ÍS: The Midnight Sun in Ísafjörður

Ísafjorður, IcelandThe Midnight Sun is a spectacular thing. Even more disorientingly beautiful than the northern lights, I would argue. There’s something so incredible about watching the sun set and the sunrise almost back to back. When we were in Ísafjörður, there was a about an hour or two of strange lightness between the sun’s setting and rise, but by the middle of my Ring Road trip, there seemed to be almost no time in between. 24 hours of light is a great thing for camping and traveling. You can check out a waterfall out at midnight, pitch your tent at 1am, and sleep in knowing that you have all the time in the world to explore. I even hitchhiked in the evening. Here are two pictures from about 20 minutes after midnight in Ísafjörður and a little video that tries to capture how blissfuly serene it was. Ísafjorður, Iceland,

[35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]

ÍS: Boats That Don’t Float

000041batch 000040batch The boat in the two pictures above is Garðar BA64. It was beached here, near Patreksfjörður, in 1981 during bad weather. Built in Norway in 1912, it is the oldest steel ship in Iceland. It is a rather haunting sight, sitting alone at the end of a fjord in the remote Westfjords. Below is an image from Ísafjörður.

Isafjorður, Iceland[35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]

ÍS: Class Field Trip Day in Ísafjörður

Ísafjörður, Iceland

An adorable group of Icelandic kids spotted on their way back to school from the Westfjords Heritage Museum.  Ísafjörður seems like a wonderful place to grow up. Safe and small, kids run around without any supervision, knowing no one here would ever hurt them. As one reader described it, reflecting on growing up here in the ’70’s and’80’s: “A whole town as your playground.” Ísafjörður, Iceland   [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]

ÍS: Westfjords Heritage Museum

Westfjord Heritage Museum Housed in a beautiful historic, wood building at the end of the Ísafjörður harbor is the Westfjords Heritage Museum. If you’re a history/museum nerd like me, you will thoroughly enjoy it. The first floor is dedicated to the history of fishing in the Westfjords. They have a film playing that shows a recreation of what day to day life for fishermen in Ísafjörður was like at the beginning of the Industrial Age (hint: pretty similar to how it had been for hundreds of years before that).

Westfjord Heritage Museum The second floor is divided between the contents of a boat builder’s workshop, some early diving gear, and the largest accordion collection in the Westfjords. Turns out a hand organ craze hit the Westfjords in the middle of the 20th century. I happen to love accordions, so I really enjoyed these beautiful pieces from all over Europe.  The third floor is devoted to the flora and fauna of the area, including historical uses of the natural resources. Climb up a wooden set of stairs  ladder and a tiny lookout area on the fourth level provides a great view of the harbor (I took the first photo from this attic nook).

Westfjord Heritage Museum  [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]

ÍS: Ísafjörður (Everywhere You Look Are Mountains)

Ísafjörður, Iceland When I visited Ísafjörður in the first half of June, there was still quite a bit of snow on the mountaintops. Everywhere you look in Ísafjörður, you see mountains. In fact, in the winter, the inhabitant don’t even see the sun at all for a few months since it doesn’t get higher than the peaks surrounding the town. I didn’t even relize until I got my photos developed that every picture I took of the houses in town had mountains in the background.

Ísafjörður, Iceland

Ísafjörður, Iceland

Ísafjörður, Iceland

Isafjordur, Iceland [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]

ÍS: Ísafjörður Harbor (Red Boats)

Ísafjörður, Iceland If I had to pick two colors to describe Icelandic towns, it would be red and blue. These bold colors stand in contrast to the dark, subdued landscape, creating one of the wonderful juxtopsitions of Iceland: intense, dark, and rugged landscape/ charming, quirky, and colorful towns and cities. These photos are from the harbor in Ísafjörður, where fishing is a big industry. In my last post, you can see Icelanders unloading the fish from the ship’s freezers and into the huge, refrigerated processing buildings.

Ísafjörður, Iceland

Ísafjörður, Iceland   [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]

ÍS: Ísafjörður Harbor (Blue Boats)

Ísafjörður, Iceland During the course of a year in Iceland, I went around the whole island, including several trips up the west and south coasts. Everywhere I went, the scenery took my breath away and the charming towns charmed me. There is nowhere in Iceland I wouldn’t want to visit again (ok, Egilsstaðir was kind of lame…). Of all the incredible places in Iceland, Ísafjörður is my favorite. There is something so refreshing about the remote town on a gravel spit in the fjord. When I visited my with mom in early June, it was my second visit to the Westfjords. We stayed for five or six days and used Ísafjörður as  base to drive all throughout Iceland’s most remote and sparsely populated corner.

Ísafjörður, Iceland

Ísafjörður, Iceland  [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]

ÍS: Hnífsdalur from Above (and the view from above Hnífsdalur)

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000018mountain While my mom and I were staying in Ísafjörður, we walked around a mountain at the opening of the fjord to the town of Hnífsdalur….then we started climbing up the mountain, using the rocks and moss to scramble up the steep side. We were rewarded with a spectacular view of Ísafjarðardjúp and the colorful, little town. I shot these with expired film.

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000020mountain

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000015mountain [Expired 35mm film taken with my Olympus 105G Superzoom. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland.]

 

ÍS: Walking to Hnífsdalur

Hnífsdalur, Iceland While staying in Ísafjörður, my mom and I walked an hour to Hnífsdalur before hiking/climbing up the mountain that separates this tiny town from it’s bigger neighbor, Ísafjörður. Along the way there were some empty fish drying sheds and a pigeon coop. I shot these images on expired film.

Hnífsdalur, Iceland

Hnífsdalur, Iceland[Expired 35mm film taken with my Olympus 105G Superzoom. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road triparound Iceland.]

ÍS: Kittens in Ísafjörður

Isafjordur, Iceland On our first morning in Ísafjörður, my mom and I walked around the edge of the town and came across 5 tiny kittens, one two little to even run away from us, playing in the sunlight. They were flinging themselves onto each other in the most adorable play-fights, while a mama-cat watched lazily from nearby.

Isafjordur, Iceland

[35mm film taken with my Canon Rebel 2000]