Behind the Scenes – Issue 02

Heading North this March. To visit every restaurant, interview each of our subjects in person, take every photo ourselves and inspect overlooked corners to give you a holistic and different perspective of Reykjavik in our latest issue. Here’s a look at our process of creating Salt & Wonder.

@saltandwonder   @ingridhofstra   @chriscoe
#RisingTides #saltandwonder

Issue 02 - #RisingTides in Reykjavík – After our inaugural issue documenting Lisbon’s re-entry to the international stage of cuisine, we found our next destination in the arctic isle of Iceland. Classically defined by its magnificent nature and cycling seasons of eternal darkness and endless sunshine, today the country is experiencing a shift in culture with capital city Reykjavík at the center. Triggered by external factors like economic hardship and a surge of tourism, new endeavors, new outlooks, and new flavors of Icelandic life have begun to sprout. 

Day 01

Touch Down – cause we intend to tell Iceland's story right. Two Americans, two Austrians and a Dutch enter Reykjavik – to get their take on Icelandic cuisine and culture together. After two casual days out in the city we've left with the feeling that the winds are unpredictable (RIP drone), roofs are low, prices are high, people get their game on here and there's a lot to be held behind these mountains. And we re about to hit the road to the Wild West...


Day 02

Further out into the country – It’s a strange season over here. Winter’s melting away. Giving sight to a dead land thats shining in contrast. (it clicked though. almost 3000 times. #lifeofvisualstorytelling) As we could not visit the Westfjords this time of year we’ve headed next to the sculptured coastline of Hellnar between snow-covered mountains and the deep turquoise sea  - we’ve found our shelter where hot whiskey reigned, nights were spent in the hot tub and survival food was on the menue all day while we got high on no sleep and content production.


Day 03

Searching for the unique – Always hungry for discovery. Living up to our values got a new meaning to us these two days. We’ve put the final touches not only on our content but also on our team spirit. Because there’s no stronger way to bond than over road trips through rough weather, singing along to each other’s favourite tunes and being trapped together in a cabin with just plain pasta, oats and skyr, a hot tub and a bottle of whiskey and gin.


Day 04

Just A Casual Monday in Iceland – Kicking off the week as adventurous as we've ended the old. The roads have been closed already for 10 hours and our car was trapped in snow, wasn't so bad if one of our team mates needed to catch his flight to NYC and we had some production appointments at farms. Roads got openend, and an 8 hour drive was upfront and we were rolling from west inlands again. Luckily we’ve got fed with Skyr and ice cream fresh from the farm and after dropping Chris at the airport we made our way further to this place quite popular - Blue Lagoon (sidenote: # 969.000 times). The landscape opening up there is amazing - all black rocky lava fields in in the sunset and we could not crave a hot pool more. Even feeling 100% touristy in swimsuits with face masks in a sulfor lagoon is fun with this team. Tired but happy we ended our day with a check-in at our beautiful bohemian base for the next 7 days in Reykjavík (make sure to check out Charlotte's apartment for a perfect stay) . Pretty casual start to the week, ha?


Day 05

Striked By Traditions – Heading out even before 7 am from Reykjavík again, snuggling on some cinnamon rolls, not so sure yet why we are up this early again. By 9.30 though we’ve been pretty convinced we are all so passionate about journalism - in the middle of a beautiful story, hopping around with cameras and recording one of the best interviews - by 11 we've been left with so much more and discovered a new side of Iceland - learning about smoking traditions first hand inkl. hiking up to an ancient smoking hut of the family. (you can still feel our excitement, right?) Overwhelmed, but that’s not it for today. Heading back to Reykjavík to witness how these old traditions are used nowadays. We were so excited to meet Reykjavik's michelin star chef in his restaurant and after a great interview we got suprised with a private meal - which was for sure the best flavours we've tasted in our life so far.  High on flavours, we’ve been taught again that each day here in Iceland is holding something special and being students of food and culture is more than we could ever pay for.


Day 06

Spirits Are Up High – Skál! Today on the menu: Drinks from dust till dawn. 11 am, no food but a bottle of gin and a car. That’s how a proper trip to Iceland’s nature with Óscar from Gin Himbrimi starts. Bold insights about Iceland’s traditions and happenings while visiting his favourite river and coast lines. Back in Reykjavík happy hour continued – we've spent the afternoon with interviews and food tasting at Hlemmur. Slow food, salt making, some spiced up bar food and great beers let us cherish what we've witnessed so far on our trip. Lots of new content in our backpacks kept us longing for a smooth ending of the day to clear our heads @Vinyl cafe with some live blues and sitting next to each other in silence while our heads were still processing all the content. Images and words are definately our invisible backpack which is feeling pretty heavy already. Time to unpack... 


Day 7-10

All interviews recorded, all photos taken. Our intention was to take the last days in Reykjavik together (as normally our office is Skype) to let all that inspiration and excitement we’ve soaked up travelling and producing flow directly into the magazine. And we've started this by kicking off with our beautiful Kickstarter project (which already got funded on day 10). The boarding of an emotional rollercoaster with all the first backers we've seen coming in and supporting what we were doing over here!

More or less locked up behind our notebooks - and taking all decisions together as a team we had to  see that 24 hours sometimes just seem too short though and a new kind of hangover arised - work-hangover… but over some simple beers together we've always found a fresh perspective and the best of laughs. Days held some times for breaks of cinnamon rolls, refill coffee, happy hour beers, spa times and food try out at night though and we set out to enjoy Reykjavik till the end. Work hard. Play hard. These days hold a lot of memories for us.

Heading Back to the West. To The East. Early flights back from Keflavik, we're watching people eating hotdogs at 6am before we're off to the sky for a last pretty sunrise view. What lingers from this city on the rise? Definitely the cool atmosphere and unique style of places, the laid back carpe-diem attitude, the beautiful views out to the sea, the buzzing pub scene, the honest and creative people and the village-like-feeling these colourful streets give. You wake up and just live trough the day - not pushed following any rules or hectics. Thought they'd only say this about the south? But most of the time clichees stay clichees until you start looking around the corner.

Anna Sarcletti