Sunday, 30 August 2009


I've dug deep into classic Iceland Eyes and pulled out this photo of a little Valentína on the black pebble beach at Djúpalónssandur, a most beautiful Icelandic landscape.

Saturday, 29 August 2009


Íslendingur, originally uploaded by blue eyes.

Ok, people, time to vote!

Go to this link, Blog Tournaments, and check out my competition, then leave a comment on the Blog Tournaments site to cast your vote for Iceland Eyes.

Let's take this to the next level, my friends!

Monday, 24 August 2009


Squatters recently took over an abandoned house on Skólavörðurstígur, with the (approval) of the owner, who's looking the other way, ahem. For last Saturday's Culture Night they spiffied up the yard and announced a Schengen-Free Zone with a free-stuff bazar in the house's basement. Very cool.

p.s. Iceland eyes has been invited to take part in a joust! Really just a blog tournament, but cool anyway. Go here for more info and get yourselves ready to vote!

Saturday, 22 August 2009


Locally grown carrots in Reykjavik

The thing is, Icelandic carrots like these are absolutely delicious and while munching away one is hopefully not mulling over their price per pound. Local produce is, in general, super good, especially the greenhouse stuff like tomatoes, cucumber, paprika (bell peppers,) zucchini and various lettuces. I buy local, despite the cost, almost without exception.

Oh, of course, you nod understandingly, Iceland has all that geothermal power to heat greenhouses for cheap, just the reason why Alcoa and Alcan have set up aluminum smeltering shop there. And you'd be right about the smeltering part. But please know that greenhouse farmers are not subsidized in any way or offered reduced energy rates at all, though Big Aluminum is. Though I usually don't take political sides, this is a very dear issue to me. Read this article from Saving Iceland for more info. It's two years old, but totally on topic*. Here's a more recent one by a possibly even more controversial source, but it raises some interesting topics.

Here's the deal: Iceland is on the very verge of self sustainability, of creating a green eco-culture that will provide an international model of development. This book excerpt helps to define in more scientific terms our capacity to provide nutrient-rich foods for our local population. And this article from the Guardian adds a hopeful note to the argument. And here's a post of mine with links to great articles re: this issue of our future.

Out of chaos comes order, every time, without fail. It's the nature of systems at all levels, ultra-micro to macro and beyond. We have the opportunity, we have the technology, we have the attitude to make something brilliant, innovative and of lasting global impact out of the rubble of our economy. The Heart Park is a good start: a little patch of green in the heart of the city where obsolete structures once stood. A small gesture like that gives hope in an unmeasurable way. That's our future. We tried the other way and it failed us. Now its time to return to the land that made us.

We live here, we are forged and bound together by ancestors, survivors of tremors and blasts and lingering ash clouds that suffocated the less hardy, smothered the flora and culled our numbers to the quick. We were parasites then, half-dug into the raw skin of the island, barely covered by sod roofs and what we could weave off the backs of sheep. We were destroyers, desperately hacking away at the gnarled and primitive birch forests til the fragile soils ran loosely into glacial rivers, leaving nothing behind but the stripped volcanic muscle of our mother. We fought each other and killed, bore children too weak to live another day in the hostile depleted world into which they came.

Hundreds of years ago the island split and raged, taking back her own life through destruction. Dank black clouds lay thick in the skies for months, starving so much of what fed on her, breaking down the tenuous cycle of life until a numb stillness overwhelmed the last people, until the starved cattle and sheep could no longer raise their heads in protest. The oldest groves, home to Baldur and to sacred things, were finally felled, burned, lost. The island had sundered herself, had shaken and seared and smothered the desperate, uglied population that burrowed itself like lice into her fragile moss derma.

Yet some survived, and we are the children of those people. We are cousins, we are rare, and born of destruction. We are inheritors of a memory of overwhelming sorrow dusted with hope, and the progeny of the precious moments of lust between members of a dying race. We owe great debt to those who made us in the wake of devastation, and to the land that ultimately spared out lives.**

*I do not necessarily support the overall political views of the sources I link.
**excerpt, MAR 2004

Wednesday, 19 August 2009


Mural at Frakkastígur in Reykjavik

I was tempted to post about the price of carrots [update: I did just that] but thought better about it and decided to display this artsy beauty shot instead. Who really cares out there in the world that locally grown carrots are up to 900 kr/kg ($7/kg., or ~$3.50/lb.) though organic? Not you. It may not even seem like that much when you do the currency conversion. It's more a local issue. Like the cost of milk almost doubling over the course of the summer. It's a relative thing. And we are on a remote island. And it's expensive in Hawaii as well, I've heard. And H1N1 didn't really even get a toehold here. AND we've had the Most Excellent weather EVER here this summer. So what's to worry about?

Everything's fine.

Sunday, 16 August 2009


Óðinn leaps over the stream flowing from a boiling hot spring located about fifteen minutes from the city's edge. He getting some serious air there.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


Hótel borg in the heart of Reykjavík 

Pabbi (Dad) told me that the wife of the owner of Hotel Borg* lived in this corner tower of the gorgeous Art Deco hotel back in the days. He worked there as a bellhop when he was a young teen and says that no on ever saw the reclusive wife...she was an utter mystery. Not so mysterious were the goings on of the adult staff in linen closets and corners, so I hear. And the dances and balls and parties that were held there! I've heard stories from the the older generations that would make today's youth blush. Somehow every generation imagines it invented the concept of drinking and dancing and kissing til dawn, doesn't it?

This is post number 492, everyone. Damn! Wow! Five years of Iceland Eyes, almost to the day. I'd have given up long ago if the international support hadn't shown itself in so many ways. I'm starting to consider what I should do to celebrate half a decade of this persistent hobby, and just exactly what my five hundredth post's photo should be. Ideas, anyone?

*Borg = city.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Monday, 3 August 2009


True beauty is found in subtle and wondrous places if we stop long enough to allow its emergence into our reality. This small miracle of nature posed peacefully for me, for which I'm grateful.

Thank You to all who made this holiday weekend an Amazing Experience and Thank the Gods for our heavenly weather! And remember to thank the humble and lovely Bee on whom our lives may actually, literally, depend.


This young man and his buddy were setting up to angle a few fishies when I drove by Elliðavatn last weekend. Our (spooky) good weather spell continues, with only one real day/night of rain in the past two months here in the southwest region, though last weekend a night frost ruined nearly all of potato-paradise Þykkvabær's new spuds. Bummer. Forever at the mercy of Nature, we are.