A view on Fishing,Community and Life on the NW coast of Scotland

Posts tagged ‘Iceland’

Two Day Car Hire (Day1)

Day began a little disjointed. Alison after getting a photo of her driving licence emailed through (We both forgot ours, to be honest I never thought of it.) had booked a car for a couple of days. We walked to the Avis shop with the help of a street map, the only thing of interest on the way apart from the length of the walk, was a wander past what I thought was the National football Stadium. This was confirmed at the shop so now I can say I have been to the home of the team I am supporting in Russia next year. Me going with the flow, Alison set sight for the black sand beach at……..We set off and, the trip was magnificent on so many levels, waterfalls,

geothermal knowledge

and the sea,

always the sea. Not too far out of Reykjavik we stopped off at a geothermal plant

which supplies half of the capital’s energy through renewable heat source. Today, the geothermal power plant of Hellisheidarvirkjun produces about 303 Megawatts of electricity and up to 400 Megawatts of thermal energy, ranking Hellisheidarvirkjun geothermal plant as the largest geothermal power station in the world, in terms of installed capacity. Impressive to say the least

and obviously all work vehicles electric.

Then it was off down the Golden Circle, stopping off to walk round the wonderful waterfall, not as spectacular as at Gullfoss but it will do. A wee walk round it and a slight spray keeps one awake on the road.

The little person in yellow gives a bit of scale,

to the beach at Reynisfjara

and the crowds. I am even more laid back about the numbers of visitors now than ever as most of them walk 30 yards from their buses take their photos and are back on board all in twenty minutes. We walked the length of the beach and were on our own for the most part.

It is the same back home, out of the car, photo and meal and away again, The geology of the place is phenomenal,

the molten lava being cooled by the sea and again the scale……

The sea itself was getting a little choppy, starting to blow a bit from the south-east. The constant rolling of the waves on the beach has the pebbles beautifully smooth and black. The two Trolls that were caught out in the daylight heading back to sea kept the attention for quite some time.

Driving on the other side of the road and car, in the dark and the driving rain made for a tense hour or so but nothing went amiss and the chappie in the gps got us home around 8.pm. It is only now after a couple of days away that we stop thinking and talking about what is happening at home. I have a change of course in mind and hopefully that will see me through the winter. This break has been awesome, I only ever use that word to describe something in its truest sense. This country of fire and ice fills one with awe. I reckon you would need a good three to six months to see it properly, to immerse yourself in the history, the sagas, the rupturing of the continental shelves, their drive for clean energy and finally, find out how to play good football.

Fisherman Goes Whale Watching.

The morning was trying to stay positive writing the last missive and I think I managed it but only just, especially when you hear what other people are doing in their Communities growing their Assets and growing their Community’s resilience. The twenty years that have seen Eigg’s population almost double has seen our Primary school’s role more than half, that against a background of far greater potential assets in Applecross. So to try to stay positive we went whale watching. Just going to sea on a fine autumnal day of the Icelandic coast

would have been enough but the day,

the gannets diving

and swooping

around the boat,

the other boats

also with full compliments on board

and finally the minke

made for a fine soul cleansing day. For some reason I have not been bothered by the numbers of tourists around

(wonder why?!!).

And finally I have a team to support in the next World Cup.

Church,Ice Breaker and Rural Broadband.

Thought it would be touristy all day but the Arctic Circle seems to draw you in. Made it down for a fine lunch where I met up with Lateral North’s Graham. Did the tourist bit by going up to the church tower that looks over the whole city. It is a Lutheran church,Hallsgrimkirkja, which took 41 years to complete. The tower is as tall as it is because the church leaders wanted it to outshine the Catholic Cathedral along the road. Plenty of tourists about still, so much so that Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon all fully booked. Holiday weekend. As well as the wide lens view of the city I enjoyed picking out groups of colourful habitations.

 

I reckon Highland Council would never give me a job as a Planner.

 

It does however make you wonder why our housing has ended up the way it has.

