Hólmavík in the Strandir region of Iceland’s West Fjords is a strange place. Its main claim to fame is the presence of the Icelandic Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft. Now it seems there is a second reason to feel apprehensive about a visit to Hólmavík, especially this time of year when many of the roads are closed.
The reason? In a word, Hörmungardagar, or “Disaster Days.” According to Páll Stefánsson of The Iceland Review:
On Friday’s program, among other activities, is a course in self-pity, a complaint service and an ugly dance performance.
On Saturday, head to the library to find bad books and later listen to the worst Eurovision songs [this could the most dreadful event of all] and the worst poem competition, where very bad coffee will be served. In the local church, sad (and bad) songs will be performed.
On Sunday, an anger management game will be held and a program about what has happened in the region.
The festival is directed by Ester Ösp Valdimarsdóttir, the so-called [huh?] spare time manager of the Strandir region.
I would like to have stayed in Hólmavík for a day or two, but I just couldn’t book a room; so I didn’t want to risk getting stuck there. I did change buses there, however. Toward the end of my trip, I had an all-day bus ride from Isafjorður to Borgarnes, during which I changed buses in Hólmavík in the local supermarket parking lot. The long bus ride from Isafjorður was uncomfortable because the bus was full of backpackers and all their gear, so there was barely room for my feet. Fortunately, the second leg of the trip on on a large and comfy Stræto bus.
I’m sure that if you can find your way to Hólmavík this weekend—fat chance, that!—you’ll find that, after all, you don’t have all that much about which to complain.
By the way, if you’d like to see a sampling of truly dreadful Eurovision songs, click here. And please don’t hold me responsible! You will find that there are musical acts that are far worse than anything even Lawrence Welk could have imagined.