Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Sunday, 23 December 2007


This entry into the annual Katla Baking Goods gingerbread competition at Smáralind Mall caught my eye because of its originality, and mostly because of the Not Welcome sign at the entrance to the cave. It wasn't until I got home that I realized this is a Seussian scene, and that a cute little marzipan Grinch is stationed by the entrance to the cave.

The infamous Grinch also plays a role in Smáralind's annual Christmas Pageant, and the 2000 movie with, alas, a poor flailing Jim Carrey, was shown on RUV, the national tv station, last night.

Is green the new Xmas red? If Grinch (who turned 50 this year!) and our favorite holiday movie, Elf have anything to do with it, I'd say yes.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007


Thanks to all the brave men and women at Reykjavik's Flugbjörgunarsveit, or Air Rescue Corps, for supplying us with a sweet little evergreen for our living room. Though recent dispatches have basically been to retrieve pieces of rooftop corrugated iron from surrounding trees during last week's heavy winds, all of Iceland's Rescue Corps deserve intense admiration for braving our wilderness in the name of saving lives from our island's very fickle appetites.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007


A beautiful frosty late afternoon scene from Vífilsstaðavatn just outside of central Garðabær, about a twenty minute drive from downtown Reykjavik.

This nature area has a number of outstanding walking trails, and when you're done strolling through the lava beds and heaths you can pop over to Ikea, just visible as a tiny blue and yellow glow on the central horizon in this shot, for an inexpensive meal of Swedish meatballs and potatoes.

Friday, 7 December 2007


'Tis the season...this bell is new, I think, strung up just to the west of the official centerpoint of the city of Reykjavik (there's a plaque in the sidewalk in front of this yellow Restaurant Reykjavik that makes that claim.) I've never been to Reykjavik's very own Ice Bar, located inside this building, nor have I tried their fish buffet, but if you're into that kind of thing you can find this restaurant just across the street from the main tourist info center, the red number 4 on this map.

Thursday, 6 December 2007


I got an odd email the other day, one requesting info on palm trees in Iceland. Here, I'll just go ahead and let you read it yourself:

Hi Maria,
I have been a fan of your blog since last January when I was doing some research for my trip to Iceland. Now I visit your blog and am longing to go back.
I've recently been researching the existence (or possibility) of palm trees growing in Iceland. I saw your photo of people enjoying the outside patio at Sirkus and found it odd that there is a mural on the wall of palm trees.
Do you know of any palm trees in Iceland? I'm having trouble finding some images.

Thank you,

I was intending to give Michelle some outdated bla bla about how Iceland is the northernmost banana grower in the world (here's an interesting article comparing Iceland's banana days to Iran's running out of gas) but then I remembered that banana plants are more bushes than trees. I was also going to mention the huge plastic palm at Perlan, but then, on my way home today an amazing thing happened.

Right there, at the end of the Great Wall of China Asian restaurant on Vesturgata, stood a small but stately palm! And I can promise you it hadn't been there only twenty minutes before when I'd walked the same sidewalk in the other direction! There was Michelle's Icelandic palm tree, and all I had to do was whip out my Olympus to snap the shot she wanted. Of course this tree is also not real, but it's Michelle's image conjured up on the snowy streets of Reykjavik like magic.

Sunday, 2 December 2007


At coffee hour in Iceland people are on the move: on their way home from work, from school, on their way to a cafe or to their amma's house for a cup and a slice of spice cake. At this time of year it's a lovely hour when the weather is right, like on this early evening last week down by the city lake. The pretty church is the Reykjavik Independant Church which, along with being where my parents were married and where my sister was baptized, has been the setting of a number of very beautiful concerts by the likes of Sigur Rós, Múm and Amiina. (Here's another lovely shot of the church by Weekend Photo.) And the white building to the right is the National Gallery of Iceland, an inspirational place to spend a coffee hour (with a cappuchino and kleina from Kaffitár, the in-house café.)

Oh, and be sure to get you and your loved ones a *New* Iceland Eyes 2008 calendar, mug and/or tee shirt! Check out the links on the side bar to see what's inside the calendar and what options you have with the tees. The calendar, by the way, was awarded Zazzle's Today's Best last week, as well as being in the Top 10 calendars viewed. You love it online, you'll love in person!!!

(More cool stuff always on the way, and do let me know if you have a favorite Iceland Eyes photo that we can make something from.)