21 January 2010

christmas in iceland!

me at the blue lagoon. the colors were indescribable!

i know that this blog is supposed to be about the process of renovating and decorating the house, but i still thought it relevant to include a post about my trip to iceland last month. after all, each place that we go leaves an indelible impression upon us and changes us - which ultimately influences how we live. for me iceland was about the colors, the simple and modern interiors, and all of the fabulous art.

street art in reykjavik. i heart graffiti.

some of you will undoubtedly ask "WHY ICELAND? and why iceland in the MIDDLE OF WINTER?!" well, it's simple really. my grandmother was from a small town in the north of iceland, akureyri (note: this is the 2nd largest city in the country at 17 thousand people. a HUGE portion of the population, 200k+ out of 300, lives in reykjavik).

my grandfather met her when he was stationed in iceland during WWII - and she broke off her engagement with some poor local boy to run off to the u.s. and marry this tall, handsome american boy.

the frds of akureyri, where my grandmother was from.

akureyri architecture - surprisingly like home!

i'd never visited but my dad and i had talked about it for years as he had not been either. and so, when he saw a great deal in one of his travel newsletters, we leapt at the chance. and i then got in touch with my family there (not hard since we are actually in almost daily contact despite the fact that we'd never visited) and made plans to meet them all.

we flew in for a very short trip - just 6 days because i have taken so much time off this year to deal with the house, and had a fantastic time.

perpetual dusk in the wintertime - great since it's my favorite time of day!

iceland LOVES christmas.

meeting my family was a memory i will treasure forever. i was the only non blue-eyed person there (my mother is from taiwan, my father met her when he was stationed there during the vietnam war), but i felt like i fit right in. i saw my freckles, i heard my laugh, and felt my grandmother's spirit in them all.

my family (and me looking, and feeling, like a drowned rat!)

what struck me, too, wass how big a part of the culture art, in all its forms, is with icelanders. from food to sculpture to street art to fashion - iceland is at the cutting edge of it all. you can't walk through reykjavik, in particular, without noticing.

SWOON! local fashion is gorgeous (and expensive- these were over $600 u.s.)!

bronze statues in reykjavik's town center.

tasted as good as it looked!

there's so much to see in iceland and the people are so warm and lovely - there's no doubt that i will return.

enjoying our favorite pastime.

one too many for dad?

i hope you've enjoyed "getting away from it all" with me, even for a few minutes! i've kept this VERY brief, but will write more if you all seem interested - it's a fascinating place.

jen x

p.s. more photos here for those of you who are interested and more on the way...

me and dad at gullfoss.


  1. So jealous of your trip. We went to Iceland 10 years ago and it was such a great experience. COLD, but great.

    10 years ago everything was insanely expensive - did you find things much cheaper now that their economy has softened?

  2. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    much to my pocketbook's dismay, it is still insanely expensive to visit.

    seems the only deals to be had are on airfare and hotels, but food (and everything else) is still quite spendy.

    worth every penny though for the memories we made!

  3. I'm researching Akureyri/Iceland Disease - 1947-8. Can anyone tell me about food rationing; what people ate, What the locals thought was the cause? etc?


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