Icelandic cuisine has been changing and developing fast for the last few decades, proudly using local ingredients and creating new courses based on traditional Icelandic ones. This week one of the top restaurants in Reykjavik, Dill, earned a Michelin Star, the first one ever given to an Icelandic restaurant.

Icelandic cuisine is traditionally based on lamb and various fishes, such as haddock, cod and salmon. Often the food was cured, salted or fermented to store over winter. Today these old methods are still used to produce particular delicacies with a modern twist also to suit a more international crowd.

The meat or fish are often accompanied with potatoes, turnips, carrots or cabbage, which are often called winter vegetables. Than traditional milk products such as skyr, sour milk (kind of yogurt) and berries found in Iceland have been turned into delicious desserts.

We are so happy that Icelandic cuisine has now  been recognized internationally and would like to congratulate Dill on this great accomplishment.

 

 

 

There really is just one place to be at Easter and that is Isafjordur. Isafjordur is a small town in the North-West of Iceland. It can get pretty hard to get to this time of year, but somehow people do get there and create the best rock festival in the country. And it‘s all for free.

The story begins with the very popular and talented musician Mugison, who is from Isafjordur. He and his dad, Papamug, thought hey, why don‘t we create a rock festival where everybody plays for free just for fun and all the other work is based on volunteers. Lets also allow all kinds of people not so famous hit the stage and just play music. So they proposed the idea to several people and everyone was up for it. That happened in 2003 and the festival is now celebrating its 12th year.

The festival is called Aldrei for eg sudur, which literally means I never went south, but what that really means is I never moved to Reykjavik. The three day festival is an ongoing party in a small music hall (really small actually) but not only there as you have concerts and events in every corner of this tiny litle town during the festivities. You can party until morning and start at noon again, if you got the stomach for it. Speaking of stomachs, you can pack up your backpack with beverages and food and bring your own if you like. But also, just by the music hall you can warm up with the traditional Icelandic lamb soup and a beer. I say warm up because it‘s going to be cold. Do not forget your big coat, a hat, scarf and your gloves. You can find more information on the festival here.

So ready to party? I will tell you how to get there:

You start by flying to Iceland, KEF airoport. Than you get yourself to Reykjavik airoport and take a local plane to Ísafjörður with Air Iceland. Flights are twice a day (when weather allowes) and they take about 40-50 minutes. When lending the plain flyes quite close to one of the mountains so perhaps better not to look out the window exactely at that moment.

You can also rent a car and drive but conditions can be hard and we do not recommend you driving if you are not used to driving on icy roads often with limited view in the middle of the country. The car must also be well equiped for winter. That being said, it is about 455km between Reykjavik and Isafjordur so it can take up to 6 hours to drive there. There is no bus service to Isafjordur during winter.

So if you are brave enough to give it a go, I salut you! It will definetely be different. And if you like outdoor activities pack your skiing gear and enjoy the slopes in the area. Also, bring your bathing suit and take a dip in the local swimming pool.

The famous Icelandic outdoor clothing company 66°North with their Keeping Iceland Warm since 1926 slogan recently received a job application different from most others. The application came from Ásdís Karlsdóttir, age 81 and living in Akureyri, for a modeling position. She says she played an online game asking which career would suit her the best and the result was a model. She then went ahead and applied at 66°North on their facebook page, saying she was eighty years old if they didn’t need a model and then sent them 5 photos of herself. She told reporters that she was just kidding around but at the same time also bringing attention to the fact that no matter how old you are, you do need clothes to wear. The people at 66°North were quite impressed, did not take the application as a joke, and just a week later Ásdís posed for one of their campaigns. Ásdís says outdoor activity has always been a big part of her life, she takes long walks every day and has been wearing their clothes for years. Age and weather are really just a state of mind.

 

Our Logo: Vegvísir
Our Logo: Vegvísir

Our logo: Vegvísir Your Friend In Reykjavik

A Vegvísir is an Icelandic magical sign intended to help the bearer find their way through rough weather.
The symbol is attested in the Huld Manuscript, collected in Iceland by Geir Vigfusson in 1860 (but consisting of material of much earlier origin)

The Icelandic word literally means ‘guidepost’ or ‘direction sign’.
In modern popular culture, the Vegvísir is often called The Viking Compass, The Runic Compass or See the Way.

It is often associated with the Viking Age, which is not entirely correct: this symbol is from the 17th-century Icelandic grimoire called Galdrabók (‘magic book’).  But of course, this magic sign has an older origin

A leaf of the manuscript provides a drawing of the Vegvísir symbol, giving its name, and, in prose, declaring that :

If this sign is carried, one will never lose one’s way in storms or bad weather, even when the way is not known

Magic symbols/signs – Galdrastafir are Icelandic and appear from around 1400 through to 1700.
They borrow concepts from pagan times, from Vikings, from Norse gods, myths, and folklore, and from runic characters,
but they also reflect issues current for their times and Christian beliefs.
It is likely that Galdrastafir gained popularity in Iceland after the symbols were seen in late-medieval European grimoires.

Today some people have this sign as an emblem or even a tattoo so the magical sign can help them out when in need.

Valur near a secret Ice lagoon

Valur has just graduated from the official Tourist Guide school in Iceland and also signed up of for the Iceland Tourist Guide Association.

In the Tourist guide school you learn in depth about all things about Iceland = History, Geology, Zoology, Botany, Art
and you name it, it’s probably covered.

We want to be sure to give our friends their money’s worth on their tours with Your Friend in Reykjavik so
it was a no brainer to finish this school to be better equipped to
answer all your questions.

We are sincerely looking forward to show you our beautiful city

Official Tourist Guide