessible all year round The Vatnajokull region is well accessible all year round 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 and there are also three car rental companies in Höfn. For more information check out www.visitvatnajokull.is.
Boston Washington D.C.
I C EL A ND â€™ S O N LY H I GH P ER F O R M A N C E LOW-CO S T A I R L I N E
WOW Power to the people
Billund Vilnius Dublin
Copenhagen London Amsterdam Paris
D端sseldorf Stuttgart Lyon
The clean and quiet capital For those of you who have not visited Washington, D.C., your first sight of the world‘s power center and political vortex may come as a surprise. For all of its intensity, foreign embassies and intrigue, Washington, D.C. is a beautiful place to visit. by Paul Michael Herman / Photos: Thinkstock Photos
f course, you know this from the pictures of the White House, the US Capitol, the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial, setting for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. It is also the stage where the great emancipator Abraham Lincoln is honored at the Lincoln Memorial with its ever present dignity and grandeur, the site of many famous speeches, including Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
WOW Power to the people
You may have heard about the long and broad National Mall which stretches neatly between the Washington Monument and the Capitol building with the dozen or so Smithsonian Museums that flank it. But did you know that beyond DC‘s throbbing tourist attractions and busy federal offices, that it‘s mostly neighborhoods made up of private homes and quiet residential neighborhoods? In Northwest DC there are big old trees lining the streets and the 1700 acre (apx. 6.9 km2) Rock Creek
The United States National Arboretum is a virtual para dise establis hed in 1927 by an Act of Congress.
Park, with its walking trails, bicycle paths and wildlife including the white-tailed deer; not what you might expect to find running freely in this world capital. Imagine how it helps when the many individuals serving weighty international and national interests can take a break, go out and perhaps, chance upon a white-tailed deer poised in a moment of serenity. Nature lovers with more time can make their way over to the National Zoo or the Planetarium also in the park.
Another option: Paradise On the other side of Washington in Northeast DC there‘s another place to go where you can get enthralled in a place apart from the pressures of the world that is perhaps a reminder of what I venture to say, few of us get enough of. The United States National Arboretum is a virtual paradise established in 1927 by an Act of Congress to serve the public need for scientific research, education, and gardens that conserve and showcase plants for the sake of enhancing the environment. In short, it‘s 9.5 miles (15.3 km) of natural splendor along exquisite almost magical winding roadways (and a good place to go after you’ve seen your share of monuments and other sightseers).
Keeping it light and lovely There are no skyscrapers in Washington, D.C. In fact since 1910, by an act of the US Congress, buildings were limited to a height of no more than 130 feet, or the width of the right-of-way of the street or avenue on which a building fronts, whichever is shorter. This was to maintain a light and airy atmosphere in a center where elements of national and eventually world history would be shaped. The original street plan for the District of Columbia was made by Pierre L‘Enfant in the Baroque style with rectangles at various locations and main streets radiat ing out from them allowing open space for landscaping. Pleasing to the eye but nonetheless functional, Washington was designed to serve as the permanent capital of the United States and an architectural masterpiece.
Summers in DC Washington is situated between the north and south (of America‘s thirteen original states) and summers are generally warm. If you’re planning on spending a lot of time outdoors, shorts and short sleeves are a popular option. Clean and quiet and on top of the list There is no heavy industry in the Capital. It is not a big metropolis. Noise is not a problem. And while the District of Columbia spends not even one cent on advertising it draws more visitors than any other location in America. Hearing or reading about it is one thing, but seeing it, seeing it for yourself at least once and well is a pleasure that should be on the top of everyone’s travel itinerary.
WOW air will start flying to Washington, D.C. in June 2015. Visit wowair.com for tickets and detailed flight schedule.
A hidden treasure
For those visiting Boston, nearby is Cape Cod, the golf, surf and beach paradise few Europeans know about.
by Gunnlaugur Rögnvaldsson Photos: Courtney Rose, Dan Cotrano, Matt Seuss and William de Sousa
There are more than 19,000 guest rooms availa ble Capewide, from bed & break fasts, inns and hotels to larger ocean front resorts.
ith all the glitz and glamour of the friendly city of Boston, European visitors often overlook Cape Cod which connects to the mainland via the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges. The peninsula is 70 miles (100 km) long, from 1-20 miles (2-32 km) wide, and surround ed by sea. A haven for outdoor and seafood lovers and those who enjoy adventures in fresh sea breeze, the Cape is only an hour’s drive from Boston. Also, several times daily during the tourist season regular high-speed ferries from Boston arrive at the tip of the Cape in Provincetown.
Cape Cod shelters Boston from the turbulent Atlantic which confronts the peninsula on the east. The famous Norse explorer Leif Eirikson and one of his brothers explored an area believed to be the Cape around the year 1000. The Mayflower Pilgrims first landed in the New World at at what is now Provincetown, in November 1620. Both histories are part of the folklore of the peninsula. During the 16th century, the Cape was populated by Native American Wam panoags who lived there peacefully. When the pilgrims first came it was the Wampanoags who assisted them, helping them survive. But much has changed
Old Silver Beach, where artists of all sorts are fascinated by the beautiful tones of light. Photo: Dan Cutrona
WOW Power to the people
Conditions for surfing and windsurfing are excellent on Cape Cod and among the best in the US. The same can be said for the numerous golf courses in the area. Photo: Matt Seuss
since then. Today, Cape Cod is renowned as where the Kennedys have had a house in Hyannis Port since 1926, from which the late President John F. Kennedy governed the country when he was on the Cape. It has also been a destination for the rich and famous for generations and painters love the special light there. World renowned novelists Kurt Vonnegut and Norman Mailer both lived on the Cape during their lives. Today the Cape comprises 15 distinctive towns, each with a constellation of villages. More than 215,000 year-round residents call the Cape home, but the peninsula’s population grows immensely during the busy summers, largely due to tourists who seek the sun and Cape Cod’s sandy beaches. Solitude can be found there for those seek ing serenity. Summer rental of homes is very popular, and many locals actually relocate for the season to rent their homes to tourists. There are more than 19,000 guest rooms available Cape-wide, from bed & breakfasts, inns and hotels to larger oceanfront resorts. More than 700 restaurants specialize in a diversity of cuisines. Small wonder why Cape Cod hosts up to 5 million visitors annually. While Cape Cod is a hidden gem to Europe ans, it is well known in the United States for its diversity of appeal.
Provincetown has a colorful downtown area and is at the tip of the Cape. It also has a large gay community and a gay festival every year. Photo: Courtney Rose
Beaches At Cape Cod there are 115 beaches, some of the best in the US and 560 (909 km) miles of coastline, so you can always find a good spot if you‘d like to be alone. There are also 365 ponds in the vicinity, allowing you to literally swim in a new pond every day of the year! Soaring sand dunes insure adventur ous off-road driving in various locations. Golfing The Cape is a Mecca for golfers, where re freshing sea breezes accompany them on 18 hole courses, played even in January. Cape Cod has been ranked among the 10 best golfing locations in the US by Golf Digest Magazine with 27 public and 14 private golf courses to choose from.
