Vestmannaeyjar

Half an hour by ferry off the south coast of Iceland lies an archipelago, called Vestmannaeyjar. In 1973, it draws international attention due to a four-months eruption, which destroyed a part of the town of Heimaey and threatened to close the harbour, the subsistence of the island. In the end, the locals got the better part of the bargain, the canal now being sheltered by a 20 meters high lava field…
Every summer, the largest music festival happens, dragging many young Icelanders on the island. We went there, with Lisa and Ivan, but not for that event, just to enjoy.
After a nice first day, walking around, taking a boat tour around the island, and tasting food when we could eat it, we got stalked by some Icelander which seemed naturally high… Or just lost… Anyway, we had a very nice dinner at Slippurinn. Very well-cooked fish, along with some unpretending but good starters and desserts.
On the next day, we rented bikes, to allow us to see most of the island. We started by Eldfell, the volcano, main tourist attraction. Its recent lava, stark red and black, contrasts with the otherwise grass-covered green landscape… Next we headed to Stórhöfði, all the way south if the island. Supposedly, lots of puffins nest there, but we must have been too late in the season… It is also known as the windiest point of Iceland, and maybe Europe, averaging 4 calm days a year. We must have hit one of them since we barely felt any breeze out there.
After that, ride back to the town, and ferry to the mainland, before stopping in Selfoss for another nice food experience at Tryggvaskáli.
A super nice week-end, under a cloudless blue sky, witnessing a temperature of 17°C, feeling like 25°C…

And a fun fact, for comparison: Vestmannaeyjar covers an area of 17km², for about 4000 inhabitants. Stewart Island, all the way down to New Zealand, is over 1700km² for about 400 hundred locals…

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