Month: February 2014

Visiting Iceland (Part 4) – Reykjavik harbour

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travel

The old harbour down the hill from Hallgrímskirkja, is the core of downtown Reykjavik. Filled mostly with fishing and tour boats, it is also the place where cruise ships dock, and home of the Icelandic Coast Guard. The most prominent  architectural feature of the harbour is Harpa, the arts centre composed of glass, and home to the Symphony Orchestra and Opera. The photos above show the three ships of the Icelandic Coast Guard: the largest is the  ICGV Þór […]

Woodworking tools and handmade knives in Iceland

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travel / woodworking

There is one place to buy tools in downtown Reykjavik – an old fashioned hardware store that had a bit of everything. Open since 1919, BRYNJA is a mom-and-pop type store that sells everything from scissors, and hinges to “exotic” knives handcrafted by local artisan and Iceland’s only professional knife maker, Palli Kristjánsson. Kristjánsson has a workshop in Álafosskvos, Mosfellsbær, about 15 minutes north of Reykjavik. He uses high quality imported blades such as Damascus steel, and handcrafts handles […]

Visiting Iceland (Part 3) – the food

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food / travel

There are quite a number of restaurants, cafes, and bistros in downtown Reykjavik. There are some excellent small cafes, and at least one excellent patisserie, where we had the best chocolate covered donut. Looked like its Tim Horton cousin, but tasted fresh, soft, and delicious! Ironically, one has to go to Iceland to get a good donut. No Starbucks (yet). No MacDonald’s – they left in 2008. Grocery stores are small, and carry some interesting products […]

Visiting Iceland (Part 2) – Reykjavik downtown

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travel

Tourism in Iceland has more than doubled since 2000, with 672,900 visitors in 2012 – nearly half of them visiting in the summer months. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but Reykjavik is a small place. Reykjavik itself is extremely walkable. Downtown is situated on the slope of  a hill with the cathedral at the top, and the harbour on the bottom. Houses are often very colourful, and made predominantly of corrugated iron – it arrived […]