Thursday, April 28, 2011
West Fjords, Part 2
Phwew! We made it out of that tunnel alive. Thank goodness. Now we just have to worry about avalanches in Flateyri. Well, not really. This area had some serious avalanches in 1995, which caused the deaths of scores of people in several towns, so the area has been heavily protected with avalanche walls and relocation of homes. There's just not much place for those homes to go, being nestled on these little spits between a mountain and the fjord!
Flateyri is a really cool place for a population of only 200 people. There's one restaurant-slash-bar-slash-community hangout, and in the summer there is kayaking, hiking, and lots of historical-iceland fun facts to read about. If you're looking for a great, reasonable apartment to rent short-term, check this out, where we stayed! But for late-april, it's a quiet town in the middle of nowhere. I took a long walk around town, recorded some water noises, and went up to the top of the avalanche wall, which now has a lookout point on it and a playset built inside it. A little creepy and slightly perilous, but a little exhilarating too.
Nicole and I took some shots for my upcoming album, hoping we could get a cover shot for it. I haven't decided on one particular image yet, but I have a couple great non-serious outtake pictures in the wind. It got pretty stormy in the fjord that night, which I can't say wasn't all that inappropriate for the album, being written in many a crazy location throughout Iceland.
We went to check out Ísafjörður again and see the rock festival 'Aldrei Fór Ég Sudur', or 'Never Went I South'. It's a free music festival! (If you can get there.) It was cool, and I love the spirit of everyone just coming into this tiny town, and sharing the good music with their neighbors, no matter what the weather. This band is Soley, before the place filled to the brim with music fans.
There was also this small art festival going on and I saw some graffiti-based work that was a little dated, but also some hilarious comics and cool paintings. I went to buy a teeshirt as my weekend's souvenir, but didn't have cash on me, only debit card. But the worker gave the teeshirt to me for free! Thanks, dude, whoever you are. Now I can say, 'I went to Ísafjörður and all I got was this awesome, totally not-lousy free tee-shirt!'
Winding back along the coast toward Reyjavík, we passed a small town with a geothermal area that feeds a random pool, hotel/apartment, and a couple small buildings. I took a picture of a quintessential Icelandic moment here. A baby, inside a baby carriage, taking a nap while its mother is inside the building, keeping an eye out but also probably having a coffee. Carriage next to a grill. Grill next to a geothermal steam vent in the ground that just popped up unexpectedly, dangerously hot and steaming, but covered for 'safety' by some big rocks. Wind blowing fiercely outside. Life as usual for the West Fjords.