From Iceland — Remote Fjord Gets First Inhabitants Since 1901

Remote Fjord Gets First Inhabitants Since 1901

Published December 17, 2020

Photo by
Art Bicnick

A remote fjord in the Westfjörds, Kálkafjörður, has been unpopulated since the last family left the region in 1901. That is, until now: Stöð 2 news reports that a family of five has now moved in.

Kálkafjörður is still listed as uninhabited in many references to the Westfjörds area, but that will soon change as Rán Bjarnadóttir and Símon Kristinn Þorkelsson have built a house in the newly-named plot of Auðnar, with three children in tow.

“It was just there,” Símon told reporters. “We decided to move west. We’d been living in Borgarnes for a few years and, well, the countryside was always calling. It’s just as possible to live here as it is to live in downtown Reykjavík.”

The family are very excited to begin their new life in the area, with Rán’s mother, Valgerður Ingvadóttir, telling reporters, “I’m just in awe of this. It’s naturally just great. To see little children running around in the hills for the first time in 120 years… I mean, wow!”

The countryside has experienced regular periods of people moving away, often times for Reykjavík and usually in times of hardship. The Westfjords has been no exception in this regard, as a region where it is often hard to eek out a living in the best of times. As such, an Icelandic family choosing to settle some of the country’s long-abandoned regions is most definitely cause for celebration.

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