When I arrived in Iceland for the first time, I was surprised. The light, all the sounds from birds, and the flowers – it was all well known. It was like coming home to northern Norway. But there was also more, something new, something unknown. Most spectacular was of course the strange boiling pits stinking of sulfur and the lava.
Iceland is also a part of the Arctic, placed besides Greenland, not so far from the icepack, the polar ice coming from the North Pole. Sealers from Norway sailed to Iceland when the weather became extreme. Isafjordur was the main harbour to return to from the West Ice, one of the main areas for seal hunting. Another connection between Iceland and Norway is the herring fisheries, a lot of Norwegian boats fished around Iceland for a long period.
We drove through the western and northern parts, up to Siglafjordur. On our way we bought a cd with the most popular musician at Iceland at the time, Asgeir. Listening to his songs now, brings me back to long roads, fjords surrounded by mountains, waterfalls and green slopes – and the light of June. The weather was marvelous; sun was shining the day through. We had brought our tent, some places we burned campfire. I use to say it is like northern Norway but on speed. Things sounded more intense.
For six days we drove, camped, ate fish dishes and visited museums. It is one of my best holidays ever. Reykjavik was a spectacular combination of a village at the countryside and a modern city. Their big conference hall, Harpa, is impressing in its architecture. We tried whale safari, that was not so impressing, minke whales we see often at home. My husband had arranged a meeting with an Icelandic boat builder in Siglafjordur. Joining a good dinner together, we learned that the most important things in Iceland are children, many of them, and owning land. Money they do not believe in anymore.
We will return some day, perhaps in wintertime.