first day on Grímsey

Today is bad weather as promised.
I squeeze myself through wind and rain to the church. Here is a beautiful little church and in it a copy of a Leonardo da Vinci's painting. The one with twelve people who have reserved a table for 24. The Bible quotation above it is Jesus’ acknowledgement that one of them will betray him. What is this referring to? That in such a small community everyone’s wrongdoings are immediately known to all? Wind crackles around the church and lamps sway a bit.
According to a sign the swimming pool should be open from two to four. When I call then a woman arrives to tell me that the power station heating the swimming pool is broken so the pool is closed.
The rest of the day I can peacefully read inside. Internet says that a new long hiking trail has been opened, just to tempt me.
Since my fellow tourist Mark has also been interested in the seven o’clock dinner so a couple of minutes before we walk towards the restaurant. Just in front of us a couple enters and starts to sing as soon as they get inside. It’s Svavar’s birthday. They haven’t even bothered to organize a separate tourist table so we are included in the birthday party as uninvited guests. Amazing how much noise about 10 people can make. There’s also 5 years old Konrad and many balls. This cannot end well. We are presented with some local gossip and good memories. On the table are various birds to eat. Drinks start with a home-made schnaps with sugar water and wine, then we try from various good-looking bottles that are bought from travels, home-made schnaps arrives without any sugary addition and finally we move over to Unnur’s and Svavar’s house with beer for after party and for putting Konrad to bed. Konrad starts to watch TV.
On the island are currently 16 people including Danish and Estonian tourists. 80 in the tourist brochure is an outdated number based on summer residents. There are 21 horses. The school on the island was not opened this year because there were no children going there. No-one knows what will happen next year when Konrad has to start in school. Locals don’t like the local tourist attraction that was invented in the south of Iceland. They invented a huge ball that locals were supposed to roll to the correct location of the Arctic Circle. Locals gathered to the harbor to meet the ferry and to find out that the ball is an 8 tons concrete object. It is located so far from the village that day-tourists are lured away from the services. Repeatedly people express surprise that a Dane and an Estonian speak Icelandic. Mark of course speaks a lot better than me because he has already lived here for eight years. We also hear the familiarly sounding story how some people who have lived in Iceland for 40 years do not speak the language. But why do the locals speak so readily English then.
It’s almost two o’clock when we finally make it back to the guesthouse.
going to Grímsey island
second day on Grímsey

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