When I showed up in Akranes on Friday I wasn’t sure what I’d be getting up to. Alexandra, Hlin and Birta were waiting for me. We had a little bite to eat in the bakery before we made our way to the salon for the girls to get their hair done. That night we had pizza for dinner – did you know that Domino’s Pizza has been in Iceland for 20 years? – Now you do. We enjoyed pizza and sat around chatting long into the night. We actually talked about some pretty heavy subjects which was nice.
On Saturday we slept in a bit. Hlin was worried that I would be woken up from all the baking happening early in the morning as the bakery was right beside us, but I sleep though almost everything all the time so it wasn’t a problem. We made our way over to Rebekka’s house (Hlin’s sister) to pick up her daughters and then went to Dora’s (Hlin and Rebekka’s mother).
On Friday a man started talking to Alex, Hlin and myself about a blacksmith competition happening throughout the weekend. We walked to the museum area in Akranes to check it out. The old museum homes were open so we explored those before checking out the blacksmiths. These guys were tough. I watched one man pick up the stones and shuffle the embers with his bare hands. All I thought was… “That’s fire, guy! Why, guy? Why?” It hurts my hands just thinking about it now.
— Sacha Gudmundsson (@sachagud) August 17, 2013
We then made our way over to Dora’s home for dinner. Dora doesn’t speak English, and though I’m understanding a lot of the conversations around me I don’t have the words in my head to speak. I tried to say a couple different things, but boy, is my Icelandic terrible. She told my grandpa that I was trying to speak with her and did a good job but I think she was being polite.I decided to walk back to the bakery alone along the ocean. It was a beautiful night and the sound of the ocean was just fantastic.
On Sunday I made my way over to visit my cousin, Alex. He was born in Canada and spent sometime growing up there so I know him and his sister Arna the best of my Icelandic family (before being in Iceland). I remember one Christmas we had spent out west when we were younger together. Anyways, we caught up and I met his new wife Nína. They are coming to Canada in September but will be heading out west so I may not see them for a while.
That night I was back at the apartment with Alexandra, Birta and Birta’s boyfriend. We had dinner and then I took a walk to the lighthouse to watch the sunset because I’m cheesy like that.
Sunset in Akranes, Iceland. https://t.co/86vPjF7sIm
— Sacha Gudmundsson (@sachagud) August 18, 2013
That night we went to Rebekka’s house for dinner. She is a wonderful cook, I ate so much but knew that I needed to save room for dessert as her 13 year old daughter, Hekla, was making chocolate souffle. I just need to say, this was the best dessert that I have ever had. Ever. You can tell she comes from a family of bakers. Thinking about this now – my mouth is watering.
It was nice to get a chance to talk with Rebekka and get to know her better. That evening Hlin, Alexandra and I stayed up chatting late about a lot of ‘life’ stuff and perspectives. It was really nice to have spent time with them.