When the kid starts speaking of bears (there are no bears in Iceland except the occasional polar bear) and of how grandpa transformed into a bear when he died and is roaming the glacier above us a bit confused, I get a chill down my spine.
We’re on the road after meeting relatives and attending a funeral. Lunking along the roads slowly, stopping to take pictures every now and again, though there are too many places to take pictures off and not enough time.
When the wind wipers give up after an entire day of rain I get a bit of a panic. The man keeps the humour up but it’s hard to stay calm when the wipers don’t work, it rains constantly and you need to get to a certain place before they close because otherwise you’ll have to sleep in the car. Driving by a twenty year old memory is not to be recommended.
R Frændi fixes the thing from afar though. Calls a relative of a relative who comes out in the evening and fixes the thing, leaving me jolly with relief that we’ll get to our destination in time and that we can continue without a problem. Though some anxiety regarding the car sticks with me.
The roads are as they always have been, up and down, climbing the outsides of mountains that look like the backs of sleeping Gods. It rains the entire day and the mix-fixed wipers hold until we’re at our destination (and further). Two minutes to spare, though I’m sure that if push came to shove we would have been let in especially after I called to warn them two hours previously that I was later than I thought I’d be, but still on my way.
The cabin was in a familiar place. A special place. The old house was still there and it was odd to see life in it, after those I knew who used to live there before have both passed away. Yet the place was the same, extreme mountains, – beautiful in a way that only things that scream HAZARD at you can be beautiful.
After driving for hours without wipers in the rain, driving through thick fog the next day was childs play. Over the mountain and down into another valley through fog, looking at ice and snow through the windows. Then we came down to a valley were the worm stays in its hiding in the ever so still flood. And I’m sure the mirror image in the flood looks more real than the distant mountains themselves.
It’s good to travel in a place were you speak the language perfectly. For some reason the social aspect of my life is a lot easier in Iceland than at home in Sweden. I don’t get drained here. I seem to have a deep well of soul-energy for socializing here. Though it does tire me out as well, it’s nowhere near as hard and recovery time is a lot less. Expat dilemma? Who knows.
When we arrive in Seyðisfjörður I rejoice. I tell J and the kid of some memories I have of the place and of relatives who used to live here. We walk around the Lón and check in at the hotel with a great view over said Lón. And then we eat the best hamburger’s I think I’ve had for years with the best baked potatoe I think I’ve EVER tasted.
This is a good place to travel to – it might be close to the end of the world surrounded by mysterious mountains on three sides and the ocean on the side thats left, but it’s a great place to be none the less – at least when the music is playing and summer is still gracing us with its fog and its 13°C.
What it’s like to live here when the snow blocks the only road out of town I have no idea. What I do know is that when you wake up in the small town with the fog so thick that you can hardly see the lagoon in front of you you tend to feel alone in the world, though that’s not necessarily a bad feeling at this day and age.