Lighthouses, like the Nobska Light here in Woods Hole are a landmark in many places. Photo: Dan Cutrona
Sports All manner of water sports are available. There are renowned beaches for wind and wave surfing, kayaking, canoeing and waterskiing. For those on land there are 106 miles (172 km) of paths for biking and rollerblading. Local kids are huge fans of baseball, so the Cape Cod Baseball League is popular with young and old. Arts There are 147 art galleries featuring many styles, genre and media. Many painters call Cape Cod home and use it as their inspiration. In addition, there are many sculp tors and potters there, making the Cape an artists‘ true eden. Shopping With 2,254 shops and boutiques, some hous ed in antique period homes, there is a huge array of shopping options, including malls.
The Kennedy family has had a summer home on the Cape for decades and there is a museum dedicated to late President John F. Kennedy in Hyannis. Photo: Courtney Rose
From 27 March 2015 WOW air will offer 6 flights a week to Boston Logan International Airport. Visit wowair.com for tickets and a detailed flight schedule.
Jenny Goldberg and Timothy Wood with their sons at Thingvellir in Iceland.
Iceland is powerful and extraordinary Jenny Goldberg from Chatham on Cape Cod loves her hometown but was impressed when she visited Iceland last summer with her family.
mong the many who have taken a liking to Cape Cod are Jenny Goldberg, an acupuncturist and Chinese medicine specialist and her husband Timothy Wood. He is the editor of the Cape Cod Chronicle and both of them visited Iceland last summer with their two sons. They live in Chatham, a small town in the middle of the Cape. “I moved to Cape Cod because of its immense beauty and as a place to raise a family. It is rather quiet in the winter, but buzzing with tourism in the summer,” says Jenny who runs a business in Chatham. “The fact that Chatham is surrounded by water on three sides makes it special. It’s delightful to walk through our quaint and colorful main street, spend time on Lighthouse Beach or swim in one of the many ponds,” Jenny adds. Chatham visitors love the seafood caught there. Clams and oysters are popular, either raw or cooked and some of the fish from there is sold to Europe. “The lobster is great too, but I will never forget the lobster soup I had at a restaurant in Stokkseyri, Iceland, during our trip there. I really enjoyed my time in Iceland and adored the huge waterfall Gullfoss.” “It was so powerful and beautiful. It was extraordinary!. My boys really liked the geysers, and just driving around the south of Iceland was so striking. The land is green and peaceful, and I loved the horses too. Thingvellir and Almannagjá were like spiritual experiences for me, and the deep blue water … like a sacred place.” Obviously Jenny is fond of Iceland, but what of favor ite places closer to her home in Cape Cod? “I love Provincetown, it’s a fun place, full of shops with funky clothing, fine art and lots of crazy stuff. There is a big and free gay scene there—something for everyone, and it does not matter if you have a lot of money or not. And I must not forget how the light and the sky here on the Cape inspires artists to keep busy with their pencils and brushes. The light and atmosphere is truly special for any kind of artwork,” says Jenny. Issue six
WINTER WONDERLAND IN THE FRENCH CAPITAL
Festivals and hot chocolate in Paris Paris is home to many winter festivals which will help beat the winter blues. If pretty lights and funfairs aren’t enough to cheer you up we’re sure a cup of hot chocolate with a view of the Eiffel Tower at dusk, will do the trick. By Nadja Sayej Photos courtesy of © Paris Tourism Office
he 43rd annual Paris Autumn Festival (www.festival-automne. com), running all December is the ultimate program with cuttingedge contemporary art by blockbuster art stars like Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, and even cinema films by Marguerite Duras and concerts by Luigi Nono. The theater program in December includes Jeanne Candel at the Théâtre dela Citéinternationale and Angélica Liddell at Odéon-Théâtre del’Europe, for a passionate act.
January 2, with old fashioned wooden fair rides, traditional fair stalls, cotton candy and candy apples. Of course, there are crepes and hot chocolate. A product of classical culture, the 30-meter-high carousel offers a close view of the glass ceiling of the Nave, along with a stunning city view. Once you step indoors, you have unlimited access to roughly 50 attractions, from live acrobatic performances to dodgem cars and rides. And if you love doughnuts and toffee apples, this is sweet heaven.
It’s a merry-go-round The funfair at the Grand Palais (www. grandpalais.fr) is not what you’d expect. Set in the Nave of the Grand Palais, this century-old historic site is also the site of a museum made of steel and glass. The one-of-a-kind, indoor funfair runs until
Intimate music From January 23 to March 8, look forward to the 14th annual Autour du Piano (www. autourdupiano.fr), which offers intimate music salons with composers and classical musicians. With a focus on piano pieces, the principle is musical diversity. Fourteen
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A product of classical culture, the 30-meterhigh carousel offers a close view of the glass ceiling of the Nave, along with a stunning city view.
musical performances will showcase piano recitals, chamber music concerts and dialogues between pianists and actors. Imagine it as a time warp back to an age before the iPod, when Beethoven and Bach were the leading stars, cheished for their live concertos. Then there is the Musée Jacquemart-André, a prestigious art museum which in the 1800s was the private home of Édouard André and Nélie Jacquemart. Visit the museum’s Grand Salon where, for example, you can attend a concert on January 23, with a glass of champagne and enjoy the concert with a menu, a project between classical music and gastronomy. Created for “foodie Parisians,” an old food book from 1825 will act as an inspiration point for Brigitte Fossey, the reader, and Danielle Laval, the pianist, who will play everything from Chopin to Mendelssohn.
headquarters of the now-defunct Kodak photo company.
Picture Paris If you love photography, be sure to check out Circulations, a photography festival from young Europeans (www.festival-circu lations.com) which kicks off January 24. Roughly 50 up-and -coming photographers will show their latest work, focusing on shots taken in Belgium, Italy, Greece and Germany, among others. One compelling series by Switzerland-based photographer Rasti Laurence shows portraits of Iranian gay refugees in the small town of Denizli, Turkey. Meanwhile, Catherine Leutenegger shows compelling landscapes of Roch ester, New York, which was the
Satisfy your appetite The 6th Coquille Saint-Jacques des Côtes d’Armor Festival (www. cotesdarmor.com), which runs from January 21 to 22, fills the three Parisian districts of Pigalle, Trinité and Montmarte with markets, enter tainment and processions. If you’re a fan of French cheese and local gastronomy, this is where to satisfy your appetite – in Côtes d’Armor.
Lækjarbrekka is a classic Icelandic Restaurant situated in heart of old Reykjavík, Lækjarbrekka specialises in Icelandic cuisine with a la carte menu and first rate service.
