FALL / WINTER 2017
As you know the winters here are quite dark and picking the darkest day of the year for our photoshoot wasn't maybe the best idea.
But the weather is unpredictable and sometimes (read always) you don't get to choose. You just have to go with it.
The first Norseman to settle in Iceland and live here for the rest of his life was Ingólfur Arnarson. In one of our Icelandic Sagas Landnáma, contains a long story about Ingólfur's settlement. The book claims he left Norway after becoming involved in a blood feud late in the 9th century. He had heard about a new island which Hrafna-Flóki and others had found in the Atlantic Ocean and he decided to sail for Iceland. When land was in sight, he threw his high seat pillars overboard and promised to settle where ever the gods decided to bring them ashore. Two of his slaves then searched the coasts for three years before finding the pillars in a small bay which Ingólfur named Reykjavik ('Smokey Bay') after the steam rising from the nearby hot springs.
I for one is glad that the pillars came ashore on this little bay of ours. There are not a lot of cities in the world that you can have a view over an ocean, mountain and a glacier all at ones while standing in a city center.
With that in mind we started our photoshoot by heading over to the shoreline of Sæbraut. Where you can completely forget that you are in a city when looking out to sea with mountain Esja and Snæfellsnes glacier at the horizon with the city behind you.
Next up to get out of the cold for a bit, we went to one of our favourite buildings in the heart of Reykjavik, the historic and beautiful house, Gamla bíó (The Old Cinema), From when Gamla bíó was built in 1927 by Peter Petersen, it has played a big part to shape the culture scene in Reykjavík and was for a long time Reykjavik's largest and most luxurious gathering house. In addition to film shows, there were various conferences, plays and concerts. Gamla Bíó was considered to have excellent acoustics and many of our best musicians have taken their first steps there.
In November 1981, the Icelandic Opera took over the operation of the house and was therefore converted into an opera house. The Opera held a powerful music scene in the house until 2011 when it moved to the music house Harpan.
Since 2011, various events have taken place in the house, but after extensive construction in 2014-2016 to refine all facilities to serve modern needs, while retaining original design and quality, it ones again can claim a spot among the best event houses in Iceland.
During the construction of the house in 1926, Petersen included an apartment on the third floor for him to live and was later used for sewing and exercise rooms in the era of the opera. For the longest time it was closed off to the public but has now been converted into a café and bar named The Petersen suite. With a large outdoor area and a spectacular view of Vesturbær Reykjavíkur it is truly a hidden gem.
Using the last sunrays of the day we finished the photoshoot with ducks, geese, swans and airplanes flying over our head, to us a perfect afternoon in the heart of Reykjavík.
Photographer: Ásta Sif Árnadóttir