When you’ve got that Friday feeling, it can be a true downer to read news stories that paint the world as a dark and morbid place. C’mon, it’s the end of the week —the day of Freya, the Norse goddess of love, sex and gold—a time to reflect on the positives of the days passed. To get your weekend off to a pleasant start, let’s look at the most charming and curious stories to come out of Iceland this week.
Day Old Big Mac for Sale
You might remember from last week that there was some confusion here in Iceland as to whether the fast food chain, McDonald’s, would be returning after their 2007 departure. A number of domestic outlets were quick to report on the apparent excitement that Icelanders felt at the prospect of chowing down on Happy Meals, McNuggets and Flurries.
To make it clear from the get-go; McDonald’s will not be making an appearance in Iceland anytime soon. Trust the New York Post to get our hopes up—FAKE NEWS!
Entrepreneurial Akranes resident, Tómas Alexander Árnason, wasn’t going to let that stop him, however.
Knowing of his countrymen’s disappointment, and hoping to both rectify and profit from it, Tómas purchased a single Big Mac from Orlando Airport at the beginning of the week, then decided to auction it off on Facebook next Wednesday.
The auction received considerable attention, with friends tagging one another to draw attention to this rather unusual sale. The price for this 2-day beef reached 2000 ISK in the comment section under the post but many interested burger-lovers sent their bids to Tómas via a private message, adding some mystery as to whose stomach this meat now currently resides, and how much value it actually had.
Icelandic 3D Zebra Crossing Heading to Kansas
I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust other drivers particularly, and I trust them even less as a pedestrian trying to cross the road.
Zebra crossings, of course, give a pedestrian right away, but I’m not sure how much comfort that thought would bring me while bundled under the wheels of an oncoming vehicle that had failed to clock it.
Ralf Trylla, the environment officer of Ísafjörður, was looking for ways to slow down traffic without resorting to speed bumps when he happened across a 3D Zebra Crossing that had been employed with success in New Delhi.
Hiring the pavement marking company, GÍH Vegamálun, the firm set about painting what appears to be a ‘floating crossing’, appearing briefly as obstacles in the road, before flattening out upon approach. This not only increases safety but also provides those crossing with the feeling that they are walking on air.
Lideana Layboy, a road safety engineer from Kansas City, recently read about this ingenious way of slowing traffic in Iceland and decided it seemed the perfect fit for her hometown.
See Also: 13 Amazing Icelandic Design Projects
Layboy says of the design, “Right now, it’s kind of an attraction, it’s something new, and people are just getting used to it.”Currently, the crosswalk is in a test phase, with feedback from the neighbourhood’s residents being taken into account before more are constructed.
Man & Cat Rescued From Tree
It is something of an archetype, firefighters called to rescue a cat trapped in a tree. With that being said, it is rather unheard of that both a feline and human must be helped down from the same tree, though this is exactly what happened this week in Reykjavík’s Seljahverfi neighbourhood.
The fire service received a call yesterday evening from a couple informing them that a cat had gotten itself into a pickle high up in the tree branches. When the rescue team arrived, they found the male caller had already attempted to save the cat himself, only to find getting down again more difficult than anticipated.
Fortuitously, both man and creature were removed from the tree unharmed, though no doubt one party was a little more embarrassed than the other.
This is not the first time that this has happened in Iceland. Only last year, a cat owner had to be rescued with a cherry-picker after climbing a tree to save her over-adventurous moggy.
Omnom Chocolate Makers Win Gold Awards
Omnomnomnomnom… sorry, Omnom began as small-batch Artisan chocolatiers in 2013, when childhood friends and founders Kjartan Gíslason and Óskar Þórðarson initially set out to discover whether they could truly get to grips with the bean-to-bar process.
Five years later, and with hundreds of thousands of chocolate bars sold, the pair can now rest easy knowing they’ve exceeded that goal, winning the World Cup Champagne Champion for the best milk chocolate.
The winning bar was titled Milk of Nicaragua, which boasts a unique, yet mouth-watering blend of fudge, cherry and walnut flavours.
The awards ceremony took place in Florence, Italy, where the company picked up a handful of other awards, including four golds, two silvers and three bronze awards in different classes. This fairly new Icelandic start-up was competing against the biggest names in the chocolate-making industry, yet left an inarguable impression or a lasting taste in the mouth.
More Stories From This Week
- Petrol Station or TV Landmark? The 10/11 on Suðurlandsbraut is becoming a popular visitors’ attraction, at least for those who recognise it as the setting from one of Iceland’s most popular television comedies, Næturvaktin (“The Night Shift”). Employees have reported an increase in Asian and German visitors particularly, almost all of whom are looking to photograph the famous workplace of Georg, an eccentric communist played by Jón Gnarr, former Mayor of Reykjavík.
- Marriage in Reykjanes: The Huffington Post reported this week that there are, on average, 6 marriage proposals a day at the Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s stunning spa on the Reykjanes Peninsula. While there’s little doubt the lagoon does make for a truly picturesque spot to pop the question, this news does make the prospect a little more unoriginal… how about proposing to your cherished one over at a hot dog at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur? There’s nothing more romantic than finding a diamond ring around your sausage!
- More Cat News: Alright, in truth, this is more Christmas orientated, but today saw a large cat sculpture lit up alongside the city’s iconic Xmas tree on Lækjartorg square in downtown Reykjavík. Comprised of 6500 individual lights, and standing 5 metres high and 6 metres wide, this is one festive installation that seasonal shoppers will have trouble missing!