Photo / Pexel

Óliver is far from alone – A national conversation on bullying and queer stories of bravery

Over the course of the past month, a national conversation on bullying has brought to light personal stories from across Iceland. Celebrities and Facebook groupers alike have been bringing up the topic of bullying and its long term effects through heartfelt and private tales of their childhood years being bullied. The “trend” all began with an alarming post from Sigríður Elín Ásmundsdóttir, who’s son Óliver was being bullied incessantly both in and out of school.

Relentless bullying turns serious

Her post detailed the extent of what Óliver was facing at Sjálandskóli in Garðabær and at football practice. The bullying had been occurring for such a long time without intervention that Sigríður chose to take her son out of Sjálandskoli and switch him to a football team in neighboring Hafnarfjörður. More than just comments or teasing, Óliver would walk home with no shoes after abusers threw them over tall fences and they even threatened to kill his dog. Sigríður said she knew it was time to really step in after she overheard him talking to a friend on the phone and saying “I feel so bad at school I want to die.”

Óliver’s mother, Sigríður Elin.

For this 11 year old, the bullying just wasn’t stopping. Although Óliver’s school has strict policies on bullying and statements have even been made by the administration and Minister of Education and Culture, the bullying still went unpunished. “In my opinion, it is an unacceptable solution to the case that the victim has to move out of their neighborhood school to get rid of bullying. We must build a system that has the capacity to ensure a successful solution. That’s my next task!” said Lilja D. Alfreðsdóttir, Minister of Education and Culture.

What’s the solution moving forward?

In most cases of bullying, it’s difficult for parents, coaches, and teachers to intervene every time if they’re not directly aware of the problem happening before them. In addition, repetitive and incessant bullying is often hardest to see because it can be more subtle and happen out of sight from guardians and teachers. More and more common for kids of the newest generations are different forms of cyberbullying, which are nearly impossible for parents to supervise between Snapchats and Tik Tok comments.

Photo / Unsplash

There’s a lot of progress to be made

This reginited conversation surrounding bullying comes at a time when research and data are pointing to an increase in the struggles young Icelanders are facing. One-third of LGBT+ youth feel unsafe at school in Iceland despite countless projects to prevent bullying, increased education surrounding queer issues and queer history, and the passage of more and more legal acts protecting LGBT+ people.

Iceland moved up 4 places from 18th to 14th on ILGA’s index of equality among the 49 European nations, but still has an enormous amount of work to do before claiming 1st place.

Tryggvi Hjaltason.

Tryggvi Hjaltason, of CCP, was chatting with radio show Armageddon about his research and said that we’re leaving young Icelandic boys behind the most. Registration of men into University has been dropping and it’s not attributable to a changed ratio with more women registering. Women registering to University is on average for the OECD countries. The men’s registration levels are the lowest of all OECD countries. Currently, Iceland has the highest diagnosis of ADHD among boys in Nordic countries, and we medicate our kids the most of all countries in Europe. However this medication isn’t helping the boys, because surveys show that they feel worse, are less likely to get praise from their teachers, are bored in school and get lower grades than before.

34.4% of boys in Iceland can’t read well enough when they graduate from Elementary school. This is 2 times higher than the percentage of girls, and much higher than in other countries. Icelandic boys also score below average in all subjects in PISA surveys, not just some subjects like in other countries, but in all subjects. Iceland is the only Nordic country that scores under average in all subjects. Icelandic girls consistently score higher than boys in standardized tests in 4th grade, and the difference in grades between the genders steadily increases the longer they are in the education system. This data all comes from publicly available databases including the Ministry of Education, Surgeon General, OECD, PISA, Unicef, WHO, and Nordic databases.

With all of these factors, Tryggvi says he doesn’t have the solution, he’s just making us aware of the issues and is a concerned parent as well. Bullying doesn’t add to these problems. If anything, the Icelandic school system is actively trying to find a solution for keeping young Icelanders healthy, focused, and learning in a positive school environment. For kids like Óliver, the last thing they need is to be distracted from their studies and discouraged from pursuing higher education.

Icelandic celebrities and politicians come out in support

In reaction to the news about Óliver, national football team player Jón Daði Böðvarsson made a statement in solidarity with Óliver saying “are boys with an inferiority complex harassing you? Let me know, friend. I was in exactly the same situation as you at your age.”

