I’m home now and my journey along route 76 into the very north of Iceland seems like a distant but very special memory. Winding through tunnel after tunnel taking the road beneath the mountains I was beginning to wonder if we would ever arrive at the tiny fishing village of Siglufjörður, Northeast, Iceland but arrive we did and what a treat it was.
Sigló, as it’s affectionately known by the locals, is Iceland’s most northerly town and clings precariously to the foot of steep mountain walls which enclose an isolated narrow fjord on the very edge of Iceland. The Arctic Circle is just 25 miles away and you’re as far north here as Canada’s Baffin Island and central Alaska. I only know this now. At the time I wondered why it had become decidedly frosty. Emerging from the final tunnel, the outside temperature had dipped well below freezing for the first time in Iceland; the hire car’s audible alert to the sudden drop dinged quietly every few minutes as we began to explore the deserted streets.
The town seemed preserved in ice. Frost glistened from every surface. The brightly lit Christmas decorations strung between the streetlights were motionless. It was deathly quiet. The only movement we saw was a young guy, clearly enjoying the icy roads as he put his pick-up through a series of spins before disappearing, no sight nor sound as we passed the spot where he’d been, the only evidence being the tyre tracks in the thick frost. We proceeded at the requisite 35km speed limit, the only sound, apart from the ding of the outside temperature warning gizmo, the characteristic sound of metal studded tyres on the tarmac. Outside the town limits I accelerated the car and found a place to stop. As my eyes adjusted to the light and I fumbled with tripod and camera, the light show became evident..
I’ve now lots of pictures to go through which will be keeping me busy for the next few weeks at least. I’ve had the most amazing trip and enjoyed some fabulous photography. I’m now planning my next trip. The least inhabited destination in Europe meant it was going to be a hit before I left. Just what a huge impact being in the wilderness and not seeing another soul for hours and hours would have on me personally, at a very deep elemental level, I hadn’t bargained for and coming from the ridiculously over-crowded place that the UK is now, I suspect it was all the more so.
Watch this space for more images of Iceland over the coming weeks. I often say it but probably have never meant it quite as much as I do now – I hope you enjoy the images as much as I’ve enjoyed taking them. :-)