Friday, June 19, 2009



We landed in Iceland just before the start of the financial crisis and the country going bankrupt. This meant that the prices were still outrageously high (similar to what happened to me in Argentina, December 2001) and that everybody thought they were rich with all those toxic products in their bank accounts. Some weeks later, they dramatically discovered how wrong they were. But I had already paid my trip...

The day we arrived was the date of Reykjavik's - Iceland's capital city - most popular annual event: Reykjavik Cultural Night. It actually consists of two events: the Reykjavik Marathon, which takes place in the morning, and the long Culture Night, which starts early afternoon and runs deeply into the night. They take place on the same Saturday, on the third weekend in August, and that brings great excitement to the city. It's said that roughly 100,000 people come to Reykjavik that night; for an island country with circa 320,000 inhabitants that's something...

"RAIN - August, in the Northern Hemisphere, usually means summer and hot weather. That isn't (or wasn't) entirely true in Iceland, when we got to Keflavik Airport..."

"VIKINGS - The Marathon was already over and the long party was starting its debut..."



One of the features of the Cultural Night is that you'll have music around virtually each corner in town. And all sorts of music...











Another peculiar feature of the cultural night is the snack around the corner...




While we were strolling around Laugavegur, the main shopping street of Reykjavik, a show sponsored by «Moods of Norway» was taking place. And the Centrum store was having live fashion shows...




"LIVE SHOW - Inside and outside"




The museums and the galleries were open and there were art installations throughout town...

"GUIDA & GIL also contributed..."


Trotter said...

This is my post nr. 250 on Blogtrotter!! It makes sense that it is dedicated to a great party in Iceland - Reykjavik Cultural Night. Together with the posts on Revival 70s & 80s and Revival 90s (blogs somehow neglected, as you don’t pay much attention to them... ;)), it’s reaching almost 500 posts, all in all. That means more than six thousand photos uploaded... Hope you enjoy and have a fabulous weekend. It’s hot in here... ;)

hpy said...

Dette var en fin historie fra Island.

P.N. Subramanian said...

Very recently my nephew was in Iceland and brought home many pictures but were only so so. I could transgress into his memories with your, pictures. Thanks once again.

SusuPetal said...

Iceland is a country I liked to visit. Thanks for the introduction.

diane b said...

They sure know how to party there.
Great shots of their cultural activities.

Thérèse said...

Quite interesting. I always like to read and see pictures of course of smaller countries and how they operate.

april said...

Vry interesting impressions of Iceland.

Louise said...

Sorry for my long absence. I was so far behind I cannot even try to catch up, but I came to something exciting... a place I've been!

I love your arrival photo. SO typical. I've been to Iceland several times and even lived there for a school year. That is the most common weather.

It was great to see things I've seen,but even more wonderful to see things I had not seen. You are the one to find those things!

eye in the sky said...

now this is a "series" i'm looking forward to reading... the opening paragraph already reads like an exciting travelogue commencing...

[G@ttoGiallo] said...

Stupid c@t ! I could have been there and visiting when a cousin of mine worked at the Italian Institute !

Stella Bella said...

Interesting place! :) Me and hubby want to go there very much but things are too expensive there.

Wish we could go there some day! hehehe :)

Marie said...

Congratulations on your 250th post.
This is a lot of music. My favorite photos are the musicians'.

A Lady's Life said...

They grow big people in Iceland lol
Sounds like a merry place. People do a lot to stay warm and that Monk Fish WOW!

Mariposa said...

so interesting! i'm fascinated that they play music EVERYWHERE!

alicesg said...

Lovely trip there. Love the photos on the street life. Very colourful and interesting.

Ron said...

Nice post. Very interesting fashion there.

Jen Laceda | Milk Guides said...

It looks like it was cool and rainy in August 2008! What an interesting city, though!

Chuckeroon said...

.....Well it's not hot here. Midsummer Day has dawned under thick grey cloud (coming up from the Azores???)

Alarm!!! I see Mrs Trotter in the hands of Viking thugs! But no worries...the August rain will dampen their courage.

