In a country that is already known for its isolation and magical nature, the Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar) still manage to feel particularly far. The archipelago shines brightly under its green summer cloak, while gray seabirds called fulmars circle and dance effortlessly along the galley, some of them soar right by the ferry that goes daily from Landeyjahöfn to Heimaey, the largest island and home to the Westman Islands only town.
When the final approach to the harbor arrives, the bright green contrasts sharply with the lively cobwebs and tawny browns of the cliffs adjacent to the harbor. My traveling companion, Grapevine photographer Art Bicnick, has been to Heimaey several times and puts it very aptly: “When the sun is out here, it looks like somewhere in the Caribbean.”
Lunch and study
After an early morning, a two-hour drive and a forty-minute ferry ride to Heimaey is a good, substantial lunch in a row. Come in Good. One of the most well-known grocery stores in the Islands, its owners make all the sauces, stews, soups, breads and cakes on site from local ingredients with great care. The cauliflower burger makes for a filling but refreshing lunch, stuffed with a mixture of cauliflower, avocado, quinoa and tomatoes, held together with fluffy mashed potatoes and served alongside small potatoes that are baked to perfect perfection.
With body and mind reunited, it sets off Sagnheimar Folk Music Museum, which shows exhibits of many unexpected and peculiar aspects of the island’s history, such as the importance of the festival, its invasion of the Ottoman pirates in 1627, its many Mormon inhabitants who moved to Utah, the puffin hunting tradition in Yore (now largely abandoned) , the eruption of 1973 which saw the evacuation of all islanders for a few months, and the number of inhabitants who represented Iceland at the 1936 Olympics. Curator Hörður Baldvinsson gestured to a notebook on the wall belonging to one of the athletes filled with handwritten explanations on the pages. “[He] was a friend of Jesse Owens, who left a note in his memoir, “he explains. “We got it from his family.”
“[Puffins] flickered quickly in all directions, flashes of color propelling themselves with constant blows from their long, skinny wings. “
Puffins and plant-related
After experiencing the gastronomy and history of the island in abundance, it’s time for a little nature as a digestive substance. This small peninsula of Stórhöfði winds out from the southern part of Heimaey in a semi-circle and is home to living seabird clusters. Fillings, kittens, gannets, gillnets, seagulls in Iceland and gannets all nest in large numbers here, but of course the Atlantic remains, where the world’s largest colony is located on this island, are stars of the show. They whistle quickly in all directions, color lights propel themselves with constant blows from their long, skinny wings, ferry catches of eels in stunning multicolored swaps back and forth to the holes to feed their young, which, according to Hörður, will probably be escaped next week or so.
While the puffins enjoy the lack of catch, we prefer to drink at noon instead The brother of the brewery. A wide selection of beers is on offer, with something on the menu for all tastes, from fruity IPAs to good lagers. One of the main drinks on the menu is Óskar heimsveldi, a strong brew with a hint of almonds that gives it almost coffee-like taste, the latest in a long series of annual house breaks named after locals.
The day ends with dinner at It’s, a burger joint newly created by the owner The slip just across the street. The vegan hamburger loin, which is fried with fast-cooked tops with a generous amount of pickled onions, served with cauliflower buffalo wings that are cooked to perfection, the vegan hamburger burger provides a more enjoyable, filling and delicious end to the day.
Source: The Nordic Page