All posts by Kristjan H Kristjansson

Cruise ships in Djúpivogur

Iceland

I first came to Djúpivogur about ten years ago and since then it has been one of my favorite village in Iceland, because it’s a quiet and interesting place. Few years ago, while having a dinner at Hótel Framtíð, I had a chat about traveling with Bryndís Reynisdóttir, who was a servant there. When I came back this summer, she had finished here BS in Business Administration and was now a marketing manager for tourism and culture in the village. She was very busy taking care of guests from a big cruise ship, but the day after I interviewed her about tourism there, as can be seen in the video. Continue reading Cruise ships in Djúpivogur

Glacier ice cream in Iceland

While I was driving around Iceland in the summer of 2009, I stopped by at the farm Árbæ to taste their ice cream named: “Jöklaís”, which means “Glacier ice cream” in English. Because I liked it, I asked Sæmundar Jón Jónsson, the farmer there, if I could interview him and he agreed. The interview can be seen in the video and he also shows how he makes ice cream. Continue reading Glacier ice cream in Iceland

Sænautasel in Iceland

In the video I interview Lilja Óladóttir, hostess at Sænautasel, about the farm and what service is provided for tourists.

Sænautasel was build in 1843, on a very remote area in the highland of Jökuldalsheiði in the North-East part of Iceland. The farm is covered with turf like other traditional Icelandic farms in the old days, which provides good isolation from heat loss. Farming was difficult in this isolated area. Winters were hard, so as much grass as possible had to be cut and stored each summer to try to keep the sheep alive until spring. In 1875 the farm was abandoned, because it was covered with tephra from the volcanic eruption of Askja. The farm was rebuilt in 1880, but abandoned again in 1943. At least two families at the farm went to America in the early 1900s. Continue reading Sænautasel in Iceland

Hengdian World Studio

China’s largest film studio

I visited Hengdian World Studio and Hengdian Film Industrial Park because I am interested in filmmaking. Hengdian is a town of Dongyang county in the mountainous Zhejiang Province, China. I came there with a regular bus in 2011 from Hangzhou, which is about 180 km away, and stayed there for three days which was not enough, because there are so many things to see there. Continue reading Hengdian World Studio

Iguazú Waterfalls

Argentina and Brazil

I visited the waterfalls of Iguazu river in 2012, which is on the border of Brazil and Argentine. The river originates in the Serra do Mar mountains in Brazilian and it´s name means Great Water in Guaraní language. The waterfall is about 80 meter high and 2,700 meter wide.

In the surrounding subtropical rainforest are over 2,000 species of vascular plants, which have specialized tissues for conducting water, minerals, and photosynthetic products through the plant. The wildlife includes tapirs, giant anteaters, howler monkeys, ocelots, caymans and jaguars, which name has Tupí–Guaraní origin. Almost half of Argentina’s bird species is found there.

The waterfalls are shared by the Iguazu National Park in Argentina and Iguaçu National Park in Brazil. The two parks were designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

  • Iguazu Falls have been featured in several movies, including:
  • Moonraker (1979) – A James Bond film directed by Lewis Gilbert and starring Roger Moore.
  • The Mission (1986) – About Jesuit missionaries in 18th century South America. Written by Robert Bolt, directed by Roland Joffé, starring Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons.
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) – Adventure science fiction film. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Harrison Ford.

 

Iceland underwater

While growing up in a small fishing village, I became curious in what was hidden beneath the surface of the ocean. When I became older I therefore decided to learn scuba diving at the National Life-saving Association of Iceland. I then joined its voluntary rescue team in Reykjavik and later became its diving group leader and instructor for the association, besides diving with other police officers. Members of the diving group took also part in other marine search and rescue operations than diving, and we were quite busy with about 30 call-outs per year. Continue reading Iceland underwater

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Though the political system in the Soviet Union was not my “cup of tea”, I was interested in the culture and life there.

When MÍR announced a tour to the Soviet Union in 1988 I therefore decided to take part in it. MÍR, The Iceland – Soviet Union Cultural Association, was established in 1950. Its first president was Halldor Kiljan Laxness, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 1955. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, MÍR became The Iceland – Russia Cultural Association. The association has emphasized on cultural exchange e.g. in literature, dance and music. They have also shown Soviet films, some of which are very old and interesting. They donated 1836 films to the National Film Archive and some say it’s one of the largest archival collections of Soviet films in the World.

We traveled in Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, and from there over the Caucasus Mountains to Georgia. The term “Caucasian” originated as one of the racial categories developed in the 19th century and was derived from the region of the Caucasus Mountains. The term is used to describe a person, who has light skin pigmentation.

When I was in the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, was its leader and he emphasized Glasnost (openness) and Perestroika (economic restructuring). In 1986 he and US President Ronald Reagan held a meeting in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, to talk about reducing intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe which led to the signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 1987. This so-called “Reykjavík Summit” ultimately led to the end of the cold war in 1991.

 

Volcanic eruption in Heimaey 1973

Between 2:00 and 2:30 a.m. on the 23rd of January 1973 I woke up because of a strange thundering noise. When I looked out of the window I saw a volcanic eruption close to my home. It was a very dramatic and beautiful sight. At that time I was living on the island of Heimaey, in the Vestmannaeyjar (e. Westmans Islands) archipelago, about 10 km off the south coast of Iceland. Continue reading Volcanic eruption in Heimaey 1973

Yoga Capital of the World

Rishikesh – India

In 2003 I went to Rishikesh because it is called: “The World Capital of Yoga”. Rishikesh is a holy town for Hindus and located in the foothills of the Himalaya in northern India.

The Beatles stayed at the now closed Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in 1968, and composed songs there, which many of appear on the White Album. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1917 – 2008), introduced the Transcendental Meditation technique. Continue reading Yoga Capital of the World