Destination: Iceland

New Music: Sigur Rós’ ‘Voltari’

The Icelandic band, whose ambient, ethereal sound evokes the cool, steaming landscape of its native country, has released a new album, Valtari.

Most reviews find the album to be a lot like the band’s other stuff. As the Washington Post put it: “Ultimately the band’s commitment to pleasant but forgettable ambient soundscapes represents a sort of Rorschach test for listeners. One person’s transcendent experience is another’s somnambulant snooze.”

Funny the critic used “snooze.” For me, Sigur Rós has always made music to wake up to.

From the new album:

Tags: Music, Europe, Iceland

Surfing Iceland’s Cold Frontiers

Surfing Iceland’s Cold Frontiers Photo by Nathan Myers

Full-body wetsuits. Icy mountain roads. Uncharted surf. Nathan Myers is a long way from California.

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Swells and Snow: Surfing Iceland’s Cold Frontiers

Swells and Snow: Surfing Iceland’s Cold Frontiers Photo by Nathan Myers

Nathan Myers captures the frozen isolation of Iceland's uncharted surf scene

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World Travel Watch: Havoc in Central America, Volcano Fears in Iceland and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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So Long, Volcano-Gate 2010

As air travel gets back on track and the fallout from Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud winds down, Gadling offers this top-notch graphic to remember it all by. Oh, and if you’re still having trouble pronouncing Eyjafjallajökull? This Icelandic musician has a jingle for you. (Thanks for the tip, Pam.)


Photo You Must See: Ash and Steam Over Iceland

Photo You Must See: Ash and Steam Over Iceland REUTERS/Ho New

An ash cloud from this week's volcanic eruption in Iceland rises to 22,000 feet

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Ash From Iceland Volcano Forces Cancellation of Thousands of Flights

Ash From Iceland Volcano Forces Cancellation of Thousands of Flights REUTERS
Airport display board in Edinburgh, Scotland, today. (REUTERS/Russell Cheyne)

Oh Iceland. Now look at what you’ve done.

Amazingly, the closing of air space across parts of northwestern Europe due to widespread ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland is, according to the New York Times, “among the most sweeping ever ordered in peacetime.”


World Travel Watch: Chaos in Kyrgyzstan, Protests in Thailand and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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Video You Must See: Ice, Water and Steam in Iceland


The Medieval Icelandic Guide to Marauding

The Telegraph highlights the mostly intimidating descriptions of Scotland that pop up in a series of 13th-century Icelandic chronicles. “Icelanders who want to practise robbery are advised to go there,” reads one section. “But it may cost them their life.” The chronicles, the story explains, “were often used as route guides for raiders, traders, crusaders and explorers, effectively a road map of medieval Europe and the Middle East.” Apparently, they’ve remained accurate enough over the centuries that they’re still used by archaeologists today.


Turn Up the Tunes, Break Out Your Phrasebooks

Elyse Franko wonders: Is the United States at the beginning of a linguistic musical revolution?

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European Flesh and the American Prude

European Flesh and the American Prude Alexandra Beier/Reuters

Exploring Europe, exploring travel as a political act

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Eight Photos to Inspire Wanderlust

Eight Photos to Inspire Wanderlust REUTERS

Indulge your armchair traveler. We've gathered eight wanderlust-inspiring travel photos from around the world.

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Morning Links: Bible Park, Pizza Vending Machines and More

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Morning Links: Michael Lewis Asks About Bjork in Reykjavík, Yoko Ono’s Travel Daydreams and More

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