© Stephen Eastaugh, 2019. All Rights Reserved.
A month of working in the Icelandic studio is almost at an end. The north Atlantic weather became very northern with horizontal rain, hail and gale winds battering our studio for a week then snow arrived and it looks like settling in for the winter. Inside is really the best place to be and that is where we have been plugging away at new artwork while eating the best thick yogurt in the world or is it really the best very soft cheese in the world? Skyr is one of the many local foods we have tried including puffin, whale and an excellent form of flat bread.
To break up the rather intense studio time we drove up northwest way to the Snaefellsnes peninsula. This is one beautiful region with a lot of striking landscape all spread out for your sensory enjoyment. Our first stop was a very obvious geological fault line called Pingvellir. Here the continental drift between the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plates is presented in its rocky splendor. This is also a cultural site where the old Vikings and Celts sorted their rustic chaos into order. The early settlers probably traveled by Icelandic ponies from across the island to create a parliament on top of this crest of the mid Atlantic ridge way back in 930.
We drove north to Stykkisholmur visiting Olafvik, Skardsvik beach, Neshraun and Londranger rocks all on the peninsula. Basically we circled about the impressive Snaefellsjokull (1446 m.) and enjoyed a feast of lava/moss fields. For some reason I just can’t get enough of this under-rated form of vegetation! Like a layer of natural shag-pile or soft felt that makes you think about squirming about in all its verdant greenness. Zillions of very tiny trees forming miniscule forests with a dense canopy not higher than 10 cm spread over harsh black lava beds that stretch for miles and miles.
Speaking of miles…we next travel southwards 836 miles or 1,346 km to Scotland where some single malt should to be drunk while we catch up with old friends.