The Aspiring Viking Settles In
November 12, 2015
Back in Iceland, of course. Why wouldn’t I be? It’s refreshing to be back in a place that breathes so much life into me. It injects me with creativity and a better understanding of the human spirit and what makes us tick. With seagulls cackling outside my window, I’m nestled in the town of Neskaupstaður (NES-koyp-stah-dur), about 9 hours from Reykjavík.
“Neskaupstaður! What the fuck are you going to do in Neskaupstaður?”
Simply uttering the name of the town has caused my native Icelandic friends to short circuit. Even by Icelandic standards, the town is incredibly remote, nestled in Norðfjörður all the way in the East Fjords. To get here you have to cross a terrifyingly high and winding mountain pass (with a nauseatingly meager amount of guardrails) until you reach the entrance of a single-lane tunnel where an enormous metal door will automatically rise, inviting you into its cavernous maw. Once inside, the door closes and you’re trapped. The tunnel seems to be crumbling from above as small rocks and pebbles scatter the road, so I guess just make sure you step on it before it collapses. Another metal door rises on the other side of the tunnel letting you back into the free safe air…where you suddenly plunge down the winding road that leads down from the mountain into the town.
Ultimately, if you make it here alive, Neskaupstaður can be quite the reward.
I’m doing WorkAway with a hotel here called the Hildibrand Hotel and was recently told by my boss that, along with doing other tasks, my primary focus will be working on a blog that will lure more people to this lovely little hamlet on the other side of a hellish pass of death. Many Icelanders know this town as “Little Moscow” as it was home to many communists back in the day (and possibly even today). This blog would detail life and culture in Neskaupstaður, and it’ll be my job to uncover the little secrets and beauties of this town in the East.
I realize that I’ve become some odd reincarnation Kevin Spacey’s character in “The Shipping News,” only I’m in Iceland rather than Newfoundland and I won’t just be writing about ships coming into harbor, though I imagine that will certainly come into play. And hopefully I don’t go crazy. Fingers crossed.
The new adventure is beginning. And although I haven’t blogged in a while, you’ll certainly be hearing a lot more from me about my life and my creative projects in the upcoming months.
Here we go…