A convoy of battleships sails up Hvalfjörður to commemorate the PQ17 convoy in 1942

noncleared-maintext bigimgs-interleaved”> Six battleships and one submarine sailed from Faxaflói bay from Reykjavik up Hvalfjörður on Friday to commemorate that 75 years have passed since the allied convoy PQ17 was destroyed by Nazi submarines and ships in WWII.  On board were, amongst others, Iceland’s Foreign Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarsson and former MP Magnús Þór Hafsteinsson who wrote a book on the events that occurred.  In Hvalfjörður a short stop was made where Þórðarsson made a speech on the heroic acts of the men who died in the event and wreaths were thrown into the sea to honour their memory.   Iceland Monitor/Árni Sæberg Only 11 of the 35 vessels which took part in the PQ17 convoy in 1942 reached their destination in Arkhangelsk in Russia.  The battleships that took part in the memorial convoy were from Norway, Denmark, Britain, The Netherlands and France as all of them have been participating in the submarine surveillance exercises of NATO taking place off the coast of Iceland.   The convoy was led by Icelandic coastguard ship Týr.

Moss “graffiti” in Iceland fixed

Vandalism of this kind used to be quite frequent in Iceland. That people will see vandalism by others and copy it. It seems to be gaining popularity again. Moss takes a long time to grow and vandalism like this can easily take decades to mend on its own. A local tour guide worries about herd mentality. But after much discussion in society decades ago about respect for nature, it decreased, though the evidence is still obvious in moss around Iceland, decades later. The hill made headlines two weeks ago when the phrase “Send nudes” was written in the moss by tearing it up. Herd mentality People vandalizing delicate moss-covered hills by “writing” in the moss, by pulling it, up is seems to be on the rise in Iceland. noncleared-maintext”> Energy company Orka Náttúrunnar has sent people to fix “graffiti” on a moss-covered hill by Nesjavallaleið in South Iceland. The company plans to release a video to guide others in fixing vandalism of this kind.

Series of earthquakes north of Iceland

“There are no sings of an eruption. “Kolbeinseyjarhryggur [where the earthquakes originate] is located where two tectonic plates meet. There have been over 40 small tremors and two earthquakes were measured over 4 on the Richter scale. The series of earthquakes seems to be connected to the tectonic plates,” says Einar Hjörleifsson from Iceland Met Office. Series of earthquakes aren’t unusual, though they were many and some of them large all at the same time.” noncleared-maintext”> There has been a series of earthquakes 230 km north of Iceland since last night. The earthquakes originate on the borders of the American and the Eurasian tectonic plates.

Iceland’s strongest man, The Mountain, accused of domestic violence

In a written reply to mbl.is they say, “Our sponsorship contracts are made for 6 months at a time to a varied group of people. ”  In the lengthy interview she says that he subjected her to years of physical violence during their relationship.   More accusations from other ex-girlfriends have also surfaced in the last few months. Hafþórs contract is being reconsidered. WOW air has taken down an advert in World Class where Björnsson is shown holding two air hostesses in his arms following the accusations.  Vera Dagsdóttir, marketing director of Hafið fishmongers says that their sponsorship contract with Björnsson is being looked into.  “We’re assessing this, but haven’t made a final decision.   Björnsson denies all accusations and says that he has never been violent to women. noncleared-maintext”> At least two Icelandic companies are reconsidering their promotional contracts with Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, best known for his role as The Mountain in the Game of Thrones series following accusations in media of violence towards two ex-girlfriends.  Last weekend, Icelandic newspaper Fréttablaðið published an interview with Björnsson’s ex-girlfriend and mother of his child, Thelma Björk Steinman. Twice a year we change those people around a lot and at the end of this […]

Environmental assessment needed before tourist facilities rise in Hveravellir

The area is perhaps best known in Iceland for being the alleged home of outlaws Fjalla-Eyvindur and his wife Halla. The Iceland Planning Institute published its decision on this matter yesterday.  Related story: Drastic changes planned for Hveravellir in the Icelandic highlands.  The old buildings that will remain in the area area are a stone building raised in 1922, a lodge erected by Ferðafélag Íslands from 1938 and a weather station built in 1965.  Plans also call for changes to the parking lots for coaches and camper vans.  In 1996 there were 16 thousand daily visitors to Hveravellir but this year the number of people could rise to 23 thousand.  noncleared-maintext bigimgs-interleaved”> A report on the environmental impact of tourist facilities at Hveravellir in the Icelandic highlands needs to be reassessed according to laws on environmental assessment. Hveravellir is a geothermal area with bubbling hot springs and stunning colours in the middle of the highlands, just by the highland road called Kjalvegur. The proposed plans are for older buildings to be demolished and new buildings, a hotel measuring 1.700 square metres and other lodging facilities for up to 120 people, to rise on the border of the nature reserve.