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What to do in Tenerife If you can get away from the beach for long enough, there are countless things to do on the beautiful island of Tenerife! Whether you like your adrenaline pumping or if you’re a laid back type of tourist, this enchanting island has something for everyone. WOW air will start flying to Tenerife Sur airport in March 2015. By Bergrún Íris Sævarsdóttir / Photos: Thinkstock Photos
k, so let’s start with the obvious must-sees and dos! The Teide National Park is a natural wonder with trails and a cable car ride all the way from the parking lot to the top of Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain. If you like breathtaking landscapes, don’t miss a boat ride to the Los Gigantes Cliffs. For those who like their dinner with a side of amazing view, they are also viewable from several oceanfront restaurants in a town near by. The Guimar Pyramids are an example of an interesting historical and archaeological site for those thirsting for knowledge, who will have no trouble filling their days with exploration and museum visits. People of all ages can enjoy a visit to the Loro Parque Zoo and wildlife refuge, outside of Santa Cruz. The zoo includes a local market and children’s playground. The Grand Carnival Parade, host ed each year on the island, is Europe’s largest carnival with colorful costumes, feathers, loud music and spectacular floats. In Tenerife you will also find go-kart tracks, waterparks, scuba diving, paragliding and bungee jumping, every thing an adrenaline junkie’s heart might desire. A taste for the unusual For the quirky tourist who‘s a fan of unusual attractions, Tenerife is the perfect location with tons of options. Go see the Dragon Tree, a thousand year old sacred tree located in the lovely town of Icod de las Vinos. Don’t climb it though, unless you want to spend a night in a Spanish prison—although that would certainly be unusual, right? If you want to visit the beach but don’t care for the crowd, you can find a small strip of black lava sand close to the village of Igueste. The currents are strong, so be careful! Don’t leave Tenerife without trying the local fish dishes, such as wreckfish, damselfish, white sea bream, bogue and parrot fish. Why waste your pallet on international fast food places with generic dishes you can get at home? Go all in for the gourmet experience by reading up on some of Tenerife’s finest restaurants and then make each meal count. Three restaurants you might want to check out are Restaurant Los Roques in Los Abrigos, Restaurant Sebastian in Costa Adeje and Restaurante Las Velas in Los Cristianos. Don’t forget though, the best meal you eat could be a cheap quesadilla, as long as you’re in good company.
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The Grand Carnival Parade, hosted each year on the island, is Europe’s larg est carnival with colorful costumes, feathers, loud music and spectacular floats.
FYI! Of the seven Canary Islands, Tenerife is both the largest and most populated. Two airports are located in Tene rife and WOW air flies directly to Tenerife Sur, or the south airport. It’s all about the cheese in Tenerife, with a huge export of 3,400 tons of cheese per year. With cheese comes wine! Tenerife has a large wine culture and five main wine growing regions. Brush up on your Spanish before visiting Tenerife, or at least learn this useful phrase: ‘Habla Usted inglés?’ (Do you speak English?). The currency in Tenerife is the Euro and there are plenty of inter national stores and malls on the island. Experience Tenerife’s rich culture by exploring museums, Roman Catholic churches and local farm markets.
WOW air will start flying to Tenerife Sur in March 2015, once a week all year round. Find cheap flights on wowair.com.
Getting sassy at Berlin Fashion Week Winter blues getting you down? Then hop on down to Berlin Fashion Week with WOW air. Mid-January brings the multi-location event, which kicks off in the district between Mitte and Wedding at the Erika-Hess-Ice Stadium. by Nadja Sayej / Photos: Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Berlin Fashion Week unless otherwise stated.
The Bright Tradeshow. Photo: Courtesy of Bright Tradeshow.
ercedes-Benz Berlin Fashion Week has a glittery catwalk that rolls out for designers, press, buyers and yes, also celebrities. For haute couture, the starstudded runways showcase designers from Berlin and beyond showing the latest designer trends. Always on the lookout for the next best thing, all eyes are on the next season. New trends are everywhere (so is the champagne). There’s also a focus on green fashion and sustainability. Celebrities like the British, Oscar-winn ing actress Tilda Swinton, American actress Hilary Swank, Georgia May Jagger, as well as Berlin tattooed-model Lexy Hell and former Germany’s Next Top Model judge Rolf Scheider.
subcultures, youth movements, film and independent art. If green design interests you, the Ethical Fashion Show Berlin showcases sustainably-produced casual wear and street fashion, while the GREENshowroom features high green fashion, eco-textiles and accessories from Germany, like the internationally-acclaimed Blond and Bieber who create pigment from microalgae.
British actress Elizabeth Hurley steps out for Berlin Fashion Week.
On the catwalk at the GREENshowroom.
Experimental and eclectic While Milan, Paris and New York fashion weeks might be blockbuster, the Berlin fashion scene is somewhat experimental. Here, the runway is playful and eclectic. So, don’t expect to find your typical big brand names. While you might still spot Karl Lagerfeld backstage (he also just opened his own boutique at Leipziger Platz), Berlin fashion week matches the spirit of the city: underground, raw and unique. Highlights, as always, will include catwalk shows by Guido Maria Kretschmer, Lala Berlin and Sisi Goetze. If the runway shows are not enough, be sure to check out all the fashion fairs, which run from roughly January 19-21. The Premium Fashion Trade Show at Station Berlin features roughly 1,500 international designers showcasing exclusive women’s and menswear. Next door, Seek bills itself as a “pro gressive” trade show which is not inter ested in trends. Rather, they focus on timeless designs inspired by pop culture,
Panorama Berlin presents international brands and avant-garde collections, as well as street wear and sportswear— brands include Garcia Jeans, Arte Pura and Picard. Meanwhile, Show & Order is the high-end trade show for brands, labels and designers like Panicale Cashmere and Parure Jewellery. One of the biggest fashion trade shows is Bread and Butter, which focuses on street wear and urban wear in the former hangars of Tempelhof Airport. Slightly edgier is the Bright Tradeshow, which is known for showing cheeky slog ans and quirky snapbacks for the skate board crowd. Since they’ll be hosting the Bright European Skateboard Awards, you can expect to see brands like Adidas, Puma and Kangol lining the aisles, alongside new designers like Carhartt, Underfeated, X-Large and Staple. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of their glossy magazine, which has sprawling interviews with edgy artists like Terry Rodgers and Ed Tempelton.
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Celebrities like the British, Oscar-winn ing actress Tilda Swinton, American actress Hilary Swank, Georgia May Jagger, as well as Berlin tattooed-mo del Lexy Hell and former Germany’s Next Top Model judge Rolf Scheider.
Shopping For shopping, there is the iconic Kaufhaus des Westens shopping center at Wittenbergplatz, said to be the largest shopping center in continental Europe with seven floors, including a rooftop restaurant encased in glass. Just down the street from Galeries Lafayette, a branch of the luxury Parisian department store, the eclectic celebrity designer and TV personality Harald Glööckler recently opened his flagship store at Friedrichstraβe. Crowned with a life-size sculpture of the designer, there is a throne and Renaissance-style ceiling murals to provide an extravagant shopping experience. Snag star-studded purses, a biography of the designer or even glamorous attire for your dog, there really is everything in this one-of-a-kind shop.
Photo: Courtesy of Green Showroom Berlin.
Harald Glööckler is one of Germany’s most extravagant characters. © Photos: Detlef Zmeck for Harald Glööckler International GmbH
Over in the west end, Charlottenburg is getting its groove back. Bikini Berlin is a concept mall where one can get Comme des Garçons cologne or the latest from Berlin designer, Anna Kraft. Some pop-up shops arrive for months at a time in the 19 Bikini Berlin “boxes,” which are actually wooden stalls for small, independent businesses. The Glamoury Pharmacy hair and beauty salon sells cosmetic products, while the Edsor Berlin collection sells handmade ties, pocket squares and scarves.
