Tag Archives: Reykjavik

Book Review: History of Iceland

History of Iceland by Jón R. Hjálmarson

I read History of Iceland in December 2016

Iceland, that small island all alone up north in the Atlantic ocean. A country of vikings, sagas, volcanoes and geysirs. A country that almost took over the financial world before being dragged back down by the 2008 market crash. A country where a volcano grounded almost all European air traffic for weeks. And a country where one of the great showdowns of the Cold War happened, over the chess board that is. It might be a small country but it is a country with a long and proud history.

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Bokin in Reykjavik. A Second Hand Book Store

I visited Bokin in Reykjavik in March 2016

Bokin second-hand book store in Reykjavik is my kind of book store. The whole space is crammed full of books. The bookshelves are overflowing, books are piled on the floor, on the counter. A huge pile of books lie in front of the cashier. The books at the bottom can’t have been touched by human hands for years. The whole store has that old-book-smell. The smell is really strong here, there are so many old books. My only regret is that the best selection is in Icelandic. Their English section is a lot smaller, and the quality of the books not so good. This is a book store that makes you want to learn Icelandic.

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The Bobby Fischer Center in Selfoss, Iceland

I visited the Bobby Fischer Center in Selfoss, Iceland in April 2016

It was the game of the century, the lonely American chess player against the might of the whole Soviet chess machine. The Soviets had held the Chess World Championship for 34 years, and was not going to see the trophy come into the hands of this uneducated American. With the Soviet Union and the United States being locked in the Cold War conflict as well, the match took on a deeper meaning. It was the Cold War over the chess board, the government controlled Soviet chess schools up against a self-taught individualist from capitalist America. All eyes in the world were turned to Reykjavik at this time. All eyes were watching the two players battling it out over the board, best out of 24 games. As the reigning champion Spassky would retain the title in case of a draw and needed 12 points to win. As the challenger Fischer needed 12,5. One point for a win, half a point for a draw. Finally Bobby Fischer was ready to play for the World Championship title in chess.

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Book Review: Tales of Iceland

Tales of Iceland or Running with the Huldufólk in the Permanent Daylight by Stephen Markley

I read Tales of Iceland by Stephen Markley in May 2016

Ever since he, as a university student, heard Quentin Tarantino speak of Iceland, a country where supermodels worked at McDonald’s, Stephen Markley had wanted to go to Iceland. But as things always got in the way, it took a while to realise his dream.

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Prikið Café in Reykjavik

I have visited Prikið in Reykjavik many times. The last time was in July 2016

I had been to Prikið many times before, dropped by for a beer and some rest on my walks through Reykjavik, but never really seen all of it. Downstairs there are only a few tables, a bar, not many seats, and looks old, worn, a bit dodgy in a way. One small unisex toilet, a huge bar. Old wodden walls, a bit uninterested bartenders. Just how I like it. It is only when you see the amount of space upstairs that you see the whole place. Many tables, another bar, a large smoking area outside. Suddenly Prikið becomes much bigger. I remember being so surprised the first time I walked upstairs.

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When I travelled to Reykjavik to watch the Icelandic Football Team on TV

I watched the Icelandic Football Team play France in Reykjavik in July 2016

Just making it to The Euros was seen as a feat, when the Icelandic football team came second in their prelininary group and advanced to the play-offs to face England, the country went crazy. This small island nation, a population of just over 330.000, the smallest country to ever play a European Championship, was suddenly to play the great football nation of England. Icelandair doubled their prices to France instantly.

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Svarta Kaffid in Reykjavik

I visited Svarta Kaffid in Reykjavik in March, 2016

The waitress brought me the soup in bread, a huge bread, hollowed out and filled with soup. It smelled delicious. I took the top of the bread off, could see the soup. South American Lemon Beef. I picked up my spoon, tried a mouthful of the soup. A bit warm, but not too bad. And it tasted really good.

Svarta Kaffid

The soup

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Bæjarins Beztu pylsur, The World Famous Hot Dog

I visited Bæjarins beztu pylsur and their hot dog stand in Reykjavik in March 2016

Whenever you pass by, there is always a line. It does not matter if it is morning, lunchtime, evening or night. The line is always there. If there is less than five people waiting, consider yourself lucky and get in line. There won’t be less people there.

Bajarins beztu pylsur, a hot dog stand in Reykjavik

There is always a line

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Sightseeing in Reykjavik

I went sightseeing in Reykjavik in April, 2010

It was April, still quite cold. I was still wearing my winter jacket. I thought it would be warmer here by now.

I was walking through downtown Reykjavik, towards Tjörnin, the lake in the middle of the city. It was my first day in Reykjavik, my first trip here since childhood, I was taking a walk around just to get mental map of the place. Doing some sightseeing in Reykjavik.

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