Við sáumst, Ísland!

The course is over, back to "civilization" from the wonderful seclusion of the wild north. The locals had been telling us gruesome tales of planes not being able to land because of wind/cloud/hail/snow. A short overview showed that missing the flight Saturday evening would entail missing the flight to Copenhagen, so I was a bit anxious.

But all was fine, they said, not "much" wind, not "much" clouds. And let's go pick some blueberries in the berjamó. In the pouring rain? Oh no, next fjord over the weather is fine.

It actually was. We turned off the "main road" (euphemism for "at least it has tar on it") and tooled down a pot-holed mud track (known as a secondary road, that's why they all drive 4-wheel drives). We stopped at a deserted farm house.

We walked up the path alongside of a river that actually had a name, Small Weather River. Why it is called that, no idea. The red bits at the top are the blueberry bushes, perfectly ripe for the picking. And the sheep are too stupid to like blueberries.

We climbed and we climbed (I was quite out of breath), and suddenly we were in a landscape of krækiber and bláber. Big, fat, sweet blueberries. We picked and picked in the drizzle, was actually not that bad, as it washed the berries as you picked. I eventually lucked on to a patch where you could just grab into the bushes and come up with a handful of berries. Stuffing these all in your mouth is just wonderful - one bite and the cool sweetness fills your tongue.

When the baskets were filled we went to feast on blueberries. Just blueberries, brown sugar, and cream. I think I had four bowls.... I took a box of them with me on the plane for a friend in Reykjavik who was born up here.

I started getting nervous about the flight - it is at 6.20 pm, and it was already 5.30. No problem, they say. We'll leave around 5.45. And indeed - since the airport was just around the corner from the tunnel and you have the right of way that way through the tunnel, were did get there about 5.55.

Now imagine showing up that late for a flight anywhere else. You probably don't fly. But not here. You check in by giving your first name, dump your bags, and get a little slip with a bar code on it. The suitcases get put on a conveyor belt that slips them outside - and you can watch them get loaded up. No one asked to see my passport. Seems if you made it up here, you must be all right, so you can leave again.

We leave right on time, punch through the clouds, and 35 minutes later we land in Reykjavik. What a large place it has become! And so flat, no mountains! And so noisy - I got used to sleeping with the window open (so as not to suffocate, the heat can be turned up but not down, so your regulate by opening a window. There is so much noise here through the open window of the bedroom.

Gotta get up at 3.30 to catch the 4.30 bus to Keflavik. Ugh. Even though it goes late, we still get to the airport in time. The lines are long, but proceed efficiently. Iceland Express does a great job. And no one complains about that extra 5 kg of luggage, the plane is only half full.

You get one last chance to spend your Icelandic funny money, I got some "Black Death" at the Duty-Free Shop and some breakfast. Last chance for skýr! This plane, too, leaves right on time, but there are 3 hours of sitting behind some Icelanders who are partying on their way to Copenhagen...

I got into my book, I am reading Dáuða Rósir by Arnaldur Indridason ("Dead Roses"), a mystery story. It is hard going, but it is actually a good story, and I am making some headway guessing what words mean. My little dictionary does not have translations for words and phrases like óforbetranlegur eiturlyfjafíkill, nauðgun, samfarir, marbletti víða um líkamann, vændiskonur (no male ending??), þjófnaði and melludólgurinn. Better not translate them, or this blog will be labelled NSFW.

Landing in Copenhagen went fine, suddenly everyone speaks with potatoes in their mouths. Danish sounds really horrible! Suitcases take forever to come (one gets spoiled in Iceland), then the train to Sweden is late and crowded. The Swedish conductor on the train speaks a slow, broad Skanska, uff. After the machine gun speed of Icelandic I feel like she is going to fall asleep in mid sentence!

A friend gives a lift to the cabin, I try to converse with her, but now the words keep popping out in Icelandic! Speaking German, English, Icelandic, Danish and Swedish during one day is very tiring. How nice it is to start a fire in the fireplace and contemplate the rain.... I want to go back to the West Fjords, they were just awesome. What a shame I have to go back to work!

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