*UPDATED – Postcards from Iceland was a 52 week project (pared down to 16) exploring the magic of Iceland through a series of Personalized Digital Postcards highlighting the stunning Icelandic landscape, the colorful cityscapes of Reykjavik, including the prolific urban art scene, and the mystery of Viking magic!
Let Me Take You Back …
Do you remember getting postcards when you were a kid? Remember that feeling of wonder? I miss that. Postcards were like little portholes into mysterious foreign lands. Sure, some people still send them out, but it’s not like it used to be. Those were sometimes our only glimpses into those once mysterious places.
If you’ve never received a physical postcard, that’s ok, you can catch up with these modern digital postcards. I hope to evoke the same feelings that I fondly remember.
If you love stunning landscapes, vibrant urban vistas and visceral street art, then this blog will be just your thing! Also find Viking magic kind of sexy? Got you covered there too!
Welcome to Postcards from Iceland!
Modern folk are not easily impressed, and I get that I have to go above and beyond to get your attention, so let me do just that.
This is the first weekly post of a planned 52 week series (now 16 weeks) exploring the magic of Iceland through a series of Personalized Digital Postcards highlighting the stunning Icelandic landscape, the colorful cityscapes of Reykjavik, including the prolific urban art scene, and the mystery of Viking magic!
With each post I intend to evoke strong emotions:
Wonder: Firstly, each postcard will include the stunning main photo, taken by me personally in Iceland, June, 2017.
(Each picture will is available as FREE hi-rez download (1920×1080) which you can use as a wallpaper on your computer or mobile device. Feel free to share and enjoy these original pictures for non commercial use.)
Hope: Secondly, I’ll include a heartfelt note, written as if I I were speaking to a dear friend. I’ll share my thoughts and feelings as I explored Iceland and was caught up in its splendor.
Joy: Thirdly, I’ll share an intricate Icelandic Magical Stave- you’ve probably seen these drawn as wards in books, or as jewelry or tattoos. I’ll share one of these delightful symbols per week.
Empowerment: Lastly, I’ll teach you one verse from the Old Icelandic Rune Poem. You may know that Vikings used runes to write. Their system included 16 runic symbols (the Younger Futhork) that had a corresponding phonetic value and some esoteric meaning – many believe magical. Runes were used for writing, but also to cast protective wards, curses, and to craft enchanted items. They were also used for DIVINATION! (fortune telling, essentially.)
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I photographed most of the postcard pictures on my 2017 Summer Solstice trip. My wife and I enjoyed a week exploring the country, driving south across the bottom of the island all the way to the Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon. Of course we experienced the mandatory Golden Circle, as well as the myriad beauties of Reykjavik.
I’ve been blessed to see and do what I’ve done, and I hope this small token from my journeys provides you some joy.
#1 – Temporary Street Art
A temporary mural on plywood construction boards may seem a surprising choice for my first look at Iceland, but it’s a fitting start based on how my preconceived views of Iceland changed after I landed. Sure, there’ll be pictures of glaciers and stunning vistas, but it was the mesmerizing and ubiquitous street art that won me over – even before I even had the chance to be seduced by the land herself – though that would come.
Dear friend, Art is everywhere in Iceland, especially in the capital, Reykjavik. For a country with such bleak weather, the islanders seem to make up for it with their prolific art. The works I loved most were the fleeting street murals – those painted on temporary surfaces like plywood walls at construction sites. Like flower blossoms, these temporary treasures bloom from Reykjavik’s streets … then fade. The magic is in their intensity and fleeting nature.
“Their urban art is like a defiant cry against the short summer. I imagine them declaring, “No! We will not go quietly into that good night!” Instead, they rage against the dying of the light; with little acts of defiance against the concrete jungle, or arctic winter, they nurture the artist’s spark through the long dark nights.” – Hugh B. Long
Postcards from Iceland is a series of 52 blogposts – delivered one per week – exploring the magic of Iceland through a series of Personalized Digital Postcards highlighting the stunning Icelandic landscape, the colorful cityscapes of Reykjavik; including the prolific urban art scene, and the mystery of Viking magic!
The postcard pictures are from my trip there for the Summer Solstice in 2017. We enjoyed a week exploring the country, driving south across the bottom of the island all the way to Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon. Of course we experienced the Golden Circle and the beauty of Reykjavik. Each of these posts includes a free wallpaper picture that can be used on your computer or mobile device. Feel free to share and enjoy these original pictures for non commercial use.
* This series of blog posts is dedicated to my amazing wife, with whom I’ve shared so many great adventures.
Icelandic Rune Poems & Magic
With the first sixteen Postcards From Iceland blog posts, I’ll also include one verse from The Icelandic Rune Poem, which has been called the most systemized of the rune poems. Rune poems are thought to encapsulate esoteric knowledge of the symbol. Such interpretations are used in modern divination and meditation. Learn More?
#IcelandicMagic #Runes #Vikings #Iceland #Reykjavik #PostcardsFromIceland #HughBLong #Amwriting #IndieAuthor
(pictured above is a rune wand that I carved about 10 years ago)
Fé er frænda róg
ok flæðar viti
ok grafseiðs gata
Wealth = source of discord among kinsmen
and fire of the sea
and path of the serpent.
Icelandic Magical Staves
Helm of awe (or helm of terror); to induce fear, protect the warrior, and prevail in battle.
Behind the Scenes
I hope you are enjoying the photo. Many of the photos you’ll see in the coming weeks were shot with a Canon SX540HS but the Temporary Street Art photo was taken with my iPhone 6s Plus then processed through Adobe Lightroom 5. Essentially I desaturated everything in the image except the mural, which I oversaturated. I wanted the image to pop – just like it it did when I saw it on that rainy arctic day.
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