everyday's blog

This will be our last blog for now.... We've finished meeting all our 10 people we have interviewed in the Nordic countries for everyday stories. We received funding from the Nordic Culture Fund that allowed us to travel to Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and finally Iceland, and we've met amazing people. Not only the 10 we have filmed, but many more.

Now the editing begins for real and we will be sharing with you these stories in the coming weeks and months. Before going to our computers for working, we had a day of Icelandic nature with our friend Katla, where we had plenty of water ...

We went with the other tourists to Geysir, to look at the ground water explode into air

 Here it is all calm and quiet...and then

It exploded right over Louise and Katla

Leaving them soaking wet in warm water

This did not stop us from seeing more things, such as Gullfoss:

Finally we dipped completely into a natural hot spring in the middle of nowhere called Hruni

Thanks for following us so on this journey, and stay tuned for the stories coming online on our Nordic everyday heroes!

Yesterday we went to Hveragerði to meet Gunna and Einar at their lovely home.

The couple greeted us warmly and shared their story. Gunna a visual artist and Einar a computer programmer launched www.natturan.is, a comprehensive website covering matters of sustainability relevant to Iceland. It started as an idea for sharing information on herbs and grasses that grow in Iceland but it quickly grew to cover all types of issues ranging from households, growing food, waste disposal, mapping organic food and green companies production in Iceland,  and general information on Icelandic environmental policies.

Whenever they are looking for a sustainable solution and can't find it in an "easy" or user friendly way, they go ahead, research and make an app or section on their site providing the information. So it begins with them and their search for ways to choose the more sustainable path. For instance they are now making a phone application that explains the meaning of the different E-numbers listed on our food packages mean, because they themselves were curious and wanted to know more.

Gunna and Einar grow much of their own vegetables, collect herbs, have chicken and are living in an area where the hot water flows up from the ground.  We got the chance to eat some of their food... like the home grown herb and kale smoothie and home made icecream (made with eggs from their chicken)

We left Gunna and Einar's place after many hours of talking and learning. We did not leave empty handed, as on top of filling our stomach with yummy food, our head with information and our hearts with inspiration, we also got t-shirts, green maps and green cards. Thank you so much Gunna and Einar!!!!

Keep your eye out for their story that will come online in a couple of months here...

We arrived last night at Keflavik airport. The sun was still up at 21.30 in the evening and it was refreshing getting the cool wind in the face after the traveling.
Our friend Katla surprised us by picking us up and taking us to our friends' Vala and Haddi who are hosting us this week. Yup a great start that gets only better!
This morning we woke up looked out our window at the main street in Reykjavik and then excitedly headed off to do our first interview...

We went to visit Sóley Elíasdóttir at  Sóley Organics in hafnarfjörður.
It was super great. Sóley makes skin care products made from hand-picked, wild, Icelandic herbs.

Sóley's story is fantastic. We can't wait to view the footage, work on it, and share it here.
She started in her kitchen using her family's long traditional knowledge of using herbs for healing. There she cooked up the recipes for her current skin care line. And she still goes to pick the wild herbs outside in the Icelandic nature.

Local and natural ingredients that grow in abundance, produced locally with respect for nature, unique quality products that smell super good. Great idea Sóley! And thank you thank you thank you for generously giving us so many to try!!!

 

We took the bus back to Reykjavik, excited to start trying our new goodies and tonight we'll have a good time with some friends. It's good to be home

We visited the HUB Copenhagen on our last day here. It's a collaborative coworking space where Anders, Simon and Eimantas are members.

The HUB Copenhagen is a part of this amazing global network. It is a collaborative co-working and connecting space for social entrepreneurs and people who want to be a part of creating solutions...

So we spent some time, talking to people and filming around

At the HUB Copenhagen, we met Solla, an Icelandic lady working at the HUB, and she welcomed us with warmth and showed us around the space

And when she heard our story of finding 2 bikes and then one breaking down on us right away yesterday, she immediately offered to borrow her bike to us for the day. She just handed us the keys and said "take it, it is better for it to be used during the day rahter than staying parked while I work." So generous and friendly and lovely!!!

We spent the rest of our day biking around, feeling very much like locals... although we could not resist doing also the tourist thing and visiting Den lille havfrue and posing with her

We will miss the city, the people we met and "our" bikes!!!!

... next stop Reykjavik!!!

3rd day on "tour" interviewing everyday heroes, today we met Simon and Eimantas. Two entrepreneurs determined to assist European (or even outside of Europe) cities to get the Copenhagen bike experience.

They have a start up called Bikway. They came up with an easy solution of really innovative bicycle path that can be put on top of existing infrastructure - and also taken off. In this way, cities are improved and made more livable and bike friendly in a flexible way. As there is often resistance to change and solutions for cities need to be tested, this "movable" bikepath makes it easier for decision makers to test and participate in getting the city closer to the bike paradise (that Copenhagen is). And of course they use sustainable materials.

