First thing came on my mind when I heard about Iceland's economic crisis was about The Icelandic National Concert and Conference Centre. This project was initiated by Landsbankinn which is practically gone. The construction had begun and it has been half built. It still requires full year of construction work to be completed. If it was still just a mass of land, they can lay thre. But since it is half built, they need to finish up building somehow.
They can certainly forget about luxury hotel and Wold Trade Center, not to mention a new Landsbankinn headquarter. But the city needs a nice theater/conference/music auditorium. I hope they can find a way to finish that part of the project. Yuka
What would you take home from Iceland? If it was to be your first visit, probably you see this and that. But people like myself who has been there many times, I run out of things to buy to take back home. You do not need too many sweaters even though Icelandic wool products are nice. So I usually get something to eat. If it was food, you would enjoy it a few times and it would disappear. I have tried from a canned fish soup to Icelandic mustard. I always bring home some butter, but that may not be for everybody. In that case, I think it is nice to get candies for your throat, Voxis. It is an Icelandic product, natural, easy to carry , reasonable, and taste good ! Yuka
I found a shop in Reykjavik where the owner makes Vegvisir necklace in silver. Vegvisir is "signpost" known for Bjork's tattoo on her arm. I asked him to please make some, and I paid there. A month and a half later, I received a package full of Vegvisir necklaces. Takk fyrir! Yuka
My last day in Iceland on this trip brought me some surprises. I came to appreciate paved roads, guard rails, and traffic lights I had taken for granted MUCH more. After spending 3 days in the country where there was no traffic lights, when I saw one in Reykjavik, I felt "love" toward a traffic light. I wish I could just stay there, gaze at it and embrace it in my heart for awhile. And I am not kidding!
Actually this trip turned my life a lot. I wish I could just get away from the city and live in the countryside. Although I was born in the middle of Tokyo and raised in big cities only, I never cared for it. I think I had enough dose of city already. And I do not like boring surburbia either. That is worse! Size of the town does not matter. I want to be in the place where culturally happening, or nothing is happening and lots of nature. Yeah. I only ask to be with somebody I really love and I need internet connections! Am I asking too much? Yuka
It was such a beautiful day for a sightseeing in Sneafellsnes on Oct 22, 2008. I have found this perfect cemetery for my resting place. There is this cute little church on top of the hill close to a glacier and there is also a cemetery there. Since I am not a Christian, if I can not belong there, I wonder if I may occupy a bit of land right beside it. I would not do any harm to my neighbors as I would be dead by the time I would be resting there :D Seriously, next time I will visit, I will try and meet a paster and see about it.
Our drive was really fantastic until we got two flat tires. Something similar happened a day before, so we were driving extra carefully. The road where our car got out of control was just very flat and we were far from speeding. I have to conclude that the car we had rented was not inspected well enough.
Local police in or near Snaefellsnes found us before it go too cold and too dark. They have done a superb job getting us our car back on track and changed two tires. I would like to express my utmost gratitude to those two hardworking experts who rescued us, and also other people who helped getting us out of such mess.
A guesthouse I have booked got cancelled as I was not able to contact them any sooner. My mobile was not available for a long time. I got stuck in "emergency only" call area and by the time I had my "full service" back to my mobile, it was 10pm. Well, we ended up staying at an extremely nice and cozy guesthouse. I was really happy about it. I even had a toast with Champaign in an outside spa watching a small northern lights. How better could it get? Yuka
What I have done on Oct. 20 is about this blog.
We rented a car for a round trip in Sneafellsnes. It was a bit snowing and was a bit scary driving on gravel road. Actually our car went crazy and out of control on a flat paved road. We were not speeding or anything. Next day, we had flat tires, not only one but two. I had to conclude there was something wrong with the car. We were driving very carefully from the beginning.
My impression of Snaefellsnes on the first day is nothing but to say, "people, drive carefully".
I enjoyed our dinner at Budir very much until those noisy and valgar Canadian from Ontario arrived next to our table. Well, they became quiet and started behave after we exchanged a few words. I heard them saying in whisper, "She speaks perfect English". So, you thought I did not understand what you were talking about? Probably I did not look like I understand even a word of English as I was speaking Japanese to my dinner partner. I have encountered so many rude Americans ( now I need to include Canadians, unfortunately) outside their own countries. Why's that? I saw so many of them at Airwaves also. English is such a common language, you behave yourself before you get embarrassed.
If you speak Icelandic and be valgar in Icelandic language outside Iceland, you are safe! Chances are, you might get yourself a nice friend like myself if you speak Icelandic in abroad. :D Yuka
23:00 DJ Margeir and his symphony orchestra conducted by Samuel Samuelsson
へ〜、 DJ Margeirとサミーねぇ。サミーの名前を見ただけで、管楽器だと思いこんでいたので、弦を5人も見た時のけぞりました。というのも、サミュエル・サミュエルソンというのはヤグア（Jagur)のリーダー的存在で、去年はブラスのオーケストラを指揮してたし、シガーロスのビデオを見ても、管楽器で出てくるから。
24:00 End of Iceland Airwaves 2008
To those who organized and performed at Iceland Airwaves 2008. Words cannot express how much I enjoyed and appreciated your hard work. It must have been extra hard to organize it. I enjoyed this year's Airwaves actually much more than last few years. Probably it was first time I had this much fun since 2003. My first Airwaves 2003 really made an impression on me about Icelandic music scene. Since then, it just grew and grew and became huge. It really was a blast and a big party last year, but somehow I loved this year's Airwaves much more. I guess some fancy flare was gone but what really consists Icelandic music scene was more obvious this time. I sincerely hope there will be another party in 2009. I will surely be there as I have been since 2003. It was nice meeting you, Roland (of symphony orchestra/Cynic Guru), and for the first time. Yuka
21:40 Dikta＠Hafnarhus museum
Airwaves on Saturday to me was superb. I used to like acoustic folk music and I found I still love it! It was at Cafe Rosenberg, I was most relaxed, enjoyed myself being in Reykjavik, and enjoyed music! I was especially impressed by Heida who was simply and beautifully folky. Disa and Ragga was super, needless to way. And oh boy, LayLow. I would have never known her power (of her voice) if it was not an acoustic set! I have no doubt that her voice and her singing style would make her famous even outside Iceland. Singing voice like hers is very very rare. Last but not least, Eyglo, I am sorry I did not stop to speak with you. When you said, "hi", I did not realized it was you. Actually there are quite a few people I can not quite recognize but they seem to know me. It took me more than 30 seconds to realize it was you, and I tried to get backk to the place where I saw you, but it was too crowded to find you again. I wish I had a little conversation with you there. Next time! Yuka
Hooray! A nice article on aurum jewelry of Iceland is featured on Sankei newspaper. Sankei is a massive national paper in Japan. I am extremely happy about this. Since my first encounter with aurum in Reykjavik 5 years ago, I always wanted to handle this brand, simply because I love aurum design. This is rmarkable! Yuka