Seeking: Cardiff family for Iceland house-swap

February 15, 2012 1 Comment »
The Andreassen family - from left, Annette, Sofie, 10, Karia, eight, Óli and Viktor, 12. Hungrun, 23, is studying in Cardiff.

The Andreassen family – from left, Annette, Sofie, 10, Karia, eight, Óli and Viktor, 12. Hungrun, 23, is studying in Cardiff.

With volcanoes galore, a subpolar climate and the Northern Lights, otherworldly Iceland is a far cry from wet and windy Cardiff.

But for a family of five on a budget a dream holiday to the land that spawned pop pixie Bjork could be on the cards – with one condition.

They have to swap homes with the Andreassen family, whose flat is in Reykjavik.

Dad Oli is desperate to come to the UK to see daughter Hugrun graduate from the capital’s Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Iceland-born Oli – who actually lives on the Danish island of Bornholm – said: “We have decided to change our apartment, which is in Iceland, with an apartment or house in Wales and see a bit of Wales.

“I think it’s a fantastic place, though I have never been before. I have just been to the London area and to the north of London.”

And Oli said he is hoping to catch the Bluebirds while he is here at the start of July – even though his trip will come after the end of the Championship season.

“I want to see the football in Cardiff,” the 60-year-old said.

“The Cardiff team has a player called Aron Gunnarsson – he is from Iceland.

“I’m not actually a fan though. A friend of mine gave me this information.”

Gunnarsson starred for City in their 3-1 home win against Peterborough last night.

Documentary maker Oli said he had not seen his 23-year-old daughter since last year, when she visited him.

He said: “She has done very well. She is very happy there and she is doing very well at the school. She is the only Icelander at this drama school.”

Oli added: “The school should be very nice and modern.

“I’m feeling very happy she has found herself in this drama school and this is what she wants to do.

“I’m very proud to come and see her. We are all coming, the five of us.

“But if we could not all come I would take a flight and come alone anyway.”

Oli’s apartment is a sixth-floor, two-bedroom luxury pad with all mod cons.

It has a view of the sea and is yards from “one of the best fish markets in Iceland”.

Volcanically heated pools are dotted around the city, and there is an 18-hole golf course a mile away.

Oli’s wife Annette, 45, said: “I expect two weeks will not be too much when there is a lot to see.”

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  • When humans arrived on Iceland the only native mammal was the Arctic fox. But polar bears sometimes visit after arriving on icebergs from Greenland.
  • Bjork is just the best known artist in a music scene that features names like Sigur Rós Quarashi, Hera, Ampop, Mínus and Múm.
  •  The country has the strongest press freedom laws in the world since a 2010 resolution to protect journalists and whistleblowers was passed.
  • Traditional cuisine is not for the faint hearted, with Hákarl – a “rotten” shark dish often dubbed the worst food ever – cured ram, black pudding and singed sheep heads all turning up on menus.
  • Iceland is the only Nato country with no standing army.

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One Comment

  1. @hintofsarcasm February 15, 2012 at 10:25 am - Reply

    I've been to Iceland and would highly recommend it, absolutely one of the most beautiful places on earth.

    I would do this, but my house wouldn't accommodate a family of five unfortunately.

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