Monday, 12 October 2009

Wired for Sound.

Yes, I know, I'm just a shill for Sony's advertising campaign.
The town in the video, is Seyðisfjörður, on the western edge of Iceland. I've been there, my bike and some other stuff were sent to me from England, via an Icelandic trawler, it was a lot cheaper than normal freight, but.....
It was supposed to come to Reykjavik, where I was living, in a couple of weeks, but the skipper diverted to the north, found good fishing, landed his catch in Norway, went out toward Jan Mayen to get more. That was five weeks...I got a message to say the nearest he'd be coming to Reykjavik for another month was Seyðisfjörður, to land his catch, and take on more ice.
So I decided to take a few days off work and take the slow bus, and my trusty little tent, around the south of iceland, up the crinkly west coast, and retrieve my bike.
I had to bribe a guy at the fish dock to steam-clean it.
Never ship a bike on a trawler. It will arrive all pearly with fish-scales, and the stink of cod.


  1. do you ever go back to iceland... i've always thought that i would like to visit. in my mind, it's a relatively undiscovered pearl because of its name... of course that's just a story i tell myself. i'd like to benefit from some of that geothermal heat.

  2. I've never been back, I would love to, to travel around, see what's changed and what's still the same... Oh, and of course, to see if I can spot any of my pots in windows. It used to be easy, our hanging planters were very popular.

    There are hot pools and bathing places everywhere, it's not uncommon, in the middle of nowhere, to find a steaming pool and a little hut, sometimes surrounded by a fence, to keep the sheep out.
    There's absolutely nothing finer than to lie back, in steamy water, gazing up a a sky that is blacker than elsewhere, and filled with stars.
    Nope, I'm wrong. Amend that to include a cool drink in one hand, someone nearby picking out a quiet tune on a guitar, and then, watch coruscating curtains of coloured light ripple across the sky, reflecting off the snow on the mountains, and hear the crackling of the aurora.

    It's a beautiful country, people are few, (300,000, the country is about the same size as Kentucky.) Only the outer edges are inhabited, most of the population is in the south western corner, Reykjavik and nearby towns, (230,000, when I was there). All the other places are small, (Iceland's second largest city, Akureyri, on the northern coast has 17,000 inhabitants), Seydisfjordur has about 750 people, and it's a great metropolis in its region.

    Many people speak some English, some speak it very well.
    They're, in general very well educated, and cosmopolitan people, the literacy rate was claimed to be 100%, though if you take into account that there must be some people with learning difficulties in every country, it must be slightly less, say, 99.99%.
    I loved living there, working there. Winter can be a bit grim though, and summer, whilst bright (pretty much no night-time), is not very warm, most days.
    The wind can knock you over....
    So can the beauty of the country.

  3. That's a lot of trouble for a bike. It must have it's own story.

  4. The story.... maybe I should keep it untold in order to maintain the mystery?

    No, it was simple. I couldn't afford a car there, though sometimes I had use of one, and I like to be exploring, taking different routes, and I like (d) riding bikes.
    I went to Iceland by air, and I had a perfectly good, even excellent, lightweight, ten-speed Peugeot touring bike in my parent's garage.
    It so happened that I met someone whose brother was an agent for an Icelandic trawler company, in Grimsby, about fifty miles from my home, and he could get bulky things sent for a very small bribe.
    It seemed too good to be true, and it was. Originally I'd been told that if my dad took the bike and boxes to Grimsby, then in a couple of weeks, they'd come into Reykjavik harbour, and I was living about a hundred yards away from the trawler quay. I did not expect my property to disappear on a prolongued tour of arctic waters.
    I'd worked summers when I was a student, the bike was hard-earned, so it was worth a trek to retrieve it, and at that time my tavels had been in the west of iceland and the north, so a trip to Seydisfjordur would have appealed to me anyway, but the incentive of a bike at the end was an extra.


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