June 23, 2024

Living Among The Heroes In The Westfjords Of Iceland

It’s amazing how much difference there is when there is snow over the landscape and when it goes in the spring. The time when the snow goes away and before the vegetation takes over and the mountains and valleys start to turn green can be colorless, but it depends on how you look at it.

I recently drove from the Westfjords to Reykjavík and on the way there was a lot of snow all over until I approached the Reykjavík area. By then, almost all the snow was gone. When I drove back, the snow had decreased a lot in the mountains in Dalir and in the Westfjords. The landscape had become completely different in just a few days.

It can be said that I have become pampered by the amazing landscape that the Westfjords are, so on the way home I did not pick up the camera until I had arrived in Ísafjarðardjúp where I was greeted by steep and striped mountains that were beautifully reflected in the sea as seen in the attached pictures.

And there is more that comes to mind when you come to the Westfjords and drive along the steep and narrow fjords. It is in many ways a miracle that it is still inhabited in the Westfjords. Subsoil to build on and cultivate is scarce in most places. If there had not been proximity to generous fishing grounds, settlement would probably have ceased at some point, as happened about 70 years ago in an area called Jökulfjörður and Hornstrandir.

But there is more that comes to mind when looking at the Westfjords landscape, which is always so spectacular, even though the car journeys have started to count in the hundreds I have traveled between Ísafjörður and Reykjavík. And that’s the people. I have been so lucky to meet people who are unique and in my mind are real heroes. People who have a unique resilience, humility and serenity towards the environment and the dangers and challenges that face them every day now as before. Living with these heroes gives me strength every day.