Sunsets and sunrises have been extraordinarily lovely here due, unfortunately, to the poisonous sulfur dioxide cloud that's being emitted by our latest volcano and gently wafted over the southwest of the island by a calm breeze. Savor the irony of that for a moment, then consider whether that's not an exact metaphor for life in general...
It's been a while since I posted last, and in that time I've been considering what to write to accompany this photo of a whaling harpoon, taken aboard Hvalur 9, a beautiful ship owned by Kristján Loftsson and the company his father started back in 1948, Hvalur hf. If you've been here and seen the four whaling ships that are usually docked at the Reykjavik harbor, (or seen this post from 2005) just imagine something a big larger but in the same style. Hvalur 9 and its crew, you see, hunt fin whales.
You might recognize this house if you've been reading Iceland Eyes for a while. It's the one my great-grandfather, Hans Beck, built, and where my grandmother (one of his 23 children) was born (click on the link to read more about its history).
Happy birthday to Iceland Eyes!
Not only is this my 696th post, Iceland Eyes is now starting its 10th year of existence! As a matter of fact I just realized that my first-ever post was on August 8th, 2004, exactly a decade ago today!
We've been away traveling quite a bit, and just got back into 101 from Seyðisfjörður, an absolute gem of a town with stunning waterfalls and craggy, intrepid mountains everywhere you look. We tented again and this time enjoyed warm, sunny and windless skies, which was welcomed after the dreary stuff we've had to accept in the capital region this summer (to be fair, of course, we are in the North Atlantic, just under the Arctic Circle, and this place is called Iceland...why do the locals always complain about the weather?)
We camped at Vík í Mýrdal last week, my son and I. I always have a tent and blankets and basic supplies in the trunk of my car so we can skip out of town with a moment's notice if the weather looks good, and last week, though it rained and rained in Reykjavik, the sun shown down on the south coast.
I just love this photo! I snapped it today out at Nauthólsvík, the white-sand beach here in Reykjavík (btw, read the post in that last link for a good journey down memory lane - I wrote it in 2007 about how amazing Iceland's economic growth was, and how much we deserved it! Haha!) which sits just below Perlan and the Öskjuhlíð forest (here's a good article from the Grapevine about this area.). A group of pre-schoolers were on a field trip to the beach, and this little dude was spreading his towel out at the top of the hillock above where we sat.
I think this pic is so charming and silly somehow. The carboat was filled up with people and just waiting there on dry land. It reminds me of a photo I took years ago at Hljómskálagarður, the park by the town lake (interesting historical info at that link, btw.) All prepped up in their safety vests, the mighty seafarers of the glacial lagoon get set for their adventure...
On our drive south to Krýsuvík and Grindavík last week we passed by a forest of fish-drying stocks, and decided to stop for a closer look. Planted there in the middle of a lava field, the sight of all those low-tech A-frames hung with thousands of cod carcasses is somehow primitive and reminiscent of a simpler time.
We took a drive out to Krýsuvík today, only about 25 kilometers from the western end of Hafnarfjörður. The day was gorgeous, and aside from a few tourists poking around, we had the place to ourselves. Follow the links to read more about this dramatic patch of Iceland, so close to the capital.
I love the old Reykjavik cemetery, which sits peacefully just above the western side of the town lake. Photos never do the quiet justice, though yesterday there were some serious conversations going on between a loud family of birds (starlings?) tucked into the branches above.
Classic Iceland Eyes, re-posted from July 2010:
"This building and its companions, nestled into the foot of a cliff on the south coast of Iceland between Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, are probably my all time favorite structures on our island. I assume they were used as livestock shelters, built as they are as extensions of the gnarled but somehow soothing rock that towers above them.
This is one of my all-time favorite photos because our Óðinn looks so absolutely happy. It's not new, though with the weather as it was today I'm sure this hot pool at Nauthólsvík was just as packed with bodies basking in the spring sun. I posted this first in 2010, and what I wrote then is just as applicable now: