2:00 pm

Star 2


"Why are you even out here?" Ludwig asks. We're sitting comfortably on wooden chairs, inside a house, sharing coffee and cookies with a couple of Icelanders we had just met.

"It's beautiful, and there's so few people here," we reply. But they can't wrap their heads around why someone would travel across the world to visit a place that their family abandoned decades ago for its remoteness and hostility.

The land in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is still owned privately, and houses can still be found. Very few people live here year-round, but many families use them as vacation homes. Ludwig and his brothers are here repairing their family's house at Búðir, which they had done at the start of each summer for decades.

"The sun is always out," he says. "We sleep when we're tired, eat when we're hungry, and work when we can." He makes the annual repairs sound like a family vacation tradition.

They are very proud of their work. He points out the new ceiling joists that allowed them to remove the old supporting columns. "You can dance in here!" he declares, spreading his arms wide.

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