It may be the official end of Christmas on Sunday the 6th of January but the news never ends, even in Iceland. This week’s selection of curious news comes from the worlds of film stars, sports, television and old fashioned modes of communication. Finish off the first week of the new year with these amusing news stories.
New Year’s Message in a Bottle
In July 2018, a message in a bottle was dropped off a ship just south-east of Iceland. The bottle and its message were found on New Year’s Eve, just west of the Norwegian town Berlevag. The project was a collaboration between an eleven-year-old boy from Reykjavík, Atli, the company Verkís, and TV personality and children’s book author, Ævar Vísindamaður (Ævar the Scientist).
The point of the project was to show how far plastic and other rubbish travels in our oceans. The bottle, which is more accurately described as a capsule equipped with a GPS tracker, showed that the bottle had wandered more than 5000 kilometres before landing in Norway on the 30th of December. The bottle was picked up the next day by an inhabitant of Berlevag.
This is not the first time the eleven-year-old, Atli, has been in the limelight due to his outspokenness about environmental issues. In 2017 he started a project called #savetheworld which was aimed at encouraging people to pick up trash left in nature. This young environmental activist deserves a lot of praise and his work certainly gives one hope for the future.
Gerard Butler Spent New Year’s in Iceland
Scottish film star Gerard Butler celebrated the new year with a trip to Iceland. Butler reportedly attended a yoga class, did karaoke and visited Borgarfjörður during his stay in Iceland. The actor also attended a preview of the third How to Train Your Dragon film, subtitled ‘The Hidden World’, Butler voices the Viking leader Stoick the Vast in the films.
The visit means that Butler has firmly placed himself among the ranks of people Icelanders refer to as Íslandsvinir or ‘Friends of Iceland’. What qualifies a person as a Friend of Iceland is simply being a celebrity who has visited the country. Other celebrities who were Friends of Iceland in 2018 include: Bryan Cranston, Rebel Wilson, Zac Efron, Shailene Woodley and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Darts Gain Popularity
The World Darts Championships finished on New Year’s Day with the Dutchman, Michael van Gerwen, winning the title for the third time. The Championships, which were held in Alexandra Palace in London over 16 days, were televised in Iceland.
The broadcasting of the sporting event had a rather curious repercussion. Following the popularity of the darts on television many people seem to have had the idea to start playing darts and equipment for that purpose is as good as sold out in the whole country. We wish dart enthusiasts old and new happy playing and hope that sporting goods stores have renewed their dart stock in the new year.
During Christmas, the second season of the popular Icelandic crime drama TV series Trapped premiered. The premiere got a lot of attention, including a tweet from Ben Stiller about his love for the show.
Lovers of the Scandi-Noir can rejoice at the news that the creators of Trapped have already started drafting a third season, which they hope to produce given that the second season is as popular as the first. Something to look forward to!
Dunkin’ Donuts Desert Iceland
It can’t all be happy news, as this week we say goodbye to a sweet friend. All Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Iceland have been closed. Not all is lost for fans of Dunkin’ Donuts, even though the stores have closed, as Dunkin’ Donuts will still be available in some supermarkets.
The popular American donut brand opened its first location on Laugavegurinn in 2015. There was a lot of hype around the opening and people camped outside the store for a chance to get a year’s supply of donuts. This sparked the popular #röðin which has since been used whenever Icelanders form a long queue, especially in anticipation of winning free goods or services.
See Also: Food in Iceland
In Other News
- Christmas Beer is on Sale: Viking brewery has lowered the price of their Christmas beers to avoid having the seasonal product go to waste.
- The Order of the Falcon: Fálkaorðan, the Icelandic order of chivalry, was awarded by President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson on the 1st of January. The 14 recipients were from all walks of life and included filmmakers, doctors, singers, lawyers and comedians.
- 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Yule: Iceland’s much beloved Yule Lads featured on an episode of the British panel show hosted by comedian Jimmy Carr. You can read more about the Yule Lads here.
- Heatwave on Tröllaskagi: Unusually high temperatures were recorded in the north of Iceland this week. With temperatures in Héðinsfjörður reaching 15.8 degrees Celsius on Thursday.