Sunday, March 28, 2010
Hidden jewels in magical valley
Despite the fact that the hottest spot of Iceland has been the most interesting target to talk about for the past week, I´m going to direct you attention to the north of Iceland.
Just a few minutes drive from Dalvík, a small fisihing village half an hour drive from Akureyri, lies a magical valley called Svarfaðardalur. Yes, yes, I know - not one of those easy names to pronounce, but the harder to pronounce, the more spectacular it is in reality.
This weekend, the people in the valley, as well as from close surroundings celebrated traditional Icelandic dances at a yearly event that takes place last weekend in March.
This year was very special, as 1100 years have passed from the moment when first settlers settled in this magic place, and thus the dancing event was accompanied by many other interesting events.
All kinds of professionals talked about the history of the place and read quite some bits of sagas connected to this area. The local men´s choir managed to transfer us literally to the middle ages not only through their breathtaking singing but also through the costumes and powerful instruments play that consisted of all kinds of stones, metal, horse shoes, sticks, wood horns, you name it. It´s a must see show that brings up goos bumps!
Grand finale of Saturday meant trying out excellent choreography of Traditinal Icelandic Dances lead by two local professionals. The magic lies in constant changing of partners and very lively, though simple structures that the dancers create together.
Last but not least, Sunday opened the door to 3 beautiful churches hidden in the valley that offered surprises in the form of old stories, old bibles and great singing and fagot playing. We drove from place to place, stopping at each and every one, being taken on the journey of the church´s history, being spiced up by the locals who were describing it.
If you ever come all the way to Akureyri, and will feel like getting local, indulging the beauty off the beaten track, these are the places to go to!
And here are the links where you can follow up on the volcano spitting out...
or maybe calming down.