Monday, 4 July 2011

The end of the camping trip, Whiteskirt and other skirts.

The last part of the last day, beginning with a photopuzzle of Hvítserkur (Whiteskirt).

Stopping to have a look at the textile museum in Blönduós. It was such a dream place for me. Handmade embroidery, weaving, lace, knitting, crocheting, tatting, what have you...

OMG the details of the national garb!

The next room of handmade lace took me ages to walk through because of everything there was to see and I realized I would have to get Rinna of Pitsikirja some saabisu: enjoy! (The pics can be clicked larger as per usual. Sorry that they're so dark but nothing would have made me use the flash at these old beauties!)

The best part was that they give you cotton gloves at the door, and you're allowed to touch the items as long as you keep them on! Downstairs there's also a possibility to try weaving etc.

Lastly we went to see Miss Whiteskirt, a troll lade that got surprised by the morning and turned to stone if I remember the story correctly. It's a dirt road all the way and the last bit is fairly scary, with potholes deeper than you'd like to think, but somehow our trusty little Hann Sóló took us there and back. He's either the little car that could or has some jeep somewhere in his lineage, IDK but no matter how much I love Citroën I feel a bit unfaithful already because nothing would be better for these gravel roads than our Mitsubishi!

A réttir. It's like reindeer separating back home. You drive the sheep down from the mountains and into the réttir and then you start figuring out which one belongs to whom.

The idea was to camp for the night, and after some driving around we decided to settle at Hvammstangi. However, the wind that had been strong the whole day had only gotten worse. Somehow we managed to pitch up the tent in that horrible weather but the moment it was done the wind collapsed it. Totally by force. All the pegs were firmly in the ground and the dome poles in place, but the tent was unable to stand against the weather. We decided not to try sleeping in a tent. In fact, we decided it might be better to cut the trip and drive home, even if it took us all night. The weather forecast, you see, had promised the wind would get only stronger at night...

Nearing Borgarnes. Don't let the beauty fool you, the wind was no easier here.

We got home around midnight, and even though we were a bit sad about having to cut Snæfellsnes from the plan it did feel good to be home again. And sleep in a bed. Oh, yes.


  1. Thanks for the gorgeous lace photos! I'm really partial to those white embroidery underdresses in 3rd &n 4th lace photo, so much patience skill and beauty hidden from view.

    Oooh... Icelandic national wear is super pretty. All that delicate flower embroidery, such a contrast to the rough and stark beautiful landscapes.

    Sounds like a wonderful museum, the gloves and being allowed to touch the textiles is something I'd love to have in more museums. The feel of authentic old textiles is somthning that can't be mimicked. And that way it's possible to see also the reverse side & learn more about the techniques!

  2. Yes. Just imagining the time it took to make those... and then they would be hidden underneath other, likely not as pretty clothes.

    Icelandic national dress is also very varied. They don't have strict rules to it. You only need it to be fancy, of proper materials, the embroidery needs to be there and - well, unless you don't want embroidery - the shape mush be correct.

  3. Oh gosh, those sure are pretty and detailed national thingies. Oh gosh, I wants to poke them öuö.
    Thanks for those photos, they were very inspirational~

  4. Well, to be honest I didn't poke at them at all. But I poked the lingerie in the next room with happy abandon. :D

  5. That was an awesome tour. Thank you!

    You should post pictures of winter, too, so I don't get the wrong idea. XD

  6. Haha, winter photos are needed indeed. Reykjavík tend to get very little snow in the wintertime but the rest of the country lives better up to its name.

    Travelling during the wintertime is not feasible though, sad as it is - I'd really love to get photos of f.ex. Flatey in the winter, and of Dimmuborgir and the general Mývatn area. However, even going on road #1 (the Ring road that goes around Iceland) is and can be hazardous when the winter storms hit and the whole place ices over. Definitely no going out there without a jeep...

  7. "Travelling during the wintertime is not feasible though"

    Well... that's a clue right there. How long is the winter, anyway? And, and... how do you live? I mean, like, what is there... oh.

    Starting to understand how someone long ago got hungry enough to think it might be a good idea to dig up the poisonous shark they pissed on and buried a few months earlier and try to eat it.