Widower of woman killed in Jökulsárlón accident feels sorry for the driver

 Iceland Monitor published an interview with Michael Boyd about the accident last year which you can read HERE.  The man driving/ sailing the amphibious vehicle was 22 at the time and according to a new report he didn’t have the appropriate licence in order to drive such a vehicle.  noncleared-maintext bigimgs-interleaved”> Canadian Michael Boyd who lost his wife in a terrible accident at Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon in 2015 blames a total lack of safety precautions at the lagoon for his wife’s death and adds that he feels sorry for the young man who ran her over, a man who now could face up to six years in prison for manslaughter. Sheilagh Donovan was killed as the right rear wheel crushed her. Boyd was on holiday in Iceland with his family in 2015 when an amphibious vehicle on the grounds next to the lagoon reversed straight into them, knocking them all to the ground.

Giant heart-shaped Ferris wheel to rise in Reykjavik

They are working on interesting projects and are familiar with the designers of London Eye. “The idea came from architects I know here in London. Esjan and the Northern Lights.” Jonsson has been living in London for 25 years and has noticed the people that ride in London Eye are mostly families and groups that are meeting up. It will be the only observation wheel in the Nordic countries and the only heart-shaped wheel of its kind. noncleared-maintext”> Shoe designer Marta Jonsson plans to build the northernmost Ferris wheel in the world in Reykjavik. Different view She believes a wheel like this in Reykjavik will offer more than similar Ferris wheels in other cities. We are mainly thinking about Örfirisey, Laugardalur or Öskjuhlíð as possible locations” The wheel’s design is in progress and should be finished shortly. “People see the city from a wheel like this, but in Reykjavik you see the mountains and the beautiful nature, Snæfellsjökull glacier, Mt. I thought how great it would be to have a wheel like that in Reykjavik,” says Jonsson. “People like the idea, the only worries Icelanders have is the weather!” Jonsson adds laughing. I see this as a Reykjavik landmark, a […]

Mudslide and floods in East Iceland

Of the two towns the rain had more severe consequences in Seyðisfjörður. noncleared-maintext bigimgs-interleaved”> There was heavy rain in East Iceland on Saturday morning, which resulted in a mudslide in Seyðisfjörður and a flooded river in Eskifjörður. Locals at Eskifjörður worked tirelessly over the night to make sure the flooding river wouldn’t damage the bridge, and were successful. It’s owner, Dýri Jónsson, has been renovating it over the last years. Two buildings were affected as the mud flowed into them, and roads were severed. One of the buildings was a storage unit, the other was house from 1880.

Music: Experiencing the Secret Solstice festival for the first time

I had heard about it before but this was my first year attending, and it was everything I expected and more. On Thursday only the big stage Valhöll was open, and Hel with more of a techno music, at opposite ends of the festival area. My absolute favourite was Foo Fighters. The area is divided by trees (not something you see every day in Iceland), and it was well organised. Even though the festival was almost sold out, there was plenty of room for everyone. This was not something that I that bothered me the rest of the festival, with so many stage this made sure people rotated around the festival area. It almost went together, but not quite. Foo Fighters was the final number on Friday. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Hanna Andrésdóttir   Big Icelandic bands, and the final number was Chaka Khan. noncleared-maintext bigimgs-interleaved”> There are plenty of outdoor festivals in the Iceland, and somehow Secret Solstice managed to secure its place on the top of hip outdoor festival list from the beginning four years ago. Chaka Khan was the final number on Thursday. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Hanna Andrésdóttir   The problems Another downside was that some of the stages were […]

26 pound brown trout caught in lake Þingvallavatn

Brown trout is common in Icelandic lakes, but in very few of them it reaches the same size as in lake Þingvallavatn. His bate was Olive Ghost fly. Every year a number of trouts over 20 pounds are caught in the lake, which makes it a very popular place to go fishing. Last night Danish angler Nils Folmer Jörgensen caught a trout that weighed 26 pounds and was 98 cm, according to Vötn og veiði. As the fish gets so big in lake Þingvallavatn, catching a large brown trout there just about matches up to catching a salmon in the minds of many anglers. Þingvallavatn is located in Þingvellir National Park, one of the stops of the Golden Circle. A permit is needed to be allowed to angle in the lake. Brown trout is generally not the fish anglers in Iceland dream about catching, North Atlantic Salmon is considered more of a catch. The prices differs, the most expensive ones are for areas where there’s the biggest chance to catch one of the giant brown trouts. noncleared-maintext bigimgs-interleaved”> The population of brown trout that resides in lake Þingvallavatn can get very big. They can be bought at a few different […]

