Inspired by Iceland
SEEDS 62. Island of Viðey & Culture night in Reykjavík (2:2)
Capital Region
SEEDS Iceland
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From 17.08.2011 to 31.08.2011
Type: Festival / Agriculture / Environmental
Number of volunteers: 8
Language: English - high proficiency is not required
Accomodation: Shared rooms, kitchen, bathroom. Bring sleeping bag.
Participation fee: 160 EUR
Extra: Whale watching, Hikes, City of Reykjavík, excursions.

WORK/PROJECT: The city of Reykjavík will be our host again in this project and SEEDS volunteers will have the opportunity to work at the island of Viðey for the 5th year in a row! On Viðey we will work on environmental and nature related issues, such as harvesting of vegetables and crops grown in the island; support the organisation of the festival and market around the last weekend of August.

Depending on the advance of the project, we may have other possible tasks as maintenance and marking of hiking paths or bicycle trails, work on common and green recreational areas, gardening and painting works, cleaning of the coastline, etc. We will also help with preparing the island for the autumn/winter season by taking care of the bicycles, tools and furniture and store them inside.

We will also be able to join partly the happenings of Menningarnótt (The Culture Night) on August 20. Menningarnótt is a yearly event held and SEEDS has been engaged since 2006. It was created by the Reykjavík city council, and has now become the largest festival in Iceland, rivalling the celebration of Iceland's national day on June 17th. During Culture Night a carnival atmosphere reigns. The festival consists of a main stage in the centre and many smaller events spread over the city. The highlight is an outside concert by 3-4 of the most popular musicians in Iceland followed by a glamorous fireworks show.

ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will be lodged in a local house at Viðey island, sleeping on mattresses on the floor. Bringing a sleeping bag is needed. Volunteers will receive food ingredients and be in charge of the different cooking and cleaning activities. Equipped kitchen and washing machine are available. Please do not forget some traditional food from your home country for the international evening.

LOCATION: Viðey or "Wood Island" is the largest island (1,7 km2) in the Kollafjord Bay. It is covered by many species of plants and at least 30 species of breeding birds have been counted here.

The island was inhabited already in the 10th century, in the 12th a church was built and in 1225 a monastery was established. The local house, which is still open to tourists, was built in 1755 and is the first construction made of stone and cement in the country. In the beginning of the 20th century the island was inhabited by over one hundred fishermen, merchants and farmers but the last inhabitant left it in 1943. The island is unpopulated now but several people work there in a ‘homey’ café and lively cultural house. Both are hosting visitors in the daily hours. The city is successfully trying to change Viðey into a place known by its cultural and environmental attractions.

There is a regular boat connection between the island and the harbour of Reykjavík. It takes just about 10 minutes and is only a few hundred metres away from the city. This makes Viðey so special, it is a peaceful place, very close to the busy city life of the capital.

There are hiking and cycling paths around the island and there is no motor traffic allowed. It also inhabits intriguing sculptural art work, amongst them all nine pairs of basalt pillars that comprise Richard's Serra's work Áfangar and Yoko Ono's "Imagine peace" column, a tower of light, which is supported by the widow of John Lennon.

Other places of interest on Viðey are related to archaeological research, the village. At the eastern end of the island is the site of the abandoned fishing village and Viðeyjarnaust, at the southwest of the island, it is a memorial to the twenty men who lost their lives when the cutter Ingvar sank off Viðey in 1906. Dramatic formations of columnar basalt may be seen on the shore.

LANGUAGE: English will be the official language in the camp; high proficiency is not a requirement.

TERMINAL: Closest International Airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF).

EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 160.

Whale watching, puffin boat excursions and free time activities in the area will be organised free of charge for SEEDS volunteers. Volunteers will also have free rides in the boat/ferry to the city of Reykjavík during their free time.

AGE: 16+

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