Author Archive: syspbad

Estrid Thorvaldsdottir

Estrid Thorvaldsdottir, (37), trekking and sightseeing guide. Here is another linguist genius : not only she speaks all scandinavian languages, she also masters french and italian. Throughout the year she teaches yoga both at the city hospitals and in yoga centers, which makes her the perfect guide to get in close connexion with icelandic nature and tales.

PS.Her chocolate mousse is another wonder of the highlands !

Sveinn Steinar Benediktson

Sveinn Steinar Benediktson, “Svenni”, (33) is an electronic engineer studying at the University of Art in Reykjavik, a musician and artist. When he is not driving jeeps and trucks he is guiding challenging treks in the interior of the country. He makes his own cameras, with plastic boxes or cartoons, that is all he needs. We remember one trek he did a couple of years ago with French proffesional photographers. Sveinn, who is fluent in English but doesn´t speak so much French, was their driver-guide. When the overcharged photographers saw Svenni take out a plastic strange looking camera, they thought that the boy was making fun of them or that he was just a simple guy. They certainly proved wrong when they saw his photos.

David Kelley

David Kelley “Kelso”, (45), mountain guide. He came to these shores 10 summers ago, after “getting his mid-life crisis in early…”. An experienced, passionate leader, he loves food just as much as he loves walking, so a good trip is guaranteed. Also a keen photographer, he is fascinated with the Icelandic geology and wildlife. A world traveler, he has led trips in the Sahara and China and also lived in New Zealand for a while. An ex-rugby player, originally from England, resident in Reykjavik and sick of being accused of being an Australian. Recently with Arna, his icelandic wife and they two children they moved faraway from the “crowd” of the capital in a little village on the south shore of iceland where they run a Bakkabrim a little organic coffee shop facing the ocean and the birds.

Séverine Pech

Séverine Pech, “Sigurlina” is a phenomenon, a solid girl with a big heart. This child of the Cathar country, who went through the Sorbonne, understands during a training of glider over Annecy, her need for immensity. She leaves everything behind and comes in Iceland. She discovers the power of glaciers and she falls in love with it, and here she has been stuck on the island for 4 years now. It graduates in the school for guides of Iceland and is committed to the rescue patrol. She has license for driving any heavyweight large 4×4 buses. She stammers four languages on a daily basis. When she does not guide at the national park of Skafatafell, Sigurlina leads treks and 4×4 discoveries.

Gabriel Patay Filippusson

Gabriel Patay Filippusson,“Gabbi” (38) mountain guide. As son of Philippe and Sigridur, he has the highlands in his blood. An experienced leader of many Icelandic expeditions, but also trips to Greenland, Alaska and the Sahara. Fluently speaking English and French, passionate supporter of Icelandic nature, talented photographer and has a special love for mechanics . Off-season, he is a carpenter and travels Iceland and the world with little regard for personal safety. This year, he is re-furbishing a sailboat to enable more extreme travels. He became a little bit more sedentary since his wonderful son was born two years ago but he is yet planning to take him soon on the road of freedom. Need we say more?

Aurélien Bihr

Aurélien Bihr, “Aurel” 37, (our American clients call him Orwellian) trekking guide and driver is Fjallabak’s adopted son. A Frenchman and father of “mini-me”, Adrien, 12 years old, he lived in Iceland for 8 years and always comes back, since falling in love with the unspoiled wilderness and the lifestyle. An inexhaustible walker, with an unflappable, humorous disposition, a talented linguist, great cook and possessor of endless charm.

Sigridur Lovisa Arnarsdottir

Sigridur Lovisa Arnarsdottir,“Sigga Lolla”, (age: restrictive access) was born and raised in the village of Siglufjöður, north Iceland, a small, isolated herring port at the top of the world. However, she now loves Paris almost as much. She has been leaving in the mountains of Provence, where her fist child is born. She has been traveling to Africa, Scotland and South America. As the office administrator and wife of Philippe, she would agree that she probably has the hardest work in the organization. Her dreams alternate between India and California… sigga@fjallabak.is

Gabriel Patay Filippusson

Gabriel Patay Filippusson,“Gabbi”, 36, mountain guide. As son of Philippe and Sigridur, he has the highlands in his blood. An experienced leader of many Icelandic expeditions, but also trips to Greenland, Alaska and the Sahara. Fluently speaking English and French, passionate supporter of Icelandic nature, talented photographer and has a special love for mechanics . Off-season, he is a carpenter and travels Iceland and the world with little regard for personal safety. This year, he is re-furbishing a sailboat to enable more extreme travels. He became a little bit more sedentary since his wonderful son was born two years ago but he is yet planning to take him soon on the road of freedom.  Need we say more?

Eruption at night

“I realized acutely how small and unsignificant we are, compared to the awesome power of natural forces,” says Valdimar Leifsson, an Icelandic filmmaker who captured those mesmerizing scenes at the Holuhraun eruption on Tuesday night. “Everything changes when night falls,” he says. It surely does.

“The heat emanating from the lava is much more visible during the night,” says Leifsson, who also captured the lava eruption at Fimmvorduhals, which preceded the Eyjafjallajokull eruption in 2010. “This eruption is more magnificent, the fissure is much longer, as well as the volume of the lava. “Standing close to the margin of the lava field, one realizes the unbridled force of the eruption.”

The Holuhraun eruption is, in effect, in the middle of nowhere, deep in the highlands of Iceland´s interior. Leifsson says it is a rather unique experience, not only to be present, but also to get there. “It takes three to four hours to get to Holuhraun eruption from the nearest farmvillage, Modrudalur. One sees almost nothing but black sand, and at times, you have to rely on small roadmarkers. It´s like being alone on the moon,” says Leifsson.

Þröstur Sverrisson

Þröstur Sverrisson (Thröstur) has been going to the mountains since his childhood. He has traveled in most part of Iceland and Fjallabak is one of his favorite places. He is an English speaking professional hiking and driver guide. He earned his masters degree in environmental history in Maine USA and has been working in the museum field for the last ten years, most of the time in the former home of Halldor Laxness Nobel laureate for literature. So don’t get surprised if he starts quoting Laxness on the next mountain top.