Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

View of Seydisfjordur sheltered in one of the many fjords on the northeast coast of Iceland.
Church II
Church of Seydisfjordur, where rehearsals of the village's choral singing take place.
cold terrace
David Kristinsson and Philippe Clause on the terrace of the Hotel Aldan.
Village house at the foot of the mountains that delimit the fjord.
Aldan Cafe Interior
Interior of the Aldan café, once a grocery store and a video club.
fjord view
Framed panorama from the 1st floor of the Aldan hotel.
Tinna Gudmundsdottir at the Skaftafell Arts Center.
The cricket
Cafe bar sign bearing the name of a British oil tanker sunk in a Nazi air raid in Seydisfjordur.
Church of Seydisfjordur, where rehearsals of the village's choral singing take place.
David Kristinsson at the desk of his Hotel Aldan.
real estate bet
Interior of a former village bank, now converted into a "Norwegian wood" style house.
between the sea and the mountain
Margin occupied by the old houses of Seydisfjordur.
Philippe Clause
Philippe Clause, one of Seydisfjordur's expats at the studio where he produces stylish scarves and scarves.
a few decades ago
Historical showcase of the Hotel Aldan.
The Seydisfjordur fishing dock, once crowded with fishing boats, is now almost empty.
When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.

The flattened location of Egilsstadir, on the edge of one of the many thalwegs invaded by migratory birds from Iceland, leaves little to foresee in the stretch that follows.

After the junction, the road climbs the mountain, first covered with dry vegetation that lends it ocher and brownish tones, but which, with the altitude, soon gives way to white.

The snow increases visibly. At the top of the slope, the track is tucked between high walls of ice. Samples of avalanches fall on both sides that bury more and more the already suffocated asphalt.

It's the 4-wheel drive that saves us from an otherwise guaranteed drag.

The Twilight Descent to Seydisfjordur

Once the summit is reached from the front, the descent into the depths of the fjord begins.

It's almost ten, as they say, at night.

The sun persists in resisting in this Iceland, despite the frigid setting, already officially spring. The light from the subarctic sunset tinges the peaks of the mountains beyond magenta but misses the winding slope as we descend towards the foothills and the sea.

coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland

View of Seydisfjordur sheltered in one of the many fjords on the northeast coast of Iceland.

We spent a frozen waterfall. A few meanders of asphalt later, we finally glimpse the diffuse houses. Seydisfjordur, Iceland's furthest city from Reykjavik, is soon.

David Kristinsson meets us in the car park next to his Hotel Aldan. We hit the nail on the visit and realized that he expected us to get to know the charm and fame of the place beforehand.

This was not yet the case.

Night falls for good. On the host's recommendation, we stayed in the old bank building that he had also recovered. Installed there, we recharge the batteries of the work equipment and, as soon as possible, ours, almost to zero after the long journey from husavik.

New Day Among the Norwegian Wood Houses of Seydisfjordur

Morning and breakfast bring us back to lucidity. David enjoys. Show us the picturesque corners of Norwegian wood of the Hotel Aldan, probably brought in the form of Kit da Norway, once a grocery store, then a video club.

owner, hotel Aldan, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland

David Kristinsson at the desk of his Hotel Aldan.

Philippe Clause, a Welsh friend from the outskirts of Paris who lives in a studio across the street, keeps us company.

Norwegian fishermen resumed a previous colonization that is presumed to be prior to the XNUMXth century.

Attracted by the abundance of herring, they built the first wooden buildings and established, there, a fishing post, the same as the North American whaler Thomas Welcome Roys, in the XNUMXth century.

houses, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Village house at the foot of the mountains that delimit the fjord.

World War II and the Annihilation of the Local Fishing Fleet

When World War II broke out, the village had already developed significantly. It housed a precursor undersea cable car connecting Iceland to mainland Europe and the country's inaugural high-voltage station.

British and American strategists detected the advantages of its location and decreed that a military base and airstrip be installed there. Today, that track is disabled.

church, village, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland.

Church of Seydisfjordur, where rehearsals of the village's choral singing take place.

