Thursday, May 6, 2010

Seyðisfjörður: quite possibly the makings of the best horror film ever

Seyðisfjörður is such a unique little town I thought it deserved a post of its own. It is a little fishing town at the end of a fjord on the very east side of Iceland, surrounded on three sides by giant, snowcapped mountains. The only way to describe it is as a town that lives on the brink of a blissful existance and complete insanity. It sucks you in with its quaint peacefulness, and just when you are getting ready to leave, the mountains close in like teeth until you are trapped. Unable to leave, every day is spent exactly as the last until they all run together and you can´t tell yesterday apart from tomorrow. (very much like ''Groundhog Day'')

It was completely random that we even found our way there. We were heading east towards Egilsstaðir and, flipping through the travel book, randomly found a town (just a little further east of Egilsstaðir that had a hostel) described as ''a writer and artist´s hub with a bohemian flair.'' That should have been our first clue as to what we were in for.....because everyone knows artists and writers are just a tad bit crazy in the head. But we went. We drove up, and up, and up into the mountains, over this pass, the snow gradually piling up higher and higher on the sides of the road. Then we descended into one of the most beautiful valleys I have ever seen. (words can not do it justice, so you will just have to wait until i insert the picture once i am home. but it will go here)

Upon arrival we were directed to the old hospital-turned-hostel where we were to stay for the next night or two. We were greeted by Richard, and American man with a Brittish accent trying to get his residency in Iceland. He was slight of frame, and his thought process was so inconsistant he could could not string together more than two or three sentences before changing the subject he was talking about (generally mid-sentence). It was quite obvious that he, at one point, had drank a few too many cups of mushroom tea or maybe a few too many hits of LSD.

It was at this moment that I was convinced that we were in the midst of a horror movie gone terribly wrong......Four travelers coss over a trecherous mountain pass, though blowing winds and snow (it was actually quite nice as we came over the pass, the sun was out and we stopped quite a bit to take pictures) and find themselves in a sleepy fishing village at the end of a fjord. Late in the night (it was actually mid-afternoon), with no other place to go (I´m sure we could have turned back if we had really wanted to) the only refuge they can find is at a converted hospital run by an old, drug-dazed American.........

We survived the night, however (no ghost hauntings, and Richard didn´t have any crazy hallucinations and try to kill us in our sleep), and the night after that. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay, climbed (most of the way) up a mountain, saw the town, drank lots of beer, and had some very interesting conversations with Richard (he´s crazy, but he grows on you).

We hardly saw a soul in town, but it is apparently quite busy in the summertime, and I can hardly imagine what it must be like in the summer time with the hustle and bustle of the artists and writers and tourists who flock there.

1 comment: