architecture, art, people, travel, world

Iceland in miniature

600_9118_wIn Reykjavik city hall (Ráðhús) you can find a model of the whole country. It’s not only a map, but a 3D model. You can see every crack, mountain and so on. Distinguish water from ice and rock. It’s a good place, to review your trip and to gaze at this fantastic landscape from a different angle. The 3D-model is set up in the basement of the city hall.

This room has another highlight: huge panoramic windows let you look at the Reykjavikurtjörn, a lake. You stand below the water level and you eyes are only a few decimeter above the water level.

Take care!

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art, culture, history, landscape, photography, travel, world

Sólfar

600_9030-e_tvThe icelandic word Sólfar is “The Sun Voyager” in english.

It’s a sculpture made from stainless steel by the icelandic artist Jón Gunnar Árnason (1931–1989) in 1986 and set up at the coast in Reykjavik. You can find it beside the street called Sæbraut looking to the sea in the northern direction.

It’s a stylized model of a viking ship with five vikings on board sailing to the north. I don’t want to sum up all the controversy discussions about finding the right location during the planning phases between the artist and the city government. If you want to read it, head over to wikipedia and search for the sun voyager.

This sculpture is quite big: 9 m × 7 m × 18 m (29.5 ft × 22.9 ft × 59 ft) and you should definitely visit it, when in Iceland. I’d recommend, visiting it at twilight.

I like this amazing sculpture very much. The material stands for me for the power of the vikings and their bravery. They trusted their tiny boats so much, that they entrusted their lives to them and undertook very risky voyages on the rough northern ocean without knowing what they would finally find.

You can also see, each man does not have very much room on the boat and they have had oar blades by the sides for each of them. The five men on board have lifted their arms. Are they happy about finding new land or found back home again? Is it a victory in raid or in a war?

The polished stones below the boat symbolize the endless ocean carrying the tiny boats and reflecting the idea that the ocean is the basis of the vikings life. Here, the ocean is not much bigger than the boat, while head and tail of the boat jutting out of the ocean. This symbolizes the idea, that the bravery of the vikings is the key to reach every possible coast. Their home shores weren’t their borders and the round shape of this ocean symbolizes the endlessness of the ocean.

It’s often very hard to photograph art. Often, you can only take photographs of the material or a few details. But, this sculpture has so much to tell and is set up in such an amazing location, that you can’t screw it up. Come, stay for a while, walk around, watch it from different angles and let the sculpture talk to you for a few minutes. Afterwards, take out your camera and let the sculpture be your photo model to take your own interpretation of this amazing sculpture.

Enjoy!

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culture, street, travel, world

funny findings in Reykjavik

600_8781_wIn every town, you can find some things that seem funny, special or even weird. That also true for Reykjavik.

Some of these things are so with intention. Others are modified by the locals and you can call them street-art. The blue bike, i.e. is used as a gate. I found 4 of them, each in a different color. So, they can also be used as a meeting point. They are used, to close the pedestrian area for cars and vans. Only in certain times, they are opened to give permission to vans to deliver goods to the shops. In the meantime, they look way better, than a common red-white colored bar.

Some shops decorated their front with statues of vikings or trolls, mythical beings from the nordic sagas. Each region or county has its own culture and that’s what make traveling so interesting.

Have fun!

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culture, street, travel, world

walking around in Reykjavik

600_9792-sc_wA trip to island is not complete, when skipping the capital, found 1786. Currently, there are living about 122,000 citizens in Reykjavik. It’s the most northern capital. A total of 320,000 citizens are living in whole Iceland.

First, I want to show you around a bit. In my next few posts I’ll focus on some of the touristic interesting landmarks.

Reykjavik has a small pedestrian area, where cars are allowed only at very certain times. Here are many shops. Some are in modern buildings other have a more traditional ambience. Although, the city is so small, I’d recommend at least one day for your visit. Or, better 2 or 3 half days. You’ll see some more details on your second or third visit. Things, you’ve overseen on your first visit.

Today’s gallery is quite large. I hope you enjoy them even though.

Have fun!

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