    I have, like, zero experience with cold climates, obviously. XD

    But don't go out there just to get pictures. That's a terrible reason to get trapped in the snow and die.

  8. In Iceland winter is officially five months but there's also a saying that goes "I waited for nine months in coldness and dark for this?"

    I'm hoping it regards weather anyway.

    Icelanders are notorious for eating mostly meat. There's a reason why people here are much taller than f.ex. in Finland! :D Coincidentally this is really not a vegan-friendly country.

    I'll see what snow photos might be available in Reykjavík...

  9. Aw, summer there looks lovely! Maybe still kind of chilly, but pretty, anyway.. Actually, you posted this July 4. When it's way, way, way too freaking hot here, we say it's "hotter than the 4th of July". And you all are wearing jackets in all the photos. From now on I'll say, "it's hotter than the 4th of July, and I don't mean in Iceland."

    I am, in fact, vegetarian (but not vegan, have chickens - not laying right now cause it's too cold and the days are too short and you'd laugh if I elaborated on that - and a dairy goat), and I've been wondering how hard that would be in any Nordic country. Honestly, not even sure how you have meat. What do you feed livestock through the winter?

    Sorry, I'm being a nuisance. XD and <3 You've been very kind.

  10. I would say that in Nordic countries this is generally not a problem. It's Iceland that's the exception: nothing grows here except for horses, sheep and mountains, and people get to pick which ones of those they'd rather be eating.

    The general way to deal with the winter up north is to build a winter storage of preserved hay and grain. The hay used to be stored dry and it barely kept the poor animals alive in the days gone past - they stopped giving milk during the winter and lost a lot of weight. The original Finnish cow grew a thick layer of hair for winter and was one beast of a survivor, but since it cannot compete with milk production it's very rare now.

    Nowadays the winter feed is much better in nutrition, therefore the cows give milk throughout the year. In Finland, far as I know, the winter feeding includes beans/peas/other related plants, oil plants such a rape, oats and other grain and AIV-preserved hay.

    Chickens! I've wanted chickens for a long time - nothing better than fresh eggs! Also nothing better than fresh milk but I seriously don't wish for all the work that keeping cows is. :D

  11. Preserved... like haylage, I guess? That's fermented or something. Don't see it here. I think it grows weird stuff in the heat. We just have plain dry hay, but it seems to work. But it doesn't snow to speak of, and what grass grows here without irrigation grows during the winter anyway.

    Are the cows kept under lights? I think that would impact production, too. Curious.

    Um, sorry, I have no reason to think you'd be interested in livestock. :-D

    There are Finnish goats! You could get a goat! Goats are awesome.

    I just found a dozen eggs in the horse trailer that weren't there a few days ago, so I was wrong about them not laying. They are! I have, um, mediterranean types which I think wouldn't do well there, but there's fluffier breeds that might. Cochins? They're cute!

  12. I wish I knew more about how it's done, but AIV fodder is made with some kind of an... acid treatment? I'm not sure, to be honest. I'm not sure about the lighting but I would assume it makes everyone's life easier, the animals' and their caretakers! :D I know that in the days of old the poor creatures did not see much light for months and they also weren't cleaned after, so that by the end of the winter the cows were standing on a huge pile of poop. It did have an insulating quality, however.

    I'd probably get Icelandic chicken! They're totally cute too! :333

  13. AIV fodder was invented by a Finn. Figures. Wonder if it's ever used here? Probably not this far south.

    Poor cows! though I understand it's not uncommon now to just put new bedding on top of old without cleaning everything out until spring - at least with goats. I know pretty much nothing about cows.

    Oh, Finncattle look like other cows! Maybe a little prettier cause they're not as.. dairy.

    Icelandic chicken! Why didn't that occur to me? *googles* You should so totally get those! Can you keep chickens where you live?

  14. I would figure it isn't necessary in the milder climates. It was originally invented for the sole purpose of having the cows produce milk all winter long in conditions where they would usually not be able to do that.

