Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Food tasting & Sunnudalur


I take the food tasting tour again – the same one I took with Sigrún and Kristín last September. Back then it was all Icelanders and my language skills are still lacking so I didn’t understand a lot of what was said. This time I got it all, in English. The guide is a German guy, Mike, who lives in Ísafjörður. Strangely our paths will cross quite a bit now that we’ve met.

The tour is very interesting and definitely a highlight. I highly recommend it. I gain a lot of insight into the fishing industry and how this little town does it their own way. They value sustainability and use every single part of the fish for something or another. Even bones, heads and organs. 

As a result the town has created many jobs sufficient for its population. Plus, since the town has geothermal heat, they create their own heat and electricity. Only the fish factory needs to “import” power from neighboring communities. As a result, Suðureyri is green and self-sufficient. (Well, there is no hospital, high school, retirement home, or grocery store, so I guess they don’t count the gas for frequent trips to Ísafjörður. I didn’t see many electric cars.)

Jeep track/Brimnes
Afterwards I head out into the mountains, following the jeep track out around Brimnes peninsula and into Staðardalur valley. I start with a brief stop at the church, which unfortunately is locked, and pat the heads of the two friendly watch dogs before heading up the trail. I’ve been up this trail before, all the way to the pass, but the plan is slightly different today. 

First of all, the weather is pretty instable. It’s cold, windy and could rain at any time. I don’t want to get too high up in the mountains in conditions like that. So I stay south of the river and head into Sunnudalur valley, which is new territory for me. I hike as far as I can before there is no place more to go, but the wind is cold anyway and I’m chilled to the bone, so I turn around. It starts to rain as I head back.