Bikini Berlin concept mall. Photo: Courtesy of Bikini Berlin.
At the top of Bikini Berlin, climb up to the rooftop for a view of the neighboring zoo. It is also where you’ll find the Gestalten café and bookshop, home to jewelry, home accessories, magazines and their own line of books. In the neighboring skyscraper, the 25hours Hotel rooftop Monkey Bar offers a magical city view. Along with fashion week, Berlin also has a group of Sunday flea markets that go well into the winter, including vintage
shopping. Mauerpark is the city’s biggest flea market in the namesake park near the trendy district of Prenzlauer Berg (follow your ears, they have a karaoke session in the park in the afternoons). In the west end, the Straße des 17. Juni Flea Market is one of the most highlyregarded antique and flea markets in the city. With handcrafted designs, home made knits and handicrafts, there is tons of art, old shiny antiques and highly coveted objects to relish in. For a quieter, younger crowd, Nowkölln is a vintage and second-hand market set near the idyllic Maybachufer in Neukölln. If you’d rather relish in high fashion from afar, check out the current exhibition at the Helmut Newton Foundation, for the latest exhibition “Permanent Loan Selection,” showcasing portraits, nudes and fashion. Find black-and-white shots from the 1980s of David Bowie and Sigourney Weaver; if you can’t live fashi on, you can at least admire it.
Good to know WOW air flies to Schönefeld Airport which is well connected to the local public transport network and regional tranes and it’s just a 30 minute ride from Berlin’s Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) with the AirportExpress. In Berlin they pay for stuff with Euros. Berliners tend to be rule-followers at heart and they aren’t shy about admonishing those who don’t follow the rules. If you don’t want to get stern looks or a public shaming you should steer clear of jaywalking, littering and walking on the grass. Besides the rule-following Berliners are very tolerant people and most anything goes in the city. Public transport in Berlin operates on an honesty system. Be honest or you could be fined up to 40 Euros on the spot if you’re caught without a ticket.
The lobby of the Helmut Newton Foundation. Photo: Courtesy of Helmut Newton Foundation.
WOW air offers cheap flights to Berlin three times a week during the winter and every day during the summer.
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Off the cuff Bespoke evokes images of style, tradition and refinement, of handmade clothing created from the finest fabrics by the most skilled of craftsmen for the most discerning of gentlemen. Cindy-Lou Dale investigates London’s affordable bespoke shirt alternative. Text and photos by Cindy-Lou Dale
udd Shirtmakers (3 Piccadilly Arcade) is a source of national pride as it’s one of the last re maining Mayfair establishments that can boast having its own working cutting room on site. It’s a little den of pleasures where you can experience tra ditional shirt making as it was performed over a hundred years ago. No short cuts All of their bespoke shirts are handcrafted and cut at their Mayfair cutting room located above the shop. You will be measured by one of their three cutters (all of whom followed traditional apprentic eships in the trade and between them have eighty years’ experience) who will produce a concise set of over 20 meas urements. Your frame, posture, even your stance will be factored in the shirt’s cut as your cutter prepares to create a garment that follows your exact measurements resulting in a shirt that will sit against your skin, shadowing your body’s every contour. Your cutter will talk you through selecting a fabric and give you styling advice regarding collars and cuffs. A paper pattern is made and a sample shirt is cut which is then handed to the seam stress for sewing, washed then returned to the shop. You will be asked to wear your sample shirt a couple of times and if alterations are needed a new sample shirt will be made and the process repeated. If not, your order will go ahead. Says Head Cutter, John Butcher: “There are no short cuts in our process and no compromise when it comes to fit, quality and craft. We believe we make the best shirts in London and our continued repu tation for excellence spanning over one hundred years attests to this.” But bespoke shirts don’t come cheap. You’re looking at £225 each, with a minim um order of four. However, Budd also offers ready-to-wear shirts and for clients who don’t perfectly fit in these, but don’t want to go bespoke, they offer a made-tomeasure service. A stock pattern is used to fit the customer; the cuff, collar and fit are chosen. There are about the same number of fabrics available as when going bespoke. The made-to-measure process
For those taking their first step into the exclusive world of bespoke shirts, fear not; you will be guided through the process and advised at each step.
takes between six and eight weeks and the bespoke fractionally longer. Prices for the made-to-measure shirts start at £174, with a minimum order of three. A sensible investment One of the greatest plus points of custom tailoring is the professional advice passed on, which includes accentuating your physical attributes and minimizing your unbecoming bits. This guidance guar antees your considerable spend to be a sensible investment, in comparison to the alternative off-the-peg chain store version,
which proves to be false economy. Heading to Dege & Skinner at 10 Savile Row, the neighbourhood that’s been applauded the world over as the place for handmade men’s clothing, I found Master Cutter Robert Whittaker. “Our shirt patterns are cut specifically for an individual and no one else. That pattern is unique to that particular be spoke shirt customer. The trust between our customers and our bespoke shirt making team means that some customers even leave the choice of cloth design to us, relying on our advice and guidance. Some relationships have been held with customers for decades so there’s a close understanding of what an individual might like to wear.” Although the majority of shirt customers at Dege & Skinner prefer to go the be spoke route, they also sell a collection of ready-to-wear shirts which are often altered on site with sleeves lengthened or waist darts added. Additionally, they have a ‘stock special shirt service’ which in effect means the customer buys a ready-to-wear shirt, made in a stock size, but using the customer’s choice of fabric. The price for Dege & Skinner’s bespoke shirts start at £235, with a minimum order of four. Their ready-towear shirts, which include Royal Oxford and Poplin and two different collar styles (classic and cutaway) start at £125. The range of ready-to-wear dress shirts, including Marcella and ivory silk, all with three stud holes and removable buttons to allow for dress studs, start at £190. Prices for their stock shirts, where the customer chooses the fabric, start at £192. There is a downside to all of this though. Once you have encountered a garment personally crafted for you, you may find it to be the beginning of a lifelong passion for sartorial elegance.
WOW air offers cheap flights to London from Iceland all year round. Check out our cheap flights to London from Boston and Washington, D.C. via Iceland.
