Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ísafjörður






Photos: 1-2) The Arctic Express; 3-6) Views around Ísafjörður

I'm on my way to Ísafjörður. Clear skies and no wind. I have a window seat and enjoy looking out. The farther north we travel, the thicker the layer of snow becomes that covers the landscape. Flying into the fjord is beautiful. We come quite close to the mountain and land after just a 40-minute flight. I had been watching the Ísafjörður webcam on the internet all through December and there had been no snow at all. But just around Christmas time, they got quite a snowstorm and it hasn’t stopped since. So when we land, there’s a thick layer of the fluffy white stuff. I feel like we’re on the Arctic Express. The tiny plane lands at the tiny airport and we’re surrounded by steep mountains, the ocean and lots of snow. I’m happy – this is exactly what I wanted. There’s a little mini van outside with a friendly lady driver that takes me and one other guy into town for ISK 500. We’re both staying at the Gamla Gistihúsið. Inga is waiting at the reception, my booking came through fine. I pay for three nights, toss my things into the room, throw some snowpants over my jeans and head outside to enjoy the few hours of daylight. I walk up and down the streets and around the harbor. There’s lots of snow in the streets, not much has been plowed and it’s difficult walking. There are people outside everywhere – walking with dogs, sledding or cross-country skiing down the roads. The fjords are covered in snow, everything is bright and cheery, and the houses are decorated for Christmas. I walk for six hours total, with two breaks to warm up, grab something to eat, and drink tea. I absolutely love the snow and could stay outside forever. One day I’ll try my hand at winter camping.