Even the President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, weighed in with support as he has in the past many times supported action against bullying. In a 2017 speech Guðni noted “certainly I have nothing to complain about, I was not bullied and I did not take an active part in it, I was taught not to tease, not to name names. But I witnessed bullying and I could have done better, I could have played more often with one of my classmates who did not always fit in well enough with the group. I could also have followed the example of a handsome boy who was a popular magician, a great athlete, and made the suggestion that people should not attack his friend who was a little different from the others – and who is not. ” Guðni also works closely with Barnaheill’s prevention project against bullying Vináttu and has supported the cause publicly for years.

To hear what the queer community was saying in the greater discussion about bullying, GayIceland chatted with a few well-known Icelandic queer icons to hear their personal stories and talk about how we as a community can combat bullying.

Daniel Oliver.

Daniel Oliver, musician and soup master

In a Facebook post Daniel Oliver, one of Iceland’s Eurovision stars, opened up about the bullying he faced as a child and how it’s still affecting him today. His status, which shared yet another article about bullying from Jóhanna Ósk Þrastardóttir, included themes of exclusion, prejudice, and “fitting in with the norm” for safety. Daniel elaborated by saying “today I find it uncomfortable to stand out from the crowd, find it difficult to lead my boyfriend in public, and just generally have a hard time being in a large crowd, often wary when I meet heterosexual men in groups. I sometimes allow myself to be a colorful character but it is very monitored.”

Casual harassment

For him, most of the bullying he experienced wasn’t bloody hits, death threats to his dog, or beatings; it was casual exclusion and things that would go unnoticed by teachers or parents. One time, the teacher did notice and instead of intervening they joined in! “I was never really good at playing ball-sports for example and my gym teacher was very much into ball sports so I got left out and made fun of with embarrassing remarks about throwing like a girl, being a faggot and stupid stuff like that. I remember my teacher taking part in the bullying and taking part in the name calling.” For Daniel, humiliation came from even the authority figure in the room: “One time I was late to gym class. I must have been around 12 years old. I had forgotten to change clothes and came to the sports hall in my regular clothes so he (the gym teacher) made me strip down in front of everybody. The guys were laughing but the girls weren’t for some reason. They understood how humiliating it was.”

To open up about these things through a post on Facebook or an interview was difficult for Daniel. “I’m honestly not comfortable talking about this. I think their behavior was caused by peer pressure and a general fear of things that are different, and I was different. I was more feminine and usually very confident actually which made them even more determined to break me I think. I got beaten up by a guy who didn’t like me hanging out with a girl he had a crush on. It’s so stupid to think about this now but I shiver just at the thought of it.”

Changing yourself to fit in

Eventually, after all this harassment from peers in school and even the teachers, Daniel couldn’t take it anymore and started to push himself into “the norm” for safety. When leaving elementary school and entering high school, Daniel changed his physical appearance, style, or clothes to make himself less of a target. “I remember coming in ready for a new chapter. My confidence had taken a big hit so I really just wanted no drama and I just felt it would be easier if I just fit in. I had always dressed up quite uniquely and colorful but I couldn’t be bothered with the name calling and unnecessary remarks about it so I just went to black and blue. It was fine in the beginning but honestly looking back on it I feel like I lost my edge. I was very careful with how I spoke and what I shared with people,” says Daniel.

To combat bullying as a kid, Daniel recommends mustering up some bravery to fight back with words and be vocal. His advice for a kid like Óliver is “to stand [your] ground more. Call out the injustices and put those who are bullying in their place by calling them out on it and of course tell people/teachers/friends about what’s going on so they can step in if necessary.”

The queer experience

When it comes to the queer experince of being bullied, the conversation becomes a bit more complicated. Although many young kids of all genders face bullying from classmates and peers, kids that are in any way perceived to be outside of the binary of masculinity and femininity have a harder time. For many of them it’s an internal struggle between hiding their true self and being less obvious about their attraction toward a member of the same sex or gender expression, because if that is exposed they face backlash for it. Daniel agrees “I think that just by being queer and not hiding it takes enormous bravery. There’s still a long way to go. For many straight people it’s still something they know about and accept up to a certain point where there is a “it’s fine but don’t shove it in our faces” attitude which makes you wanna hide and suppress a part of you that is and feels very normal to you. And it is…. Normal.”

