Sunday, May 31, 2009

Snapshots from Hofsós


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The old warehouse. Now a museum. (This photo was not taken at the same time as the other two).


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The Emigration Center buildings. The museum houses an interesting collection of photographs, papers and items connected with the emigration of Icelanders to North America in the 19th and early 20th century, including genealogy records.


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A photogenic boat.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Grafarkirkja

This is the oldest church in Iceland, and is also among the smallest. The current building is thought to date back to the 17th century, but there has been a church or chapel in this spot for much longer.

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The church is in the care of the National Museum of Iceland, but stands on private land, in the middle of a hayfield. It's a short walk over the field to the church from the parking lot. The church is open to all, and there is a guestbook on the altar. It is located in Skagafjörður, on the eastern side, by the road to Siglufjörður, shortly before you reach Hofsós.


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The church seen closer to.


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Macro of the church bell. It was cast in 1720.


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Close up of one of the baroque-style eaves. Baroque decorations are very rare in Icelandic churches. The eaves and the altar are believed to have been carved by Guðmundur Guðmundsson from Bjarnastaðahlíð in Vesturdalur, by commission from Mrs. Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir and her husband, bishop Gísli Þorláksson.


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A look inside the church.


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The carved altar.


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I think this is a painting of Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir. It hangs in the church. Her image graces the Icelandic 5000 króna banknote.


Finally, here are some images of the decorative hardware on the church:
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Friday, May 29, 2009

You know it’s summer in Iceland when (5 things)

Every weekend between 5 and 7 p.m. the air is saturated with the smell of food being grilled outdoors. Even when it’s raining.

You have to fight your way to the lockers when you go to the swimming pool on a sunny day.

The heating bill drops drastically. During the summer I only keep enough hot water flowing through my radiators to prevent the system from rusting.

Going to bed and waking up with the sun means getting less than 4 hours of sleep every “night”.

You hear more English, German, Dutch, Swedish and Danish spoken around you than Icelandic when you go for a walk in the shopping area in downtown Reykjavik.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

At the beach

Here are some macro photos I took during a recent walk on the beach in Reykjanes, near Garður.


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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Licence plates

I am a keen collector of fancy license plates, but unlike some collectors, I just photograph them. This is the latest batch.To see them full size, click the image you are interested in.

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"Rolla" is a half-way derogatory word for a female sheep. It implies age, stupidity, stubbornness and bad temper. It's also a nick-name for a Toyota Corolla (although a different pronunciation is used), but since this is on a Nissan, it must be the other meaning.

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"Heilsa" means "health". I'm guessing the owner is a health-care worker or a health nut.

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This needs no explanation.

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Nor does this.

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This one muse be seriously depressed.

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"Veiðir" can mean "hunts", "fishes" or "seduces" (colloquial meaning).

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"Rokk" = "rock" (both meanings).

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Another one that needs no explanation.

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A Pippi Longstocking fan?

Monday, May 25, 2009

I'm back!

I don't know for how long, since I'm going on holiday for the whole of June, but I have a whole year of photos to make up for, so I'm going to be posting daily until the end of the month. Once I'm back from my holiday, I should have some new photos to post as well.

I will start by displaying this "tasteful" souvenir item that I spotted in Islandia, a souvenir shop in Kringlan:

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The thought of flossing my arse with the Icelandic flag just gives me the creeps.