Sunday, August 16, 2015

Iceland Day 4: Hellissandur to Akureyri

A couple things to note about the above photograph: 1) the road in the background is a main thoroughfare (dirt) and 2) the economy of one pole functioning as a sign post, stop sign and mailbox holder. After leaving Hellissandur and backtracking over territory explored the previous day, we reached Breiðabólsstaður (pronounce that quickly). Our road atlas mentioned that Holger Cahill, the national director of the WPA and the briefly the acting director of the Museum of Modern Art, was born in a church here. This fact fascinated us because it was such a remote area so far away from the art world in the United States during the Great Depression.

The church was closed but we were able to experience the full force of the wind. I am standing next to a flag pole where the metal cord never ceased hitting the pole. Soon after, my brain was bouncing in unison with the noise that created.

We covered a lot of territory this day. We learned about tuyas here at a rest area overlooking Hunafjordur and Skagfjordur. They are flat topped volcanoes formed when lava erupts through an ice sheet (frosted angel food cake).

My first view of the Arctic Ocean was seen through a bathroom window in a coffee shop in Dalvik.

I didn't get the impression that much English was spoken here. It was a charming place and produced the most interaction with locals that we had experienced thus far.

We drove to this peninsula to see the Arctic Ocean and after a much needed cup of tea, we headed north to Ólafsfjörður. I obtained a clear water sample and tossed another chunk of Camden's Rock here.

It took a long time to talk myself into walking into the sea (one of the most intimidating experiences with water). [Photo by Donna Goedhart]

I never expected to collect water from the Arctic Ocean when I first began this project. It opened up a whole new avenue on how to finish the remaining bottles (hopefully completed by the end of 2016).

Cold and sandy feet (the things one does for Art).

It was also in Ólafsfjörður where I channeled my inner Alexis Pike and documented a mural in less than ideal light before departing.

Snowy mountains near Dalvik on the way to Akureyri.

If I had to do this trip all over again, I would have stayed an additional night in Akureyri. It was a charming city (second largest in Iceland) but we never broke the surface. It was used as a departure point and roaming around after sunset was all we were truly able to do. This bowling alley was a happening spot late in the evening and one of the few places open after 10 PM.

The letters H•O•M•E were popular window decorations throughout the country. I spotted them in the larger cities and smaller villages, always pointing to the living room inside.

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