I enjoyed this one. Strangely tatty and "down to earth".

alice said...

Jazz in the bank! I think today "Blues in the bank" would be most appropriate...
Encore un pays qui me tente mais la fenêtre météo est quand même très restreinte!
Bon week end!

Paz said...

Lots of fun stuff happening here.

Congrats on your 250th post!


Anonymous said...

Music, music everywhere and I love it. I especially love the umbrella photo. Hope your weekend is going (or has gone) great. ~

Nomadic Matt said...

wow. they are a very tall people huh

99 said...

Congrats on your 250th! And on your near 500th too!
Hey, how on Earth does a Monkfish kebab taste? Boy, that mouthpiece thing looks dangerous...

Dsole said...

Gil, I'm a little bit jelaous you just arrive from the beach (yesterday, of course). Today's weather in Madrid is better than yesterday (I thought my brain was melted!)... uf!
Friday was photoespaña marathon so I spent all the hot afternoon taking pics, so now I have a lot of new photos! I've just posted one few minutes ago,
But I'm not out of your post, Iceland is such an interesting place. I'm really curious about living in that place. Love the fashion pics, and you always choose a great moment to arrive on a city! well done!
Have a nice sunday, I'm sorry you're working, hope it won't be so hard. :)

Asian Traveler said...

No doubt, travel is fun. I enjoyed so much just browsing the gorgeous photos. Love the fashion show and the MONKFISH KEBAB is pretty interesting.

Meanwhile, have you tried to ride on a kicir kicir? You wanna see it? Read my post about Kicir-Kicir at Eropa. Have a great day!

Nikon said...

Happy 250th, Gil!! I'm right behind you :-)
I love the fashion shots and all of those girls!!
Looks like a great place to have some fun!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Wow Gil --that is a lot of total posts on all your blogs! They are all wonderul photo albums, and I ahve peeked at all of them!

Iceland looks very unique! I think I'd pass on that monfish kabob however..haha!

Kcalpesh said...

Hey, surprise huh! What a coincidence. The other day I was just discussing Iceland with one of my friends and here you are presenting some fabulous photos from Iceland..... Seems like one lovely place. Thanks for sharing!

magiceye said...

congratulations on your 250th post! look forward to many more!

thank you for the lovely tour. was thoroughly enjoyable!

Tinsie said...

Fab! I've really enjoyed this post as I've always wanted to visit Iceland. The festival looks like a lot of fun, even if the weather left a lot to be desired.....

Did you have better weather the next day?

Tinsie said...

P.S. Congrats on your 250th post! Very well done :-)

Cergie said...

Un pays où tu ne déparais pas avec ta barbe, un pays nordique partagé entre nuit et jour
Je suis en train de lire "l'homme du lac" d'Arnaldur Idridadson, c'est assez glauque mais j'aime bien. Je voudrais bien aller faire un tour là haut, cela a l'air bon enfant ; quel est le mois que tu conseilles ?

250 messages, cela semble peu mais pour ce faire, combien de kilomètres parcourus ? Combien de jours passés loin de ton lit ?

PeterParis said...

I love fish and seafood, but would hesitate in front of the Monkfish Kebab! :-)

My only experience of Iceland - so far - are two landings (and takeoffs) at Keflavik, on my way - first trip - to NYC in the sixties by propeller planes! The weather was the same!

We had our "Fête de la Musique" yesterday and what you show looks much like it! Bjork wasn't there?

If not, what I think I would prefer is to see the landscape, but I'm sure that it will follow in your next posts!

rochambeau said...

Great post, once again!!
When I got to the photo of you in front of the guys in ties, I had to smile!

Thank you and Mrs. Blogtrotter for letting us be part of your journey!


rochambeau said...


Congrats on 250!!!!!!!
Keep em coming!

Azer Mantessa said...

this is among the countries i rarely read about.

thanks for the pictures minus 'the underwear'. I must say, beautiful women over there ... whoaaaaaa.

Pietro Brosio said...

