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.
Jökursarlón Lagoon, Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland

The Faltering of Europe's King Glacier

Only in Greenland and Antarctica are glaciers comparable to Vatnajökull, the supreme glacier of the old continent. And yet, even this colossus that gives more meaning to the term ice land is surrendering to the relentless siege of global warming.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Sculptural Garden, Edward James, Xilitla, Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Cobra dos Pecados
Architecture & Design
Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

Edward James' Mexican Delirium

In the rainforest of Xilitla, the restless mind of poet Edward James has twinned an eccentric home garden. Today, Xilitla is lauded as an Eden of the Surreal.

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
Christmas scene, Shillong, Meghalaya, India
Ceremonies and Festivities
Shillong, India

A Christmas Selfiestan at an India Christian Stronghold

December arrives. With a largely Christian population, the state of Meghalaya synchronizes its Nativity with that of the West and clashes with the overcrowded Hindu and Muslim subcontinent. Shillong, the capital, shines with faith, happiness, jingle bells and bright lighting. To dazzle Indian holidaymakers from other parts and creeds.
Nova Sintra, Brava, Cape Verde, panoramic
Nova Sintra, Brava, Cape Verde

A Creole Sintra, instead of Saloia

When Portuguese settlers discovered the island of Brava, they noticed its climate, much wetter than most of Cape Verde. Determined to maintain connections with the distant metropolis, they called the main town Nova Sintra.
Margilan, Uzbekistan

An Uzbekistan's Breadwinner

In one of the many bakeries in Margilan, worn out by the intense heat of the tandyr oven, the baker Maruf'Jon works half-baked like the distinctive traditional breads sold throughout Uzbekistan
Nahuatl celebration

Mexico City, Mexico

mexican soul

With more than 20 million inhabitants in a vast metropolitan area, this megalopolis marks, from its heart of zócalo, the spiritual pulse of a nation that has always been vulnerable and dramatic.

4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Fruit sellers, Swarm, Mozambique
Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

It is repeated at almost all stops in towns of Mozambique worthy of appearing on maps. The machimbombo (bus) stops and is surrounded by a crowd of eager "businessmen". The products offered can be universal such as water or biscuits or typical of the area. In this region, a few kilometers from Nampula, fruit sales suceeded, in each and every case, quite intense.
Aswan, Egypt, Nile River meets Black Africa, Elephantine Island
Aswan, Egypt

Where the Nile Welcomes the Black Africa

1200km upstream of its delta, the Nile is no longer navigable. The last of the great Egyptian cities marks the fusion between Arab and Nubian territory. Since its origins in Lake Victoria, the river has given life to countless African peoples with dark complexions.
sunlight photography, sun, lights
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 2)

One Sun, So Many Lights

Most travel photos are taken in sunlight. Sunlight and weather form a capricious interaction. Learn how to predict, detect and use at its best.
St. Augustine, City of Florida, USA, the Bridge of Lions
Saint Augustine, Florida, USA

Back to the Beginnings of Hispanic Florida

The dissemination of tourist attractions of questionable taste becomes superficial if we take into account the historical depth in question. This is the longest inhabited city in the contiguous US. Ever since Spanish explorers founded it in 1565, St. Augustine resists almost anything.
Surf Lesson, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
Waikiki, OahuHawaii

The Japanese Invasion of Hawaii

Decades after the attack on Pearl Harbor and from the capitulation in World War II, the Japanese returned to Hawaii armed with millions of dollars. Waikiki, his favorite target, insists on surrendering.
Oulu Finland, Passage of Time
Winter White
Oulu, Finland

Oulu: an Ode to Winter

Located high in the northeast of the Gulf of Bothnia, Oulu is one of Finland's oldest cities and its northern capital. A mere 220km from the Arctic Circle, even in the coldest months it offers a prodigious outdoor life.
Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

In 1964, Katsura Morimura delighted the Japan with a turquoise novel set in Ouvéa. But the neighboring Île-des-Pins has taken over the title "The Nearest Island to Paradise" and thrills its visitors.
Tinquilco Lake in PN Huerquehue, Pucón, La Araucania, Chile
Pucón, Chile

Among the Araucarias of La Araucania

At a certain latitude in longline Chile, we enter La Araucanía. This is a rugged Chile, full of volcanoes, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and the coniferous forests from which the region's name grew. And it is the heart of the pine nuts of the largest indigenous ethnic group in the country: the Mapuche.
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.
Natural Parks
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
Torres del Paine, Dramatic Patagonia, Chile
UNESCO World Heritage
PN Torres del Paine, Chile

The Most Dramatic Patagonia

Nowhere is the southernmost reaches of South America so breathtaking as the Paine Mountains. There, a natural fort of granite colossi surrounded by lakes and glaciers protrudes from the pampa and submits to the whims of meteorology and light.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Heartthrob's Eye
Ooty, India

In Bollywood's Nearly Ideal Setting

The conflict with Pakistan and the threat of terrorism made filming in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh a drama. In Ooty, we see how this former British colonial station took the lead.
Tarrafal, Santiago, Cape Verde, Tarrafal Bay
Tarrafal, Santiago, Cape Verde

The Tarrafal of Freedom and Slow Life

The village of Tarrafal delimits a privileged corner of the island of Santiago, with its few white sand beaches. Those who are enchanted there find it even more difficult to understand the colonial atrocity of the neighboring prison camp.
Sanahin Cable Car, Armenia
Alaverdi, Armenia

A Cable Car Called Ensejo

The top of the Debed River Gorge hides the Armenian monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat and terraced Soviet apartment blocks. Its bottom houses the copper mine and smelter that sustains the city. Connecting these two worlds is a providential suspended cabin in which the people of Alaverdi count on traveling in the company of God.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Creel, Chihuahua, Carlos Venzor, collector, museum
Chihuahua a Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico

On Creel's Way

With Chihuahua behind, we point to the southwest and to even higher lands in the north of Mexico. Next to Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, we visited a Mennonite elder. Around Creel, we lived for the first time with the Rarámuri indigenous community of the Serra de Tarahumara.
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.
Newborn turtle, PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica

A Night at the Nursery of Tortuguero

The name of the Tortuguero region has an obvious and ancient reason. Turtles from the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea have long flocked to the black sand beaches of its narrow coastline to spawn. On one of the nights we spent in Tortuguero we watched their frenzied births.
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.