Tuesday, July 29, 2014
|The arctic express|
|An old photo at ISF airport|
|RAX / Ljósmyndasafn|
Other than that, I mostly just hang out, enjoying the sun, the shops and the people.
Posted by mánaljós at 8:48 PM
Monday, July 28, 2014
|Mánaljós & Sebbi|
|Freddy the fox|
Sebbi is back in town after a great short trip to Hornstrandir and today he’s offered to take me to the Arctic Fox Center (Melrakkaseturin) Súðavík. The Center, founded in 2007, is non-profit, and volunteers from all over the world take turns helping out there. It’s dedicated to the arctic fox, which is actually the only mammal native to Iceland. Besides conducting fox research on Hornstrandir, they maintain an exhibition center for the general public. They also have a great little café, and if the weather is good like today, it’s nice to just sit on the deck in the sun with a cup of coffee. Upstairs they have a small event room where there are sometimes live music events, movies or other gatherings.
Back home in the evening, the weather is beautiful, too. It’s my last night here for a while and just as I’m ready to settle in for the evening, the neighbor lady knocks on the door and 10 minutes later I find myself out in the mountains for an 8 km hike with two ladies and good conversation. It’s absolutely beautiful outside and it’s after midnight by the time I get home. What a wonderful last memory!
Posted by mánaljós at 11:30 PM
Saturday, July 26, 2014
The end of my summer trip is nearing and I am enjoying every day to the fullest. Morning walks to the harbor, watching the fishermen process their catch or the container ships unload.
|Yacht "Vive la vie"|
One day there is a spectacular private yacht anchored in the harbor and the locals have gathered to look and gossip. After checking the internet, I find it’s owned by the owner of Ypsomed. It only stays a single day.
One evening I take a closer look at the new avalanche wall being built in Ísafjörður. On weekdays when they are working, it’s impossible to get close to it. But on a Sunday it’s possible to have a look.
What an amazing construction! But it’s also creating a huge scar in the landscape. Once it’s finished, it will be covered with grass and camouflaged so that you’ll hardly see it from the front. There will probably be a nice walking path on top of it and behind it. It’s definitely a necessary addition to this town. I always joke and say, if you are a professional avalanche wall builder living in the Westfjords, you’ll never be unemployed. These things take years to build and there are always more needed.
Posted by mánaljós at 8:22 PM
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
There was an article in the 2012 edition of a Geo special edition on Iceland about an unusual house –
an asymmetrical mushroom shaped mixture of glass, metal and wood, with a greenhouse for a front entrance. The article says the door is always open to visitors, and since I often see people sitting outside the wide open front door on sunny days, I decide today is the day to stop and introduce myself to my new neighbors.
Ásthildur is a charming lady who is glad to talk about her odd home. The greenhouse contains a pond and fountain, various fruit trees, and exotic plants and flowers. A beautiful cat roams the premises and it turns out she is the mother of Gríma, our house kitty. The town’s veterinarian is sitting with Ásthildur, enjoying a cool summer beer. I’m pretty sure I met her two years ago when the neighbors’ cat was put to sleep.
The house itself is built into a hill and the roof is covered with grass. The property is a lot more expansive than it looks from the front. Further up the hill there are more greenhouses. Ásthildur says she sells flowers and plants to the locals. It’s a charming, secluded piece of property right in town … but unfortunately it’s in the avalanche district.
Due to new avalanche zoning laws, this house and the one next to it have to be surrendered. The occupants are being forced out of their homes. Houses in the avalanche zone can only be used in the summer, not as permanent winter residences.
Ásthildur is not going down without a fight. After all, a house this special can’t just be rebuilt anywhere. And a woman like this won’t be happy in just any old house either. I am so in love with this place, and the idea and what she’s made of it. I hope she wins her battle with the authorities and can remain there in peace. After all, it’s her risk.
Posted by mánaljós at 9:11 PM
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The weather is nice in the morning but that’s supposed to change and it’s expected to rain in the afternoon. After a morning walk at the harbor, I stop at the Museum of Natural History. Unfortunately the exhibition on the construction of the tunnel is a bit chaotic. They seem to be renovating things and there are tables and chairs and junk scattered everywhere in that section of the museum. The numerous stuffed birds, eggs and rocks are intact, as well as the stuffed polar bear.
It’s low tide and Bolungarvík has a pretty nice section of brown sandy beach. A bunch of kids has the same idea, and it’s a good place to eat a breakfast sandwich while watching the kids play.
|Home sweet home|
All that’s left on the agenda is a swim, a hot dog for lunch, and biking home. The clouds roll in shortly and it starts to rain already while I’m enjoying my lunch. I put on the rubber rain gear and ride home in the rain without any major stops or delays. It’s always good to be back home!
Posted by mánaljós at 8:38 PM