Greinasafni: Icelandic Times
Álafoss Wool
Around a beautiful waterfall has formed a community epitomising Icelanders penchant for creativity and innovation, art and design.
The water in the river was formerly warm, giving it the name ‘Varmá’ (Warm River) and in 1896 an enterprising farmer, seeing its value, imported knitting machinery and thus began almost 100 years of production of woollen goods on the site. Today, it is a thriving centre for artists in many fields It’s less than 20 mins. from Reykjavik and only 25 mins. to Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park. The Laxnes Horse Farm and Halldór Laxnes house are only 10 mins. away. Hótel Laxnes and the Fitjar Guest House are a mere 5 mins.

The Álafoss Wool and Sewing Shop

The Álafoss factory has been turned into a shop with a warm atmosphere and wide range of interesting articles from past and present. They sell everything associated with wool, from the yarn to the beautiful, multi-coloured finished articles, from patterns to buttons and zippers. Articles knitted by hand by individuals all across the country hang side-by-side with machine-made woollen clothing - all at really good prices. Whilst the women do their shopping, the men find all the historical and technical exhibits from past generations fascinating. However, if they want to keep their women happy, there are ranges of beautiful artistic jewellery, glassware, pottery and silverware to choose from.

Ásgarður Handwork Shop

Right across the road from the shop is an unusual workshop: the Ásgarður Handwork Shop. Since 1993, disabled artisans have produced a large range of handmade wooden toys and lifestyle items. They emphasise the development of simple, strong and beautiful toys, taking Icelandic wood and creating unique works that you can take home, based on Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy.

The Swimming Pool Recording Studio
Another example of Icelanders’ creativity is the old swimming pool, originally built in 1931 but replaced by another and fallen into disuse. The building has been transformed into the state-of-the-art Sundlaugin (The Swimming Pool) Recording Studio, by the Sigur Rós band, and has been used by a steady stream of musicians since its inception.

Kaffihúsið á Álafossi

The Kaffihús á Álafossi is, in some ways, like an English pub. Unlike a pub, the coffee house and restaurant is also an art gallery. In addition to their private collection, works by a different artist each month are displayed and are available for purchase from the Kaffihús. It is very child-friendly and a location where dogs are welcome.  It’s a great place to sit on a summer’s day - which, of course, lasts till late in the evening - and enjoy a wide range of snacks, cakes, meals and drinks, including beer and stronger drinks which can be taken onto the veranda or the balcony that overlooks the waterfall and river, with the tranquil hills beyond. (Meat dishes consist of fish, lamb or chicken.) The Kaffihús can accomodate groups of up to 50. It is a hive of activity and a place to meet people from the locality, staying open until 10 pm and to 11 pm on Thursdays-Saturdays.
Every month, there is a ‘Living Room Concert’ and on 5th May, the Icelandic Eurovision singer, Eyjólfur Kristjánsson, will be performing. You can find their news on Facebook!

Álafoss Wool Store
Álafossvegur 23 • 270 Mosfellsbær
+354 566 6303
addi@alafoss.is
www.alafoss.is

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