Friends In Three Countries





8 October 2017

The North Atlantic Arc ~ Mr Tattie Heid Home
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Sunday 8 October 2017--We are on the early ferry to the mainland this morning, contemplating not only our stay on Heimaey but our two weeks in Iceland. Our primary task today is to get Marc to the airport for his flight home. We backtrack to Selfoss, then make a diversion to see the volcanic crater Keriš, another site Win and I saw in '99. I'm dismayed to find not only the usual twenty cars and a bus, but that the site is now fenced off, and admission is being charged. I tell Marc that I'm much too annoyed to pay the 400 kronur (about $4) entry, but it's probably worth his while to do so. And so he does.

Drive back through Selfoss and then along the coast just to see Žorlįkshöfn, the ferry port we didn't have to drive to two days ago. It's a small place (pop ~1600), without much history, as far as I can tell--the residential areas look quite modern. Its main function is as the terminal for a cargo ferry to Rotterdam.

Along the coastal route 427 then, watching the peculiar and everchanging landscape from the car, passing through the fishing town of Grindavķk. We drive up past the airport to the town of Garšur. Marc wants to see the lighthouse here--it's the setting for a video by the Icelandic musician Ólafur Arnalds, featuring Garšur native Nanna Bryndķs Hilmarsdóttir, singer for the band Of Monsters And Men, a favorite of Marc's. The lighthouse is not open, but we spend a pleasant half-hour hanging around.

To the airport. I ask Marc what he liked most about Iceland. "Everything." Hard to argue with that. What didn't he like? "The price." Can't argue with that, either. Where would he most like to return? "The Westfjords...I heard the silence of my life there." I'm not sure what that means, but it sounds about right. For the past two weeks, I've been thinking that this would be my last big trip to Iceland. As so often happens at the end of a trip, I find myself feeling a bit of instant nostalgia, and thinking about the possibility of a return to Heimaey, Akureyri, the Westfjords. And of course, the Eastfjords still beckon.

We say our goodbyes, and I drive into the town of Keflavķk. Check into my guesthouse, and go for a stroll around town. Settlement here dates to the 16th century, but most of what's here has sprung up since the establishment of the American air base in the 1940s. Despite some attempts at civic beautification, it is, I think, the most drab and soulless place I've encountered in Iceland. I spend the evening in Paddy's, the faux-est of faux Irish pubs, watching the Pittsburgh Steelers fumble away a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. I can't imagine ending a two-week sojourn in this extraordinary country on a duller note.

Map of today's route

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Herjólfur


Way Out


Leaving Heimaey


Leaving Vestmannaeyjar


Landeyjahöfn


Vestmannaeyjar From Landeyjahöfn


Landeyjahafnarvegur


Win At Keriš, 1999


View Toward Krżsuvķk


Route 427


Route 427


Route 427


Route 427


Approaching Grindavķk


Lighthouse At Garšur


Keflavķk

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September/October. .
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
01 02 03 04 05 06 07
08 09
. 10. 11. 12 13. 14
15
. 16. 17. 18 19 20. 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31 01 November
The North Atlantic Arc ~ Mr Tattie Heid Home
















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