 

 

Why did it go down the grey and white box route and why now does the new housing have to fit in with the grey and white boxes look. I am sure it would be easier to get through the winter if we lived in colourful and haphazard boxes rather than the uniformity that seems to be current across the Highlands. Mind you in Applecross at the moment even putting a uniform box up seems to be beyond the Planning Authority. Even with the mix of colours and styles there is an obvious plan to the place, so not advocating a free for all.

Inside

as well as the outside

was pretty impressive but you cannot help wondering about man’s influence when trying to preach a message. Does building impressive change people’s mind on a spiritual level? Prior to the church visit I made it down to the Nordica, the large Finnish icebreaker,

moored alongside the Harpa. http://arctia.fi/en/ship/nordica/ Waited 15 minutes in the raw wind for a tour of the ship. Consisted of a lot of stairs before reaching the Bridge.

Impressive layout

and as so many people wanted the tour they had to restrict the numbers and where to go.

Evening saw us at a breakout session but not the chosen one. As a shy Highlander I stayed and after the first speaker found the next two very informative. Environmental Impact Assessor who “mediated” between business and indigenous Peoples in the Arctic Regions of Russia. Throughout the talk I became aware of the uncomfortable feeling that it was “beads to the natives” Sure they received some benefits like a nursery school or help with their infrastructure while the extraction of diamonds/oil and precious metals went on but it seemed a big price to pay for very little benefit. There was a telling photo of a quad bogged down in a swamp due to the tundra melting due to climate change caused by big companies extracting resources. I am no scientist and maybe there are too many leaps of faith in that last sentence. Telling question at the end was who pays the environmentalist.

Next up was rural broadband provision in Northern Canada and suffice to say that the problems are exactly the same as is remote Highland communities. As long as the world is driven more by shareholder/profit motives rather than by social/community ones we will be stuck on the periphery with slow or non-existent broadband speeds. I am not sure knowing that other remote regions have the same problems as we do helps but it does give you a broader outlook on the scale of the problems. Interesting to hear about the small indigenous Peoples promoting their languages through gaining large internet followings, so ensuring the language survives. This taking place against a background of a growing mono culture which is slipping into place across the globe, again with the influence of the Web.

So it was the Japanese night, not entirely sure their connection to the Arctic Circle but it was very enjoyable lubricated by copious amounts of bubbly.

We were a bit too polite around the sushi and missed the boat, only going outside in the corridor to sample a piece each from a very overworked chef who was just about keeping it together. Fine food and the evening finished with the now customary brisk walk home. Lots to think about and although not directly invited it is thanks to Nordic Horizons I am here, experiencing other people’s similar problems across the North. Impressive is a word I seem to be using a lot but it is not out of place and I reckon many aspects of life in Applecross can be described as impressive…..

Tag Cloud

Wee Ginger Dug

Biting the hand of Project Fear

Beyond the Horizon

Commentary and Sustainability Policy Analysis from Dr Calum Macleod

Lenathehyena's Blog

IT'S NOT ROCKET SALAD.........in the Land o' cakes and brither Scots

Scottish Communities CAN

Scottish Communities Climate Action Network

Beyond the Bloomin' Heather

A critical discussion of the history and politics behind Scotland's most beautiful landscapes

Jean Urquhart

following dissolution of parliament this site will move to jeanurquhart.com

Derek Bateman Broadcaster1

An ongoing dialogue

derek bateman broadcaster2

My first and last ever blog (probably)

Small Scales

fisheries and ocean conservation in Atlantic Canada

UHeye

e-learning, networking, and the UHI

Writing

It's got a backbeat. You can't lose it. If you wanna dance with me.

derek bateman broadcaster2

My first and last ever blog (probably)

Jessica's Nature Blog

https://natureinfocus.blog

Shawndra Miller

Giving voice to the world’s remaking

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

isleofronalog

Just another WordPress.com site

Life at the end of the road

the trials and tribulations of an accidental crofter

milesmack

A Highland GP on life the universe and anything...

Auld Acquaintance

Scottish Independence