Iceland in Helsinki

It’s been nearly two years, but I’m still excited whenever I look back on that one night in September 2015, when Iceland came to Helsinki.

The Finnish importers of Skyr – the Icelandic dairy product/superfood – took an island off the coast of Helsinki and made it a pop-up celebration of all things Icelandic. And it was amazing.

The island of Lonna, just a 7 minute ferry ride away from central Helsinki, was the beautiful home of this fantastically fun event, where guests were welcomed with skyr smoothies, Icelandic fish soup, and some interesting entertainment…

I was extremely lucky to attend a delicious dinner prepared by Icelandic top chef Siggi Hall, where I got to rub elbows with the ambassador of Iceland and Game of Thrones actor Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, while Sísý Ey – one of my favorite bands – performed a lovely acoustic set. Naturally, the ice for the cocktails was cut from a 1500-year-old piece of Icelandic glacier, specifically flown in for the event.

After dinner the whole island had become a big festival, with Sísý Ey performing another, this time larger, show. Icelandic band Retro Stefson closed the night with an incredibly energetic show. Tired and happy, I retired to the rocks by the ocean for some champagne under a full moon. The moment was so beautiful that I actually missed the last ferry back to the mainland!

I was already mentally prepared to sleep under the stars for the night, but luckily an employee agreed to take me back on their boat. Not that this was necessarily an island I wanted to leave as soon as possible…

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