Easter in the West Fjords

This year, like last year, I spent Easter up in the West Fjords. I went with Grétar, and we stayed in a guest-house in Bolungarvík, which is a little place quite close to Ísafjörður. There is a tunnel that goes through the mountains connecting the two towns. Grétar's friend Símon and various others were also staying in Bolungarvík, in someone's grandmother's house. Grétar and I drove up on the Friday (föstudagurinn langi, or the long Friday, as good Friday is known is Iceland), stopped in Reykjanes to go swimming again, and made it to Bolungarvík about an hour before the Aldrei fór ég suður music festival started. It was in the same warehouse as last year, biggest names playing were probably Mugison (who we missed), Retro Stefson, Sykur and Páll Óskar. Those are moderately big names in Iceland, honest. I also missed Snorri Helgason, which I was annoyed about. We were sheltering in the car from some country and western band from America, and I think he was playing right after them.

It was a lot of fun, although on the Saturday night we managed to go through the tunnel no fewer than four times. We drove into Ísafjörður and had dinner there, before heading to the Aldrei fór ég suður warehouse. An evening of music and gin and vodka, before we found our way onto the shuttle bus and arrived back at the guest-house to discover that we didn't have our keys. Grétar rang the guy who ran the place and he said he'd be there at some point in the future - I don't remember how long he said but it seemed like a long time. Some American girls were going into the same guest-house, and offered to just let us through the outer door - then we could have waited inside. In a cloud of drunken confusion though, we thought the keys were probably in Grétar's car, so got a taxi back to Ísafjörður, where we failed to find the keys. So we got the shuttle bus back to Bolungarvík, and the man let us in. Then we found our keys on the chair inside our unlocked room. Skills!

To be honest, we didn't do an awful lot other than the music festival. Some pretty serious napping took place, we mooched around Ísafjörður a bit, ate Easter eggs, and one day we went to the Natural History Museum in Bolungarvík. It had a stuffed polar bear and a flamingo which had apparently come over to Iceland with a flock of swans, in some fit of confusion. I suppose the Icelanders were so surprised that they immediately stuffed it and put it in a museum. But that was pretty much it, because the weather was much, much worse than last year. Mostly it was just cloudy, with occasional rain, but on the Sunday night the temperature dropped, the wind picked up and it began to snow. By Monday morning the weather had reached a point where it was considered inadvisable to drive over the heath. We went over to the house where Símon and co were staying and weighed up our options. Finally decided to just go for it around four in the afternoon. Símon was driving a jeep, and we went behind in Grétar's Honda Civic. It was probably not the best idea in the world, the weather was so dreadful up there. There are yellow poles along the sides of the road to help in such conditions, but we could only see one set at a time through the gale and snow. We went veeeery slowly, following the vague grey shape of the jeep and luckily made it down the other side, and eventually back to Reykjavík, unscathed. 

No comments:

Post a Comment