From Reykjavík to the east and west

During an official visit in 1967, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs and future Chancellor of West Germany, Willi Brandt, gave the people of Reykjavík a statue of the Berlin Bear by the artist Renée Sintenis. The distance to Berlin from Reykjavík is written on the statue’s pillar. It now stands in Hellusund, opposite the German Embassy. Reykjavík is well located, in the middle of two continents. The capital closest to us is Þórshöfn in the Faroe Islands, 802 km / 498 mi away. The furthest capital is Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, 17,248 km / 10,717 mi. Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is only 1,215 km / 754 mi away, Oslo 1,805 km / 1,121 mi, and 1,880 km / 1,168 mi London away. There are 2,177 km / 1,352 mi to Stockholm and only a little further to St.John’s in Newfoundland or 2,618 km / 1,626 mi. To Moscow from Reykjavík are 3,320 km / 2,062 mi. Beijing is 7,905 km / 4,911 mi away, and Tokyo is 8,802 km / 5,469 mi, more than twice the distance to New York, which is only 4,190 km / 2,603 ​​mi from Reykjavík.

For the first decades, the Berlin Bear, the symbol of the German capital, wandered around Reykjavík. First, it had a home in Hljómskálagarður, then it was moved to Sóleyjargata. When the office of the President of Iceland moved to Sóleyjargata in 1996, the bear was moved to Hellusund. It has been there ever since.Reykjavík 07/10/2021 07:58 – A7R IV: FE 1.4 / 85 GM

Photo and text: Páll Stefánsson