Your Friend in Reykjavik is more than just its guides; it’s a tapestry of dedicated professionals working diligently behind the scenes. Hailing from Akureyri – the capital of North Iceland, Birna Lind Björnsdóttir serves as the Service & Operations Manager. She is instrumental in ensuring Your Friend in Reykjavik provides unmatched experiences for all its visitors.
Birna translates to “female bear”, while its male counterpart is Björn. She has carved a niche among industry stalwarts with a legacy spanning over a quarter of a century in Iceland’s travel sector. She has held pivotal roles at some of Iceland’s leading travel enterprises, airlines, and tour entities. Often described as an unstoppable force, Birna consistently surpasses lofty goals. Her fervor for Iceland is palpable, and she takes immense pride in being the doting grandmother to two incredible young lads.
Birna is Your Friend in Reykjavik.
Let’s Ask Your Friend in Reykjavik a Few Questions!
If you could choose only one thing from Iceland, what would it be? The water.
Icelandic drinking water is considered one of the best in the world due to its chemical-free nature. It does not require any cleaning agents to make it drinkable. The water in the capital area is sourced from the Gvendarbrunnar boreholes in Heiðmörk. There is no need to buy bottled water in Iceland; it is excellent straight out of the tap.
The chemical content of the water, and therefore its pH value, depends on the strata through which it flows. The bedrock of Iceland is primarily made up of basalt, which comprises both lava and tuff. The bedrock in Heiðmörk is young basaltic lava. Rainwater that falls in the Blue Mountains and on the lava areas seeps into the lava, acting as a natural water filter. The flow of water through basalt lava affects its acidity. The longer the water flows through the lava, the higher the acidity, making the water more alkaline. The acidity of the water from Heidmörk usually ranges between 8.8 and 9. According to the regulation on drinking water (regulation 536/2001), the acidity of drinking water should be between pH 6.5 and 9.5.
Would you change anything about Iceland if you could? I would add a bridge to other countries.
What is your favorite place in Iceland? Akureyri.
Akureyri, also known as the capital of North Iceland, has a population of approximately 20,000 people as of 2023, making it one of the most populous towns outside Reykjavik and the capital region. The town was granted municipal rights in the same year as Reykjavik, in 1786. The area was initially settled by Helgi magri (the slim) Eyvindarson, a Norse Viking, in the 9th century. The first mention of Akureyri dates back to court records from 1562 when a woman was sentenced for adultery.
If you plan to visit Akureyri, we highly recommend visiting the Christmas House, Forest Lagoon, and the botanical gardens, among other things. Remember to try one of their special hot dogs, which are unique in that they include a variety of ingredients in the bun that you may not find in Reykjavik.
What is your favorite traditional food? Icelandic sausage (bjúga) and white sauce.
But what is your favourite national drink? The orange soda Appelsín.
Appelsín has been manufactured since 1955 and is a favourite of many. It is an essential ingredient in the Icelandic holiday drink “malt og appelsín” and “jólaöl”.
What is the best thing about Reykjavik? How small it is.
But what is best about Iceland? The freedom and how safe it is.
What is your favorite Icelandic music? Björgvin Halldórsson
Björgvin Halldórsson has been a famous singer in Iceland since the late 1960s and is still going strong. He has an extensive music portfolio and it’s really hard to choose just one song for you to hear, so we recommend you check him out on Spotify, YouTube, iTunes or wherever you get your music from!
What is your favourite clothing brand? Everything that is unique and Icelandic production.
What is your favourite restaurant? Too many to count.
What Icelandic food is most often eaten at home? Lamb.
Lamb is one of the most popular meats in Iceland. If you want to try out Icelandic lamb recipes, we recommend you check out one or all of the four recipes we have on our blog: Leg of lamb, breaded lamb chops, lamb fillet and Icelandic lamb soup.
What is your favourite candy? Anything sour.