Art in Reykjavik

My last post on our Iceland trip to Iceland from July 13 to 23.

After dinner on July 22nd we went to find the car. For once I forgot to take a picture of its location before we left it. I wish I had. We couldn’t find it. We spent seven hours looking. Finally, I said, “That’s enough! We must go to the police and get some help because we’re leaving at 5:00 AM in the morning and it’s almost midnight.” We did so and two policewoman drove us around to search for the car. We still couldn’t find it so at about 3:00 AM they dropped us off at the hotel and we hastily packed. We laid down for a minute. At 5:00 AM there was a knock at the door. Lo and behold, the 2 lovely policewomen had found the car. They must have been looking for it all night. It had all my camera equipment in it, and I was so relieved, so was Marc. When we go home I wanted to praise them and the only way I found to do so was on Google Maps. I hope their CO reads it. Then I thanked the taxi driver who had come to pick us up. I wanted to pay him for his trouble and he declined the offer. My opinion of Icelanders increased another notch.

Greatly relieved, we drove off to the airport at 5:20 AM, dropped off the car, and then went to check in. Delta said we needed a COVID-19 test, which I had not been told was needed. We did not need the test to go to Iceland, so I didn’t think we needed one to come back. They told us we could get one at a nearby hotel, so we hired a taxi for about $150 and got the tests after waiting about an hour. The results didn’t arrive at the expected time by email, so I asked for help. When I called they said they had sent it to the wrong email address. We eventually got the results. During the flight I was so tired I did not care that the entertainment consoles did not work – again.

Except for the misplaced car and COVID-19 test issue at the end our tour of Iceland was wonderful. And even though Guide to Iceland didn’t provide realistic distances and times in their itinerary I would use them again because the places we stayed at and the restaurants they booked for us where all top quality.

The Icelandic culture is vibrant and evolving and often incorporates things from the past. There are many art galleries and artists in Iceland. To combat graffiti murals were commissioned around town. These artworks that are respected and not marred by graffiti.

Icelandic art, music, and literature is exceptional. Myths, runes, and symbols are part of the cultural history of Iceland. I bought a couple of coasters with the Helm of Awe on them The Helm of Awe (norse-mythology.org). The geothermal company has a logo that looks mythological. Some wear clothing that gives a nod to their Viking heritage. I noticed a few young men in the streets wearing Viking looking leather garb with bare limbs. It was too cold for us to wear summer clothing like the locals do.

The Sagas are still read and loved. There are streets named after some of the characters. We ate dinner at the Café Loki. I wanted to eat dinner at the better quality Rok but it was fully booked, both are near Hallgimskirkja. I was entertained during the meal by a tour guide instructing his clients all about the Saga of Loki depicted in the the mural. He also talked about the strange Icelandic foods and many other things. I had a free floorshow. See Loki – Wikipedia and Loki the Icelandic god of Mischief (asgard.scot) for details about Loki.

Icelandic music is unique. Music of Iceland – Wikipedia. Here are a few pieces that I found interesting:

  1. Eivør Pálsdóttir: Tròdlabùndin (Trøllabundin) a modern folk song. Faroese Eivør Pálsdóttir performs her own song “Tròdlabùndin” (from the album “Trøllabundin” 2005) at an outdoor concert with Vamp on the mountain farm Stigen in Aurland, 10/08/2013. The setting is the Stigen Farm, a UNESCO World Heritage Site from 2005, and it is located by the Aurlandsfjord.

2. Heilung | LIFA – Krigsgaldr very modern with ancient tones. Love the costumes.

Remember, that we all are brothers
All people, beasts, trees and stone and wind
We all descend from the one great being
That was always there
Before people lived and named it
Before the first seed sprouted

3. Wardruna and Aurora – Helvegen reminds me of some of the music the Vikings TV series. Very epic.

The Way to Hel

I sought the songs
I sent the songs
when the deepest well
offered drops so mighty
of Valfather’s pledge

I know it all, Odin
where you hid your eye

Who will sing me
in the death-sleep sling me
when I walk the road to Hel
and the tracks I tread
are cold, so cold

Early or in fading day
still the raven knows if I fall

When you stand by the gate of Hel
and when you must tear loose
follow you I shall
across the bridge of Gjöll with my song

You become free from the bonds that bind you
You are free from the bonds that bound you

4. Wardruna – Lyfjaberg (Healing-mountain)  

Healing-mountain

Saddle your soul and let it ride
With blind eyes, you’ll surely find the way
Draw your breath in – let your thoughts fly
Let it out slowly – on winds you’ll bide

The spindle spins, the thoughts entwine revolving sight
The enchantment song lures the soul from its shape
Out through the door, through the cobweb-veil
Out borne on bare feet, a heavy burden