Report on 2015 Iceland glacial lagoon tragedy reveals driver was without licence

 It has been revealed that the driver was without a licence for the vehicle and that the camera in the boat for reversing was broken.  Fifteen months of delayed justice for Jökulsárlón victim Rúv reports today that the driver, a young man, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter by the South Iceland police and could face up to six years in prison.  The new report released yesterday  by the Icelandic bureau of accident investigation  furthermore reveals that none of the staff  had checked to see behind the vehicle to see if there were people there. The whole family fell and the woman was killed instantly as she was crushed by the right wheel.   Last year Michael Boyd, the husband of Shelagh Donovan was interviewed by Iceland Monitor describing the event.  Interview: This is about some measure of justice for my dead wife “We walked towards each other and our helicopter had come back and landed.  More factors are mentioned that contributed to the accident, such as the borders between pedestrian and vehicle traffic on the parking lot being unclear.  The report asks landowners and managers of Jökulsárlón to improve traffic security to lessen the risk of accident and to improve safety […]

Icelandic cat found after being lost in Spain for 16 days

Pétursdóttir is adamant in finding where the blame lies, to make sure no other pet or family has to endure anything like this again. The family had paid for Gutti to travel in the cabin on their way to Spain, but he never made it there. Gutti is a bit shaken after the ordeal but the family believes he’ll make a full recovery. Primera Air promised two flight tickets as a reward for anyone who would find the cat. He grew up in Iceland and moved with his family to Spain nearly three weeks ago. When they arrived in Alicante in Spain the cage was empty and Gutti had disappeared. noncleared-maintext bigimgs-interleaved”> The cat Gutti Diego was lost in Alicante Airport for 16 days. They searched to no avail and as the days went by they feared the worst, the cat had been lost for such a long time. They managed to borrow a small car and vests from the airport to search for the cat. Ólína Björk Kúld Pét­urs­dótt­ir, Gutti’s owner, says it was difficult to reach any staff of Primera Air when they discovered Gutti was missing. His girlfriend had seen pictures of Gutti on social media the […]

Grenfell Tower cladding in many Icelandic buildings

There were 79 people who lost their lives in the fire. It isn’t used any more and hasn’t been used for a very long time. “This cladding was used in Iceland in the past. I remember it being used but not in any tall buildings,” says civil engineer Óskar Þorsteinsson of Mannvit Engineering. The cladding is believed to be the reason for the fire spreading very quickly in Grenfell tower. noncleared-maintext bigimgs-interleaved”> The same cladding which is believed to be the reason for the severity of the fire in Grenfell Tower in London last week, is used in many old Icelandic buildings.

Nature wines and creative cooking on Midsummer’s Night in Iceland

noncleared-maintext bigimgs-interleaved”> On midsummer’s night on Saturday a pop-up restaurant will take place on the upper floors of Harpa concert hall. “In our case they provided us with inspiration for food and are an experience in themselves.” Most of the wines he imports are from France but some are from Italy, Germany and Spain.   “Until now we’ve selected the food to pair with the wine, but on Saturday night we’re doing the opposite. The idea has progressed and what we’re doing now  is simply cooking great food and pairing it with great wine.” But what exactly is a nature wine?  “They are organic wines where the whole wine making process is without any additives. “People will be greeted at 18.30  with a cocktail at the gorgeous Björtuloft hall in Harpa where there are outstanding views and a balcony overlooking Reykjavik. “The idea came to us after spending some time in Denmark eating at fantastic restaurants there. They are hand-crafted wines made by visionaries and they develop a unique smell and flavour,” explains Axel.  It gives the meat a full, umami flavour.” Other dishes on Saturday night’s menu include oysters in kimchi, King crab, monkfish and vegetable dishes. We use Icelandic […]

Iceland’s strongest man: I’m not perfect

People get what they deserve. If you give love, you get love back.” He adds that he’s going to try to win Iceland’s strongest man for the seventh year in a row and if he wins he will be donating his prize money to charity.      noncleared-maintext bigimgs-interleaved”> Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, Iceland’s strongest man opened up his heart in a Facebook  post recently where he said that he was still young and had a lot to learn in life.   Hafþór Júlíus is best known internationally for his role as The Mountain in the Game of Thrones television series.  Hafþór Júlíus says he is not a perfect man, and that he had undergone a period of self pity. “Self pity never helped anyone to become a better pereson.