Yeo’s Guide To Iceland
Just because YEO released a new track a few weeks back, don’t expect to see him playing your local pub or showcase. Not because he’s a recluse or no one wants to book him, but because he’s actually spending some time in Iceland.
It may sound odd at first, but Northern Europe and Scandinavia in particular are breeding grounds for creativity, and plenty of like minded artists have spent time there to help their processes flow more clearly. Just recently LA Priest spent time in Greenland researching electro-magnetic phenomena on recorded sound. We’re not saying Yeo‘s there to do anything like that, but who’s to say he won’t.
Iceland is a very special place, so as a part of his trip, the Sydney-sider offered us somewhat of a travel guide to the area’s he’s visited and why they’re worth seeing for yourself.
“I’ve been in Iceland for two weeks and spent time in the towns of Reykjavík and Akureyri. It’s part of a 2-month sabbatical so I can reset my brain and also write some new tunes. Here’s a crash course on a few of my favourite stops.” – Yeo
Keflavík Lava Fields
You actually see this whacky mossy stuff as soon as you start driving to Reykjavík from the airport, and it stretches from horizon to horizon. Apollo to Houston, we have landed.
After scoffing down cubes of fermented shark (so unique I’m unsure whether it was amazing or disgusting) and shots of brennivín (think Icelandic shochu) at Café Loki, I walked across the street into the starkest church I’ve ever seen. The walls are pretty much bare except for this pipe organ.
Photo by Anne Moffat
Part of the infamous Golden Circle, this crater has a weird ambience due to its natural acoustics. It’s also deceptive in size and dimension, like all Icelandic landscapes.
Another stop on the Golden Circle is a small town full of huge greenhouses. A few windowpanes were broken, so I stuck my iPhone through the hole and took this photo. Kind of creepy when there’s no one there, but I wouldn’t want to stick around waiting for tomatoes to grow either.
Before leaving Reykjavik for Akureyri, I had to try a local hotdog. Most towns have a kiosk, and each is proud of its own variation. Buy two because they’re not very big – a genius business move. Crunchy onions are the best condiment. Don’t order one without.
Near the Akureyri airport, there’s a big public park. There are a billion unsigned paths that wind through dark, thick and mossy forest, leading across bridges over bubbling brooks, and every now and then it opens out into clearings with cool playgrounds that would be unsafe by Australian standards. There’s this creepy pagan sundial, and the park backs onto a grandiose cliff wall. Being a kid here would be so much fun.
This crater usually looks a bit less threatening, but we were here late and the fog was ready to take us. It was really muddy and cold, and I kept thinking I was going to slide in. Epic.
Fróði Second-hand Bookstore
This must be a resting place for the unwanted trasherbacks of cruise-ship tourists. It’s in Akureyri. There’s no real method of organization for the English stuff, but if you’re a kitsch hunter, have a good squiz through the non-fiction Icelandic material.
Photo by Anne Moffat
Come on, a black metal band named themselves after this place. It looks like nature going insane. That’s me in the picture by the way. Surrounded by lava.
You can see this brooding gigantic crater from very far away. It stands out from the other tall structures in the south east of the Mývatn lake area because it’s such a dark and evil colour. I couldn’t resist climbing it. Photos don’t do it justice.
Krafla Power Station
I never thought I’d call a geothermal power station beautiful, and I still won’t. They look cool though, especially to steampunk/Final Fantasy VII fans.
Words: Yeo / Tom Hutchins