Monday, 28 May 2007
Here's a new set of intense Icelandic names, as promised. These are all men's names, and a very small selection of all the fascinating monnikers approved by the state. Most date back to the settlement age and as such are heroic as well as descriptive. The one exception is Blær, which can also be a girl's name. It's only in the last twenty five years that it's been used, namby-pamby hippie name that it is. Hard to imagine a true Viking suffering being called Gentle Breeze!
Austmann: Eastern Man
Ástríkur: Rich with Passion
Ástbjörn: Passion Bear
Ás: [a] God
Björgólfur Rescue Wolf
Bogi: Bow (weapon)
Eldgrímur: Fire Mask
Friðbjartur: Bright peace
Ljósálfur: Light Elf
Svanlaugur: Swan Pool
Veturliði: Winter Traveller
Friday, 25 May 2007
This pretty stream flows down to the main street, Strandgata, in Eskifjörður, in East Iceland. As you can see at the linked site, this little fishing town in very long and skinny, skirting as it does the base of a fine mountain that looms over the fjord below.
As I've written of before, my grandmother grew up in Reyðafjörður just to the south of this town, in the house shown in this post from last summer's trip around the island. During the first part of June Reyðafjörður is going to be turned into a carnival, sponsored by Alcoa to celebrate the grand opening of their new aluminum plant. Should be sight to see. My mother is taking my grandmother, Ásta Beck, to visit the little house her father built, and that she was born in 93 years ago, right around the same time, but I don't think they'll be in town for the actual celebration. That might be a good thing...
If you've gotten this far in reading this post I'd love to ask you to quickly drop a word or two of comment before you go. This site is not controversial and doesn't necessarily beg conversation, but I recently checked Google Analytics to see how many visitors I've been getting (something I haven't done in almost a year) and I was blown away by how many people stop by (well into the four digits per month!) It would be a blast to see how many of you can take a minute to just write a quick hi! or somesuch (I promise I'm not fishing for complements.) And be sure to leave your own web address if you're not with Blogger so that people can check out your site too...Thanks in advance!
Upcoming post: Stay tuned for the next episode of Crazy Icelandic Names. Here's a sample of what you can look forward to!
Thursday, 24 May 2007
Monday, 21 May 2007
This wreck and the others are the work of a very grumpy giant who was awakened from his slumber beneath the streets of our city by French archaologists, and who rampaged through Reykjavik until he was consoled by his sweet daughter and brought home again. This very vivid fairy tale was the production of the Royal de Luxe street theater company who headlined the festival. I so wanted to witness their giant marionette performance but was, alas, in Copenhagen at the time. I'm told the experience was fantastic...
Saturday, 19 May 2007
A little teaser...can you find the beer bottle in this picture? How it got where it got I can't fathom, but I'm sure it involved a tipsy+ person on a late Saturday night.
For those of you who've been here, this store, Stella, is located on Bankastræti, or Bank Street, so named because the first bank in Reykjavik was housed in this very building, circa 1886.
Monday, 14 May 2007
Speaking of tourists, this tiny little theater and it's Volcano Show is a perfect stop for visitors to Reykjavik. Even though it's about a two minute walk from our door, I've never been. I love the big red rock with it's cool iron decoration, though. I've heard that the film is a definite must for those who want to know more about our harrowing geological past (and future!), and since it's a homespun affair (a father-son production), I think that everyone should give it a go. I even promise to check it out myself. Soon.
Tuesday, 8 May 2007
Sunday, 6 May 2007
To read a little more about this location, go here. Or you can read this Planetary Science Research Discoveriespage about similarities between the rootless cones of Rauðholar and those of Mars. Fascinating stuff.
By the way, go to London Calling to read Luis's great synopsis of Iceland and its people. He's pretty much summed it all up in one well-written blog post.
Friday, 4 May 2007
I imagined a town Pump Man, a brawny hunk of muscle, coming out every day to turn the iron wheel clockwise, opening the geothermal taps for business. And geothermal energy is well utilized in Hveragerði where hothouses grow our cucumbers, tomatos and roses all year round and the swimming pool steam bath smells of sulpher straight from the source. At some designated time of night, Pump Man would then walk with certainty back to the wheel and close the valves, containing again the intensity of heat and power that throbs eternally just beneath our island's crust.
Thursday, 3 May 2007
This lambkins is displayed in the window of a nice new wool store (don't know the name!) on Hafnarstræti, just next door to the Dubliners pub, downtown Reykjavik, for all to see and marvel at.
While cruising and perusing the web I found a great and very up-to-date listing of Reykjavik stores on the Reykjavik.com website. The English language monthly Grapevine also has a good listing of shops here, and is well worth reading overall to get a good feel for what's really going on here in the political and cultural scene. Check it out.