Thursday, 29 May 2014

Come away with us...

Unknown places, wilderness, nature, experiences, wildlife - these are our major keywords. This is what we do, our hallmark, this is why we go to extreme places.
You shall see what only a few do see.
For that purpose we very often have to try new things, meet new challenges.
This morning offered the perfect opportunity for that, as we pulled into the beautiful bay of Hornvik, far in the North of the rugged westfjords. It’s the location of some of the most stunning bird cliffs in the whole of Iceland and also the departure point for a hike of rare beauty, across the Hornbjerg.
A hike in the wild needs to be tried and tested before we can take a group of guests into the unknown. So three of us set out to discover.
It turned out to be not quite a walk in the park, twelve serious kilometers had to be braved in a very short time, starting no later than at five o’clock in the morning.
Crossing rivers and ice fields, clambering up steep mountains, and following the path through a landscape of wonders took three and a half hours, but only because parts of it were parcoured running.
Finally the descent on the other side to rendezvous point near an old light house, the wind has picked up, there is a nasty swell. So the three of us have no hesitation to meet the boat, that FRAM has sent to pick us up, hallways in the surf.
Wet, exhausted, but utterly happy we return to the ship with a lot of new impressions and information that we will share with you on a future trip.
After a rather short leg we arrive in Siglufjördur, a small town with great importance and a great history - the history of the herring.
For a long, long time the waters in the north of Iceland were the richest in herring worldwide, causing the place to grow and prosper. And then more. Work was abundant, experienced fishermen came from all over to make a living.
But economy is a fickle friend, going up and down (sounds familiar?), times weren’t always good, and sometimes so bad that the whole herring industry came to a standstill and a total exodus set in. Today Siglufjördur is a cozy little town with a reasonably-sized fishery.
But the real attraction is the herring museum. No, it’s not a museum like many others, it is a live narration of the herring times. People are re-enacting open air, they gut the herring, they sing and dance, and all that with the backdrop of the original buildings that virtually bring the “good ole times” alive. A great experience!