STYLING ADVICE: If you’re vertically challenged, your sleeves need to be shortened. If you’re on the heavy side go for dark colors, also subtle vertical stripes (shifting the emphasis to height) and go for soft hues of your chosen color, small almost ‘shadowed’ check pattern as opposed to anything bold and in your face. Your shirts collars should be long and angular and be sure to order a large enough collar as you don’t want anything to look pinched. If you’re slender avoid narrow lapels and narrow stripes. www.dege-skinner.co.uk – www.buddshirts.co.uk
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The Austrian Alps: a ski paradise Austria is one of the best ski destinations in Europe. While the Austrian Alps near Salzburg are not as high as in Switzerland or even France, there are beautiful snowfalls you don’t want to miss during the peak of ski season from now until March. by Nadja Sayej / Photos courtesy of SalzburgerLand Tourism
winter vaycay in Salzburg or its nearby ski resorts is rewarding on all levels, as many don’t know about the hidden treas ures south Austria has to offer. There are hot springs for example and during the Advent Season, right before Christmas, the city and small towns are drenched in charm the Advent Season, right before Christ mas, drenches the city and small towns in charm. If you’re up for a sleigh ride or even snowboarding, the Salzburg Snow Shuttle connects the city to the slopes. If you’re heading there to ski, the “Salz burg super ski card” is a good regional pass for all 23 ski areas, offering access for skiers to over 200 chairlifts and 2,552 kilometers of slopes. The ski card helps cut through some of the basic questions for first-time Salzburg skiers —where, why and what—and it also sorts out the ski resorts which are good for your personal ski style. From night skiing to snow boarding, beginner slopes, schools and
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family-friendly areas, the seasonal pass allows you to choose packages. Here is a peek at seven different regions and what makes each of them unique. Untersbergbahn Opening mid-December, Unterbergsbahn is perfect if you’re on a short trip. Just 10 km from Salzburg, it is the closest slopes to the city with 1400 m altitude. With a stunning view of the nearby slopes, it has a 7.5 km-long ski run (roughly 20 minutes), and bus 35 from Füsterbrunn will take you directly to the valley. This ski run is used by local athletes, so you’ll be well advised if you need directions. www.untersbergbahn.at Hintersee This small ski area, only 30 km from the city with 40 km of runs and rising to just under 1600m, has three ski schools, a
ski maintenance area and a kid area. Equipped with tasty regional culinary specials, this place is all about family—so check out the family prices and the cozy alpine huts, which you’ll find alongside the slopes. www.gaissauhintersee.at Postalm Known for their beginner’s area near St Wolfgang, Postalm, just 46 km from Salzburg, is home to two ski schools, a tube park and a ton of slopes. Set on the largest plateau in Austria, it is 1200 km above sea level, drawing downhill and cross-country skiers, as well as snowboarders. They have a live webcam on their website, so you can get a good view before you fly. winter.postalm.at
Abtenau Set near Postalm, this small ski area on the Karkogel is just 49 km from Salzburg. Reached by the Lammertal A-road by car or ski buses in the Dachstein West ski region, they offer more than the slopes— there are holiday packages for families, ice skating, snowshoe hiking and tours of the Tennen Mountains with guides. www.abtenau-info.at
Unken-Heutal If you are tired of the big slopes filled with tourists, take a trip out to this tiny but quiet family area 48 km from Salzburg. Although they provide draglifts only, they do offer ski tours, winter hiking, tobogganing and archery. They also have three snack bars including one that specializes in fish. www.heutal-lift.at
Dachstein West Ski Area A linked-together ski area from the villag es of Gosau, Russbach and Annaberg, this ski area is 69 km from Salzburg offering 142 pistes, 58 ski lifts and six resorts. Their ski huts offer regional delights, including sugared pancakes and mulled wines. They offer their own special ski pass which is good at five locations, including floodlit skiing at Lungötz. www.dachstein.at
If you’re heading there to ski, the “Salzburg super ski card” is a good regional pass for all 23 ski areas, offering access for skiers to over 200 chairlifts and 2,552 kilometers of slopes.
Safety on the Slopes The Avalanche Warning Centre in Salzburg has a five-step avalanc he danger scale. They provide public, daily reports on avalanche hazards and snow conditions on the Alps. Experienced mountaineers are in 22 observation stations in the region observing the level of risk. Be sure to check their reports. Thermal Spas If the weather sucks, or you have a rainy day, hit the “Thermen” (thermal) spas in Salzburg and find the Felsentherme or the Alpentherme. Both are in Bad Gastein, and provide fitness, beauty and sauna facilities. For more information, visit www. salzburgsuperskicard.com.
Lofer This well-sized family ski area is set above a village, 47 km from Salzburg. Equipped with new ski lifts, they call themselves the best family ski area. They have been in construction since last year to make water reserves for more snow slopes. A new shuttle train, new snowmaking lines and a pond make this one of the most criticallyacclaimed ski hotspots in all of Austria. www.skialm-lofer.com
WOW air offers cheap flights to Salzburg during the hight of the skiing season. Find our low prices on wowair.com and start waxing those skis.
This and that …
Heavy metal in the east Every year heavy metal lovers, flock to the East Fjords of Iceland to witn ess the Eistnaflug Music Festival in the town of Neskaupsstadur. The first bands for next year’s Eistnaflug have just been announced and among them are The Vintage Caravan, In Solitude, Godflesh, Skalmold, Inquisition and Dimma with more bands to be announced later. If you are at all into the world of heavy metal, waste no time. Last year’s tickets sold out well before the event and there’s no reason to believe this year will be any different.
Bringing heat to Copenhagen Once upon a time you could recognize Icelanders abroad by their 66°NORTH gear but not anymore. Gaining in popularity worldwide the Icelandic outerwear giant (that also designs great thermal underwear mind you) has just opened its first international standalone store in Icelanders’ favorite city, Copenhagen. The store is located on Sværtegade 12 and was designed by prestigious Berlin-based architects Gonzalez-Haase. At the 130 square meters location 66°NORTH has collections for men, women and children guaranteed to keep the whole family warm even through the coldest of winters. 66°NORTH is an alternative for outdoorsy people and they work closely with high quality fabric manufacturers offering the most innovative and versatile materials availa ble. Trained mountaineers, outdoor professionals and rescue team members test the 66°NORTH products before they are manufactured so you can trust that they will keep you sheltered and comfortable during the cold and wet winter days in Copenhagen and serve as a valuable ally when you decide to push your limits in the great outdoors.
Check out www.eistnaflug.is or find Eistnaflug on Facebook for more information. Eistnaflug 2015 will be held on July 9-11.
It’s not beer We’ve heard rumors that some less than honest shop owners are selling light beer and pilsner to unsuspecting travelers in Iceland who think they’re buying the real stuff and are then left to ponder at their level of non-intoxication. This may come as a surprise for many but when you’re in Iceland you can only buy alcoholic beverages (over 2.25%) in the state run liquor stores known as ATVR or Rikid (the State) and of course in cafés, bars and restaurants. So whatever you’ll find in your run of the mill shop around the corner or supermarket, know that it’s light. You can also buy real alcohol on board your WOW air flight, it’s cheaper than on the ground so stock up! Check the % on your beverage before you buy it.
A happy new year Icelandic cartoonist/writer/comedian Hugleikur Dagsson has published about 20 books, written 3 plays and 1 animated TV show, done his own stand-up comedy and also the occasional art project. His cartoon jokes are not for the fainthearted as Hugleikur has unusually black and sarcastic humor which we have all learned to appreciate and love. Recently Hugleikur finished a calendar for the year of 2015. Each month is a story and every day tells a part of it. Hugleikur said he had tried to go as much over the top as he could for this calendar so we can expect his often shocking, and frankly quite sick, humor to be even blacker, more sarcastic and sicker than usual. Check out Hugleikur’s comics and posters at www.dagsson.com.
