First wedding inside Langjökull glacier

As if getting married doesn’t cause enough nervous tremble to any bride and groom, saying “I do” at zero degrees added an icy crust to one shivering couple’s big day.

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Eva María Þórarinsdóttir Lange, co-owner and founder of Pink Iceland, says that planning the first wedding inside Langjökull Glacier was a true adventure.

“I must admit, I had a slightly bigger knot in my stomach than usual. There were just so many factors I had no control over that could have gone wrong. Of course it‘s like that with any wedding or event we plan somewhere out in the wild, but this time we were dealing with a glacier and a location that‘s pretty remote. And it‘s winter. And this is Iceland,” says Eva María Þórarinsdóttir Lange, organizer at Pink Iceland, who had a deep sigh of relief last Thursday, when the first ever wedding inside Langjökull glacier was over, and a huge success.

As GayIceland revealed last month, the queer travel agency has become quite busy planning the big day for both same sex and opposite sex couples. Being the only proper wedding organizers that take Icelandic nature on to create the perfect day for couples, Pink Iceland‘s latest wedding was as much a first for them as the happy couple. “For one thing, I realised that when transporting a bride wearing a full-on wedding dress in a glacier-truck, you need to bring a stepladder. We wound up using a petrol can for her to step up on,” Eva María says and laughs.

“I thought it was unreal; never before have I stood on Langjökull in winter, with the sun shining and not even a lock of my hair moving.”

Shortly after Into the Glacier started operating last year – offering tours into a huge man-made tunnel inside glacier Langjökull – curious lovebirds around the world started inquiring whether it would be possible to throw a wedding in there. Most of them are disheartened when circumstances are explained to them in plain English; that there‘s a little bit more to it than picking out a dress and a cake. Flower arrangements are futile for instance, as fresh flowers wither straight away. Oh, and the bride can‘t glide gracefully down the “aisle”, it‘s more of a cautious waddle with crampons attached to the moon boots making noisy, scrunchy sounds that bounce off the surrounding ice walls. But Mari and Anthony from the United Kingdom, with their adventurous spirits, thought they knew Iceland quite well after three visits here and decided to give it a go; getting married inside a glacier.

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The guides from Into the Glacier arrived to pick up the guests in massive trucks.

“I‘m always a little worried that people have too high expectations and get shocked if they have to drive through a snow storm to get to the location, which can easily happen on a glacier, so I urged them to come to Iceland once more to check the place out.” Which they did in December, taking a two-day trip here for Anthony‘s birthday to see the ice tunnel for themselves. “That time, they caught much worse weather and temperature of -18°C so I thought they‘d call it off, but they just thought of it as an adventure,” Eva María explains.

Anthony and Mari also wanted to surprise their guests so Pink Iceland staff were careful not to post a lot of images from their Langjökull trips, or mention Into the Glacier in social media, knowing that they were being closely followed by the couple‘s friends and family who were trying to guess where exactly the wedding would take place.

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A celebrant from Siðmennt was waiting for the couple in the chapel.

“The wedding party consisted of 21 people and they all stayed at Hotel Húsafell the night before. I think some of them might have started suspecting something when the guides from Into the Glacier arrived to pick them up in massive trucks. So perhaps they thought the wedding would take place by or on top of the glacier, but I doubt they were expecting to attend a wedding inside the glacier,” Eva María says with a schemy twinkle in her eye.

The drive from the hotel up to the entrance of the ice tunnel takes about 45 minutes, and it‘s not a smooth ride at all. However, Mother Nature decided to bless the couple with gorgeous weather so there was plenty to see on the bumpy way up to the glacier. “I thought it was unreal; never before have I stood on Langjökull in winter, with the sun shining and not even a lock of my hair moving,” says Eva María.

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Bride and groom: Mari and Anthony, from the United Kingdom.

Secret or no secret, planning such a wedding requires great co-operation between Pink Iceland and the glacier tour operator, Into the Glacier. “It‘s difficult to surprise people with such a location, because the wedding guests have to dress accordingly and such. But to some extent, it‘s maybe just as well because then they hadn‘t built up any anxiety about going into a glacier, which can be daunting for some people on any given day.”

