A Motionless Journey #2 – Under the Aurora Borealis in Húsavík

Our flight to Húsavík is late. There’s a little snowstorm in Reykjavík, maybe that’s the reason for this delay. While we’re waiting, Giuditta and I have all the time to keep on surprising on how here things are informal, sometimes even too much. We’re holding our tickets and they seem more like sales receipts than flight tickets or boarding cards. On them, our names are written in a very singular way: ‘Fransisco Ferin’ and ‘Giulitta D’.

Probably there was a misunderstanding in the spelling of our names when I booked the flight by phone, some weeks ago. They told me that if there had been any mistake, it would have been corrected at the airport, on the day of the flight… in other words, today. Thing is, we check-in but nobody asks us to show our documents. They embark our luggage and nobody asks for documents. When the moment comes to get on the plane, after the weather gets better, nobody asks for documents. Nor our luggage is inspected. What gets closer to an inspection is when a guy asks: “Are you going to Húsavík?”

We answer yes and embark. We’re a bit incredulous. And rebaptized.

Húsavík, Iceland

Our destination is just 40 minutes away. Húsavík is the town where we already lived for three months last summer. A small town of 2300 inhabitants, squeezed between the mountain in its back, the Húsavíkurfjall, and the sea on the other side, located on the eastern-shore of Skjálfandi bay, just few tens of kilometers from the Arctic Circle. A town which it’s easy, very easy indeed, to fall in love with.

However, I’m sure we’re gonna find a different town this time. In place of the surreal midnight sunset there are gonna be the magic northen lights. The hill behind the city it’s not going to be green and violet with grass and flowers, but all covered in snow. Most of our friends and of the people we met this summer are not gonna be there. Andri, Einar and Þórdís live in Reykjavík now, and like them many others, Icelanders and other people from all over Europe, were in Húsavík just for the summer. The town, surprisingly dynamic and active during the hot season, will probably be asleep under a cover of ice now. The hiss of the wind and the dull sound of footprints on the snow will be the only audible noises walking through the empty streets.

Húsavík, Iceland

In the meantime, during the flights the turbulences carry on. It couldn’t be otherwise considering the weather and the size of the plane, an aircraft with no more than 20 seats, in which I need to bend my back while I walk through the corridor to not bump my head. I need around 30 minutes to understand that the never ending whiteness I see from my window is not due to the clouds but to the snow that covers everything. We’re flying just some hundreds meters from the ground. The flight takes a bit longer than what was scheduled. We land in Húsavík around 3 p.m. The Sun has already set.

Translated from Italian by Giuditta Gubbi.

Read the previous part: Back to Iceland

Read the next part: Iceland’s Sweet Winter

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