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This and that …
There’s nothing quite like the summer solstice in Iceland. For a few day we have 24 hours of daylight and if you’re lucky you can watch as the sun lowers itself, painting the sky with vivid Photo: Sigríður Ella Frímannsdóttir. colors of orange and pink and then rising again without ever setting. This is a great time of year for staying outdoors and taking photos and it’s also a great time to have a party and that is exactly what Secret Solstice Festival is all about. The first ever Secret Solstice Festival was held in June 2014 and it was an instant hit with both locals and guests. Secret Solstice will return in 2015 so keep your cal endar free on June 19-21 and book your flights with WOW air for another awesome celebration of the sun and some great music from around the world. Super early bird tickets have already sold out and regular early bird tickets are going fast. Check out www.secretsolstice.is or find them on Facebook for more information and tickets.
Photo: Sigríður Ella Frímannsdóttir.
Are you ready for another Secret Solstice?
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Former mayor gets Lennon Ono Peace Prize Text and photos by Gunnlaugur Rognvaldsson
ón Gnarr, former Mayor of Reykjavik, was awarded the renowned Lennon Ono Grant for work towards peace in a ceremony at Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavík this autumn. At the same cere mony the Lennon One Grant was also given to Jeremy Gilley, Doreen Remen, Yvonne Force and Jann Werner, one of the founders of the Rolling Stones magazine in the US. Gnarr was a popular mayor and known for his unusual ways of con ducting things in his job, both at home and abroad. He was elected Mayor in 2010 and served four years as such. He often spoke of issues like freedom of speech, human rights and protecting the environment. He also promoted international peace in various ways. At the ceremony in Reykjavik, Yoko Ono said that every year her late husband was remembered with the peace grant. The Imagine Peace Tower is illuminated on October 9th, Lennon’s birthday, in his memory on Viðey Island in Reykjavík. Its rays travel into the sky until December 8th each year, the day Lennon was assassinated in New York in 1980. “It’s very important to celebrate people and organizations who help us all to advance the idea of peace,” said Ono at the Imagine Peace Ceremony at Harpa. “Although the recipients work in very different fields, for me it’s a continuation of the work that John and I did together, and it’s what John would have wanted. His music lasts forever and I myself continue to work for peace. I thank every one of the recipients and everyone in the world who has stood up for peace, helping us all to keep the flame alive,” said Ono. Gnarr quickly donated his grant, 6 million IKR (ca. 39,000 Euros / 48,000 USD / 31,000 GBP) to the women’s shelter in Reykjavik, as it is customary to donate the grant to a good cause. As a child, Gnarr was diagnosed with severe mental retardation due to dyslexia, learning difficulties and ADHD. He overcame this to become one of Iceland’s most popular comedians, actors and then mayor, after founding a new political party, The Best Party, and winning the 2010 municipal elections in Reykjavík. Gnarr intends to move with his family to Houston, Texas in early 2015 for some time, but according to recent polls the Icelandic public wants him to run for president in 2016.
This and that …
Based on the Sagas of Icelanders, Saga Fest is a music and arts festi val where attendees are encouraged to share community-building experiences that foster vulnerability and promote sustainable living. Together, they will build a pop-up village that promotes openness, creativity and change. Although art, music and storytelling are the focal points of the festival, Saga Fest is about so much more. It’s about connecting people with each other and the planet. Come as you are but leave as a changed person. This is a festival all about transformation. The festival is held less than an hour’s drive from Reykjavík, and just 3km north of the village Eyrarbakki where a sustainable farm will host the inaugural Saga Fest. On a clear day, from the farm, you can see a stretch of mountains to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. The festival’s location is in a region often featured in the Sagas of Icelanders, ghost stories and other country folklore. Here are just a few examples of how Saga Fest differs from the rest: Festival tickets printed on seed paper, which you plant as you enter the festival grounds “BYOI” (Bring Your Own Instrument): participants are encouraged to jam anywhere Conscious food and a pop-up farmer’s market Experiential play zones to explore An open-mic community stage Fireside storytelling at night Installations and structures built out of found materials and designed by principles of permaculture Yoga, meditation, and interactive workshops on topics like eco-villages, blacksmithing, theatrical improv and self-healing
A festival with a saga Would you like to attend a festival that’s different from any other? If “yes” then the first ever Saga Fest might be something for you. For two days in May 2015, 23-24, a community will gather on a farm near Reykjavík and answer this important question: What is our story?
Check out www.sagafest.is for more information.
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 six
Eldborg Chamber at the Harpa Concert Hall. The two singers let their guests forget all about the craziness of their Christmas preparations, reminding them about the magic of the season, presenting new songs as well as compositions born of this grand collaboration that were released on their Christmas albums.
What’s going on over here? Quite a lot actually, and if you know where to look you can live each night in Iceland like there’s a full blown festival going on.
What: Sigríður Thorlacius and Sigurður Guðmundsson’s Christmas Concert When: 17 December Where: Reykjavik, Harpa Concert Hall, Eldborg Is it possible to celebrate Christmas in a more beautiful way than with the two leading and most celebrated Icelandic singers? Sigurður Guðmunds son and Sigríður Thorlacius are both esteemed musicians and each has recorded their own Christ mas album in addition to singing or playing with their own bands; Sigurður with reggae band Hjalmar, and Sigríður with melodic pop sensation Hjaltalín. When Christmastime comes, this duo evokes a blissful atmosphere of Christmastide during an annual concert with an entire band in the amazing
What: 3 Voices & Beatur’s Christmas Concert When: 19 December and 20 December Where: Reykjavik, Café Rosenberg Christmas music is not only performed traditionally in the form of carols or Yuletide songs. You can see it on December 19th and 20th in Café Rosenberg at the 3 Voices & Beatur Christmas Concert. This quartet loves to share its joy during this special time and never takes itself too seriously. 3 Voices & Beatur consists of three female singers and one powerful beat boxer who create a warm festive feeling, entertaining guests not only with music but also with jokes and streams of good energy. The audience will be surprised by the nontraditional arrangements reaching elements of jazz, soul and swing. 3 Voices & Beatur will definitely send you home with a smile.
What: St. Thorlak‘s Mass When: 23 December Where: All around the country St. Thorlak’s Mass marks the end of Christmas preparations. People are busy adorning their houses, children can finally decorate the Christmas tree and there’s the last-minute rush to finish the Christmas shopping. On this day shops are open until at least 11pm, offering beautiful Christmas gifts for that special
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someone. Laugavegur Street is full of people and musicians who beguile the evening. Wafting through the air is the characteristic smell of the day’s meal, yes that’s ammonia, as todays dish is fermented skate (skata). The skate is usually served boiled with potatoes, turnips and melted sheep fat. Don’t miss tasting it since Þorláksmessa is the only day of the year that local restaurants offer this delicacy!
What: Árstíðir Christmas Concert When: 23 December Where: Fríkirkjan, Reykjavík For several years now, the highly acclaimed local indie-folk band have held down an annual tradition of a cozy, candlelit Christmas concert at the Fríkirkjan church. Playing a mixture of their own beautiful harmonies and traditional holiday songs – not the pop hits but the folk classics – they bring together friends and family for a warm and peaceful celebration. The band is on the cusp of releasing its third album, ‘Hvel’, so this year’s event is bound to be an even greater celebration both for the players and the revelers who’ll undoubtedly be hearing some of the band’s new songs. It will be a thing of beauty.
