Monday, April 9, 2012
A strange place indeed. We have had to make quite a few lifestyle adjustments, going from one of the most convenient places in the world to the tiny island of Hrisey. The gas pump is a rest stop during our six hour bus ride from Reykjavik to Akureyri. On the drive we drove underneath a rainbow. Def never experienced that before. After a six hour bus ride, we had an hour and half layover in the 2nd largest city in Iceland, Akureyri. We boarded a second bus in Akureyri which drove us for 45 minutes to a town I can neither spell nor pronounce but it's something like Arksosundur. Or nothing like that. And by town, I mean like four buildings and a dock. After a fifteen minute boat ride, we stepped off the boat onto the island of Hrisey. We asked someone if they knew where the old school house was. We were directed up a hill where we found an empty, locked building. After considering breaking in through an open window we saw, we noticed three artistic looking people coming our way. Turned out they were the other artists in residence. Two from the States and one from Japan. Our first full day on the island, we ran into a strange problem for dwellers of the first world...a lack of food. The one store on the island didn't open until 2 PM and we had not thought to bring food with us from the mainland. Luckily we had a few squares of chocolate leftover from the massive bar of chocolate Chris gave me for my birthday. After our "breakfast" we went for a four hour hike to wait out the opening of the store. This is a whale vertebrae with a face carved into it that's sitting in someone's front yard. Tractors are a popular form of transport on the island. Not really sure why. There is even one with a taxi sign on it. On our first hike, we saw all these wooden structures that looked like swing sets with no swings. Instead of swings, there were fish heads swinging from them. We assume it's where they dry their fish, although in a place as wet as this, I'm not sure how anything gets dry. We read that this stairway goes to their beach. Not sure where the beach is or who would swim in the freezing water. Much of the island's perimeter looks like this. Imagine stumbling through the heather delirious with hunger and stumbling across this. We already felt like we were on the moon, this sculpture did not help. We later found it out it was a site specific installation by an American artist. Much of the island is composed of this stuff. It's incredibly soft and springy. Your feet often times sink a few inches into it as you walk along.