We went with Simon and Eimantas to the park and got to listen to their stories and enjoyed filming them as they played around. We really have the best job!

Playing with a prototype... it's easy and fun to put together!

Louise got a ride in Simon's bike...

On the way from the park, we found a bundle of bikes that were about to be thrown away. And we have been looking to rent bikes here! So Eimantas helped us select 2 bikes from the bundle, and took us to a place with a pump and even pumped the bikes for us and adjusted the seat like a true gentleman. Yup, this was just a perfect way to end our lovely day of interviews...

Our new leftover bikes were wonderful..

Except Olof's bike was maybe a bit on the older side and the flat back tire was too far gone to save.

But Louise's bike is in fine shape

Today we went to interview Anders. A mechanical engineer whose passion it is to change the way products are being made, from short term low quality to sustainable materials that meet the needs of the purpose of the objects. He started his company Green Machine with the goal of helping companies find sustainable materials to replace the current ones. So today, we learned more about materials and interestingly that there are many options available that make the ecological impact of what we own so much lower.

Anders showed us some plant based samples with various functionalities, and Louise filmed...

  

We visited him at his lovely apartment that overlooks the Copenhagen lakes and the spring day was just perfect.

We also vistited a recycling station really close to his house, where a very friendly gentleman explained to us all the different ways of sorting. And there was a "bring usable things corner" where people can bring thing and take for free... And this is in the middle of Norrebro. It is great having such an easy access to drop of your recyclable wastes. And there were about 10 different categories!

On our way back from the interview, Louise still impressed with all the bikes, saw a wedding where the bride and groom took off on a bike and she managed to capture the moment

And Olof found some more ærter to eat from a fruit and veggie stand and that made her happy

Finally, we had a quiet evening with some Danish cheese and crackers on the  balcony of the apartment we are staying at.... Until tomorrow.

Sweet dreams

We arrived today in Copenhagen and the sun was shining.

Louise had a laughing attack: she had never seen so many bikes before at the same time! We can't wait to rent bikes to move around the flat bike friendly city!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Olof got all excited about eating fresh ærter from the fruit and veggie market (she lived in Copenhagen 20! years ago and this was her favourite food back then... and still is)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we met our lovely logo maker Gústi. He was in primary school with Ólöf in Iceland... and was awesome enough to share his talents with the project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great reunion and Louise got to practice some Icelandic...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember the logo? Isn't it great? Thanks again Gústi!!!!

 

And... Saturday we start interviewing Anders... curious? check his website http://www.greenmachine.dk/

We had an extra day in Helsinki being tourists... so what does the city have to offer?

...The random walk in a foreign city began



We got a bit lost but accidentally bumped into a famous church,


Surprise find - walking with no map is an adventure.

It snowed and we were freezing, especially the South French Louise...

so we had to go into the second hand shops


That made us warmer and the second hand shops here are pretty awesome


All things come to an end, so we say good bye Helsinki and see you again soon, hopfully during a summer time

What a weekend! Another sunny inspiring day today. Helsinki is great!
Starting with food, we met Inari Virkkala for a super brunch...

 

After food, we tagged along on a journey with Inari; meeting  colleagues, flatmates and hearing her stories.

Inari kept describing herself as ordinary person, but there's nothing ordinary about her. She's not over selling her projects, but matter of factly telling us about building a house for a youth center in Cambodia, putting collective urban gardening plots on the roof of the Nokia building, biking to Germany, working on migration and building bridges between Finnish people and Roma people, and on top of all that finishing her studies as an architect and having a job... And she's also super friendly and we had a really easy going  fun day.

After meeting with Inari, we went to walk on the frozen sea, sat down at Regatta cafe and had coffee and cinamon rolls.

It is always so great to discover new people and places that make you happy happy happy!

 

 

We've  had a great sunny day so far. We spent the day with Petri Luukkainen.
As Petri is a documentary maker himself, we got some extra eyes for the filming and some tips and help.

Louise and Petri checking out the angle

 

Ólöf documenting the others actually working

Petri told us about his film "My Stuff"  that came out just over a month ago and he told us about his journey, where he put EVERYTHING he owns in storage to test what stuff he needs and how much of it. He was looking for more meaning in his life, and was bothered by the overflow of stuff in his apartment.  Petri didn't wait for the solutions or answers to come to him, he went all the way and did something about it. We think Petri is pretty cool.

After spending a few hours picking Petri's brain, hearing his story and feeding our bodies with inspiration, we went for food. A delicious falafel made with organic chick peas, probably not a local Finnish dish, but still very yummy.

Now for a glass of wine...