Ymir, ancestor to all Jötnar, feeds on Auðumbla's milk.
oh Hlynur …
A full-scale model of Reykjavík's waterfront.
Took the day off, cause it was raining all day and I felt that I could use some good rest after that exciting weekend. Oh right, that wasn't just the weekend…
Breakfast here is awesome with real bread (and self made at that) and lots of stuff to choose from. Got to know one of the 3% of guests that aren't from the US (yep, lucky me - I'm kind of starting to loathe them :/ ), a Scotsman. I can understand only half of what he's saying, though :D
After I spent the whole morning reading, I visited the Reykjavík Art Museum to see a very nice exhibition of works by Erró and slept the rest of the afternoon. For dinner I had myself a real treat: a huge sausage filled with seemingly everything you could get from a chicken, a soup of lentils, salad and an awesome chocolate cake with cherries - all self made by the hostels superb chefs. It was very good (although I have to admit that I wouldn't've dared eating that sausage five years ago) but I could've eaten twice as much of everything.
Then I went writing and drawing before jumping into my cozy bed.
Yesterday went by relatively unspectacularly. Saving the museums for the festival-less days ahead I simply strolled around the city a bit. I discovered a flea-market where they sell the same junk as in the German ones - plus some nice vintage clothing - and a tiny gallery where a collective of local street artists exposed some of their works and let me tag and doodle on their table and sketchbook :) They had some really nice stuff hanging there but couldn't really explain as to why there isn't any wheatpasting going on in Reykjavík. So far I've only seen one piece :/ Back at the guest house us five German speaking people sat down over my map and exchanged a lot of good stories; that one Swiss girl is living on Vestmannaeyjar and whitnessed the eruption of Eyiafjallajökull from there. But not even she did a full trip around the island and so far I haven't met anyone who did except for maybe the elderly owners of the guest houses I stayed in. Once again I came to realize that it's actually quite a daring undertaking during this season. Did you know that every year four to five tourists die on this island underestimating the harsh and quickly changing conditions?
For the evening program I went into the Frikirkjan again, this time it hosted an intense performance of a custom score to the movie Solaris arranged by Ben Frost and Daniel Bjarnason. They had it played by half an orchestra and it's been a very special experience. The kettledrum had the entire hall resonating under its' thunderous stomp and the strings set every single body hair upright, it was that thrilling. Though I thought that most people didn't leave out of politeness, because the set was indeed quite demanding to listen to, I was all the more surprised when everyone rose out of their benches to honour the artists with a standing ovation.
Plastic Gods (Drone/Doom Metal) and KWES (Indie Pop) were quite boring, Sin Fang(Indie Rock) were alright. Not even the Faktory had something dope to offer, that practically was the last evening of the festival - what went wrong?
At least there was one surprise waiting for me at the Iðnó. And what a surprise it was… I was just getting my last beer and wanted to talk to the sweet woman that played the violin in the Solaris ensemble when someone else came out of nowhere to give her a hug D: Björk. I shit you not, for ten minutes I was standing directly besides her :O I listened to a couple of songs performed by (I think it was) DIIV before I decided to go to bed - completely puzzled and pondering if my plane might've actually crashed or I flipped my car off a cliff leaving me in this waking dream/comatose/afterlife kind of state.
Today then was my last day at Ingri's guest house and also the last day of the Iceland Airwaves. I climbed the bell tower of Reykjavík's best known landmark, Hallgrímskirkja and explored some areas of the city I haven't seen yet before I moved to the KEX Hostel. It's a huge place with over 140 beds. It's also an off-venue for the festival which is super but sucks if you want to check into your room and have to fight your way through a hundred people with your backpack on :( With so many people staying here you can imagine what the kitchen looks like and the atmosphere's generally not nearly as personal as in all the other places I've stayed in. Took a quick nap and closed my eyes to that Icelandic song for the artist was actually performing it in the foyer. Now I finally know its' name :)
To conclude this insane hell of a festival Sigur Rós played in a large sports hall and everybody and their dog was there. I wrote half of all this while waiting for them to enter the stage as it took them over an hour. The concert itself was very good, supported by well made visuals, lighting, brass, violins and whathaveyou but didn't really get to me in a way I thought it could.
Now I've only got three days before getting on the plane again. Maybe I'll go for a bus trip to Snæfells, where Jules Verne had his two fellows enter to get to the middle of the Earth. Depends on the weather, though. Today the winds finally rested and the weather was awesome but the forecast for the upcoming days isn't all that good.
Góða nótt og fallega drauma!
