Local Heart, Global Soul

February 9, 2016

A Taste So Good That You Want To Come Back For More…

Filed under: Accomodation,ICELAND,Icelandic Cuisine,PHOTOGRAPHY,Reykjavik — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our time in Iceland is coming to an end.

Four days have passed more quickly than we could ever have imagined and to our surprise, even though the weather has been mostly cold, grey, overcast, sometimes rainy and with an added helping of biting gale force winds, even the children are raving about Iceland, wishing that they could stay longer and asking if we could come here again.

It’s certainly not what Himself and I expected, we assumed that this small four day adventure would suit adults rather than kids but we were wrong, our kids are completely and utterly fascinated and captivated by Iceland.

As per the other mornings since our arrival, we brave the wind that is howling around the buildings that make up the Artic Comfort Hotel and navigate the short hop between the two buildings as quickly as we can.

As usual too the kids run ahead and Himself waits in the wind by the door of Reception for me to slowly catch up.

Both of us welcome the now customary wall of heat that greets us in Icelandic buildings and look forward to a good breakfast to start the day. The fare here is basic but totally sufficient, and since we got such a cut price deal on the booking, we are delighted that breakfast was even included in the price. The breakfast room is a kind of upside down capital “L” shape where the shorter part is a small square, the tables filled and emptied so fast that there was no real pause in the traffic for me to get photographs without intruding on people’s privacy so I photographed what I could.All of us start to share our thoughts on the trip, what we liked best, least etc. Top of the list has been the Eyjafjallajökull Vistor Centre, closly followed by joint runners up “everything else” and bottom of the list was the Blue Lagoon, not in a negative way becuase it was an “experience” and we didn’t regret doing it, just that we regretted not managing to fit in other hot pools as well.
The only thing that we have truly missed seeing is the Aurora Borealis / Northern Lights, but the kids are even using this to their advantage, asking if we could please plan another trip so that they might try again to see the Lights and even more strange, both avidly declaring that a winter trip would be just as much appreciated as a summer one. Himself and I are pleasantly surprised, having assumed that without weather for physical activities such as hiking, they would be bored.
Every evening after dinner we have driven far from the city of Reykjavik in the hope of catching a glimpse of the lights and each evening we have been met with a heavy blanket of low thick cloud and no gaps to show us the wonders of the aurora. It leaves us leaving Iceland wanting more… our pocket holiday has given us a taste and we have discovered that we very much liked every bit of what we tasted.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

January 26, 2016

A Very Strange Bee Hive Looking Structure…

Filed under: ICELAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Reykjavik — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next thing that we find quite by accident during our tour of Rejkyevik, Iceland, is a strange looking building in the port area.

It’s a dome shaped building looking a bit like a giant bee hive with a little hut on top.

We are all curious as to what this might be so made our way to it, after several attempts going down the wrong roads.

It’s situated in an industrial section of the port and whilst it looks sort of new, it doesn’t fit in with any of the other architecture here at all.

We arrive there eventually and Himself and the kids clamber out to take a closer look.

They find a pathway that spirals up the side of the dome and climb up to the top, but the little hut is locked and whilst there is a decent view from the top, the cold wind quickly drove them down again.

I waited patiently by the car and tried to get photos from my vantage point.

There appear to be no windows, Himself and the kids tell me that there is a door in the bottom but we are still mystified about the use and purpose of this strange building. It’s worth a visit though, even if it’s just to satisfy our curiosity…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 25, 2016

Accidental Findings Of Faces On The Buildings…

Filed under: ART,ICELAND,Mural,PHOTOGRAPHY,Reykjavik — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch took a long weekend break to ‎Reykjavík, Iceland, in February 2014 and although we were not sure what to expect, we were pleasantly surprised on many levels.

We have been making ourselves somewhat familiar with Reykjavík, combining sightseeing from the car with short stops around the city, and more lengthy stops in shops and the Northern Lights Exhibition.

Driving around both on the way out and the return trip to our hotel we managed to get lost more than once, as is our usual habit.

This meant that we ended up driving around the port area a second time, this time going in the opposite direction than the first (or more a circle) and suddenly we spotted yet more murals on buildings there.

Himself, who knows the drill was already finding a place to pull over so that I could get photographs before I even asked.

