I’m in a slightly different middle of nowhere part of the Westfjords today. We had a field trip to get tours of two businesses that we have been talking about for the last couples days in class; a sustainable fish farming place and misc diving and fish farming support place.
But first we went to a waterfall. And naturally it was raining.
The waterfall in question is Dynjandi waterfall, a classic cascading Icelandic waterfall, with a noise you could lean on. We hiked up the path next to it, so we could see each level up close and splashy. Even if it hadn’t been raining, wind gusting off the waterfall throws mist and water droplets every which way, making this a thoroughly wet experience. I was delighted.
The rain cleared up a little as we got to top, and there was a lovely vibrant rainbow. I was kind of stupidly happy to just be outside, sitting in the weather as it rolled over. I remain deeply grateful to my waterproof shoes (always always buy waterproof shoes), because the path, despite being very well constructed and maintained, was just a stream in places. But my feet are warm and dry which are primary joys.
We kept driving; the funny thing about driving in the Westfjords is that basically all the roads are coastroads (because going up and over the mountains is quite a bad plan in the winter), so you spend a lot of time wiggling up and down the length of various fjords, making the drive between two towns that are close are the crow flies a decently long drive. Fractals. They really do pack an amazing amount of length into a little area.
We got a rapid fire introduction to a sustainable fish farm; apparently they got into salmon because pound for pound they one of the most efficient animals humans eat at turning food mass into body mass. Then we piled back into the bus and drove for a pretty short distance until we reached a place that is basically a jack-of-ocean-trades; they make bathymetry maps, they clean ships, they have divers that inspect fish farming cages, they fix up harbors, and get called in to do avalanche response.
School field trips to businesses always felt a little strange to me; they basically just give you a little corporate spiel, and they never really let you talk to the R&D people, so if you ask a technical question, you get business-speak back. I guess it’s interesting that this is a thing that exists, but unless you’re trying to build contacts to get internships (still dubious) or something it feels mildly slimy.
After the second place, we headed towards the hotel, but got terribly distracted by a giant rusty boat that we all formed up and took a picture in front of. And then climbed all over (I was very careful where I put my hands, don’t fret at me). In the fjord we saw a harbor seal, and something with a dorsal fin that was probably a porpoise.
Clambered back into the van and I dozed until we stopped in the town our hotel is in. Well, town in that there’s a hotel, a church, and beach. All the essentials, I guess? Had a lovely dinner that fish and potatoes and cheese and fresh bread. Watched a sunset into the sea. Tomorrow we’re going to do a walking tour of a nearby town and talk about avalanches, and then head back to Isafjordur.
I’ve gotta write a short reflection about this trip for class, which is just this, roughly, but with less snark. I’ll have to restrain my enthusiasm. But anyway, I’ll leave you with a sunset.
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