Harassment abroad

Daniel also spends a lot of his time now in Sweden and notes that it’s no better or worse there. Queer friends of his still face harassment and abuse in Stockholm and Reykjavik. “I feel more at ease when I’m home in Iceland I suppose. It’s my home country and thankfully I feel very safe here. Stockholm is more of a multi-cultural capital so you have to be more careful in general. I’ve had friends that have been beat up brutally outside of a gay club in Stockholm but those incedents are rare thankfully,” says Daniel. Even though Iceland and Sweden are 14th and 11th respectively on the European index for LGBT+ equality and protection, it doesn’t change the culture much for an abuser looking to demean or harass a member of the community. There are still very large targets on our backs from all angles.

“I think that just by being queer and not hiding it takes enormous bravery.”

Turning negativity into positivity

For Daniel, the best way he can channel all of this pent up negative energy from bullying and prejudice is to create something positive to put out into the world. Through his music, he’s better able to express himself and communicate his truth: “I think it influences my music in terms of wanting to empower people and my songs are deeply personal. At least these days. I don’t necessarily write or sing about the troubles of being gay but I create songs mostly about love so I guess everybody can relate to them in a sense.”

A sneak peak of the track list via Daniel Oliver

Speaking of his music, Daniel just returned to Iceland after a stint in Sweden recording a new album he’s excited to share. On Wednesday last week he posted “[Today’s] the last day in the studio here in Stockholm. My album is almost ready and I look forward to coming home, quarantining with my kitty and celebrating Christmas! I was supposed to be having a Christmas concert this weekend (my first) but it changed out of nowhere and I just did what I do best in a crisis, poured myself into work and made something. This time it is a solo album and something I will be proud of until the last day!”

To get to know Daniel better you can find him and his music here or here and follow him on Twitter or Instagram.

Alda Villiljós

The magical Alda Villiljós

In a facebook post of their own, Alda Villiljós recounted stories of bullying that’s still affecting them to this day. Alda has been a community leader and activist for many years through their work with Trans Ísland, Samtökin ‘78, and Non-Binary Iceland (Kynsegin Ísland). Speaking out about bullying, Alda opened up about the relationship they’ve been building with their inner child. Through the transformative process of therapy and really communicating with their past self, Alda has reconciled their inner child with who they are today. “I’ve been doing some very intense work with my therapist, including finally admitting the amount of damage school bullying did on my psyche,” says Alda.

It’s not that bad, right?

For Alda growing up with bullying wasn’t that bad compared to stories they heard of other kids facing more abusive bullies. This made it easier to think “well I actually have it pretty good,” which minimized the trauma that they did go through. Adult Alda says it’s super important to recognize that just because you were bullied less than other kids in your class or in your age, your experience is still just as valid and has the same impact on your life. Sadly, it’s common for many victims of all types of abuse who compare their abuse to other kinds they see and say “well I didn’t have it that bad.”

Catholic school blues

In primary school Alda attended Landakotsskóli, a Catholic school. They said this isolated them a bit as a teen because the school didn’t have the same funding to take kids on trips that public schools went on. Even the class size was smaller, just one group for each grade. This made it easier for bullying to be concentrated in one room instead of spread across a larger grade. ”I came into the class in 2nd grade so everyone else had already bonded for 1st grade. I was already this outsider,“ says Alda.

“From then on I was always collecting other new kids into my group as soon as they arrived.” Alda attended the school because they were gifted in reading and other skills beyond most kids their age, so in a way they were ostracized for that. Then there was the bullying for being anything remotely queer. “My friend remembers this so much better than me and she said there was a lot of homophobic bullying, which she was like more androgenous presenting so she got more of the attacks for that.” Sadly, Landakotsskóli has its own history of mistreatment with faculty members abusing students which has haunted the school, even when Alda was attending in the 90’s.

It gets better and therapy really helps

Following primary school, Alda moved on to Menntaskóli Hamrahlíð and really started to blossom. “I came out bisexual in my first year of Menntaskóli so it was all uphill from there,” says Alda.

