Komið þið sæl og blessuð. Welcome everyone to The Traveling Foody’s travels through Iceland. Known as the land of “Fire and Ice,” where hot molten lava flows throughout the crevices of the mountains and downward through the valleys, coming to an abrupt halt with the freezing glaciers into the final stages of its flow. Not only is the landscape beautiful but so are the people who carry a live and let live outlook of utmost liberalism mixed with the pride of town and country; makings for a truly amazing culture.
Many people still might ask why? Why Iceland and why would you go this time of year?
One of the reasons the Traveling Foody family visits Iceland is for the Iceland Airwaves Festival in Reykjavik. The past week has been a fantastic experience at the Iceland Airwaves Festival in Reykjavík, not only for our family but for others all over the globe.
The first Iceland Airwaves Festival was held in an airplane hangar in 1999, and since, the festival has been one of the leading and most sought after annual platforms for new music. Some of the world’s most thrilling artists perform at this festival. This year’s festival had many mind opening artist performances and highlights. Some of our favorite artists were Hjaltalín, Sigur Rós, Ásgeir Trausti, Sereo Hypnosis; they had amazing grooves. The Apparat Organ Quartet had a cool Euro pop feel. Úlfur had an amazing sound and an amazing set. For the fellow metal fanatic, Atrum did not disappoint. The artist we love to jam to and watch for years has been GUS GUS. They definitely did not disappoint us fans. Bottom line, the music was flowing like the Schnapps which also warms the body on a cold winter’s night. So many artists at the festival were on their fun “A Game.”
There is more to Iceland Airwaves that just music. Let’s take a trip back into time to try and grasp a little essence of the land and culture.
Iceland is a Nordic European island which is located in between the North Atlantic and ArcticOceans on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The largest city and the capital is Reykjavik. With a plateau of sand, lava fields, mountains and glaciers, the island offers various characteristics of the topography that consistently changes making the country an adventurous place to visit. Compared to other OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, Iceland has lower taxes, while maintaining a Nordic welfare system which provides tertiary education and universal healthcare. Since the 1990’s, Iceland has become one wealthiest, most developed and one of the most productive nations per capita. In 2008, like many countries, the banking system failed. Even though Iceland is still in recovery, the country still ranks high in economics and political stability. Having an egalitarian society and a smaller population, Icelandic pride is distinguished in their culture. The roots of the Icelandic culture lie in the Nordic, Celtic and Scandinavian connection and background. Many Icelanders venture outdoors to enjoy hiking, fishing, swimming and living in the moment. Some of the most amazing apparels we see have come from Iceland and one of our personal favorite apparel items we have seen are the hoodies, sweaters and gloves. If you get a chance, do an internet search on some of Icelandic weaves. You will then see why we wrote about them.
Like many of Iceland’s historical roots, lamb, fish and dairy are a part of their cuisine. Some of our favorite foodie items are kleinur (Icelandic fried pastry), skyr (yogurt) and hangikjöt (smoked lamb). The quality of the ingredient is the emphasis that the best chefs and cooks have always concentrated on. Icelandic chefs are up there to the top when it comes to local and fresh ingredients. So the majority of great dishes specialize in seafood. If you get a chance, attend the Food Fun competition. This competition consists of chef’s competing in innovating dishes with fresh ingredients produced only in Iceland.
We have found that Reykjavík is an amazing city to host many arts, music and food festivals all year around. An opened armed welcoming to all travelers. Reykjavik has got to be one of the most amazing and distinctive natural beauty cities in the world. We met lots of performers and many new friends. Meeting people and sharing music, art, ideas and food is what keeps our Traveling Foody family traveling all over the globe. I hope that many of you will continue to be a part of our Traveling Foody family.
If you get a moment email and share with us any tails of travels and food at firstname.lastname@example.org
-Damien – The Traveling Foody