The Westman Islands

The day trip we took to the Westman Islands was probably among my favorite places to see during the trip. We had read the journals of Ólafur Egilsson and the abductions that occurred on the islands, so it was fascinating to see them in person. I think one thing that became apparent from our visit to the islands is that there really was nowhere for the people to hide from the pirates, as there are no trees and the islands are small. This vulnerability really put in perspective how the pirates were so successful at taking prisoners. On a personal level though I was amazed by the beauty of the islands, as they mostly are made up of sheer cliffs and vibrant green grass, creating a unique contrast. We did a boat ride, however as I remained above I ended up getting fairly soaked by a large wave, which while entertaining in retrospect was a little cold at the time.


Siglufjörður was one of my personal favorite places that we visited, as we had the opportunity to both read Snowblind, which is set there, in addition to meeting an S&T Alumni. To enter the town we had to go through a tunnel several kilometers long, but once you are through it is stunning. The town rests on the west side of the fjord, which is surrounded by snow covered peaks. The town itself was small but very quaint, with the mayor Gunnar Birgisson being a very charismatic figure. As he was the alumni that we met up with in addition to being mayor, he gave us a tour of the town. We were informed about the communities economical issues, their current businesses, and the nature of living in such a remote location. Following the presentation and tour Gunnar took us to a local restaurant to appreciate the scenery.