They walk us through how these traumatic experiences can really stay buried with us for years. “I’ve got an incredible therapist and she uses a model that’s called Ego State, and the idea is that when you have a traumatic experience, let’s say even you’re five years old and you get lost in the mall away from your mom … That’s a traumatic experience. When that happens a part of the brain gets stuck in that moment as its own thing and then later on when you’re an adult and you’re at a festival and get separated from your friends and all of the sudden this five year old kid takes over your brian, and that’s why you panic.” Through the hard work of inner reflection and therapy, Alda has made incredible progress toward repairing these parts of their past.

“There was a lot of homophobic bullying, which she was like more androgenous presenting so she got more of the attacks for that.”

Hey little me, how ya doing?

For Alda, the best part about analyzing all this was creating a special relationship with their inner child, their past self. In their original Facebook post they elaborated about “when I first started talking to this part of me just over a year ago, it took such a long time for them to accept that we’re the same person. They could never have imagined someone so radically different, living out so many identities and looks and projects they hardly dared daydream about for fear of being bullied for it. It wasn’t until my therapist suggested my inner child might want to wear something else or look different, that it clicked for the inner child. The overwhelming and pure sense of freedom as we cut their hair, got cool, masculine or gender neutral clothing. After that they were ready to accept me as the present version of them” says Alda.

Creating their own language

After moving back to Iceland in 2014, Alda started brainstorming non-gendered language. Having learned and used pronouns in English and Swedish, Alda was surprised to see how little Icelandic had to work with and was intimidated to move back as someone who’s non-binary. “At the time it was typical to simply use “it” (það) for someone who didn’t fit into either “he” (hann) or “she” (hún)” says Alda. To improve this situation, they got together a simple group chat to discuss the 3rd gender pronoun in Icelandic. This conversation later snowballed into community organizing and Alda founded Non Binary Iceland (Kynsegin Ísland). An article they wrote later ignited the conversation on this and Iceland’s 3rd pronoun was born, “hán” (they/them).

Today, that work continues through many organizations and Alda’s projects with Samtökin ‘78. As an activist, they helped start a word competition called Hýryrði in 2015 to crowdsource queer words in Icelandic. These words have made their way into mainstream use, publications, and been used in the rule of law to better describe more people in the queer family. The competition is now running again to help generate better terminology for non-binary people in Icelandic.

To get to know Alda better you can find their work at:

Alda’s Activist Page
Trans Iceland
Non Binary Iceland
Namm Vegan Treats
Alda’s Photography
Witchcraft Podcast
Astrology and Witchy Things

Þorbjörg Þorvaldsdóttir, Chair of Samtökin ‘78.

Þorbjörg Þorvaldsdóttir

Chair of the board for Samtökin ‘78 Þorbjörg Þorvaldsdóttir believes awareness in schools and more proactive parenting can help combat bullying. “In general it comes down to kids not having the social skills yet developmentally and not having good role models. Their sense of compassion and empathy is developing, but they’re trying their best to fit in. The problem when it comes to aggressive behavior also has to do with what they’re seeing at home and what they’re learning from older kids. Parents have a huge role to play and need to be mindful of what they’re saying in front of their kids, especially when it comes to LGBTQ+ issues.”

Prevention vs. reaction

Through her work at Samtökin ‘78, Þorbjörg is trying to change the narrative and create more education. Education about queer issues, says Þorbjörg, is the best way to prevent these things from happening in the first place. “The survey we conducted in 2017 and published this fall shows proof of verbal harassment in schools specifically against LGBTQ+ kids. We know anecdotally that queer people are often bullied more than other students. Since the results of the survey, the first step we took was to make the results known. For many people it was shocking to see the numbers and for example how many students saw that teachers didn’t step in when this behavior was happening” says Þorbjörg.

“It’s not your fault. You are worthy, you’re a beautiful human being, and you deserve love and respect.”

When incidents of prejudice happen and are brought to their attention, it’s already too late to change the narrative because it’s reactive. Þorbjörg explains “Samtökin ‘78 provides counseling, support, and education when there is a problem within a school or an LGBTQ+ student is in need, but of course we want to educate the whole school first to avoid these events entirely.” For most of the other students and even the adults in the room, it’s not about keeping everything peaceful all the time. “It’s about awareness and it’s about compassion. You don’t have to like everyone to be nice to them and to respect them” she says.

