reykjavik

Amalchi Castillo-Rodriguez and Paul Sauline

Once a year at the beginning of November, tourists and Icelanders flood the city of Reykjavík for the five-day music festival Iceland Airwaves. This energetic event not only attracts emerging and well-established bands from across Europe and North America -- it also draws in a diverse, dynamic crowd of music lovers and Iceland enthusiasts from around the world.

Amalchi Castillo-Rodriguez and New York resident Paul Sauline—two former neighbors

Icelandic, a North Germanic language with over 330,000 native speakers, is the official language of Iceland and the closest equivalent to the language of the Vikings spoken today. Due to Iceland’s cultural insularity and geographic isolation, the Nordic tongue has remained so well preserved that present-day Icelanders can still read ancient Viking texts in their original Old Norse with little to no assistance.

At Þjórsárdalur Iceland

According to the Icelandic Met Office Northern Light forecast, there seem to be excellent conditions to see the Northern Lights tonight at the Reykjanes Peninsula area and around Reykjavík. Good news for those who traveled to Iceland in December to see the Aurora Borealis. The conditions seem promising around the Reykjanes Lighthouse from nine to midnight. It seems that both clear skies and the aurora level at five will reveal spectacular sights. But then again, the weather in Iceland is quite unpredictable, even for the Met Office.

Promising condition for viewing northern lights around Reykjavík tonight

A pleasant sunny day doesn’t exactly mean the same in Iceland as in most other countries. Most importantly, it only requires a reasonably clear sky and the temperature to reach 10 to 12 degrees Celsius to define a beautiful sunny day. Everything warmer is just fantastic. On such a day Reykjavík shines, and people find their way to the center to enjoy a brunch or a glass of wine at a nice restaurant, preferably dining outside. Also, there are often many exciting events in art and music that one can find somewhere in the center on such a day.

A warm day in Iceland is colder than in other countries

Originally the foundation of Perlan, the Pearl, was built as supply tanks for the geothermal heating in Reykjavík. In the eighties, the idea of a structure on top of the tanks developed and was implemented. The building was quite controversial but enforced with a determination by the Reykjavik mayor at the time, Davíð Oddsson. The project has proven to be a huge success as Perlan has become one of the major landmarks of Reykjavík and a popular spot to view and photograph Reykjavík.

In recent years, Reykjavík has developed into a city with a city-like skyline. Some years ago there were only small houses visible in the “skyline”. Today the city is on a fast track to becoming a modern like city, although fortunately the city organizers have had the sense to preserve the old part of town in a proper manner.

Reykjavik today
Halldór Bragason is the leading figure in the Icelandic Blues scene

At the mere mention of blues in Iceland, one name instantly springs to mind. Halldór Bragason. Founder of the Reykjavík Blues Festival and now an honorary member of the Icelandic Blues Festival, Halldór has been tireless in introducing and developing this wonderful genre into the Icelandic music scene. A music genre some find a bit outlandish and removed from the Icelandic music traditions. But, then again, the international language of music belongs anywhere.

At the mere mention of blues in Iceland, one name instantly springs to mind. Halldór Bragason.