This year I was invited to spend the long Easter weekend at a cabin in the Skagafjörður region with my friends Victor and Jan and Victor’s Norwegian friend, confusingly also named Victor.
To reduce confusion it is perhaps best to introduce the cast of characters up front.
Victor, AKA My Victor, AKA German Victor:
Victor, AKA Other Victor, AKA Norwegian Victor, AKA Jerry:
I came down with a cold or flu a couple days before the trip, but decided in the end to go anyway. Lucky for me, the guys took care of all the preparations – finding and booking the cabin, planning meals and shopping, etc. After all the planning I did for our weekend at Króktún the month before, it was wonderful to have someone else do the work this time around!
The guys picked me up on Thursday and we headed out of Reykjavík, through the Hvalfjörður tunnel, to Borgarnes, and onward north to Varmahlíð, a tiny village near Skagafjörður. Along the way, we quizzed each other on state capitals and ate iconic German buildings in gummy form, because we are cool like that.
We also made a couple sightseeing stops, including at this crater, where the wind was Icelandically strong:
We found our cabin, which was quaint and cozy and perfect, with a tiny Icelandic “forest” nearby and a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains.
After we settled in, the guys went on a walk to explore the area, but I stayed back to rest as I still wasn’t feeling 100%. That evening, Jan and I taught the Victors to make guacamole, and Jan made Icelandic lamb burritos for dinner. For dessert we had a tiramisu that the guys prepared the night before, and I’m not sure if it was partly the atmosphere of the cabin or what, but it was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. Mmm. We were all in a bit of a food coma after that.
On Friday, we woke to magically warm sun streaming in through the windows. It was so magically warm, in fact, that the páskaegg we had left on the coffee table had melted a wee bit:
After breakfast, we headed out for a road trip. We drove north and stopped in Hofsós, where we saw Vesturfarasetrið, the Icelandic Emigration Museum (sadly not yet open for the season) and where Jan fell into a snow hole and then tried to play it cool.
Then we continued around the Skagafjörður peninsula. In Varmahlíð and Hofsós, it was sunny and almost warm, definitely springlike. But on the northern tip of the peninsula and the eastern side it was still winter. We stopped in Siglufjörður and wandered around a bit and I was positively frozen by the time we reached the car again. In Akureyri, we had coffee, Victor had ice cream (as per usual), and we ended up at a pizza place for dinner, where I had a language learning moment. I wanted to order some pizza sauce on the side, but I forgot that in Icelandic, “tómatsósa” (literally “tomato sauce”) means ketchup, whereas pizza or pasta sauce, which I would call tomato sauce in English, is “pítsusósa.” So I got a big tasty pizza with not-so-tasty ketchup on the side. Oops. Lesson learned.
On Saturday we got in to the Easter spirit by holding an Easter egg hunt, as all well-adjusted adults do. This was my idea, I think, while the trip was still in the planning stages, and to my delight the guys were totally on board. We had 12 plastic Easter eggs, I think, so we took turns and each hid 4, both inside and outside the cabin. Jan was crowned Easter egg hunt champion, having found 5-6 eggs if I remember correctly.
That evening we feasted on German food – potatoes and sausage (well, Icelandic hot dog) in green sauce, a Hessian specialty (Hessen being the region of Germany from which my Germans come), and apple wine to drink.
Around 1 AM, when we should have been going to sleep, Jan and I decided to finally make use of the hot pot out on the porch, and we were just in time to see the Northern Lights begin dancing. It was the perfect way to end the trip.
Sunday morning the weather was once again so stunningly beautiful that it was difficult to say goodbye to our happy little cabin world. But around midday we set out for the big city again. By the time we reached Reykjavík, I was truly sad to say goodbye to my boys. I arrived home to a house full of relatives, a stark and noisy contrast to the peace and quiet of Varmahlíð, but I joined Ásta’s family for a lovely Easter dinner.
The next night, the boys and I got together for a beer and a round of Sequence because we just missed each other that much already.
Takk fyrir mig, strákar, og við sjáumst næst í Gurk, er það ekki?