P.S.: I've got a correction to make. A pack of cheese doesn't cost the overly expensive five Euros I claimed. It's ten.
Finally got a reasonable keyboard (actually it's just the old Android 2.3 one without any annoying shenannigans), which also got me rid of that text-cloning bug, yay.
Yesterday I spent most of the daytime at our guest house chatting with the other folks here. We've got one Austrian guy who just arrived from New York City and witnessed the hurricane in upper Manhattan and Hamaru is finally back up on his feet again :) I found out that one of the guys here is an actor from Leipzig, what are the odds? I also went to the city to get some supplies and check out the waterfront. The wind was tremendous, I could taste the salty spray from a hundred meters away and when I jumped up I got carried some 30cm onwards. The sea was raging furiously, we had wind speeds exceeding 25m/s*. In some parts of the island it was even more than 30m/s. A good meal and an hour worth of sleep later I roughly planned my evening itinerary. The hosts released a really well made app for that and it literally takes me two minutes to scroll through all gigs for one day, including the off venue events. Non-festival concerts (there're over 450 of 'em) usually start as early as 10am and the "official" ones (over 200) go off at around 8pm. There's just so much to see around here. The app even sports a queue cam section where you could check how long people are standing in line for the bigger venues, that is, of course, if you've got internet access. I don't bother getting in any lines, though. If I don't get into the venue immediately I just walk around the corner and go into the next one.
So I set out for the Frikirkjan to watch Lay Low perform with five of her friends that worked all kinds of instruments. I really liked the music, she had some very nice songs and I could relax on the first floor of the church, beholding the whole ordeal from above. After a very short break a disturbingly girlish looking (well, he was all dressed up like a prince from the late middle ages) Patrick Wolf set up his grand piano, harp(!) and baritone guitars. He was backed by a violin and woodwinds and astonished me with his incredible voice. It wasn't my kind of music at all but I enjoyed the overall virtuosity of his playing. Since these were the only two concerts at the church he played well over an hour and a half and sadly that immensely beautiful girl in the audience left without me noticing it. *sigh* Spontanes Desinteresse an all den Anderen…
My plan was to go to the Harpa (very beautiful building, by the way) to see Exitmusic and Shearwater, respectively, but even from afar I could already see that there were way too many people standing in line. Instead I went to Gamli Gaukurinn with The Vintage Caravan about to play. A local put it best describing their sound as "young kids having their fun". The band played some highly energetic classic rock - amazing what they pulled off on their instruments for being 20, at most - but I wasn't in the mood for that. So I switched venues after a couple of songs and went over to the stage upstairs in the Faktory. The Finnish duo Bendagram presented their awkward style of new new wave (ha!) which wasn't really danceable and way too cool for its' own good. Luckily the next project, Captain Fufanu (seriously?), instantaneously got the audience to go buck wild on their pumping, electronic sound bastard. They're two really young guys and in my opinion still need to refine their tracks a lot more but it was just the right stuff to dance to. At that point I noticed that there were an awful lot of guys around me that totally fit my stereotypical image of Swedes: greased blond hair, all suited up and running for the posh girls dressed just right for a cocktail party. And they all couldn't dance for shit :D Some people were already wasted, one indicated that he was looking for some yayo; all the morons standing in the line for the bathroom… Quite literally.
At some point one of the girls was about to leave, walked right up to me and told me something in a Scandinavian tongue; alghough I didn't quite get what she was saying, it was pretty obvious that she invited me for a threesome with her upset boyfriend standing right next to us. She was so out of it… Ladies, at least know what you're dealing with if you have to bleach your synapses out. Sorry, nocando.
Next up where the three Austrian guys of Elektro Guzzi who are now tied with Quadruplos for the best act so far. The played a drumkit, bass and guitar and two effect boards and delivered nearly two hours of uninterrupted sheer awesomeness. It was as if a producer turned some knobs and ushered some effects over his pre-arranged set but those dudes did all that live on their instruments, it was delightful. Maybe I'll see them again tonight depending on how good the other artists playing at the same time are.
About half past two I navigated past piss-drunk, loud Brits and girls barfing in the bus station, it made me wonder how one could even get tipsy when you get your beer for a minimum of 6€. Guess it's not a good idea to have people pay with their credit card at the bars. Someone at our house must've been quite full as well for this morning there was a bowl on the kitchen table with all the noodles scattered around it and a full cup of tea next to it :) Yes yes, this is exactly the right spot to be at at the moment.
*Wind speeds over 70m/s have been measured in single blows.