I ran into Björk in Iceland

My first trip to Iceland. My first time at an Icelandic thermal pool in Reykjavik.

Guess who shows up?


Björk is probably the most famous Icelandic person.

Last Sunday, at around 7:30pm, the Icelandic celebrity singer showed up at the same public outdoor geothermal pool we were. Björk came accompanied by friend and holding a plastic water bottle.

She sat a mere 20 feet away from where my wife and I were warming up our butts.

And then, out of the blue…

<start of chorrada>

… she looked at me and she said to me in perfect unintelligible Icelandic: “Miguel, ég keypti kynningu myndskeiðið þitt og þú lítur út eins og Robert Downey Junior. Viltu hafa nokkrar hefðbundnar íslenskir sviðsmatar með mér í kvöld? “

I said: “Sorry Björk, I rather eat Maria cookies tonight. But thank you and I’m a big fan!”

</end of chorrada>

As a teenager growing up in Spain, I remember Björk looking like this…

But that was almost two decades ago.

At the pool last Sunday, she looked more like this…

What happened when the most famous Icelandic female singer of the last 4 decades showed up?

Nothing. Nada. No one panicked, no one asked for an autograph.

Maybe is because she is not as popular as she used to be?

Björk Popularity since 2004

Definitely not compared to the current stars in the music scene.


The blue line is Björk.

Or maybe because that’s how Icelandic people roll?

According to Iceland’s wikipedia page:

“Egalitarianism is highly valued among the people of Iceland, with income inequality being among the lowest in the world. The constitution explicitly prohibits the enactment of noble privileges, titles, and ranks. Everyone is addressed by their first name. As in other Nordic countries, equality between the sexes is very high; Iceland is consistently ranked among the top three countries in the world for women to live in.”

At any rate, running into Björk was a pleasant surprise.

The most famous person in Iceland mingling with regular citizens on a $10 per person public pool, how cool is that?

Have you ever run into a famous person at a totally unexpected place?

Let me know!

Peace, Love, and Icelandic-cookies.


P.S: What are the chances of meeting Björk in Iceland? actually pretty high due to the small population of Iceland. There 332,529 Icelanders, about 50 of them were at the thermal pool so there was a 1 in 6,650 chance of Björk being in that group.

P.2: My impression of Iceland so far in one sentence: A bit of ice, a lot of (empty) beautiful volcanic barren land. Friendly people with a weird sense of humor. Ridiculously long and unpronounceable names of towns and things. Very expensive. Great fish soup.

P.3: Björk may have been comfortable showing up at the pool because no cameras or smartphones were allowed inside.

P.4: Shout out to Grumo Course Creation Challenger, Pablo Franzo. I happened to run into him (and with him) at the Reykjavik Marathon last Saturday. The chances of running into him are actually a lot lower than running into Björk. Given that only 22 Spaniards ran the 10K, the chances of running into Pablo were 1 in 2 million. Ole!


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4 thoughts on “I ran into Björk in Iceland

  1. Alan Reply

    Thanks for posting this! I thought the same thing about the population comparison to USA, so I googled “what is the chance of seeing Björk in Iceland?” She is my absolute favorite artist of all time. I’ll never not be in love with her. Here’s my current favorite picture of her: http://share.sqr.fr/xl8ELbm … cheers!

    • Miguel Hernandez Post authorReply

      Yeah! she is so awesome. Thanks for your comment Alan 🙂

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