    Finncattle (wow, I'm a Finn and yet I knew only of two Finncattle breeds and I even thought the white northern type was extinct!), especially the east type Kyyttö, are really sweet in character and surprisingly small in size. :D Likewise, the Icelandic chickens tend to be easy fellows to be around, and they're one of the easiest types of hens in that they don't demand much and they tend to be very good at laying eggs. They're also used to the climate here. :D

    Keeping them here where I live now is theoretically possible. The area would be suitable but in practice I would need some permissions, possibly official (not certain about how this part goes in Iceland but in Finland there's usually nothing to stop you as long as you live in the suburbs/outside of them) and otherwise (the owners of the house we live in might object), and also hope the neighbours wouldn't mind. XD

    We're planning to get our own home after I graduate though, so we'll see what happens then!

  15. I added you on LJ BTW, in case you were wondering who that weirdo was. I think you update here more often, though.

    The eastern type is the red and white, right? They're super pretty! I always wanted a Jersy cow, but now I want a Finncow... except it would be miserable here, so maybe not. *pouts* They didn't look as hairy as I expected, but I didn't see winter pics. The Icelandic chickens weren't as feathery as I expected, either, but they seem to do all right?

    Are you planning to stay in Iceland forever, then? Why'd you move? Finland sounds lovely. Well, except for winter, but you haven't really gotten away from that. XD

  16. Yeah, I used to be really active on LJ but then I somehow begun to use more Facebook and this blog so I've been somewhat neglecting it. -.- Thanks for the poke, added you right back!

    Yeah, the east cattle's that stripy kind. They look really cute when they have that trademark white back, white belly and red on the sides. Their name (kyyttö) means "stripy" in the old language btw. They get long haired for the winter and this person has picture to prove:

    They love to go outside even in the winter, if they get the chance, and nowadays most places do allow the cows to go in and out of the barn as they like. This has caused some interesting i-net fights between city environmentalists and country environmentalists, but thankfully for the cows the latter group has been winning.

    I love the Icelandic chickens, they're so pretty! There's an interesting story of one lady in the States who is growing them, helping save the species from extinction:

    As for staying here forever, I really can't say. I would not terribly mind either way. Finland and Iceland are very similar in climate and culture so living here isn't much of a change.

    The only thing that's making me sad is that the grocery stores have a very limited selection of fruit and vegetables, besides which they are often poor quality. On the other hand I can eat all the seafood I want, a luxury food for a Finn but always fresh and affordable here. Fish, too, is always top quality, which the locals simply consider the way fish are. Icelanders may grudgingly agree to the quality of veggies but they'd throw over the government (again) if their fish was anything less than that what they're used to.

  17. Wow, there's like, 1100 pages of comments on the chickens. Poultry people are sure chatty! Amazingly beautiful birds, though, and she's in California! *plots* Wait, no, my life is complicated enough as it is. But they're so pretty...

    Oh, the cows are a little shaggy! But we had, um, looking for a picture:

    There was a herd of these just down the road for a while, I have no idea why. During the summer, too, and they were just that hairy. Very, very cute, but I felt sorry for them.

    What is the difference between city environmentalists and country ones? Why would city people care if the cows go out in winter?

    I thought there would be lots of fish in Finland, actually! There's lakes, and, and.. sea.

    Hmm. If I had to choose between one country or the other to live in, I'd have to vote for veggies and saunas. And volcano-avoidance. XD But if I get to visit, I'll try really hard to go to both.

  18. Those cows - oh wow. Wow! :DDDDD WOW.

    City environmentalists and country environmentalists are very similar but with the difference that the latter kind knows more about animals and what they actually need to have and like to have. As an example, in the town of Lahti where I used to live at one point there's a kind of a petting zoo where the cows were allowed to walk outside no matter what the season. It caused a huge uproar among the city environmentalists who saw this as bullying and maltreatment, not even taking into consideration that the barn door was open for the cows to come and go as they wished to. And that the cows actually wanted to be outside rather than be cooped up indoors for the whole winter.

    We have plenty of fish, true, but unlike Icelanders we also had the possibility of eating other things than fish. Unlike Finland, it's almost impossible to grow anything on Iceland ('cept for those sheep). Finns love their fish foods as well but we aren't quite as passionate about them... XD

  19. Oh, I know exactly what you mean now. XD Well-intentioned without knowing too much... Glad the cows get to get out, though.

    Suppose you would get passionate about fish if that's all you had to eat, huh. I think Iceland would be very uncomfortable for me.