Monday, June 6, 2011

Visiting the West Fjords

The beginning of our trip to the West Fjords began auspiciously when we took the ferry from Stykkisholmur to Brjanslækur. We were treated to an impromptu performance by the University of Iceland choir.  Watching the majesty of Iceland's fjords while listening to the melancholy sound of Icelandic songs was an unforgettable experience and it set the tone for wonderful journey that took us to the Red Sands, Látrabjarg, Patreksfjördur, Bíldudalur, Dynjandi, Hrafnseyri, Isafjörður, Súðavik, Hólmavik, and back home to Reykjavik. The West Fjords are a must for anyone interested in exploring the many wonders that Iceland has to offer.

American connections in the West Fjords

I never ceased to be amazed at the American connections in Iceland. The Isafjörður Music School is a great example.  Its first director, Ragnar Ragnar, was an American citizen of Icelandic descent whose U.S. Army tour of duty brought him back to Iceland, where he decided to stay and share his musical talents with Icelandic school children. Then there is the Bolafjall radar site, which was built by the U.S. in support of NATO's operational needs, especially search and rescue operations. There is also the University Center of the West Fjörðs, where I met American students earning their Master's Degree in Coastal and Marine Management.  We are also proud to support the upcoming participation by the Ensemble ACJW (strings and oboe) from Juilliard School in New York at the Við Djúpið Music Festival.