I assume, that since these look similar in style to the ones we found earlier that they are probably by the same artist(s).  I’m not too sure if we have discovered all of the murals in the “series”, who knows if getting lost more frequently would turn up more examples or not, but I am certainly delighted that we found these by accident and that I can add these to my mural “collection”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 24, 2016

Leif Eriksson And Ten Facts We Never Knew…

Filed under: ART,ICELAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Reykjavik,Statues / Sculpture — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Standing in front of the “Hallgrímskirkja” (church of Hallgrímur) of yesterdays post I find an imposing statue of Leifur Eiríksson / Leif Eriksson. Wanting to find out some more information I looked on the internet and found an interesting piece from ” Iceland Magazine” entitled “Ten fascinating facts about the statue of Leifur Eiriksson”… (link to website at the end of this post). So let’s look at 10 things…

1) The statue was a gift to Iceland from the US
The statue of Leifur Eiríksson (who is known in English as Leif Eriksson) was a gift from the United States to Iceland to commemorate the 1000 year anniversary of Alþingi, the parliament of Iceland. Alþingi was first convened at Þingvellir in the year 930 AD.

The statue was designed by American sculptor Alexander Stirling Calder, who won a 1929 competition for the design of the monument. When Calder created his statue of Leifur and depicted him as a strapping and clean shaven young man. In a 1908 book Leifur was portrayed as a graying grandpa with a long beard. The truth is probably somewhere between those two extremes.

2) It has an identical brother statue in Newport, Virginia.
When Iceland participated in the 1939 New York Word Fair it requested permission to make a copy of the statue of Leifur Eiríksson to display in the Icelandic pavillion. Permission was granted, and an identical copy was made, using the original plaster casts which were being preserved at the Smithsonian institution in New York.

After the World Fair some wanted to locate the statue in Washington DC, but instead it was placed by the entrence to the Mariners’ Museum in Newport Virginia, where it still stands.

3) It weighs over 50 tons.
The statue of Leifur Eiriksson probably has the most commanding presence of any statue in Reykjavík. Its sheer size and weight ensure this presence, as it weighs over 50 tons. The statue itself weighs one metric ton, while the foundation on which it stands is composed of 18 granite blocks, and weighs a combined 50 tons. The statue and the pillar are an integral whole, with the pillar made to resemble the bow of a Viking boat, thus recalling Leifur’´s voyage across the sea.

4) Icelanders interpreted the gift as an official recognition Leifur was Icelandic, not Norwegian
In 1930 many Icelanders interpreted the gift as a formal recognition by the US that Leifur Eiríksson was indeed Icelandic, and thus an important victory over the Norwegians who were trying to claim Leifur as theirs.

The inscription on the back of the statue seemed to confirm this, as it reads “Leifr Eiricsson. Son of Iceland. Discoverer of Vínland. The United States of America to the People of Iceland on the one thousandth Anniversary of the Althing A. D. 1930.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

However, the gift did not end the dispute with Norway over the nationality of Leifur, nor did it signal that the US government had recognized the nationality of Leifur.

In the eyes of the US government Leifur continues to be at least partially Norwegian. When, for example, Leif Erikson day was first commemorated nationally in the US in 1964, the date October 9 was chosen because large scale migration from Norway to the US began on that day in 1825 when the ship Restauration arrived in New York from Stavanger in Norway.

Since then American presidents have frequently used the occasion of Leif Erikson day to commemorate the relationship between the US and Norway, which annoys Icelanders to no end, since Leifur Eiríksson quite simply wasn’t Norwegian.

5) One of three statues of Icelandic explorers to travel to America.
Although Leifur Eiríksson is the best known Icelandic Viking to have explored North America, known as Vínland to the Vikings (the land of wine), he was obviously not the only one.

The sagas tell of another Icelander, Þorfinnur karlsefni, from Skagafjörður fjord in North Iceland, who settled in Vinland with his wife, Guðriður Þorbjarnardottir at a farm they called Hóp, in Vinland. While many believe Hóp and Vinland is near L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, others have argued it was probably further south, most likely on Manhattan island.

According to the sagas Þorfinnur and Guðríður had a force of 160 Viking explorers with them on their journey. Forming a sizeable Viking settlement which lasted for three winters, according to the sagas. During these three years Þorfinnur and Guðriður had a son, Snorri Þorfinsson, who is the first known child of European ancestry to be born in the Americas.

However, the American colony of Þorfinnur að Guðríður didn’t last, and after the three years in Vinland they moved back to Greenland, and from there to Iceland, where they settled down at the farm Glaumbær in Skagafjörður.

