Rusted, weather-beaten houses emerge from the landscape in tiny pockets of colour. Muted, primary-coloured flowers in its otherwise bleak wasteland. Remote farmhouses stand with their backs stoically towards the endless grey ocean and tin-roofed, two story, chocolate box homes rest alongside industrial estates and dual carriageways. Then behind it all, the mountains. Rolling,snow-capped and postcard perfect. If Wes Anderson had specially commissioned an alien planet to be colonised and terra-formed he would have ended up with Reykjavik.
Stand in the middle of a field and turn 360o and you’ll see every kind of weather and, by the time you complete the circle will be putting up a brolly..or taking off a layer..or both.
The wind slips down to us fresh from a glacier, colder than the season and a reminder of how close we are to icy nothingness.
Yet the city buzzes with life. Three hours of sunset and no real darkness give the people
“All the energy to do everything”
a taxi driver confides. Walk around at midnight and you’ll find small pockets of people, bundled in sweaters, sitting by the ocean as the otherworldly orange light bathes them. Laughing, loving, reading and enjoying the summer for all it’s worth. Storing up the sunlight in their souls to keep them warmed through the endless darkness that winter will bring.
Here we are remote. Removed. Yet revitalised and alive.