“The echoing dripping from the ice ceiling added to the mood as well, creating magnificent sound effects and the glacier itself makes some earthy-sounds I can‘t describe… It was incredible.”

Eva María adds that there‘s certainly danger of people experiencing claustrophobia inside the glacier. “The bride‘s mother started to feel a little uneasy once inside the ice tunnel but the guides at Into the Glacier did an amazing job keeping everybody calm. It‘s a bit like going on an airplane for the first time but once you understand how everything works, you trust the experts. And the guides explained everything really well, I must commend them on that.”

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Hafsteinn Þórólfsson sang beautiful Icelandic traditional songs at the wedding.

Eva María was really happy to see that the Into the Glacier staff had hewed fresh ice blocks to use as benches, so they were nice and clean for the guests to sit on. She explains that there are quite few details different when throwing a wedding inside a glacier. “The whole process was a learning experience. Like, is it possible to decorate the “chapel”? I had never decorated an ice tunnel before so I went beforehand to do research. Anthony wanted to surprise Mari with some flower decorations inside the ice chapel so we smuggled some fresh flowers in, but half an hour later they were drooping and the white flowers were turning brown,” Eva María chuckles and adds that thankfully, she had ordered extra flower arrangements to decorate at the hotel for the reception in the evening. “They also asked whether it would be possible to have lots of candles but you don‘t want to create too much heat inside under an ice cap.”

Another thing that Eva María says she hadn‘t realised before is the amplifying effect of the ice walls. “There‘s great acoustic in there so every little sound, every movement, could be heard. We had to stand very still outside the chapel during the ceremony.” And as it‘s not good to keep instruments in tune at zero degrees, the human voice was the only instrument used at the ceremony, and that’s where the surrounding really paid off. “We brought the brilliant Hafsteinn Þórólfsson, singer and composer, who sang beautiful Icelandic traditional songs about the nature and his voice echoed all around. The echoing dripping from the ice ceiling added to the mood as well, creating magnificent sound effects and the glacier itself makes some earthy-sounds I can‘t describe, some sort of deep murmur as the ice cap is always cracking a little bit. It was incredible.”

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A magical experience The first wedding ever inside Langjökull glacier was a huge success.

Photos: Kristín María Stefánsdóttir.

The Hamburger Factory
- gourmet burgers

Ok. You’re in Iceland. Most likely for the first time.

You will probably bathe in the Blue Lagoon and take a road trip to Gullfoss and
Geysir. That’s all well and good. But neither Geysir’s nor waterfalls are
something you eat. That’s why we have 15 brilliant and creative hamburgers at
The Hamburger Factory. And they are all perfectly square. Don’t miss out on
Iceland’s most beloved hamburgers.

The Hamburger Factory is Iceland’s most innovative gourmet burger chain.
Packed with burger-craving customers since it’s opening in 2010, among the
regulars is Iceland’s best known fisherman, Eric Clapton. In our restaurants we
welcome tourists with our newspaper like menu and smiley service. They are
packed with fun items and memorable connections to Icelandic pop culture.

Locations:

Omnom Chocolate
- award-winning chocolate maker

    Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

    Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

    Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

    In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

    At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.

     

    Alfred’s Apartments
    - gay owned an operated

      Alfred’s Apartments and Alfred’s Studios is a gay operated and owned accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.

      Alfred’s Apartments offers spacious apartments at a good price located just around the corner from Laugavegur shopping street. You can choose the apartment starting from a Small Studio for 2 persons to a large One-bedroom Apartment with balcony for 5 persons.

      Their staff will ensure your comfort during the stay and provide the most updated information about the city, gay and night life in Reykjavik.

      Each apartment has a private bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can buy groceries at the local grocery store 50 meters from the apartments. Because of their very central location, numerous shops, restaurants and cafés are available in the surrounding area. The Church of Hallgrimur is located 350 m from the apartments, a tourist agency is just 50 m away and the nearest gay bar is less than 5 minutes walking distance.

      Laekur hostel
      In the hostel we have dorms for 4-8 persons with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The rooms are furnished with free internet, lockers, and a USB charger by each bed. The beds have linen provided and you can rent a towel in the cafe on the ground floor for 5 EUR.

      All the dorms are mixed with both genders. You can also book a whole room with 4-8 bunker beds.

      Blue Lagoon
      - a world of wonder

      Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater comes from 2000 meters within the earth where sea and fresh water converge in a tectonic frontier of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals: the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

      From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing a hotel, a restaurant, a luxury lounge, a renowned line of skin care, a research center, in-water massage, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

      Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape of Iceland’s Reykjanes lava plain, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

      Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

      Whales of Iceland
      - larger than life

      Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

      Landsbankinn
      - leading financial institution

      Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

      The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

      Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

      The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

      Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

      Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

      It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

      Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

      Dohop
      - get inspired

      Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

      Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

      More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

      Macland
      - for all your Apple needs

      From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

      Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
      For all your Apple needs. We are here.

      Aurora Reykjavik
      - northern lights center

        Aurora Reykjavik is a Northern Lights Center situated in downtown Reykjavík at the Old Harbor next to Icelandair Hotel Marina and Vikin Maritime Museum.

        Aurora Reykjavík is Iceland’s first educational and recreational Northern Lights Center where multimedia is used to explain when, why and how the Northern Lights work, with the highlights being large HD projection of the Aurora’s. We also share myths and legends about what our ancestor thought about those mystical lights.

        The Northern Lights Center is for all ages. Children are our favorite guests and we created the exhibition in a way that children can have a look freely and parents don’t have to worry about things being broken.

        Aurora Reykjavik offers a great selection of souvenirs that are designed and made by Icelanders along with nice little coffee corner, where you can enjoy free coffee and tea while browsing through the souvenirs or just planning your next step.

        Contact Aurora

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        Ísey skyr
        - once tasted never forgotten

        Our Story
        Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

        For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

        Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
        This is our secret and you are in on it

        You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

        Núðluskálin
        - noodle bar

        Núðluskálin is a small gay owned and operated fusion noodle bar.

        All of our courses are individually made from fresh ingredients and therefore highly customisable.
        We offer fully Vegan versions of all courses.
        Though originally a take-away we now seat over 30 people.

        Núðluskálin is located right in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðustígur 8 (street leading up to the big Church) near the junction with Laugavegur (main street).

        Seatours
        - adventure cruise

        Ferry Baldur – the gate to the West fjords
        and VikingSushi Adventure – Bird & Nature watching Tour for everyone all year around

        The “VikingSushi Adventure” is the right boat tour for travelers who are adventurous and want to experience something new – close up to the nature seafood simply doesn’t come fresher than this! The archipelago area of the Breidafjordur Bay always surprises her visitors during winter or summer with spectacular sights. Where else you get to try delicious fresh scallops and sea urchin roe straight from the ocean served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.

        600x400-seatours-tasting

        This old volcanic area, characterized by the typical basalt formations of the islands, is the home of countless birds. Here you will also find the strongest currents in Iceland. The VikingSushi Tour takes roughly two hours and our captain is also the tour guide.

        600x400-seatours

        The VikingSushi Tour is a true adventure through incredible nature which should not be missed by any traveler to West Iceland.

        Birds, possible to spot:
        -puffins (from the middle of April until the middle of August)
        -eider ducks
        -shags
        -kittiwakes
        -fulmars
        -white-tailed eagle

        The car ferry Baldur is the bridge to the West fjords via the island Flatey
        Ferry Baldur crosses Breidafjordur Bay daily from Stykkisholmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Brjanslaekur in the north. A ferry ride considerably shortens the route between the south and mid-west of the country and the West Fjords region. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a floating restaurant.

        Take a stopover at the charming island Flatey when you are crossing the bay or go to a day tour to Flatey and back to Stykkishólmur. At Flatey are no cars allowed and between the houses of the 18th century you get the feeling of a journey back in time.

        Contact Us


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