10/06/12 Glimpses of the Arctic Circle (transiting around Iceland for 10 days -- part 2)

10/06/12 - first glimpse Grímsey, the island 40km off the mainland of Iceland which is cut in half by the Arctic Circle. Our view from the roadside.

How does this material help me align with the arctic circle? how does it allow me to interact with it? The fact that this pencil comes from Dalvík, which is where the ferry to Grímsey departs from, does this make it any more of a stronger relation?

 

 

11/06/12 - preparing to approach the arctic circle, on the northernmost tip of Iceland's mainland.

Another glimpse of Grímsey. It is very close in this photo.

 

The weather changes very quickly. Rain moving in from NE.

 

The lighthouse at Raufarhöfn, the northern most town in Iceland.

This is where we have to walk to get to the northernmost tip of Iceland - along this road/path to the lighthouse.

We estimate the temperature is around 1-2degrees. The wind is cold, although not very strong in this area.

We find a dead fish, about 50m from the shoreline, up on the grassy area. It is cold, but not freezing, but it is fresh. We look it over, we cannot find any signs of how it go there or how it died. There haven't been any big seas or strong winds (we think) up here for some time. The fish appears to have just dropped from the sky.... I feel obliged to get my own fish out to compare/align with it, in some morbid kind of manner...

Getting closer to the lighthouse, on the edge of this rise I will be able to see the arctic circle.

View from the lighthouse.

All around us Arctic Turns are hovering, swooping. Dad & I don't think much of it, but as we reach the lighthouse a young Icelander appears, who is surveying the nests of the Turns and ducks. She tells me to get a stick, and hold it above our heads, otherwise they will swoop us and injur us. About 5mins later, Dad gets swooped and pecked, right through his woolen beanie. Blood spurts out, he says it doesn't hurt. We rush to find sticks that become our guides through the swooping Turns and arctic winds. It looks like we are practicing some ancient arctic circle dance as we walk towards the edge.

The arctic circle, a 180degree view:

 

 

 

12/06/12 Leaving the Arctic region

These two paint cards I have had for several years now. I've often wondered how they compare to actual 'Arctic' regions, so I brought them along to make some kind of comparison. Although the 'Arctic Daisy' flower/plant doesn't actually grown in Iceland (I think it only is in the US and southern Canada regions), the name still evokes ideals of what the arctic landscape could possibly provide. And Greenland Ice is literally what we have seen/experienced, standing on the shore of northernmost Iceland, the Greenland Sea brings Iceland closer to Greenland and the Arctic.

This photo resonates with me. Taken from the car window, the two signs obscure my vision of the Arctic, this may be the last opportunity for me to glimpse and experience it. I am depressed, sitting in the car. I write in my journal and try to ignore the flatness of the horizon today. It is clear and vast.

We drive away and I take this photo out of the back window of the car. This is the last time I see the arctic on this journey.

 

 

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