Home on the Icelandic Range
One of the really fun things about traveling in Iceland is running into things that you really don’t expect to in the middle of nowhere.
On a super-windy and chilly morning, we sadly left the Westfjörds and headed into North Iceland without too many immediate highlights to look forward to in our first day’s path of travel. When our first few attempts at diversion yielded mediocre results, we chalked up the day to travel; sometimes you just need to get from here to there, right?
In a last ditch effort to save the day, we decided to make a detour to the small town (aren’t they all in Iceland?) of Skagasatrönd. This happens to be the home of Hallbjörn Hjartarson, who, for those of you not in the know, is famous throughout the country as the “Icelandic Cowboy.”
As an impressionable youth in the 1960s, he worked on the American base in Keflavik and fell in love with country-western music. Upon his return to Skagasatrönd, he started recording his own Icelandic version of the genre and eventually opened his own successful restaurant/bar/radio station/museum/live music venue that is still open today. What a trip it was to walk into an Icelandic version of an American country-western saloon! (more…)