Fifteen years ago, I spent three months in India. Before I left, my husband gave me two gifts – a really nice pocket knife, and a Petzl headlamp. Both proved invaluable. Although the knife was later stolen, I still have the headlamp, and I still use it. It has accompanied me to multiple continents. I’ve used it on night hikes, to find the bathroom at state campgrounds, and harvesting vegetables from my back yard late in the season. It’s one of the best gifts my husband ever bought me. He ended up buying one for himself, too.
But when we were packing for our recent trip to Eistnaflug, the heavy metal festival in a remote fjord in Eastern Iceland, I pulled both headlamps from the pile on our bed of things to be packed.
“You don’t think we’ll need them?” he asked in the voice of careful doubt men reserve for moments when they suspect a woman has lost her mind.
“We’re not going to need them,” I answered.
When I left the room, he put them back in.
“They don’t take much space,” he said, tucking his headlamp into his backpack as I pulled mine back out and put it in a drawer.
Spring is ticket season. Season ticket season, that is. I’ve already talked about the temptations of season tickets to Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Seattle Children’s Theatre. The truth is, I will try to attend as many performances by each of these worthy organizations as I can, but I did not buy season tickets to any of them. What did I ultimately spend my own money on? Continue reading
Morð at the Eistnaflug festival in Iceland in 2014.
Iceland attracts a lot of specialized tourism. Some people come just for volcanoes, or for glaciers, or for the sagas. Now with big festivals like Airwaves and ATP, music has become a big draw. This summer, Iceland was the destination for my heavy metal road trip. Continue reading
I forgot to ask his name. Didn’t even realize until after I left town that I didn’t get his name. But I got his story, and even without a name, I knew I’d never forget it. How could I, when it was also my own? Continue reading
Eistnaflug is a remote and mysterious ritual, underground even among the denizens of its home country and virtually unheard of outside of Iceland. More famous festivals like Wacken or Maryland Deathfest make it on to metalhead’s bucket lists. Eistnaflug is more like a Holy Grail, a mythical goal that few expect to find. But I am here to tell you it is not impossible.
Mere mortals who are not even particularly metal can and have drunk from the Eistnaflug chalice (Icelandic speakers may have just thrown up a little in their mouths at that term). Read on, and I will tell you how. Continue reading