** I write these last blog posts whilst I am back in sunny Australia, having said a sad and final goodbye to the Viking. Unfortunately there will be no fairy tale ending to this romance, and the vast distance between us will remain. I will forever be thankful to him for sharing his beautiful country with me and for so many wonderful experiences, and I am so excited about the large paintings that will be the result of these adventures… there will always be a little bit of the Viking in these paintings.**
The Viking and I were invited back to Hrisey where I did my first artist residency in September/October 2015 for the yearly Þorrablót feast (for more details of the delicious and not so delicious delights served here, check my previous blog on the experience!! click here) by my lovely local friends. The drive is always incredibly beautiful, albeit quite a long one. As always it is much more fun to take the road less travelled… sometimes these less travelled roads are helped by the fact they have large “road closed” signs… which seem to be obeyed by tourists and treated with disdain by Vikings.
We were in the Þingvellir National Park travelling along the shore of lake Þingvallavatn, Þingvellir is a key location in Icelandic history as the oldest existing parliament in the world first assembled there in 930 AD. Þingvallavatn lake in has a surface of 84 km² and is the largest natural lake in Iceland. Its greatest depth is at 114 m.
We continued up more back roads until we can to Hvalfjörður (Icelandic: Whale–fjord) situated in the west of Iceland. The fjord is approximately 30 km long and 5 km wide. Until the late 1990s, those travelling by car north from Reyjkavik had to make a long detour around the fjord on the hringvegur (road no.1). There is now the tunnel Hvalfjarðargöngin, which shortens the trip considerably… but we were sticking above ground and admiring the view!
The Viking took a little detour to show me another of Iceland’s wonderful waterfalls, Barnafoss. Barnafoss is on the river Hvítá in Borgarfjörður. Hraunfossar flows out of a lava field into Hvítá near Barnafoss, creating a stunning scenery. Our timing wasn’t ideal with the light, but nonetheless it was still beautiful!!!
Following google maps, proved entertaining… with us heading down some unchartered roads- (more road closed signs) which clearly hadn’t been used as a road anytime recently! As always the views were incredible and worth the more adventurous route….. and we made it to Akureyri in the evening.