What: New Year’s Eve When: 31 December Where: All around the country Icelanders ring in every New Year with a bang – or rather many, many huge bangs all over the country! When the clock strikes twelve on the final night of the year, the entire capital area explodes in a beautiful frenzy of fireworks and good cheer, making Reykjavík one of the world’s most dazzling and fun places to spend New Year’s Eve. Wherever you are in the city, you will no doubt have a fantastic view of the sky
as it lights up with colors. Then hit downtown for some of the world’s most legendary partying.
What: The Thirteenth Day of Christmas When: 6 January Where: All around the country The Thirteenth Day of Christmas (Þrettándinn) marks the last day of Christmas celebrations. The last of the 13 Yule Lads leaves town and Christmas trees and other decorations get their rest for awhile. This is also the last day Icelanders are officially allowed to set off fireworks so don’t be surprised if you see bonfires and firework shows around town. Folktales have it that on the Thirteenth, impossible things can happen; cows talk, seals take on human form, water turns into wine and fairies and elves look for a new dwelling place so, on that day they are visible to ordinary people. Would you like to meet some magical creatures?
What: Þorrablót (Thorri) When: 23 January – 22 February Where: All around the country The festivals of the old Nordic calendar do not go unnoticed here in Iceland and this one celebrates the month of Thorri. Named for the Norse god Thor, Thorrablót is celebrated with a feast that harkens back to the country’s ancient pagan days, with speeches, poetry, dancing and food. The food served is of particular note, as they are dishes that were commonly served in the countryside during times when food was scarce
and preservation was crucial – singed sheep’s heads, pickled ram testicles, rotten shark, blood pudding, and more. Many feasts are held throughout the country so check online to find one. A new trend, when it comes to celebrating Thorri, is the dedicated specialty beers from various microbreweries around the country. We recommend that you give some of them a try especially if you are having trouble swallowing some of the other Thorri treats.
What: Dark Music Days When: 29 January - 1 February Where: Reykjavík, Harpa Concert Hall Despite this festival’s name and the very little sunlight over the course of its duration, Dark Music Days is a truly illuminating event for progressive contemporary music in Iceland. Launched in 1980 by the Society of Icelandic Composers, the event highlights some of the country’s most ambitious and experimental composers and musicians, along with lauded artists from abroad. This year’s list includes names like Tinna Þorsteinsdóttir, CAPUT ensemble, Lindsay Vickery, Nordic Affect, and Kammersveit Reykjavíkur. The Harpa Concert and Conference Center is where it all happens. The event is also notable for featuring more composition premiers than any other event in Iceland, with 30 taking place this year from Icelandic, American, Australian, Dutch and Belgian composers. Altogether, the festival serves as a fantastic gathering for composers, musicians, artists and the general public to meet and be inspired by new, foreward-thinking approaches to composition.
What: Skálmöld Album Release Show When: January 31 Where: Hof Cultural Center, Akureyri The country’s Viking metal stalwarts released their latest album, ‘Með Vættum,’ this past October and they have been garnering critical and popular praise both at home and abroad. This got them to quickly set sail to support the album with a set of tour dates, but will return this winter to play two highly anticipated shows at the Hof Cultural Center in Akureyri. Both shows are for all ages and they will no doubt put on a grand spectacle, giving this album the full pomp and ceremony it deserves. For those lucky ones in the north and anyone else who could make it up there, it should not be missed.
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Photo: Marcos Zotes
What: Winter Light Festival When: 6-15 February Where: Reykjavík Even during long winter nights in Reykjavik you can follow the light. That is the reason why Winter Lights Festival was created a few years ago. It underscores the beauty of the town and at the same time adds a bit of shine to that much appreciated but limited daylight struggling with the wintry darkness of Icleand’s February. Amazing art-light works created by talented artists from Europe are exhibited in Reykjavik, with many of them employing the use of sound to impart an incredible charm in various corners of the city.
Thanks to spectacular light installations and illuminations exhibited on the most prominent buildings in the city and in public places, you can experience a striking interplay of light and darkness that show the capital of Iceland from a totally different and contrasting perspective during the Winter Light Festival in Reykjavik. In addition to art, the festival also focuses on history, culture, sports and the environment. Everyone will find something interesting. Do you know why Icelandic swimming pools are so popular? You will find the answer during the Pool Night. Would you like to learn something about rich culture and history of Iceland? Free entrance to all museums in Reykjavik is offered on Museum Night! Be ready for an unforgettable experience!
Photo: Aron Þorsteinsson
What: Sónar Reykjavík When: February 12-14 Where: Reykjavík, Harpa Concert Hall Iceland’s own edition of the pioneering music festival takes over all of Harpa each February. On five stages and an underground nightclub in the parking garage, there will be a carefully curated program of local and international artists, mainly of the electronic persuasion. This year’s festival will host the likes of dubstep superstar Skrillex, electronic-indie masterminds TV On The Radio, renegade uberproducer Kindness, dance floor king Todd Terje, club diva Elliphant, avant-garde wizards Ghostigital, and many many more. Expect lots of lights, sweat, glow sticks and endless dancing at this massive three-day party.
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What: Alternative cinema When: All the time Where: Cinema Paradise (Bíó Paradís), Hverfisgata Giving us a welcome reprieve from Hollywood blockbusters, the Cinema Paradise is an art house cinema, screening the latest art house releases, special genre films, repertory cinema, documentaries, shorts, animation and experimental films, emphasizing all types of Icelandic films, old and new. Cinema Paradise also has a great bar/café with free wi-fi where you meet before or after the screening.
White God / HUN 2014 A winner of theUn Certain Regard prize Cannes, the movie has been described as a dystopian drama where political and cultural tensions in Europe are described in a masterful way.
The home of the Northern Lights
Paris of the north / ISL 2014 / English subtitles Seeking shelter from the trials and tribulations of city life, Hugi has built a quiet existence for himself in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere. Here, he passes his days jogging, attending AA meetings and taking Portuguese lessons online. But when Hugi’s estranged, boozy father shows up out of the blue, the precarious balance he has worked so hard to achieve is tested to the hilt.
Only one hour drive from Reykjavík in South Iceland
Cozy country hotel Gourmet a’la carte menu Jimmy’s Hall / IRE 2014 In 1932, after ten years in the United States, Jimmy Gralton returns to his native Ireland to help his mother run the family farm. To meet the needs of the young people Jimmy decides to reopen the ‘Hall’, a young people’s center, free and open to all, where the local young people meet to dance, study or talk. Success comes quickly, but the growing influence of Jimmy and his radical ideas is not to everyone’s taste in the village. The film competed in Palme d´Or section at Cannes last spring. Check out their website for more details – www.bioparadis.is
+ “Everything. The location was beautiful. The staff were excellent. The price was spot on. Matthias and his assistant were excellent. Really made us feel welcome.The food was absolutely amazing and the hotel had a real personal feeling. It’s a new hotel, which we believe will be extremely popular. Matthias was the best host we have ever had, not only is he a fantastic chef, but a charming man with lots of character. we had dinner there 2 nights running and tasted the fine French menu- he makes suggestions on what is excellent at the moment and often cooks part of meal right from your table. The rooms are well presented and the price was extremely reasonable. The interior around the reception and dinning area is exceptional. The view from our rooms were also outstanding, the hotel is placed in ideal spot to visit the golden circle. We cannot recommend this hotel enough and wish Matthias all the best luck for the future. Thank you for a wonderful stay.” Andrew and Rebecca Stevens.Wales. Uk. - Nothing! We loved it all :)
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For bookings: email@example.com or give us a call +354 897 6549 Issue six 109 www.hotelborealis.is
Virgo 23 August - 22 September This month you’ll finally come out of the closet only to go straight back in there because your shoes didn’t match your purse.
