A Motionless Journey #1 – Back to Iceland

It’s a spring day, year 1999, I’m not 12 yet. An insert of the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera is there, on the sofa of my dining room. On the front page I see a wooden house, coloured in dark blue, with a red roof, which seems to be there by chance, on the heads of land that create innumerable small bays, where the bright yellow fishing boat ‘Glaður’ is docked, on a deep blue sea. If everything has its start at a precise moment, that day of the past millennium was, without me knowing it, the moment in which I fell in love with a magic land, Iceland.


Those pages, which had tied my heart, had stayed there for ten years, almost forgotten. Then, one day, by chance, I open that insert again and few weeks later I’m on an Icelandexpress flight. Next to me, Giuditta. We’re really excited. A land I imagine extreme and mignificient is waiting for us. I’ve had more then ten years to model this land in my head. A land covered in ice, cracked by always active volcanos and geysers erupting under your feet. A land beaten by an eternal wind, where women are all blonde and men show off the tipical viking beards and mustaches. Someone wearing the helmet with the two horns, maybe. A land with black bays and sheer cliffs on rough water, where tiny fishing boats are thrown in every direction while tens of whales are breaching and fishermen, calm and relaxed, are eating rotten shark and drinking Brennevin, the ‘black death’ liquor.
 A land flooded by green moss, inhabited by elves and trolls. A land that I’ve always dreamed to visit, and that now is there.

Vatnajokull glacier - Iceland

All of these have always been recurring thoughts at the beginning of every journey to Iceland. This time it’s not different. I’m at Reykiavík domestic airport, waiting for the flight to Húsavík. Near me there’s always Giuditta. We’re not excited like the first time. Many years have passed and 4 journeys made me understand how not exactly all of what I thought before was right. The feeling, however, is the same of the first time. It’s always seemed to me to have lived this land from a long time before I actually arrived here. Every new place has revealed to me with a disarming simplicity, as if I had always known it. Every time I come here, I almost feel like when I go back to my hometown, my Jesi.

Husavik, Iceland

Like last summer, this winter we’re gonna stay here for 3 months. It’s our fifth stay in Iceland, the second immobile journey. Again few kilometres from the North Pole, in the extreme North of the country. In Husavìk, the “house bay”. The home of the first inhabitants of the island. The most beautiful town in Iceland. A little bit our home.

Translated from Italian by Giuditta Gubbi.

Read the next part: Under the Aurora Borealis in Húsavík

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