WHO WAS THORSTEINN ERLINGSSON ?
Thorsteinn Erlingsson (1858-1914) was one of 13 children born in to a poor farming family but his statue can be seen in Klambratun Park. He was brought up by his grandmother and later studied law at Copenhagen University but he never completed the course, and returned to his homeland in 1895. In 1900 he became editor of a newspaper and lived in Reykjavik until he died of pneumonia.
A POET AND A NEWSPAPER EDITOR
While wandering around Klambratun Park i came across the statue of Einar Benediktsson (1864-1990) who was an Icelandic businessman and poet who studied law at Copenhagen University. Later he became the editor of Iceland's first daily newspaper, Dagskra and his poetry was said to play a part in the national re-awakening of the people in their struggle for independence from Denmark. Einar Benediktsson also translated many books from English or Norwegian to Icelandic. When he died he was buried at Iceland's famous Bingvellir.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Klambratún Park is one of the more beautiful parks in the city that used to be farmland but it was bought by the city, then Reynir Vilhjálmsson designed the park and built it in the 1960s. While walking around i noticed how carefully the park had been landscaped and taken care of by several gardeners. There are a few statues and works of art in the park and at one side is the art museum, Kjarvalsstaðir. Sometimes concerts are held here especially around Reykjavik Culture Night. There is also plenty of space to play football and basketball.
DON'T FORGET TO HAVE A SHOT OF BRENNIVIN
As a visitor to Iceland i thought i should try the local drink which is called Brennivin, but i tend to stay away from spirits so it was not until the last night i ordered a shot.Brennivin means 'burning wine' so what was i about to get myself into. I drank it neat and the first sip did not appeal to me but i kept having sips and the taste grew on me, and in the end i decided it was not so bad, perhaps similar to Jagermeister. The national drink , Brennivin is a clear and unsweetened schnapps which is fermented with potato mash or grain while flavored with caraway. While drinking Brennivin the locals usually eat 'hakari', the vile fermented shark meat that i have wrote about in another tip.
NATIONAL DAY --- PARADES
On June 17th, the National day there are many parades in different parts of the city that set off around 1 pm, if i remember correctly. I was hanging around near Arnaholl and saw several groups pass byRelated to:
NATIONAL DAY -- NEAR THE TOURIST OFFICE
On National Day you can expect to see jugglers, hoolah hoop experts and stilt walkers in the square just near the tourist office at Adalstraeti. Children were given a chance to try their skills with the hoop and to juggle. If you have a child this is one place that you should not miss.Related to:
NATIONAL DAY -- BY THE PARLIAMENT
During the afternoon pop groups performed on stage , not very good in my opinion, but i found some Vikings who were sitting outside their tent and a couple more were fighting with their swords as onlookers took photographs. The Viking fighters were very realistic and i would not like to tangle with them.Related to:
NATIONAL DAY --- COLD AT CITY HALL
At city hall by the lake the huge topographical map of Iceland had been rolled away and a choir was performing on stage. Well i am more interested in rock music so i did not hang around for long, but on the way out i saw two girls on a raft in the middle of the artificial pond performing in mime. They seemed to be pretending to drink a glass of wine and repeated this process over and over again. three cheers for the girls as it must have been freezing where they were sitting.Related to:
NATIONAL DAY -- HARPA & A SPECIAL MAGICIAN
On National day at Harpa there was a full program of artists to entertain the locals and there was something for everyone. Take your choice from choirs, singing, breakdance, circus shows, concerts and magicians. I particularly went to see the husband of our very own member Regina 1965 who entertained the kids with his magic show. Even though i did not understand a word i joined in the laughter with the crowd as Jon pulled item after item from a black bag, gave wands to kids that fell apart as soon as they held them, rope tricks and more.Related to:
NATIONAL DAY -- ANARHOLL STAGE
From around 1 pm on National day there were various performances by adults and children on stage just at the bottom of Anarholl which attracted quite a crowd. It was quite entertaining even though i could not understand one word of the local language, as i could laugh at their antics. All the shows seemed to be comedies that entertained the crowd.Related to:
NATIONAL DAY -- FUN FOR THE KIDS
On National Day some of the streets were closed and inflatable castles etc were set up for the kids, as they are not to be forgotten on this special day. Other games were organised around Lake Tjornin where any kid was fee to join the fun. Adults lined up with their children at all these attractions, but some had to be paid for as i saw signs indicating the price or more likely the tokens required for each attraction.
NATIONAL DAY --- CANDY FOR THE CHILDREN
On National day there are many stalls that are set up in the old town and most of them sell candy and snacks that are mostly for the children. Candy floss, which does not seem to be so popular in my country seems to be a favorite of the children as well as lollipops, balloons, and small toys.
NATIONAL DAY -- PARADE TO JON SIGURDSSON'S GRAVE
Once the speeches and singing have finished in front of the parliament there is a procession from there to Sudagarta Cemetery where the city council lays a wreath on Jon Sigurdsson's grave. The Icelandic flag bearers lead the way, followed by the brass band and the city officials. Not too many people follow the parade nor attend the wreath laying at the cemetery so you will probably manage to get very close to take photographs. I managed to get within a few feet of Mayor Dagur Bergþóruson Eggertsson. He seemed to do his publicity stunt very well as he hugged young and old by the cemetery, always smiling.Related to:
NATIONAL DAY -- OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT
The day begins at 9.55 when all the bells in Reykjavik chime and there is a mass at the Domkirkjan Cathedral followed by speeches in front of the parliament. The choir will sing and then the President of Iceland will lay a wreath at the monument of Jon Sigurdsson in the square before the choir sings again. Fjallkona (the mountain woman) recites a poem The Prime Minister makes a speech before they head off to Sudagarta Cemetery, led by scouts and guides carrying flags, followed by a band.Related to:
NATIONAL DAY --- VINTAGE CARS
On National day, June 17th there is a vintage car parade and afterwards they are parked by Tjornin Lake if you like a closer view of them. I guess that there were at least 30 cars parade by me with their proud owners at the wheel. I believe that the parade normally begins at around 12 noon. The parade is organised by the Antique Automobile Club of Iceland.
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