Wednesday, August 29, 2012

To find oneself

Tourism has been on the rise here for several years in a row and the other day the South Coast of Iceland was announced sold out. There were no hotels, bed and breakfasts, or camping spaces left. Thankfully we not only have a south coast but an east, west and north coast as well. So no one had to be turned around at the airport upon arrival to the country.

This past weekend I visited the west coast with a group from Norway – five people from my Norwegian publisher Kagge and three from Norway’s largest bookstore chain, Ark. The intention was to make a boat trip to Hesteyri, the abandoned town featured in my standalone novel „I remember you“ – „Jeg ved hvem du er“ in Norwegian. Unfortunately the plane that was to bring our captain from Reykajvík was unable to land so that part of the trip had to be cancelled. Thankfully the Westfjords have so much to offer we were not at lack of things to see. And eat.
The Icelandic tourist board has the following to say about the area: The Westfjords region has sometimes been dubbed “the most famous unknown place in Iceland”. Well, throw in the prestigious “European Destination of Excellence” awards and add to that the fact that the Lonely Planet travel guide put the area on its top 10 list of regions in the world to visit in 2011, and you will see that the Westfjords are becoming increasingly famous – or perhaps less unknown. I am not sure I understand the last bit but it is probably supposed to be postive. And justly so.
A particular tourist in Iceland has made the international news this week. This tourist was a woman on a bus trip that went missing and was looked for high and low. A search and rescue group was deployed and along with the passengers from the bus, the vicinity of Eldgjá where the bus passengers had disembarked, was combed for half a day. All they had to work on was a description that sounded like this: an Asian woman in her twenties, approximately 160 cm tall wearing dark clothing and carrying a small beige handbag. Just as the coast guard was about to send in a helicopter to assist by air, it dawned on one of the bus passengers participating in the search that there was a slight possibility that a mistake had been made.
This passenger was an Asian woman in her twenties, about 160 cm tall, carrying a beige purse but wearing light coloured clothing. She had found out about the missing woman shortly after the bus stopped, a bit later than the other passengers as she had used the stop to go behind the bus and change. From dark clothing to lighter tones. When she approached the group in her new ensemble everyone was discussing amongst themselves that an Asian woman had gone missing and she got caught up in the drama without realising that she was the missing woman.

Apparently the missing woman came to Iceland in search of herself and managed to do so quite successfully.         

Yrsa - Wednesday


  1. Iceland is one of the paces I've always wanted to visit. It's on my bucket list

  2. You're just tooooo funny, Ms. Sigurdardottir. And your country is beautiful. And vice-versa, of course.

  3. My agent is there right now, Yrsa, enjoying himself immensely and probably looking for that missing Asian woman.

  4. I think the opposite, Tim. The Asian woman is probably looking for an agent for her first novel.