Wednesday, 10 April 2019
Location: Reykjavik, Iceland
Address: Keilugrandi Sculpture & Shore Walk
Date: September 2015
A curved steel boat points out to the water in Reykjavik's harbour. It is a beautiful piece of art that reflects the light from the sun. It is known as Solfar, or the Sun Voyager.
The Sun Voyager was the winning artwork in a competition to celebrate Rekjavik's 200th anniversary. The sculpture was created by Icelander Jon Gunnar Arnason. Sadly, Gunnar died of leukemia before the sculpture was placed at the water's edge.
There is a walking path that follows the water around Reykjavik. There is lots of room to add more sculptures in the future. Sun Voyager was the main attraction when we visited.
Behind Sun Voyager stood some temporary artwork of a raven. Further in the distance beyond that stands Hallgrimskirkja. Hallgrimskirkja is a church which took 41 years to build. It was finally consecrated in 1986 which is the same year that Sun Voyager won the art competition.
Sun Voyager looks out across the water at Mount Esja. The steel looks like people rowing with their oars curved down into the water, striving forward towards new adventures.
Map of Our World
The Sun Voyager
Post # 247
Saturday, 20 October 2018
Date: Sept 2015
As we parked our rental car and prepared to depart from Iceland, we noticed a strange sculpture outside Keflavik Airport. It is called the Jet Nest and has a jet plane wing curled up and breaking out of an egg. Just like a newly hatched chick entering the world.
As we waited for our plane to arrive at our gate we noticed a quote from Icelandic singer Bjork was written on the window. It states, "I feel emotional landscapes they puzzle me".
As our flight flew over the Atlantic we started to notice large white objects in the water below.
We soon realized that these were giant icebergs floating off the coast of Greenland.
We had never seen Greenland before and we felt like a newly emerged hatchling flying over this "emotional landscape".
We were amazed by the never ending mountains and snow laid out before us. Not very green we were thinking. Over 80% of Greenland is covered by ice.
The story of how Greenland got its name starts with Erik The Red exiled from Iceland for murder. He set out in search of new land and reached what he called Greenland. It is believed that he did this to attract other people to also settle there. Only about 57,000 people live in Greenland.
Soon the snow gave way to mostly mountains. We could see how some of the mountains had been formed by volcanic activity.
It was not long before our plane left Greenland behind and we were flying over open ocean again. We had enjoyed the aerial view of this amazing place, but were glad to have viewed it from our window seat instead of the harsh reality below.
Map of Our World
Post # 230
Sunday, 20 September 2015
- Culture or Attraction Symbol
- Goda Ferd
- Sherlock Bjork
- No Tractors
- Frogs & Bananas
- Mad Kulor
- Tapas Menu
- Te & Kaffi
- Happy Or Not
We did not notice very many American restaurants in Iceland. We did eat a Kevin Bacon burger at a restaurant called American Style, but we had never heard of that restaurant before. What we did notice was this Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant with the Icelandic version of their slogan "so good". In this case it appears as "svooogott" and it is trademarked. By the way, Bila Luga means that they have a Drive-Thru.
There are usually a few things that are important to know when visiting a foreign country. For example, Iceland's emergency phone number is 112. Another important thing is where to find the toilets. We call this the washroom or restroom, but in Iceland it is the snyrtingar. Thankfully in most places, such as Keflavik International Airport, they had not only the male / female symbols but wrote the word toilets on their signs as well. We wonder how many calls 112 gets asking "Help! I really need to know how to spell toilet in Icelandic"?
3) Culture or Attraction Symbol
You may see some signs which have a sort of flower pattern or swirl on them. These point to attractions or places of cultural significance. It could be a waterfall or a historic village or a cave believed to be full of trolls. If you have the time, we suggest you pull over or head up the road and discover which it might be. In the picture above, people and bikes can head down the road, people can use the little pathway on the right and an earlier sign states no cars past this point. We still drove our car down the road as we thought this might be our hotel, which it was not.
4) Goda Ferd
Goda Ferd means Good Travels or Bon Voyage. As we drove along the Highway 1 Ring Road we saw this on several occasions. The other side of the sign would say Velkomin which means welcome. So as you entered a town you were welcomed and on the way out you were wished a safe journey. In the photo at the top of this post, Kronan is just the name of a store which is similar to Krona which is the Icelandic currency.
5) Sherlock Bjork
When we first saw this sign we were wondering what Sherlock Homes and the famous Icelandic singer had to do with it. We have determined that the sign says roughly "Caution! Tobacconist" and that bjork means birch. This sort of explains the image of Sherlock Holmes but we still have questions. We looked in the window and it appeared to be a souvenir shop. We never ventured inside so the questions remain unanswered.
6) No Tractors
Weekdays between 7:30 until 9:00 AM and 4:30 until 6:30 PM you cannot drive your tractor into Reykjavik We only encountered a tractor on the road once during our visit and it was well outside of the city. We found it interesting that these signs were all over Reykjavik yet the amount of tractor traffic we saw was close to none. Perhaps they were still standing from many years ago.
7) Frogs & Bananas
Both packages looked chocolatey good. One had a cartoon frog on it and the other had a cartoon banana. We wondered if the frog was just a cute cartoon character added to the packaging as the chocolate was all in rectangle shapes. We almost bought a pack out of curiosity but decided against it. According to Google Translate we later learned that the package on the left reads "Volumetric Banana Rod" and the other reads "Volumetric Frog Bits".
8) Mad Kulor
We would expect mad kulor to be used in a sentence such as the following. "When we saw the northern lights, the sky was lit up with mad colour". Mad kulor actually means food colouring and is a kind of brown sauce or gravy. It may also be a carmelized sugar. We also read somewhere that you only need to add a few drops to a meal so we are unsure of its intensity. Perhaps it can help you consume your froska bitar.
This means that there is a steep hill ahead where you cannot see oncoming traffic. Since the road is gravel and barely wide enough for two cars be sure to take it slow and hope that others coming over the hill do the same or you may end up like this highway reminder (below).
10) Tapas Menu
This menu caught our eye but did nothing for our stomachs. While you may not be interested in puffins, horses or minke whales as part of your meal, at least they are local.. We wondered why they offered kangaroo and what exactly does "a la Crocodile Dundee" mean. What is Paul Hogan up to these days anyways?
11) Te & Kaffi
This one we are sure that all of you in need of your caffeine fix can figure out.
12) Happy or Not
The Happy or Not company is supposedly worldwide, but this is the first time that we had seen them. You push one of the 4 buttons from smiley to frown in order to answer the question above. The results are then recorded for the company to get the anonymous data. This sign was in a gas station and says roughly "How did you like the service today?" The airport had lots of them asking things like how was your experience at passport control or baggage claim
This is an Icelandic post box which is fairly obvious even without reading the writing. If you are familiar with the British show Postman Pat it translates to Posturinn Pall in Iceland.
While attempting to exit the parking garage we noticed this sign. No someone had not rubbed off the O in front. When there is the accent above a U it is pronounced like two Os as in zoo. This would read "oot", which is very close to the English "out".
Well, that is our interesting Icelandic sign list. Over and út.
Map of Our World
Post # 71