Day two of being in Iceland. I was on my own for the majority of the day. At first being nervous since I was in a new country and city, but after the amount of walking around we did the day before, I was able to recognize the shops and streets and successfully navigate with little GPS help. I met up with and interviewed sources for my cultural stories at cute cafes which, in my opinion, were a step or two up from Starbucks. I had great conversations about Iceland’s music history and evolution and Iceland’s climate and Atlantic puffins. Many of my sources even took the time to show me around the city. At times, I felt like I really blended in well. I must have looked confident enough as to where I was going considering I had many tourists stop me on the street to ask for directions, thinking I was from the area. I even had a few cashiers speak to me in Icelandic, assuming that I did, too. To their surprise, I was extremely American.
Later, a few of us walked around downtown Reykjavík and stopped at a few shops before the class met up at Tapas Barinn and had a seven course Icelandic meal. There was fresh bread topped with hummus and olive tapas, lamb kebobs, cod and lobster tails. This also included trying my much anticipated smoked puffin with blueberry sauce, whale with a vinaigrette dressing and arctic char with a creamy basil topping, which was all finished off with a sorbet and fruit dessert.
For my two stories, my During piece focuses on Iceland’s climate change and and it’s impact on seabirds. My Final piece focuses Iceland’s music influences, evolution, history and how it plays a role in it’s modern music. Jóhannes Ágústsson is the owner of 12 Tónar Record Shop and Label in Reykjavík, Iceland. The record label has signed many bands and artists, like Ólöf Arnalds and Mugison, since 1998. Here, he talks a bit about how Icelandic musicians often mix multiple genres instead of sticking to just one sound. Everyone is different and are in their own category.