my fieldsite this summer is a small fishing town on the southwest peninsula of Iceland. population 3000-ish. As an example of the "smallness", every time a driver passes by someone he/she knows, they honk. every time.

it is quite charming and friendly, and it is obvious that my arrival has been noticed.

i am currently staying at a b & b, the red house on the picture. unfortunately my room is right next to the bathroom, so i know all the comings and goings of my fellow lodgers, a group of german tour guides in training. this is their base camp. from here they will be touring the country, to learn the routes they will then take tourists on later this summer.

so far fieldvisits and interviews have gone super well. i was really pleasantly surprised by how welcoming and helpful everyone is here. lucky me!

it is a really laid back town and i am loving the quiet.
last night i took a walk, picked a random street and walked until the street ended. it literally just ended, and all of a sudden i am standing in the middle of a lava field. if i'd walked in the other direction i would have ended up in the ocean.

the majority of the houses seem to be 1 family, with 1 or 2 cars parked out front. everything is super neat, no trash on the sidewalks. it is almost minimalist, even the gardening here is minimalist. a patch of grass, surrounded by hedges and the occasional tree. i can't imagine the soil here being super rich in nutrients, probably very salty if anything. here and there you see remnants of decorations for last weekend's town festival - the festival of the fishermen.

the fisherman's day is celebrated all over the country on the first weekend in june in Iceland, i believe. traditionally the festivities include speeches, honoring old fishermen, and perhaps a sporting event, where crews from different vessels compete in rope-tow, walking on buoys and other sea-themed things.

however, this town has in the past few years extended the celebration over four days, complete with rock concerts, pony rides and other less fishing related events. each neighborhood in town is even assigned a theme colour, in which everyone decorates their house, car and front yard. it is super cool to see how invested everyone is in this festival, i wonder if it supersedes the national day (june 17.) in attendance - i guess i´ll find out for myself tomorrow.

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