29 Aug

The Northern Lights – video

The best chance to catch the elusive Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, is during the winter time. Tourists staying in Iceland this week are really lucky because they’ve been able to view the Northern Lights as well as the gorgeous August sunset.  Here’s a mesmerising video from Gardar Olafsson, showing the dance of Aurora Borealis on the 27th of August.

Take a look at his website as well. There are many more amazing videos.

26 Aug

A hidden gem!

IMG_2704There are so many hidden gems in London. When I decided to visit Kenwood House, a mansion from the 18th century, it was purely because I wanted to see the location of a scene from Notting Hill. For those who know the movie; I’m talking about the scene where Anna Scott is filming and William overhears her dismissing him to a fellow actor.

Little did I know that Kenwood House has a truly exceptional collection of paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Gainsborough, Turner and Reynolds, not to mention the 112 acres of glorious parkland. It’s the perfect place to visit if you want to spend a day admiring art and be able to take a stroll in beautiful surroundings as well. It’s also interesting to walk around the house and explore the stories of it’s inhabitants and if you are hungry there’s a restaurant on the grounds, offering food that’s nice.

Kenwood House was built by Robert Adam for the 1st Earl of Mansfield and saved for the nation by Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh.

I highly recommend a visit to Kenwood House if you’re traveling to London.

Mother of all selfies. Rembrandt van Rijn - Portrait of the Artist.

Mother of all selfies. Rembrandt van Rijn – Portrait of the Artist.






21 Aug

How amazing is this?

I remember vividly going whale watching in 1999 or 2000. We sailed from Húsavík, which is by many considered the whale watching capital of Europe. The dolphins were dancing around the ship and we saw some Minke whales, Humpback whales and even a Fin whale, which is a rather rare sight I believe, so I was really lucky. I remember being extremely cold and I also recall the nice and cosy feeling of sipping hot chocolate out on the sea.

Now whale watching has become very popular and there are a lot of videos from the tours circling around. This is a good one.

If you’re traveling to Iceland, I recommend going whale watching. Here’s a list of whale watching tours in Iceland.

16 Aug

Surreal queues

11875084_10206204729731274_8047293525790926619_oIt’s interesting being a tourist in your own homeland. I’ve been surprisingly cold since I arrived in Iceland 10 days ago. Always wearing a coat, when other Icelanders wear t-shirts. I marvel the landscape and nature in new ways and enjoy every single drop of the fresh water, straight from the tap.

I’ve been admiring how many good Icelandic designers there are and listening to marvellous new local music. There is no doubt about the fact that our talents lie in arts.

Then there are times when I just don’t get my fellow Icelanders. For the longest time, it was impossible to get Icelanders to form a proper queue. They simply couldn’t bring themselves to stand in a line and wait for something. When people from other nations waited politely for their turn in a bank or at the bus stop, Icelanders would stand in some irregular blobs, pushing each other around. However, things have changed recently. All of a sudden, Icelanders seem to love waiting in queues. I think it’s their new hobby. What else could possibly explain what I witnessed yesterday?

The American global doughnut company Dunkin Donuts opened a shop (they actually call it a restaurant) here for the first time a few days ago. Yesterday, there was still a long line of people outside, waiting for their turn to buy a doughnut. What made it extra weird was witnessing that queue merge with a never ending line of people waiting for a taste of bacon at the Bacon festival taking place on Skólavörðustígur across the street.


Pretty surreal.

Bacon Festival queue

Bacon Festival queue

30 Jul

BriBry do Iceland!

Bri and Candice are a young Irish couple visiting every country in the world. Iceland was the fortieth country they travelled to. This video they made is funny and spot on. I specially like it when they imitate the Blue Lagoon introduction video.

The Youtube ad revenue from this channel goes to an Irish cancer charity called The Ross Nugent Foundation.

24 Jul

Gorgeous Iceland!

Recently I’ve watched a lot of those popular short films showing the Icelandic landscape and nature. This one is the first of them to make me a tad homesick. It blew my mind, quite frankly.

The filmmakers are from Germany, studying Audiovisual Media at the Stuttgart Media University. They say their desire was ‘to capture that stunning landscape and wildlife and take viewers on a journey through this magical island.’

They most certainly have managed to do that.

15 Jul

Drink the tap water

Photo: Hörður JónassonMore guests are visiting Iceland than ever before. When you walk around central Reykjavík during the summertime  you hardly hear an Icelandic word. Each time I visit my homeland ten new hotels have been built and there are far too many ‘puffin shops’ downtown already. That’s what the locals call the tourist shops due to the popularity of the puffin as a souvenir.

Lonely Planet has published an article with 14 dos and don’ts when visiting Iceland. It’s pretty good and most of it is useful. You definitely should drink the tap water, wash properly with soap before taking a dip, stick to appropriate roads and take the weather seriously.

Generalisations about the nation always make me smile. Don’t take it seriously although there may be a grain of truth in it.

‘Icelanders are a generally hardy and open-minded group with a dry but vibrant sense of humour. They tend to speak impeccable English, and are game for a chat, or to tell you about their favourite places to go. Respecting local etiquette and laws (along with not whingeing about the weather, or how hard it is to get to the natural wonders) will go a long way in endearing you to them, and open opportunities for local connections.’



13 Jul

Curious Björk in 1988

This little gem of a video shows that Björk has always been curious about science and how things work. It becomes clear that her technological project Biophilia is based on an open mind and long lasting explorations.

One of my favourite TV programmes is a documentary when two of the most iconic thinkers of our time meet and have inspiring discussions about nature and science. Here’s the trailer for When Björk met Attenborough.

And here’s a fan made video with excerpts from the documentary.

You can watch When Björk met Attenborough on iTunes for example.



08 Jul

Iceland seen from above


I’ve learned a trick I play a lot,

though lesser men may cavil:

never to stir from near this spot

yet nonetheless to travel.

Jónas Hallgrímsson / Dick Ringler

When Jónas Hallgrímsson wrote this poetry in 1845 he probably didn’t imagine that 170 years later, a London based Icelandic woman would think about his poem while admiring her homeland with the help of drone footage. It’s never been easier to sit at home and travel the world at the same time. Whereever you are, I hope you enjoy those amazing images of Iceland!

Jónas Hallgrímsson

Jónas Hallgrímsson poetry