I was invited to be a writer-in-residence at NES in Skagaströnd, Iceland for the month. So right now I’m living at the base of the mountain, Spákonufell. It’s stunning.
How I got here: I took an overnight flight from Boston, landed in Reykjavík at 6AM and stayed put for two nights, acclimating to (and reveling in) the intense wind, traveling alone again, the dramatic approach of darkness, the dwindling of light and the escape from so much day.
I did the things I love to do in cities: WALK, take pictures of streets and buildings, talk to strangers, WALK, eat new kinds of food, daydream through libraries and art museums.
I got on a bus in the dark morning and traveled five hours north, stopping twice for bathroom breaks (no toilet on board). The sun rose, but as we drove further and further away from Reykjavík, the light faded instead of intensified and the land became desolate and the sky broadened.
The bus stopped at a gas station in Blönduos and I got on a six-seat shuttle for 20 minutes up along the peninsula to Skagaströnd.
The town has a post office (which doubles as bank), gas station, gym, hot pool, school, art studio, research library, performance space, small grocery store, pharmacy, guesthouse and the Museum of Prophecy (of course). The town’s population is 530.
Like many other sites in Iceland, there’s an accompanying folk tale/true story (the Sagas) about the mountain. Þórdís (Thordis), a prophetess and one of the first Europeans to come to Iceland, settled the town of Skagaströnd near the end of Pagan times–10th century. She climbed the mountain every day and hid her fortune, including a golden comb, somewhere on Spákonufell. She put a spell on the treasure and said that only a woman who has never been baptized and never heard the Christian God’s words, could find it. So far, it’s never been found. I plan to learn more about Þórdís while here. (Unfortunately, I was baptized–thank you, Nana–and so will never find it myself.) This land is full of sagas and magic and strong women. It’s gonna be a good month.
#morningwalk #nofilter #colorlove