Icelanders are dissonant about the impact of a sudden boom in tourist numbers. I can totally understand why. Keflavik airport is not equipped to deal with the crowds coming and going. I literally smacked into bodies as soon as I exited the ramp from the plane door! There was not a spare centimetre of space. The tourist crowds were more evident again when after checking in to my hotel I went wandering. I walked about 4km and did not hear a word of Icelandic.
Thankfully, this was rectified the next day when I went gallery hopping through town. Entering one commercial contemporary space, the woman who greeted me was halfway through her sales pitch before I could point out to her that I didn’t understand a word. The work on show was a solo show by Hildur Bjarndóttir who is obviously having a good run. Her work was also showcased at one of the major state galleries too. Both shows consisted of silks and woven threads dyed using local flora. Not to my taste but they look good when grouped together. The ceiling in the gallery enhanced the works (see picture).
Reykjavik is a nice looking city with some stunning views across the harbour. The light is what strikes you most about the place. It has a delicate pinkness to it for most of the daylight hours that varies in intensity depending on whether you’re looking over the sea or land.
The journey north took me through some interesting variations. My travelling companion, fellow NES resident artist Alyson Jackson kept remarking how little snow there was in comparison to her last visit in February 2016. There was a light amount of snow in the area adjacent to the Snæfellsnes peninsula. South of that was black rockiness and north of it, long vistas of yellow grass with peaks now and then with dustings of snow on top. Around Staðarskáli intersection the land was very reminiscent of the Pilbara region only in pastel colours. I was not expecting that.