Planning for the future

Þorbjörg says there’s only so much progress we can make against bullying and oppression if we’re not doing this work across all schools in Iceland. “The plan is to get queer education out to more kids and more staff. For example the municipality that probably does this the best is Hafnarfjorður, where all kids in 8th grade get queer education once from someone at Samtökin ‘78. All new staff members get training as well and other staff members get updates every three years. In other municipalities, it’s up to each school individually to ask for this education. This specific training is not required for most schools” says Þorbjörg.

She elaborates, “municipalities need to take queer issues seriously and be proactive about them. They need to make sure the school environment is one where the children can thrive. That is something that can be done with a conscious effort. If you don’t do anything, things are more likely to go awry. Show an effort, make a plan.”

Representation matters

One example of a school tackling this well is Hlíðarskóli, where representation, visibility, and symbolism all combine to support LGBTQ+ students. “What they’ve done there is really cool, they have a team of teachers and staff members that are together in an LGBTQ+ unit. It’s there within other teams for the school and every teacher that’s comfortable talking about queer issues has a tiny rainbow flag in their classroom. More schools and teachers should be forming these teams,” says Þorbjörg. With the flags any student, no matter their sexual orientation or gender expression, can see that their teacher or staff member is open, willing, and supportive about these topics and it breaks down a barrier that would otherwise keep the child from coming forward.

Chin up, Óliver

When asked what she would say to a kid like Óliver being bullied in and out of school, Þorbjörg responds with sage advice:
“It’s not your fault.”
“You are worthy, you’re a beautiful human being, and you deserve love and respect.”

For more information about Þorbjörg’s work at Samtökin ‘78 click here or here. To read the full study Samtökin ‘78 conducted with GLSEN, click here (or here for Icelandic). For more information for educators and opportunities for queer education in schools, reach out to Tótla Sæmundsdóttir, Director of Education for Samtökin ‘78, here.

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.

      Nasdaq

         

        Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a global technology company serving the capital markets and other industries. Our diverse offering of data, analytics, software and services enables clients to optimize and execute their business vision with confidence.

        With over 4,300 employees in 39 offices around the world, at Nasdaq we all contribute to the success of the company and its culture, and each one of us has the ability to make a difference. When it comes to our core mission and values, we embrace the role of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) as a fundamental driver of our corporate growth, workplace culture and market development. We strive to create a culture that embraces the power of different perspectives—a culture where people’s unique backgrounds and different experiences helps us fuel innovation and support our clients around the world.

        Our unique position at the center of the capital markets allows us to see firsthand how these values have redefined corporate culture and success, deepening and accelerating our own commitment to champion inclusive growth and prosperity, as we strive to create more equitable opportunities to help people of all backgrounds reach their full potential. Most notably, we published our diversity statistics for the first time in 2020. These metrics serve as a quantitative assessment of where we are today and help determine what strategies we need to adopt to enhance diversity in the workplace. We recognize that we have much work to do, but we are steadfast in our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture—one that reflects the communities in which we live, allows all employees to be their true, authentic selves and fosters individual growth and achievement.

        As we move forward together, we will continue advancing diverse ideas and perspectives that help fulfill the promise of a more inclusive and prosperous world. We aim to set the pace for rethinking capital markets and economies anywhere and everywhere. To learn more about the company, technology solutions and career opportunities, visit us on LinkedIn, on Twitter @Nasdaq, or at www.nasdaq.com.

        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.

        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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            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. “

            VSÓ Ráðgjöf

               

              VSÓ Ráðgjöf er alhliða ráðgjafar- og verkfræðifyrirtæki sem leggur áherslu á trausta og faglega þjónustu sem tryggir viðskiptavinum hagkvæmustu lausnir hverju sinni, skilar raunverulegum árangri og stuðlar að samkeppnisforskoti.  Á skrifstofum VSÓ í Reykjavík og í Noregi starfar yfir 80 manna samhentur hópur verkfræðinga og annarra tæknimenntaðra starfsmanna.

              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.

              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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              Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.