Yesterday- Monday, on the way to visit the Mayor (Sveitarsttori) Mr. Gunnolfur Larusson, I began my walk on the snowy road, and jumped back when I saw two teenagers in a car slipping and sliding, laughing all the way. An adult man driving behind them had an angry look on his face. So when the two cars drove off down the road, I ventured across the road to the sidewalk, all the while telling myself, ‘I will not fall, I will not fall.’
I was early for the 11 o’clock appointment so I went into the Grill where the owner Soley Indridad greeted me. She had been gone for a few days to Reykjavik, so other women had diligently taken over for her. She asked me who I was and what would I be doing in the town, and she seemed interested in my plan.
I purchased a muffin called, Aunt Mabel’s-original American taste. Hmmm, I’ve never had a muffin with a burst of creamy carmel inside before, but maybe it’s grown somewhere in America…not sure. But this one was made right in Iceland.
When it was time to leave, I made tracks in the snow to the city hall, and was greeted warmly by Mayor Larusson. He answered all the questions I had about the town, his job and his hopes for the townsfolk.
“We are trying to make certain that everyone here has work,” he said. And he added that because of the fish production company now in the works, everyone is employed. He also mentioned each family in town has two to four children, and he wants to make their needs a high priority.
The building of another harbor across the peninsula at Finnafjordur, is another business he is working on with other folks. A larger harbor will benefit both communities with more opportunities.
Larusson then told me about a woman who once worked in the city developing a travel interest to the town and he would make it possible for me to meet with her. He called her and made an appointment for us to meet later. He then gave me a pin with the logo of the City; a picture of bird and a fish on both sides of the Peninsula.
I met with Halldora, who is presently promoting the guesthouse Ytra Lon Farm Hostel and the experiences being offered through the hostel.
There is one other guesthouse as well, and also the Jorvik Hotel where I’m staying.
Halldora gave a rundown of the reasons people should travel to the Langanes Peninsula, beginning with the variety of bird species. “We have a rich bird life here.” Bird watchers would find it a paradise, and she mentioned the Northern Gannet, which in Iceland is the only place where these birds can be spotted from land. “Usually they can only be seen from the sea.”
Other amenities found in the town is a car rental agency available from the city of Akureyi, with a local manager, the swimming pool and two hot pots and the harbor. “You can go to the harbor around 4 o’clock and see fisherman coming back from their trip,” Halldora said.
The town has many clubs with a variety of interests, which keeps people busy with their hobbies, and there is also someone who does hair care and another person does nail treatment. “I can have my tires changed and repairs on my car and the yearly check up required by law, in this town,” she added.
Also in the town, you can find a health center with a doctor and a pharmacy, an ambulance and police department, as well. “And we have an airport,” she added.
Siggi Magnusson, the owner of the Jorvik Hotel, where I’m staying, had previously mentioned some of the towns’ features as well, and while looking outside of a window that takes up most of one wall, he pointed out that from this vantage point you can watch the sunset change its direction throughout the year until solstice. At some point you can see the sun set half way down to the ocean, and then it starts rising again. “This is because we’re so close to the Arctic Circle.”
Anyone interested in an Icelandic experience should not only stop at the capitol city of Reykjavik, but journey on to the town of Porshofn. No disappointments here, believe me.