David picks up the story further on: “Until a while ago, there was a good fishing fleet leaving here and a large fish processing plant. In its own way, the municipality evolved to become the most prosperous in east Iceland.

Until the powerful shipowners of Reykjavik bought almost all the boats. Seydisfjordur no longer had jobs to offer and was abandoned.”

dock, boats, fishing, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland

The Seydisfjordur fishing dock, once crowded with fishing boats, is now almost empty.

Seydisfjordur and Dieter Roth: A Creative Shift from Fishing to Art

The advent of tourism saved it, by unconventional means, by the way. Early onlookers appreciated its secluded beauty and settled down. This was followed by a community of bohemians and breeders attracted by the welcome of the pioneers and the feeling of freedom.

Some arrived from other parts of Europe.

The most famous, the Swiss-German artist Dieter Roth, saw in Seydisfjordur a magical place. In the last decade of his life, he established one of several seasonal residences in the village.

storefront hotel Aldan, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Historical showcase of the Hotel Aldan.

Roth died in 1998. In that same year, a group of admirers of his work, of art in general and of the village, founded a Center for Visual Art in the villa where Skaftfell lived.

The Devotion and Dedication of David Kristinsson by Seydisfjordur

That's where we walk with David, between the inlet that invades the fjord and the colorful houses at the foot of the slope. Along the way, the tour guide tells us a little about his life: how he was born in Akureyri, the capital of the north.

The period when he moved to Copenhagen with his girlfriend, where, after three years, he learned good Danish, despite a childhood teacher telling him that he could never do it.

He also tells us about his return to Reykjavik, where he also lived, but which he never got used to.

And his move, in 2011, to Seydisfjordur, with arms and luggage, with ideas and some money to invest in the community, as he confesses to us, without any obsession with profit.

interior, real estate, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Interior of a former village bank, now converted into a “Norwegian wood” style house.

We arrived at Skaftafell.

Skaftafell and Dieter Roth: Place for Art and Creativity

David introduces us to Tinna Gudmundsdottir who, in turn, introduces us to the center with undisguised pride. On the third floor, it shows us the rooms in the residence allocated to art students and other passersby.

arts center, Skaftafell, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Tinna Gudmundsdottir at the Skaftafell Arts Center.

In the second, we looked at a series of sketches displayed on the walls and examined with chemical amazement the window of fast food rotten with which Dieter Roth, resorting to countless bacteria, once again expressed his social restlessness and critical creativity.

This type of biodegradable works was common in the artist who, for that reason, was also known as Dieter Roth.

A born experimentalist with inexhaustible energy and dedication, Roth has produced numerous artists' notebooks, printed works and sculptures. “He would turn to this table when he had any more outburst ideas. I created sketches and accumulated them around here until, later, I associated them in books or other formats.

We now invite those around here to leave their marks as well.” Tinna tells us, then leads us to a bookshelf filled with the former owner's other books and guides us page after page.

Seydisfjordur's Political Misalignment

At a certain point, the conversation changes tone, as the sparkle in the blue eyes of Gudmund's daughter who protests against the situation that Iceland has reached, reassures us due to their right-wing governments, always too concerned with financial returns.

“Profit, profit and more profit. That's all they think about. Even the new supermarket that was installed up there, insists on exploiting us with hyperinflated prices. Here in Seydisfjordur, most of us avoid it.

landscape, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland.

Margin occupied by the old houses of Seydisfjordur.

We'd rather do the 60 km over the mountain and shop in Egilsstadir than get robbed.” The political-economic debate lingers. Tinna is intrigued and, for a moment, disarmed when we tell her that in Portugal there is a strong sense that the last left-wing government has bankrupted the country.

The time we had for the city runs out.

Around the Seaside of Seydisfjordur

We leave Skaftafell around lunchtime. David escorts us halfway to the Hotel Aldan. When we arrive at a service station, he tells us the time of separation: “Well, I'll stay here. On Fridays, we all meet at that restaurant. The food is very bad, the conviviality pays off.”

On our own, we decided to explore a little more of the village and the fjord. In almost two hours, we only found eight or nine souls out of the nearly 700 that are supposed to inhabit.

church, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland.

Church of Seydisfjordur, where rehearsals of the village's choral singing take place.

