Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Icelandic poppies and fresh bread

Greetings from Ísafjörður!

We had a good flight punctuated by several notable things: feather pillows and large fleece blankets for everyone; a yummy, hot dinner (served at the very continental hour of 10:30pm!); and a dizzying array of films, videos, music, and Icelandic travel info at our touch-screen fingertips. The sum total of sleep between the three of us was perhaps 4-5 hours!

We arrived bleary-eyed at 6:30am to a grey drizzly Keflavík airport outside of Reykjavík and took a quick shuttle into the city where we dropped off our bags and wandered about for several hours. Not much was open but we did walk through beautiful downtown gardens and pop into city hall where we saw a cool scale model of the entire island - those mountains we'll be driving through are really freakin' high!! Our sleep-deprived bodies got a charge from croissants and coffee before we headed to the tiny bustling city airport for our flight up north.

The clouds cleared for our decent and the view was SPECTACULAR!! Sheer mountains dropped into water that sparkled in the afternoon sunlight and the little town of Ísafjörður is wrapped around a peninsula in the deep finger of the fjord. The shuttle driver spoke no English but we got to our guesthouse which is delightful - six thumbs up from the three of us!

We wandered around for several hours - mouths agape and cameras snapping madly at the natural vista and charming town around us. Dinner at Tjöruhúsið in the Ísafjörður Maritime Museum was incredibly fresh fish, served in the pan at the table. Cold beer is always good and Viking brand rounded out our meal. We stopped into the tourist office and spoke with Kirsten who was very nice.

I slept in this morning but made up for it asap before we went out walking some more around town, taking yet more amazing picture. There are tons of cute, friendly cats wandering around who've all been getting chin scratches and photo-shoots. The architecture is really interesting - lots of mid-century modern! For a laugh - and because I love them - we popped into the local hardware store. Holy nice fixtures batman! Gorgeous modern stuff that would be special orders at Home Depot are fully stocked in a town of 3500! And of course everyone is blond and beautiful - even the crusty old guys down on the docks!

"Spiral Kitty"

We had an amazing afternoon boat trip out to Vigur island where we saw puffins, arctic tern, seals, and eider ducks. The family that owns the island run an eiderdown "farm" where they harvest eiderdown from the nests to make eiderdown duvets.

Having a Georgia O'Keeffe moment at Vigur Island...

It's hard to put into words how beautiful it is here. The air is cool and fresh. The sea and sky are ever-changing lifeforms. There are an astounding number and range of flowers everywhere: yellow and orange Icelandic poppies; heavenly scented wild roses; lush purple lupins; etc. The bread and baked goods are to die for! The smell... omg.

So much to describe! How to put these experiences into words? I will have to flesh out these on-the-fly postings once I get home.

Tomorrow, we're off to Látrabjarg in our rental car - cross your fingers and wish us luck!

A bientôt!


Megan said...

Good that you were able to get into Isafjordur on schedule!!

This is certainly a pleasure to read! Now enjoy the roadtrip.

Megan Williams

Amanda M said...

I'm living vicariously through you, chickie. Don't leave anything out!

And if you have to go into more details about the beautiful blond men, well, I guess I can suffer through that as well. hee.

Lillemor Laidlaw said...

Hi Sandra
we are here at Janis's efter a day at the beach! sounds like you are having a good time!
keep in touch.
cheers Lillemor and Janis

Shelley Long said...

It sounds like a great adventure so far, I'm looking forward to photos of cute icelandic kitties and puffins!

Wishing you a safe and entertaining road trip..