Libra 23 September - 23 October You’ll be a big hit at a business meeting in the next days when your phone starts ringing and the ringtone is Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” Mortified you decide to save face by just rolling with it and doing an interpretive dance.
Scorpio 24 October - 21 November Don’t go where everybody knows your name. That’s not all they know!
Aries 21 March - 19 April Soon the world will discover your secret talent. Having had just a few too many at an office party you’ll bust onto the stage and give your rendition of “My Heart Will Go On.” Who knew your voice could repel small rodents and insects of all kinds?
Taurus 20 April - 20 May You philandering days must come to an end. Yes, some do say we should love everybody the same but they really didn’t mean it like that.
Sagittarius 22 November - 21 December Please stop imagining that your life is a reality TV show. It really looks weird when you do a sit-down commentary to your imaginary camera crew about things that just happened.
Capricorn 22 December - 19 January People closest to you will have a great time over the holidays but you will be obsessing over what you didn’t do perfectly. Relax, no one will ever find that one typo in that Christmas card, unless they’re also a Capricorn, in which case they’ll judge you harshly.
21 May - 21 June The stars have a plan for you but you keep screw ing those plans up trying make things happen sooner than they should. Just stop it, OK!
A new apartment, a new job. WOW, the Aquarius’ are doing great these days. This is, of course, all thanks to your older sister so remember to give her a big hug next time you see her.
20 January - 18 February
22 June - 22 July You’ll finally find that remote control you’ve been looking for. A celebration is in order!
Pisces 19 February - 20 March
Leo 23 July - 22 August
You have a big birthday coming up so could you at least pretend that you don’t notice the surprise birthday planning going on behind your back.
You helped Cancer find their remote control so the stars predict that you’ll get invited to that party. Disclaimer: This horoscope is total and utter nonsence. Any accuracies, real or imagined by readers, are purely incidental.
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Really, really bored? Here are a few sudokus to make time fly. But how do I do it?
The object is to insert the numbers in the boxes to satisfy only one condition: each row, column and 3x3 box must contain the digits 1 through 9 exactly once. What could be simpler?
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The Traveling Inquisition
“Travel sites are my porn!” by Dísa Bjarnadottir / Photos: From private collection
Sigga Dögg has become quite a well-known name in Ice land since she came home from her graduate studies in Australia where she got her master’s degree in sexology. She has been giving talks on the subject and answering questions on the radio and in newspapers since she got home. Her most recent accomplishment is a book about sex, which was recently published. She showed us a copy and told us why traveling turns her on. I love traveling, al ways have. When I was sixteen I secretly bought myself a day trip to Dublin without telling my mom. This is something my husband and I have in common. Our porn is the websites of airlines and travel agencies. My friend and I went and shopped a bunch and then hid the shopping bags when we came home. When my husband and I met in 2007 I had just bought myself a trip to Russia and was going to go alone on a tour planned for senior citizens. We had been on two dates when I asked him if he wanted to meet me in Russia, because I already had my trip planned, and he did! Since then we have gone abroad about every other month, which has changed since we had kids,” says Sigga. She and her husband have two little ones. “We have to wait for them to get a bit older and then we’ll be able to get back to it. I’d like to take them on a big tour around Asia. But until they’re done with having to take a lot of naps, we’ll probably stick with vacations within Europe. We’re planning to rent a house in Italy with my family next summer and we’ll probably go to Denmark for a short vacation. That’s a great place to go with the kids.” Q: What sticks out as particul arly memorable in your travel experiences? “A three month trip where we traveled from South Africa to Kenya and from there to India. We were going to spend three weeks on that trip but we ended
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up spending seven. There was just so much to see. It was like overload for the senses, we didn’t know where to look. And it’s so different there, there is no concept of personal space. In the bus people would sit on your lap. They touch you and come all the way up to your face when they talk to you. Even though we had engagement rings guys would come up to me when I was holding my husband’s hand and pinch my ass. One time we rented a swan boat and were on a lake and a group of locals rented another boat to be able to chase us and take pictures. It was surreal but really fun.” Q: Sounds like you’ve been to a bunch of places. Anything left on your list? “Japan. I’ve been to Thailand, India and Laos but Japan is still on my list. It will be expensive so we are planning to make it a long trip and we have to wait for the kids to get a bit older of course. My daughter has definitely caught the travel bug from her parents because she is already raising money for her Hong Kong visit. We play pretend Hong Kong at home and when my friends come over or her grandparents she asks them if they can donate money towards her Hong Kong fund.” Q: Since WOW air is about to start flying to Boston and we know you’ve been there, we’re wondering if you can recom mend something over there? “It’s fun to go to Salem. I like ghosts and they have a bunch
“We have to wait for them to get a bit older and then we’ll be able to get back to it. I’d like to take them on a big tour around Asia. But until they’re done with having to take a lot of naps, we’ll probably stick with vacations within Europe.
of stores in that theme. Also the whole area around Harvard is really nice. “Oh and the dessert brunch! I was watching a TV show called The best desserts in America and I saw that there is a place called the Langhan Hotel where they do a chocolate buffet at brunch. I knew I just had to try it out. Basically, there was every dessert you could ever think of in miniature version. It made me wish I had one of those drinks like in the Hunger Games movie where you can throw up so you can eat more. We tried to wash all these desserts down with lots and lots of coffee but I saw they had chocolate martinis on the menu. They also had a DJ playing so I’ve decided that the next time I go there I’ll be drinking.” Q: What about Iceland? What do you recommend to foreign guests? “Hvalfjörður is something that people tend to skip. We have a little summerhouse there. Visitors should skip the tunnel and see Hvalfjörður instead. There is a cute little diner there and a really nice swimming pool. There are a lot of little hidden natural gems too like woods with hiking trails where you can pick mushrooms and berries. And deserted houses; there are a lot of those. I go looking for deserted homes when I travel; it’s a bit of a passion of mine. Some of them have lots of old cars around them. Others are a mess but some of them look like someone just left.
FORGED BY SOME OF THE BEST ARTISANS IN SWITZERLAND, THE EYJAFJALLAJÖKULL EVO FOR MICHELSEN PAYS TRIBUTE TO MOTHER EARTH’S UNSTOPPABLE FORCES. THIS TIMEPIECE IS COMPOSED OF AUTHENTIC LAVA STONE FROM THE 2010 ICELANDIC ERUPTION AND IS EMBELLISHED WITH A HAND PAINTED VOLCANIC FISSURE IN COLD ENAMEL. LIMITED TO 9 PIECES. www.romainjerome.ch Issue six
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