June 23, 2024

Last night, a strong gale has blown over the western part of Iceland. The sea level has been high and water has flooded many parts of the country. The Westfjords have escaped quite well, although the wind has been blowing hard for a while.

When you look at the picture with this post and read the news of the night, your mind wanders to your ancestors. It is difficult to understand how they survived a difficult winter with the housing and equipment they had.

It has probably been cold on the shore to walk on the slippery rocks on lambskin shoes to push boats afloat and sail out into the uncertainty. There were no accurate weather forecasts at that time and people had to rely on common sense. It was not certain that everybody would return safely home.

At that time, cohesion and solidarity were the key to survival. People huddled together in the turf huts and worked as one man when they had to go to sea.

Old Fishing Station
Old Fishing Station

Solidarity is all that matters in order to survive, and it still is. The houses are better, the equipment is better and the communities are larger, but still it is the cohesion and solidarity that makes it possible to live in the Westfjords and many more places in Iceland.

More about turf houses and conditions in the old days in Iceland: