Vestmannaeyjar came to international attention in 1973 with the eruption of Eldfell volcano, which destroyed many buildings and forced a months-long evacuation of the entire population to mainland Iceland.
Approximately one fifth of the town was destroyed before the lava flow was halted by application of 6.8 billion litres of cold sea water.
About 1500 people decided not to come back to the islands.
In 1979 We visited Heimaey, in the archipelago south of Iceland mainland, which is the only inhabited island here, and home to Eldfell. You could still boil an egg in the lava ashes, and putting down a finger would make your skin peeling off.
Our plan was to revisit now, 40 years later, to see in what ways the island had changed.
The photos show the views from the ferry takeoff and in the header, you can spot the whole range of the archipelago islands in the distance.
Road nr.10 ends in Å on the southernmost part of Lofoten. An old fishing village with rorbuer and – fish.
Many galleries, and flowers in the small gardens.
We had a great view from our hostel Salteriet.
Down the road we felt almost Chinese… I half expected an artist standing there, painting.
When we left in the early morning, the whole landscape felt dreamy and unreal.
But that is what Lofoten does to people…
Svolvær is the main town in Lofoten, and Northern Atlantic Cod fisheries, particularly during winter months, have remained one of the most important economical foundations for the town. Just west of Svolvær is Vågar – mentioned in the book Heimskringla, and might have been established as early as the year 800 AD.
We arrived rather late, and thunder was in the air the whole evening. This also made for an interesting walk in beautiful light and no winds.
The little town has about 5000 inhabitants, and many people were strolling the streets in the soft evening. The special light made all colours stand out – no need for enhancing anything. Natural beauty only.
The old – and new – little houses are called rorbuer. Rorbu is a traditional type of seasonal house used by fishermen. The buildings are built on land, but with the one end on poles in the water, allowing easy access to vessels. Today they are mostly used for tourist renting.
After sorting by quality, most of the stockfish is exported to Italy, Croatia and Nigeria. In Norway and Iceland, the stockfish is mostly used as a snack and for lutefisk production. In Italy, the fish (called stoccafisso) is soaked and used in various courses, and is viewed as a delicacy. The man working where we parked the car, told us that in Nigeria it has become the national dish!
When the clouds occasionally lifted, or there opened a rift in the skies, we could capture some very picturesque views.
Unfortunately, after this lovely walk, we had to say goodbye to Svolvær – still bathing in that special light that attracts many artists and galleries – and us – to Lofoten.
Paula’s Pick a Word is always a treat – but this time…I only managed four of her five words. I will have to look closely at how you all solved it!
splash – Seljalandsfoss, Iceland
feathered – Designer Wallin, Sweden. If this does not count…Galapagos’ swallow tailed in the header!
marine – Switzerland
scenic – Switzerland
Erica, at WordPress, gives us the task to show anonymity, a face in the crowd – referring to the days when she was too afraid to ask people for a photo. I am still there…but on my way to overcome it. I still take photos from behind though, or with a long lens, if I am not in the mood for asking.
This series, taken some years ago on the beach( in a warmer country than mine) shows how well we can express ourselves – even in the anonymity of silhouettes.
Keep an eye on the man…
…..how he expresses himself…
This is maybe many people’s dream of a relaxing vacation – but luckily we are all different. We are all sailors on this vast ocean – but we are all different vessels and we all sail according to what we have learned, so far.
Also I dream of light and warm winds – especially during the Swedish winter. But I can more relate to these guys, who seek a space of their own with enough room and silence to let their thoughts run free. Reading a book…
…fishing the blue waves…
…or just contemplating life, sitting at the edge of the ocean.
All different vessels, but sailing together. Let us take good care of each other while we are here – Life is a wonderful gift.
Weather – very much talked about in Sweden… Maybe our favorite subject!
Still summer night
Forest – drizzle