Out in your innermost, a steep trail ahead
High upon Healing-Peak, nine maidens await

At the first stop where paths cross, you pause
Leave clothes behind and all you own
Where you are heading, they’ll be of no use
The burden lightens, but heavy is the trail ahead

At the second stop where paths cross, you pause
Leave time behind, and weighty thoughts
Where you are headed, they’ll be of no use
The burden lightens, but heavy is the trail ahead

At the third stop where paths cross, you pause
Leave fears behind, let fall all masks
Where you are headed, they’ll be of no use
The burden lightens, but heavy is the trail ahead

Naked at the top, the mountain knows you
North waves an eagle-wing, the wind it draws
The shadow-women dance about you
They sing for you, chanting powerful runes

Wounds and sickness
Of marrow and blood
Of meat and bone
Of flesh and skin
into weather and wind you fade


I summon you into the mountain blue
Where neither sun nor moonshine can reach you
I summon you into the forest where no one dwells
and out to the sea where no man rows
Deep beneath an earthbound stone
out of harm’s way
Run through the rivers
and roll with the ocean tides

Into weather and wind you fade
Neither sun nor moonshine can reach you
Sink in the sea where no man rows
Run through the rivers
and roll with the ocean tides

Healing-mountain stands for eternity
It comforts the sick and the sore
Each and every one who assails that rock
Will find their lifelong ailment cured

Leave it behind on Healing-Peak
Where the rivers and streams
dance northwards and down
That mountain mends all those who climb

12 thoughts on “Art in Reykjavik

  1. Atkins Linda 2021-08-30 / 12:31 pm

    Dear Sherry
    Thank you for taking me to Iceland with you via your wonderful photographs if everything important you saw and enjoyed. I will miss looking for your posts, imagining being there with you and celebrating the finding if your car and camera equipment.
    With Gratitude for including me on your wonderful adventurous journey.

    Like

  2. Eunice 2021-08-28 / 4:32 pm

    I like the all the creatures on the gable end wall, very strange but very cute, also like thw rainbow street and the colourful Cafe Loki mural 🙂

    Like

  3. shoreacres 2021-08-28 / 8:13 am

    If money was no object, I’d buy those two ball-shaped pieces immediately, and then buy a house suited to display them. I can’t even tell you how much I like them both — particularly the one that looks like lichen on rock. The black and white is quite striking, too, albeit in a different way.

    I once knew a cat named Loki. Now I’m wondering if it might have been named for the Icelandic Loki. It certainly was a mischievous animal.

    Like

    • shoreacres 2021-08-28 / 8:16 am

      By the way — I lost (and retrieved) images off an SD card recently, and that was traumatic enough. Never mind the car — I’m glad you got your camera equipment back!

      Like

      • Sherry Felix 2021-08-28 / 1:25 pm

        Yes it was a HUGE relief.
        Oh my! Glad you got them pictures back. That happed to me years ago in Australia. I lost all my sister’s wedding pictures when an SD card went bad. I got back about 80% of them with some software after we got back to NY. Now when traveling I back up my pictures to my laptop and to an external solid state drive. I will not let that happen again. I take pictures off my SD cards at the end of each day I use the camera. I have had at least 6 SD cards fail.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Sherry Felix 2021-08-28 / 1:31 pm

      I wish I could have bought those pieces too.
      I want ot read the saga of Loki. We liked the Vikings TV series. Our favorite character is Floki Vilgerðarson who is a boat builder and incorrigible trickster, who also happens to be Ragnar Lothbrok ‘s eccentric and closest friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. picpholio 2021-08-28 / 5:24 am

    Thanks for these nice impressions of the artistic side of Reykjavik 🙂
    Enjoy the weekend.

    Like

    • Sherry Felix 2021-08-28 / 5:35 am

      Your welcome. Hope you have a good weekend too. I will lay low until it cools off. Next weekend we hope to attend a Linnaean NY trip Jamaica Bay.

      Like

    • Sherry Felix 2021-08-28 / 5:07 am

      Thanks Derrick. Marc doesn’t care for the music much but I do. My tastes are more eclectic. Do my selections play in the UK? I’ve noticed some recordings on YouTube from Europe will not play here.

      Like

      • derrickjknight 2021-08-28 / 6:33 am

        These all play here – and I was tempted into enjoying more of Eivor. The more heavily dramatic pieces are also compelling.

        Like

        • Sherry Felix 2021-08-28 / 6:44 am

          Thanks. I am glad. I love the outdoor setting Eivor’s performance was in, on the grassy shores of a fjord.

          Liked by 1 person

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