6) It’s the only statue in Reykjavík which has had a permanent guard protecting it.
In the 1930s the statue of Leifur Eiríksson stood on the outskirts of Reykjavík where it towered over the small town and provided shelter on windy Skólavörðuholt hill to townfolk taking a stroll on the city outskirts. And it also provided a place for people to relieve themselves. The city council of Reykjavík, concerned citizens and the US ambassador were dismayed to find that some people, especially drunk locals, believed the statue was really a public toilet.

The filth around the statue became so bad the city council posted a permanent night guard by the statue in 1935. Others, however, argued the problem should be solved by building a public toilet nearby. Others wanted more drastic measures. One newspaper suggested the problem could be solved by connecting the statue to the electrical grid, ensuring public urinators would get a small shock to remind them to behave in a civilized manner.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The guard remained posted at the statue until the Second World War when a British army camp was erected on the top of Skólavörðuholt hill. At that point Leifur was effectively being protected by the British military.

7) Leifur Eiríksson’s statue was not erected in front of Hallgrímskirkja, but rather the other way around!
While the statue of Leifur Eiríksson was presented as a gift to Iceland in the year 1930 it was not until the summer of 1932 that it had been erected in its current location. The statue was unveiled on July 17 1932 by the US Ambassador to Iceland.

At the time Hallgrimskirkja church had not yet been built: Its construction only started in 1945. Which means the statue had been standing in its current location for 13 years when the construction of Hallgrímskirkja even began.

8) Leifur Eiríksson’s monument was very controversial.
The primary reason for the delay in erecting the statue of Leifur Eiríksson was that the US had insisted it be erected in a prominent place, specifically requesting the top of Skólavörðuholt hill, at the end of Skólavörðustígur street. At the time the statue would have crowned the small town of Reykjavík, whose eastern limit was on the eastern slopes of the hill.

Many Icelanders were extremely critical of this location. The majority of city councilmen and many citizens felt the top of Skólavörðuholt hill was an inappropriate location, seeing the statue and the US demands for its location as bordering on rude. Many also believed that locating the statue on top of the hill would upset plans for the hilltop, which included a large square and the construction of Hallgrímskirkja church.

The majority of city council therefore wanted the statue placed on Laugaholt hill, east of Laugardalurinn recreational area, which at the time was far outside the city limits. Others wanted Iceland to decline the gift altogether, arguing that in any case there were no trucks in Iceland capable of transporting the statue from the harbour to the hilltop.

The US would have none of this, and insisted the statue be placed on Skólavörðuholt, and finally an agreement was reached: The statue was not placed on the very top of the hill, but slightly to the west, leaving ample room for behind it for the future Hallgrímskirkja.

9) The “School cairn”, then the best known landmark in town, had to be demolished to make way for the statue.
One of the reasons the statue was controversial was that to erect it authorities had to tear down the “school cairn”, a small tower which was located on top of the hill, roughly where the statue is located now. The small tower served a similar purpose as Hallgrímskirkja church does now, with locals and visitors using it for sightseeing and enjoying the panoramic view of the small town and surrounding countryside.

The cairn/tower was also one of the best known and most loved landmarks of Reykjavík. It gave its name to the hill: Skólavörðuholt literally means the “school cairn hill” and Skólavörðustígur translates as “school cairn street”, since the street ended by the cairn.

In 2013 a monument of the school cairn was erected on Skólavörðuholt hill, slightly to the south of the statue of Leifur Eiríksson.

10) Leifur Eiríksson’s monument was never really completed.
Even if the US got its way when it came to the location of the statue, it still wasn’t erected exactly as intended or in accordance with the plans of Alexander Stirling Calder. Calder had envisioned the statue would stand in the middle of a pond, which would represent the Atlantic Ocean which Leifur crossed to discover the Americas.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

Iceland Magazine: Ten fascinating facts about the statue of Leifur Eiríksson …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 23, 2016

An Stunning Church That Commands Your Attention…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The amazing church that dominates the skyline at the end of the Skólavörðustígur street in yesterday’s post, is as I mentioned there:”Hallgrímskirkja” (church of Hallgrímur) which is the Lutheran Church of Iceland.

Nordic Adventure Travel, Places of Worship” website (link below) tells us:

Ideally situated on the hill Skolavorduholt, overlooking the centre of old Reykjavik, the church of Hallgrimur is the crown on Iceland’s capital with its magnificent 73 m high steeple rising above all other buildings in Reykjavik.

It is the largest church of the country with a seating capacity for 1200 people in the nave. It was under construction longer than any other building in Iceland and has at times generated considerable controversy.