Gil, congrats on your 250 posts!
How many beautiful and varied pictures! I like very much the music images, and all the others of course! Thanks for sharing these splendid and interesting realities!
Have a great week ahead! :-)

RuneE said...

It felt almost like home, which it in some way can be said to be. We have a lot in common, since the Icelanders initially were settlers from Norway and still speak almost the same language as was spoken both places 1000 years ago.

Rajesh said...

Very interesting. The variety of snaps are amazing. You showed us today a different world.

L. Neusiedler said...

absolutelly stunning visit today, GMG! thanks!

Rakesh Vanamali said...


Thanks so much for taking me to Iceland! The pictures are wonderful as always and give an insight into a culture which is unique, very well poised and passionate!



Voegtli said...

Another exciting and interesting place you are showing. I definitely will have to do something and get out of semi-retirement into full retirement. Otherwise I will lack time to go and visit this beautiful world.

Unknown said...

Congrats on the post Gil. I have not known anyone who travels more than you and am grateful you share so much things with us. We are learning a lot from you. Have a great week...and I must say the fashion there is very modern..

Shantanu said...

Heh! Enjoyed the outdoor fashion show. :)

Very interesting city...

Venksh said...

Hey GIL,
wow superb country seems like u might have had very good time out there...
surprised to c that music is been played even in office place thats great...
the ties pic seems to be lot helpful lol..
fashion is good but food seems to little weird..
n nice contribution of u n ur wife at the end..


leo said...

Gil, I really enjoyed this post very much!! Such fun pics and your captions were appropriate n witty :) Thanx for sharing.

Trotter said...

Hi Folks! Iceland was in all newspapers last autumn when its financial system found out that it was intoxicated with no value products. The Icelandic kroner devalued to one third of its former value, some banks went bankrupt and were nationalised, the government was seeking a huge loan from and Russia and after all, the Government resigned and a new one, headed by Johanna Sigurdardottir – according to BBC, «the first openly lesbian head of government in Europe, if not the world, at least in modern times» – took office. Last April she won the elections and, though the crisis is still around, we are no longer seeing Iceland in the news. Only Michael Jackson…
Thanks for your comments and have a sunny Sunday!

If «fin» means fine, ok!! ;)

Interesting that you may see the sites again!!

Have you been there or just would like? It’s interesting!!

Well, I feel that lots of booze may help them to party!!

Small is beautiful; at least for Schumacher, before the crisis... ;))

I flew direct from Hamburg on Saturday with Lufthansa; not that far for you... ;))

So great to see you back! There were some posts you missed, but I think you should have a look at the Uzupis Republic; I’m sure you would like... ;))
It’s amazing that you have been to Iceland and for a whole school year. It must have been an interesting experience!

Thank! Hope it continues to match your expectations... ;)

We all make mistakes and then it’s too late... ;)

Things were too expensive when we were there; but six weeks later they became quite affordable. The crisis hit Iceland stronger than any other country in the Western Hemisphere...

Those musicians were everywhere; and there were much more on the streets that I didn’t post... ;))

They’re actually big; as big as that huge monkfish... ;))

That was only for the Reykjavik Cultural Night, which happens once a year. Usually they don’t play that way. The only regular «play» is the «runtur» of the bars on weekends when they get drunk... ;))

Alice SG,
That day and night was quite lively; but you should see next morning: nobody in the streets... ;))

Those models were incredible!! ;)

That’s the famous Icelandic summer; a bit like the also famous wet Alaska summer... ;))

Things must be completely upside down; today it’s raining... The Azores anti-cyclone must have moved somewhere where it doesn’t perform its function: avoiding the Atlantic storms to hit continental Portugal...
The Vikings were firmly under control; it was still early in the afternoon... ;))

Nowadays it’s probably more appropriate «M[e]ss in the Bank»... ;))
C’est vrai que tu dois y aller entre la fin de juin et le début du mois d’août, mais si tu peux, ça vaut le voyage. Il pleuvra, quand même, mais pas beaucoup… ;)

That’s a funny day and night!

