Thursday, July 9, 2009

Terri´s Visit

On Tuesday afternoon around 3ish Terri and Jacob arrived from their long drive from Reykjavik. Terri had just landed that morning. Jacob took the northern route which was faster and just as beautiful and Terri got to enjoy the landscape and nap from time to time. Once they arrived we walked over to visit Gerdur´s store and have some coffee and cake and to talk and then we left from there and went straight to the Tjárhús for dinner. We just cannot get enough of that place. It was a good dinner a little salty but charming as always.
On both Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we had our regular schedules, Zelia in Dagmamma, work and school, visits to Gerdur´s store, dinner, bed and visiting. On Thursday night we had Gerdur, Gisli, Tómas and Katrin Maria over for dinner, Indian chicken it was! Gerdur brought over her rhubarb pie and other dessert from the store. Then on Friday night we had Bruce over for dinner, he was Jacob´s professor in Reykjavik, from Scotland. We had thai panang fish curry, ate outside in the sun and headed to Tanja and Astrid´s for a little party. Zelia slept downstairs outside and we had a nice visit. Met a guy named Brandon who writes for Lonely Planet and actually spent the next 2 evenings asking him many many questions about his job and the places he had been. Super interesting!
On Saturday, after breakfast we headed to Þingeyri for the Viking Festival. Unfortunately the weather wasn´t very good but it was so fun to really walk around and see the town. It is very cute! We weren´t sure where to go so just began walking, Zelia insisted on pushing the stroller. We found a place with some people and wondered in to find beautiful clothing made my Gaga,, I actually don´t think that this website does what we saw justice. It seems very inspired by viking design and there were pieces you would hang on a wall. Every little detail was cared to including the wood price tags. We continued on through a recreated Viking village which was surrounded by a beautiful wall made of layering grass and rocks, it was so natural and would come in and out of the hills, really very beautiful.
Jacob´s classmate Þórir lives in Þingeyri and is very involved in this festival so we thought we would try to find his house and also the advertised supa í Gardi, soup in the garden. Turns out it was all the same place. We walked into a beautiful backyard, with trees and bushes and an amazing compost pile to find people milling around a deck drinking soup, some people dressed in old viking dress and a small group under three trees making flatkökur on a fire. The Viking dress is really nice, long dresses as one layer and then another woven woollen dress over it, mostly earthy muted colors, handmade leather shoes and jewelry on the straps of the dresses. Some of the men wore wool felted shirts and wool blankets wrapped around them for warmth. Þórir´s wife does all sorts of handwork and hand dyes her own yarn, so of course I bought a few skeins and showed them to Gerdur.
Once we left the garden we headed down to a little blue tent by the church that had a little market inside, baked goods like pönnukökur, rugbrauð (sweet rye bread), fresh waffles, coffee, rhubarb jam and cream, wool sweater and socks and other things. We had a bite, bought some socks and just enjoyed the atmosphere as Zelia slept soundly in the middle of the tent in her stroller along with other babies in a row.
We headed back and at 6:30 Brandon came by for a drink, then Bruce and then we all headed to Edinborgh for the Saltfish festival. We waited an hour before dinner was served and then there was a feast. Two kinds of plokkfiskur, one made with a lot of basil which was delicious. Then there were 6 dished all made from salt cod, one covered in octopus, another in lime and cream, some in chili and olives and our favorite – raisins and pine nuts. Of course there was bread and butter and salad as well. There was also a jazz band playing and Zelia loved listening to them, was really mesmerized and even danced a little. It was a great day.
Sunday was absolutely beautiful when we woke, sunny and warm. After a big breakfast I went out for a good hard hill run and by the time I returned Jacob and Terri had made a plan to take a boat to Hesteyri in the evening. We laid low for the rest of the day enjoyed the weather and walked around while Jacob did some work. Terri and I went to the maritime museum in town. I really don´t like museums very much but this one was perfect for me, little, very clear information, and a place to try brenevin (liquor), hárkárl (the shark) and hárfiskur (dried fish), some people were taking plenty! Some of the kids in town work at the museum and were dressed in old Icelandic garb (not viking clothes) and put on a little performance including some singing which was really beautiful.
Packed with food for Zelia we headed to the small boat Harbour with Jacob and waited for the boat to come. Luckily, our friend Albertina was the tour guide. I stayed outside the whole time as I don´t do very well in boats and part of the ride over was a bit rough, but gorgeous. Then we arrived in Hesteyri about an hour later. This place is hard to describe, you´ll have to wait for me to get the pictures up. It is an old village on the peninsula Hornstrandir, that was abandoned in 1952. The homes are all owned by the families and they are used as summer houses. There is a cemetery, a school, the doctor´s house and maybe 4 others and not far from the village there used to be an old whaling station, that later became a herring station. Once those two things stopped there was little the inhabitants could do to stay. The entire area was covered in wild flowers, angelica, thyme, orchids! On one section there were several tents of people traveling. We heard about the town and its history and then walked around. Zelia had so much fun walking outside among the flowers, eating her craisins and being free. Why would anyone leave this place????? It´s all Jacob and I could ask ourselves the entire time. There was a rushing river flowing into the sea and a beach filled with rocks. We ended at the doctor´s house where we were given coffee, pönnukökur, cake and rugbrauð with Kæva (liver pate) – Zelia loves it and she loved eating the beets that were sliced on top!
The ride back was calmer and we saw several puffins on the water – my first!!!!!
Back at home we had a fresh salad and some chickpeas and headed to bed. What a fantastic weekend.
Terri left on Monday morning for Reykjavik after a short delay in ‚isafjörður and made it home safely. The week here has continued uneventfully although sadly today is Zelia´s last day with Harpa. We have not found another babysitter yet which is a problem but we are working on it. We will go back to Harpa in the afternoon to say goodbye and to celebrate her daughter, Hjortis´, 1st birthday.
This weekend we are heading to camp for two nights on the red sand beaches near Látrabjarg – the bird cliffs where we will see thousands of puffins and other birds. Hopefully some friends will join...will report when we return.