The name of the Rev. Hallgrimur Petursson (1614-1674), without a doubt Iceland’s most beloved poet, was soon linked to the plans for the proposed church.

He influenced the nation’s spiritual development perhaps more than any other person, and generation after generation of Icelanders have read, memorized and quoted his best known work, Hymns of the Passion.

Iceland adopted Christianity in the year 1000 and was a part of the Roman Catholic Church until the Reformation in the 16th century, when the Icelandic church became Lutheran. to this day about 95% of the Icelandic population belong to the Lutheran Church.

State Architect Gudjon Samuelsson (1887-1950) was commissioned to design the Hallgrims church in 1937.  The design  is reminiscent of the rugged mountains and icecaps, which dominate Iceland’s landscapes.

Inevitably the design engendered controversy, especially its size and the towering steeple. Nonetheless a large number of people was determined to see the project through and the design remained unchanged.

The steeple and both wings were completed in 1974, providing the congregation with a better place for worship and other facilities. The nave was consecrated in 1986 on the bicentennial of the city of Reykjavik.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

60% of the cost of construction has been raised by the congregation and private donations from all over the country, even from abroad, but government and city contributions have increased in latter years. In December 1992 a grand organ of 72 stops, commissioned from Johannes Klais in Bonn, was inaugurated.

The organ, by far the largest in Iceland, has four manuals and pedals, 5.,275 pipes and mechanical tracture. It stands 15 meters high and weighs some 25 tons.

The Hallgrims church has many  interesting features. The main door into the sanctuary , large, stained window above the front entrance of the church and pulpit decorations were designed and made by the artist Leifur Breidfjord. The church also possesses a copy of the first Icelandic Bible, Gudbrandsbiblia, printed at Holar in 1584.

The Motet Choirs is among the best choirs in Iceland. it was founded by the church’s organist and cantor in 1982 and since then it has given numerous concerts and toured most countries of Europe.

The steeple is among the best known and most visible of Reykjavik’s landmarks and provides an unmistakable signpost for the city’s visitors. The view of the capital and its surroundings is superb from a platform 83 meters above sea level.

The steeple is open to the public against a small charge for those who use the elevator, which proceeds go towards the maintenance of the church. There are three big bells in the steeple and a carillon of 29 bells. The big bells carry the names Hallgrimur, Gudrun and Steinunn, named after the Rev., his wife and a daughter, who died young.  The carillon is the first in Iceland and the church is one of only three churches in Reykjavik, which chime on the hour.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Hallgrímskirkja / church of Hallgrímur

 

January 22, 2016

A Selection Of Icelandic Cheese And Meats To Tempt Us…

Filed under: FOOD,ICELAND,Icelandic Cuisine,PHOTOGRAPHY,Reykjavik — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are in Reykjavík, Iceland and looking around the centre of the capital.

There is a very interesting delicatessen (that stupidly I didn’t get the name of)  on the harbour end of a shopping street called the Skólavörðustígur.

At the other end of this street we can see the silhouette of the “Hallgrímskirkja”   (church of Hallgrímur) which is the Lutheran Church of Iceland, one of the most famous landmarks of the country.

Once inside the delicatessen we find a good selection of cheese, meats and various Icelandic produce.

We laugh at the discovery of some well known Dutch cheeses, and select some meat, cheeses, jams and chutneys to bring home. The Icelandic cheeses and meats are vacuum packed for us so that we can bring them back to the Netherlands to share with friends. One of the shop assistants was particularly friendly and answered our many questions about what it is like to live in Iceland. This young lady told us that renting or buying property here was expensive but electricity and heating were one of the lowest bills she had, both being very cheap. We got many recommendations for places to see and things to do, most of which we can’t physically fit into the time we have left this trip but have filed away for a possible return trip.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 21, 2016

The Northern Lights Centre, The Next Best Thing To The Real Thing…

Filed under: ICELAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Reykjavik — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Whilst in Iceland we have been trying hard to see the Northern Lights at night by driving some distance out of the city and hoping for a break in the dense carpet of low grey clouds.

Despite sitting in a darkened car for more than an hour each evening, it’s clear that no breaks were coming any time soon, proving that the weather report was exactly  accurate as had been forecast and Mother Nature had no loopholes up her sleeve.

Our lack of success has lead us to try and find the next best thing: The Reykjavík Aurora Northern Lights Centre.

Located in an industrial area near the port, it’s an excellent alternative if seeing the Northern Lights for real is not an option.