Those guys were emulating the girls inside the store and I thought it would make an interesting shot: a show within the show… ;))

Yeah, probably spinach, like Popeye, the Sailor man… ;)

Trotter said...

Part Two of the answers, for the benefit of Blogger!

Monkfish («rape» in Spanish…) is one of the ugliest fish I’ve ever seen. I don’t say «the» ugliest because of some I saw in Amazonia, at the fish market in Manaus, whose name I can’t even remember, if I ever learned… ;)) But it tastes delicious… And a shrimp and monkfish rice is perfect… ;))

Today it’s raining… don’t be jealous… ;)). And now you have Ronaldo just around the corner in Madrid… ;))
I’m not so sure it would be interesting to live in Iceland, but it surely deserves a visit… Be prepared for the rain, and it’s perfectly ok!!

Asian Traveler,
I feel, like Bruce Chatwin, that we were born to travel, not to be stuck… ;))

The model girls (and the others…) were incredibly pretty girls… ;)

That’s true that it makes a lot of posts and photos. I didn’t count, but it must surely overpass 6000 pictures posted all in all!! As far as the kebab is concerned, I tell that it tastes much better than the monkfish looks… ;))

Were you discussing the financial crisis? That’s the main reason to talk about Iceland after October 2008… Well there is another one: the newly elected Prime Minister!! There will be more posts on Iceland that will show you other aspects of the country…

You’ll get many more… ;))

Thanks! Enjoy Athens!!

Pas de problème avec la barbe la haut… ;) Le seul livre (littérature) que j’ai acheté en Islande a été «Independent People» de Halldór Laxness, qui a gagné le Prix Nobel en 1955. Très intéressant!!
La moyenne était de presque 160 nuits dormies à l’étranger par an; maintenant c’est affreux: je reste toujours là… ;))

It tastes delicious, I tell you; much better than it looks… ;)
I remember those times of Icelandic Airways: they flew to Luxembourg (which else?) and from there to NYC. Low cost «avant la lettre»… ;))
It’s true that it looks a lot like «La Fête»; probably Jack Lang sold the idea to Icelanders… Björk wasn’t there and the landscape will come!!

You’re welcome! I found that wall with the ties quite instructive… Amazing! ;)
Thanks! Al in all, I’m almost reaching 500 posts with all blogs…

Not reading, but I’m sure you would love to stroll there: a paradise for your eyes… ;))

Thanks! We had all sorts of music in all kind of stages during that afternoon and night; great programme

I’m sure you would feel at home there; actually the easiest air flight connection – or should I say the more frequent – is Reykjavik-Oslo!!

Glad that you liked!

There are more to come... ;))

My pleasure! Great that it was worthwhile for you... I’m delighted to know that these posts make sense to people around the globe!! Thanks!

That’s the point: semi-retirement may be worst than full time job; at least there you know with what you count... ;))

I used to travel a lot; nowadays I feel stuck here. Haven’t been out since February; it drives anyone crazy... ;))

Great outdoor show indeed! And funny people around also...

That was only for that specific Saturday afternoon: Reykjavik Cultural Night!! Other days they are supposed to work in the offices, not to play... ;))

Thanks! It’s always nice reading your kind comments!

Emery Roth said...

Any country with that much music has to be good. I'm surprised at how 50s the first model looked. Great posts!

Trotter said...

Now that you drew the attention to the fact I realized it's typical late 50s... Amazing!

Indrani said...

Lively and lovely shots!
You have all varieties. ;)

Trotter said...

That was definitely an amazing day!

Leif Hagen said...

Love your Iceland pics! I've written to two penpals in Iceland since 1988 and visited there a few times. Overdue for another visit there again! Fun blog you have. Thanks for your comments on my blog. Regards from EAGAN daily photo blog. Have you considered a daily photo blog? See:

Trotter said...

Thanks for the visit and comment. If you visited Iceland, you're used to the dull weather, the runtur and the beauty of the place... ;)
No chance of posting daily; sometimes it's so hard to post once a week...