The tourist office works but is empty, like the closed dock where we see only a few boats lined up, the few left over from the commercial raid perpetrated by the capital's fishing companies.

And Philippe Clause's Artistic Knitwear

Before we left, we still went through the Philippe's house who, in the comfort of the studio, shows little concern with that apparent civilizational stagnation.

scarves studio, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Philippe Clause, one of Seydisfjordur's expats at the studio where he produces stylish scarves and scarves.

His art is knitting and, at a table full of colorful skeins of wool, the French expatriate is dedicated to finishing new scarves, shawls and scarves elegant ones that he promotes in a makeshift showcase on the walls and online, where he is the model himself.

David told us that his hotel business and the city were more interested in visitors who wanted to spend several days there enjoying the tranquility and cultural dynamics, not so much those who ran around Iceland in six or seven days.


view from Aldan hotel, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Framed panorama from the 1st floor of the Aldan hotel.

We were exploring the island with some more than just. Still, we belonged to the last class.

We got into the car and said goodbye to Seydisfjordur. Until the next opportunity.

Miami, USA

A Masterpiece of Urban Rehabilitation

At the turn of the 25st century, the Wynwood neighbourhood remained filled with abandoned factories and warehouses and graffiti. Tony Goldman, a shrewd real estate investor, bought more than XNUMX properties and founded a mural park. Much more than honoring graffiti there, Goldman founded the Wynwood Arts District, the great bastion of creativity in Miami.
Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

The Origins of the Remote Viking Democracy

The foundations of popular government that come to mind are the Hellenic ones. But what is believed to have been the world's first parliament was inaugurated in the middle of the XNUMXth century, in Iceland's icy interior.

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
Jok​ülsárlón Lagoon, Iceland

The Chant and the Ice

Created by water from the Arctic Ocean and the melting of Europe's largest glacier, Jokülsárlón forms a frigid and imposing domain. Icelanders revere her and pay her surprising tributes.

The Island of Fire, Ice and Waterfalls

Europe's supreme cascade rushes into Iceland. But it's not the only one. On this boreal island, with constant rain or snow and in the midst of battle between volcanoes and glaciers, endless torrents crash.
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a High camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
Architecture & Design

the last address

From the grandiose tombs of Novodevichy, in Moscow, to the boxed Mayan bones of Pomuch, in the Mexican province of Campeche, each people flaunts its own way of life. Even in death.
The small lighthouse at Kallur, highlighted in the capricious northern relief of the island of Kalsoy.
Kalsoy, Faroe Islands

A Lighthouse at the End of the Faroese World

Kalsoy is one of the most isolated islands in the Faroe archipelago. Also known as “the flute” due to its long shape and the many tunnels that serve it, a mere 75 inhabitants inhabit it. Much less than the outsiders who visit it every year, attracted by the boreal wonder of its Kallur lighthouse.
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
Ceremonies and Festivities
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
good buddhist advice
Chiang Mai, Thailand

300 Wats of Spiritual and Cultural Energy

Thais call every Buddhist temple wat and their northern capital has them in obvious abundance. Delivered to successive events held between shrines, Chiang Mai is never quite disconnected.
Singapore Asian Capital Food, Basmati Bismi

The Asian Food Capital

There were 4 ethnic groups in Singapore, each with its own culinary tradition. Added to this was the influence of thousands of immigrants and expatriates on an island with half the area of ​​London. It was the nation with the greatest gastronomic diversity in the Orient.
Tabato, Guinea Bissau, Balafons
Tabato, Guinea Bissau

Tabatô: to the Rhythm of Balafom

During our visit to the tabanca, at a glance, the djidius (poet musicians)  mandingas are organized. Two of the village's prodigious balaphonists take the lead, flanked by children who imitate them. Megaphone singers at the ready, sing, dance and play guitar. There is a chora player and several djambes and drums. Its exhibition generates successive shivers.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Chefchouen to Merzouga, Morocco

Morocco from Top to Bottom

From the aniseed alleys of Chefchaouen to the first dunes of the Sahara, Morocco reveals the sharp contrasts of the first African lands, as Iberia has always seen in this vast Maghreb kingdom.
Islamic silhouettes

Istanbul, Turkey

Where East meets West, Turkey Seeks its Way

An emblematic and grandiose metropolis, Istanbul lives at a crossroads. As Turkey in general, divided between secularism and Islam, tradition and modernity, it still doesn't know which way to go

portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Portfolio Got2globe

The Best in the World – Got2Globe Portfolio

The inevitable fishing

Florianopolis, Brazil

The South Atlantic Azorean Legacy

During the XNUMXth century, thousands of Portuguese islanders pursued better lives in the southern confines of Brazil. In the villages they founded, traces of affinity with the origins abound.

Sun and coconut trees, São Nicolau, Cape Verde
São Nicolau, Cape Verde

São Nicolau: Pilgrimage to Terra di Sodade

Forced matches like those that inspired the famous morna “soda” made the pain of having to leave the islands of Cape Verde very strong. Discovering saninclau, between enchantment and wonder, we pursue the genesis of song and melancholy.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Winter White
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
shadow vs light
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Pico Island, west of the mountain, Azores, Lajes do Pico
Pico Island, Azores

The Island East of the Pico Mountain

As a rule, whoever arrives at Pico disembarks on its western side, with the volcano (2351m) blocking the view on the opposite side. Behind Pico Mountain, there is a whole long and dazzling “east” of the island that takes time to unravel.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Principe Island, São Tomé and Principe
Natural Parks
Príncipe, São Tomé and Principe

Journey to the Noble Retreat of Príncipe Island

150 km of solitude north of the matriarch São Tomé, the island of Príncipe rises from the deep Atlantic against an abrupt and volcanic mountain-covered jungle setting. Long enclosed in its sweeping tropical nature and a contained but moving Luso-colonial past, this small African island still houses more stories to tell than visitors to listen to.
Armenia Cradle Christianity, Mount Aratat
UNESCO World Heritage

The Cradle of the Official Christianity

Just 268 years after Jesus' death, a nation will have become the first to accept the Christian faith by royal decree. This nation still preserves its own Apostolic Church and some of the oldest Christian temples in the world. Traveling through the Caucasus, we visit them in the footsteps of Gregory the Illuminator, the patriarch who inspires Armenia's spiritual life.
Earp brothers look-alikes and friend Doc Holliday in Tombstone, USA
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Moorea aerial view
Moorea, French Polynesia

The Polynesian Sister Any Island Would Like to Have

A mere 17km from Tahiti, Moorea does not have a single city and is home to a tenth of its inhabitants. Tahitians have long watched the sun go down and transform the island next door into a misty silhouette, only to return to its exuberant colors and shapes hours later. For those who visit these remote parts of the Pacific, getting to know Moorea is a double privilege.
Rostov Veliky Kremlin, Russia
Rostov Veliky, Russia

Under the Domes of the Russian Soul

It is one of the oldest and most important medieval cities, founded during the still pagan origins of the nation of the tsars. At the end of the XNUMXth century, incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Moscow, it became an imposing center of orthodox religiosity. Today, only the splendor of kremlin Muscovite trumps the citadel of tranquil and picturesque Rostov Veliky.
white pass yukon train, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA
On Rails
Skagway, Alaska

A Klondike's Gold Fever Variant

The last great American gold rush is long over. These days, hundreds of cruise ships each summer pour thousands of well-heeled visitors into the shop-lined streets of Skagway.
patpong, go go bar, bangkok, one thousand and one nights, thailand
Bangkok, Thailand

One Thousand and One Lost Nights

In 1984, Murray Head sang the nighttime magic and bipolarity of the Thai capital in "One night in bangkok". Several years, coups d'etat, and demonstrations later, Bangkok remains sleepless.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Ross Bridge, Tasmania, Australia
Discovering tassie, Part 3, Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania from Top to Bottom

The favorite victim of Australian anecdotes has long been the Tasmania never lost the pride in the way aussie ruder to be. Tassie remains shrouded in mystery and mysticism in a kind of hindquarters of the antipodes. In this article, we narrate the peculiar route from Hobart, the capital located in the unlikely south of the island to the north coast, the turn to the Australian continent.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.