Inside there are many exhibits explaining how the Lights in the Northern and Southern hemispheres occur and many stunning photographs of the lights, as well as detailed instructions on how to get photographs yourself.

The shop has an excellent array of merchandise, Kiwi Daughter came away with a shirt that has a beautiful image of the lights on it, it’s pattern and colour in nature that’s an artwork in itself. The staff are friendly and helpful, giving us advice on the best routes out of the city for our next night time attempt to see the lights, but advising us too be realistic because the weather report was the same for the next nights as it was for the last. Solid cloud. We find out that for weeks prior to this one, the skies have been clear and the lights have given a glorious display but two days before we arrived the clouds closed in and they are expected to stay this way for a week, after which clear skies are predicted once again. C’est la vie, we can not control the weather and we have just had extremely bad luck. The exhibition has delighted all of us and we are happy with the ” next best thing”, but everyone agrees, another visit to Iceland to see the Lights for real would be something we would all do in a heartbeat.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 20, 2016

An Amazing Level of Detail…

Filed under: ART,ICELAND,Mural,PHOTOGRAPHY,Reykjavik — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Family Kiwidutch are in Iceland for a four day winter holiday and have been exploring the old downtown area of Reykjavík. After discovering some lovely mural artwork in a neighbourhood close by, we turn a corner by the port and found some amazing murals on some of the buildings there. It’s cold but these are worth doing a U-turn for so that we can see them properly.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 18, 2016

The Sun Voyager And The Port…

Filed under: ICELAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Reykjavik — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Next we pay a visit to the port area of Reykjavík. It’s cold and overcast but the wind has abated and it’s not raining hard as it had been in the middle of the might.

One of the first things we see located by Sæbraut by the sea in the centre of Reykjavík, is an imposing sculpture near the water’s edge. I later find out that it’s called the “Sun Voyager”.

Wikipeia tells me: “ In 1986, the district association of the west part of the city funded a competition for a new outdoor sculpture to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the city of Reykjavík.

Jón Gunnar’s Sun Voyager won the competition, and the aluminium model (42,5 x 88 x 36 cm) was presented to the city for enlargement. The full-sized Sun Voyager was eventually unveiled on Sæbraut on the birthday of the city of Reykjavík, August 18th, 1990.”

The Sun Voyager is a sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason, and is a dreamboat, an ode to the sun. Intrinsically, it contains within itself the promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress and freedom.

It is a common misunderstanding that Sun Voyager is a Viking ship which is understandable that many tourists think like this when travelling in Iceland, the land of the sagas. Nonetheless, it should be stressed that this was not the original intention.
According to the artist Jón Gunnar, “Sun Voyager was essentially envisaged as being a dreamboat, an ode to the sun symbolizing light and hope. The pattern is a magical symbol of healing. The trident is an international symbol for the sun, and the symbol of the sun is present in all magic. The sculpture will be constructed of stainless steel which will reflect the rays of the sun like a mirror.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There has been some dispute about the eventual location of Sun Voyager on Sæbraut in Reykjavík. Some people complained that the ship does not face west, towards the setting sun in accordance with the concept behind it.

The original intention had been for Sun Voyager to be situated in the west part of Reykjavík, for obvious reasons. Jón Gunnar’s original idea had been for the ship to be placed on Landakot hill, the prow facing the centre of Reykjavík and the stern Landakot church.

Another possibility was that it could be placed by the harbour in the centre of Reykjavík on a specially constructed base. The coastline by Ánanaust nonetheless eventually came to be Jón Gunnar’s preferred location for the ship.

Unfortunately, changes in the town planning for Reykjavík came to rule out this location. In the end, the final decision was taken (with Jón Gunnar’s consent) that Sun Voyager should be located on Sæbraut on a small headland (which the artist jokingly called Jónsnes: Jón’s Peninsular). 

Jón Gunnar was well aware that when bolted to its platform, Sun Voyager would be facing north, but felt that that made little difference when it came down to it.

The work is constructed of quality stainless steel and stands on a circle of granite slabs surrounded by so-called “town-hall concrete”. ‎Reykjavík 1c (Small)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

January 17, 2016

Beautiful Works Of Art On The Street…

Filed under: ART,ICELAND,Mural,PHOTOGRAPHY,Reykjavik — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

You never know what you will find in a residential street. In several of the little streets in one of the neighbourhoods closest to the centre of Reykjavik, we found two large murals on the sides of the houses. I love finding local artworks!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

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