Lets go buy a chicken!

My brother asked me if I wanted to buy half a chicken the other day, and I was like.. WHAT?  buy a chicken, are you going to have a chicken in your living room? The thing is he found this place where you can buy a chicken but the farmer keeps it and feeds it for you, and every month you collect 20 eggs. He did not want to buy a whole chicken because he though 20 eggs a month was to much for him alone. Well I immediately liked the idea, these are  Icelandic chickens and free range, I only eat free range eggs, because lets face it regular chicken farms are not very nice at all.  So I googled the hens and this is what I found:

The Icelandic Chickens are a breed of chicken, called íslenska hænan, Haughænsni or landnámshænan in the Icelandic language, they are a landrace fowl which are rare outside its native country. They are an old breed of chicken, having been present on the island since introduction by Norse settlers in the 9th century. However, despite this isolation, the breed has barely survived in a pure form in the 21st century, largely due to the importation of commercial strains of chickens in the 1950s. The few thousand Icelandic Chickens in existence today are the result of conservation efforts in the 1970s; a handful of flocks have been exported abroad.

Icelandic Chickens are not firmly standardized in appearance, and possess a wide range of plumage colours and patterns, skin colouration and comb types. Some have feather crests.
Despite this variance in appearance, Icelandic Chickens are uniformly hardy in winter, have white earlobes, and lay white to light brown coloured eggs. They are also said to be docile in temperament, and hens will readily go broody.

I decided to buy the chicken with my brother and we drove out there today, I took my daughter along and he took his to help us out with picking out the perfect chicken and to name it as well. You are also welcome to come and visit your hen when you like : )
What could be more fun.
Our hen got the name Hænulína and I look forward to get eggs from my half a hen: Hænulína.

icelandic free range hen

Tourists in our own city

The Reykjavík City Card is the easiest,
most inexpensive way to experience our city!

Reykjavík, the world’s northernmost capital, is a friendly city that offers a surprising amount of things to see and do. Whether you are seeking the bustling energy of a cosmopolitan city, the thundering thermal energy in the ground beneath your feet, or the serene energy of the surrounding landscape, Reykjavík promises a memorable visit for everyone!
Well this is what we had heard. We decide to take one day and be tourist in our own City.
The day began at 9:30 and we picked up our welcome card, the sun was shining and this promised to be a good day.
Our first choice was 821+1, but we found out that the museums don´t open until 10 o´clock. No sweat there is a good coffee shop across the street so this is where we went while waiting for the museum to open.
Reykjavik Welcome card
Selfie 871
The 871 plus/ minus 1 is a great place, very touchy feely as you can touch and press on many things : )  We liked it a lot.
From here we decide to walk to the national museum, on the way we passed our favourite cemeteryold church yard Reykjavikchurch yard Reykjavik
The National museum has an ongoing show called the beginning of a nation, now this is much more “museum like” many interesting pieces and if you want to touch and try out then there is the clothes room where you can put on costumes from old Icelandic times.
making of a nation Icelandskotthúfur 1skotthufur 4dress up national musem icelandNational museum iceland dress upold phone iceland
We also liked the made up living rooms with items from the 50´s and the 60´s
When we got out the sun was still shining so we decided to walk some more, even though buses are free with the welcome card.
Now we headed to the maritime museum its not very big, actually very small, nice shop by the entrance and here we stopped for lunch.  A good choice, there is this very nice patio where the sun shines and there is no wind.  The food was excellent.
Vikin museum outside reykjavik Thor coast guard ship iceland reykjavik harbour rope pull maritma museum Esja Mar sea musemu reykjavikplay reykjavik harbourplayground reykjavik harbourharobur playground reykjavik
It was hard to leave, but we had a plan. Next was the Icelandic art gallery, we looked at Erro´s show,  colourful cartoons.
looking at erro reykjavik
From there we walked up to Einar  Jónsson sulpture museum, unfortunately it was closed, but no worries the gardens there, specially in such good weather were enough for us.
Einar Jonsson sculpture museum einar jonsson musem reykjavik
After this we decided to call it a day and spent the rest of this beautiful day in the swimming pool at the Vesturbæjarlaug

 

Reykjavík City Cards Prices for 2014:
Adults                          Children 6-18
24 hours ISK2.900        ISK 1.000
48 hours ISK3.900        ISK 2.000
72 hours ISK4.900        ISK 3.000

Volcanic activity in South Iceland

Hekla_1374 002

Before all the Bárðabunga activity there were talks regarding increased activity in Hekla.  We summarised the volcanic activities in the south of Iceland.
But talks about eruption in Hekla have been going on since 2006, when a tiny earthquake and some surface swelling hinted that new magma had accumulated. Media has warned of similar things in Hekla in 2011 and 2013 with out any eruptions.

Hekla:
Hekla is the 2nd most active volcano in Iceland, first being Grímsvötn. She has erupted approximately every 55 years. An active volcano for centuries, the mountain Hekla is one of the most famous in the world. Old tales tell of the belief that the souls of the condemned travelled through Hekla’s crater on their way to hell.

The whole mountain ridge of Hekla is about 40 km long. The fissure which splits the mountain ridge is about 5,5 km long. The mountain is about 1491 m high.

