,,Here I am at my great-great-great grandfather's farm Saurar in Dalasysla. I went with my Icelandic cousin Dóra on a day trip to explore the original area our ancestors came from. During our travels a man working at the tourist center in Búðardalur located our family farms. The only reason I knew our family farm's location is thanks to the Snorri Program. Without the Snorri Program I would never know Dóra, our great (3x) grandfather's name, birthdate, or farm. Do you see that small bump in the center of the picture? That might just be the remainder of an old farm house, you never know..."
-Michael Einar Jonasson from Winnipeg, Manitoba - staying at Ólafsvík on Snæfellsnes peninsula
The Snorri-2013 participants arrived on Saturday from across Canada and the US. The last participant arrived from Halifax on Sunday morning. The weather has been getting better and after an orientation at the Snorri office (the Nordic Association) everyone walked down to the harbour to have a city walk with Goecco tours. The guide didn't show up and it started raining heavily. A replacement guide finally showed up but it didn't stop raining so we didn't move. The guide, ÓLI, was quite entertaining though and very sarcastic - the rain wasn't his fault of course.
Around 3 pm we started walking to Vesturbæjarlaug swimming pool. After all, swimming (or soaking in the hot tub discussing politics or other societal issues) is a national sport of Icelanders. Having the best Ice-cream in the world at Ísbúð Vesturbæjar was a must after all this hard work. Lastly but not least, the first Snorri-day in Iceland ended with a fastastic meal at Sjávargrillið restaurant where the group enjoyed sea perch (karfi).
First day of class was yesterday and everyone likes Sigurborg, the Icelandic teacher, very much. Genealogy was of course a hit. Everyone's roots were traced at least 10 generations back through the book of Icelanders, the Snorris could see how they are related to each other, some famous Icelanders like Björk, Jónsi of Sigurrós, Halldór Laxness and the newly elected Prime Minister, Sigmundur Davíð. Of course they were also excited about their Icelandic relatives and the host families. Everyone except one are staying with relatives this year.
Reykjavík still has some rainy clouds that are supposed to last for a few more days at least. Classes were continued this morning and they a lecture on Icelandic nature and geology is starting right now. Afterwards everyone has been invited for a visit to the Canadian Embassy to meet Ambassador Stewart Wheeler and his wonderful staff.
Tonight we are going to the top of Mt. Esja with Nordjobb (young people from the Nordic countries).
Rain or sun, the Snorris are happy!