It is thought that Hekla has had at least twenty eruptions since the settlement of Iceland. The biggest eruption was in 1104. Hekla has erupted four times in the 20th century, the last time in February 2000 and the eruption lasted for two weeks.

Over the past 7000 years Hekla has had five big fissure eruptions. The biggest eruptions were 4000 and 2800 years ago. Traces of these two eruptions can be found in the soil in the North and the North-East of Iceland. The biggest layer of tephra from one eruption fell in the eruption 2800 years ago. It covers about 80% of the country and its volume was around 12 cubic km. Traces of it has been found in various places in Scandinavia.

Skaftáreldar:
They are the third biggest volcano activity in the world.  Skaftáreldar – The largest documented volcanic eruption in Iceland after settlement was in the years 1783-84 when a huge ridge of eruption opened, the ridge was 25 km long and had about 100 erupting craters. This took place in south Iceland and is always referred to as the Skaftár fires. From this eruption Iceland had its third biggest lava flow for the past 10.000.  It covered over 565 fm2, 14 farms in 4 counties went under lava and 30 other farms where severely damaged. Because of these eruptions 80% of Iceland’s sheep stock, 75% of the horse stock and 50% of the cattle stock was killed. Do to these huge eruptions a very hard time started in Iceland, a huge mist covered big part of Iceland and caused colder weather, hunger and suffering among the Icelandic nation. About 20% of the Icelandic nation died because of this.   The year after an earthquake shook Iceland and made things even worse. The aftermath of the Skaftár fires were very severe: sour rain all over Europe, dark and cold days, some say it is the source of the french revolution in 1789.

Katla – The volcano Katla, in the Myrdalsjokull glacier, has erupted on average every 40 – 80 years. Sixteen eruptions have been recorded since the settlement of Iceland, the last in 1918, ( 1955 -2000?)but there have probably been more, perhaps 20 in all. Katla is one of the most famous volcanoes in the country, and its eruptions usually have very serious consequences; the glacier above the volcanic vent melts and the melt-water collects under the ice cap until it makes its way out under the edge in a violent flood. These are called “Jokulhlaup”. Huge amounts of ice ( size of Skógarfoss) and sand carried along by the floodwater, and anything in the path of the flood tide is destroyed. Deposits in past floods have formed most of the Myrdalssandur sand plain.  Part of Vík in Mýrdalur stands on a land fill from Katla floods, the sea shore near vik is disappearing due to the sea, there is talk of building protective walls  but they will be very expensive and when Katla erupts, they will no longer be needed as she will add so much to the land.

Vestmannaeyjar –The Westman Islands are a group of fifteen islands, situated just off the south coast of Iceland. At 2am on the night of January 23rd 1973, a massive eruption began in the eastern part of Heimaey. Almost all of the 5,000 inhabitants were safely evacuated to the mainland. The eruption lasted for over 5 months and caused extensive damage to the town, burying houses under lava and ash. Only a few weeks after the eruption ended, the population had returned to clean up and continue their lives.

Surtsey The new island was named after Surtr, a fire jötunn or giant from Norse mythology is not only one of the world’s newest islands, but the most filmed and researched and one of the most restricted. Ever since the eruption in 1963 which heaved it up out of the waters 18km (11 miles) south-west of Heimaey, its progress has been monitored giving scientists a fascinating insight into how a new island evolves, how flora and fauna develop and so on. Because of this very few people are allowed to visit the island, and special permits are only granted for scientific research. These scientists are studying how the flora and fauna develops, so the have to be very careful not to disturb anything while they are there. One day when the go to the island they find a tomato plant!  Thats weird a tomato plant on Surtsey. The start following the root of the plant and it leads them to a rock, and under the rock there is human shit, some of the scientist obviously ate a lot of tomatoes. or as Wikipedia puts it: an improperly handled human defecation resulted in a tomato plant taking root which was destroyed.

When the eruption first occurred, columns of ash were sent almost 9,146m (30,000ft) into the sky and could be seen on clear days as far away as Reykjavík. The birth of Surtsey took almost four years as eruption followed eruption until 1967, by which time the island stood 150m (492ft) above sea level and covered an area of almost 3sq km (2sq miles). Because of pounding seas, there was a considerable amount of early erosion, but the island core quickly solidified as rock and is now holding its own while scientists watch everything.

 

Storm Warning

Hi you all!!
Very strong storm with heavy rain is expected on Wednesday July 2nd in many places in Iceland.
Drivers with caravans should take extra care.
The rain could cause flooding in many places in South Iceland and the highland and the rivers could be dangerous to ford.
Please take the time to view this pdf if you plan on travelling tomorrow, Wednesday July 2ndþ
and see also this link to the local weather forecast: Weather in Iceland
2014-06-03 11.03.35

A tourist in Reykjavik for a day

We just learned about the Reykjavik Welcome Card and have decide to be tourists in Reykjavik for one day, using the card.

If you would like us to try anything specific please let us know. We will blog and take photos and give our opinion on the things we see and do that day : )

This is what the Reykjavik Welcome Card can be used for:

 

 

The card also gives you a discount in various shops.

To read more about the card please visit:

http://www.visitreykjavik.is/travel/reykjavik-welcome-card

We look forward to our day as guests in our own city and don´t hesitate to comment if there is anything in particular you would like us to try 🙂