Swiss Traveler Says Final Goodbye to Beloved Icelandic Haven Skip to content

Swiss Traveler Says Final Goodbye to Beloved Icelandic Haven

By Ragnar Tómas

Þingvellir
Photo: Anne Glantz by Þingvallavatn Lake (screenshot from RÚV).

After nine summers of retreats to Þingvallavatn Lake, Swiss psychiatrist Anne Glantz has decided to end her annual visits. Glantz, now eighty, told RÚV yesterday that she would be leaving with a sense of peace and gratitude for her experiences.

Nine memorable summers

Last evening marked Anne Glantz’s final night by Þingvallavatn Lake in southwestern Iceland. Over the course of nine summers, she has forged a connection with the local fauna – loons, geese, and even a mythical lady whom she believes resides in the water.

Glantz plans to depart from Þingvellir with a heart full of gratitude for the friendships she’s formed with its natural inhabitants.

Not at all uncomfortable

In Switzerland, Glantz is a well regarded psychiatrist specialising in oncology. She continues to work during the winter months.

For each of the past nine summers, she’s driven to Denmark and taken the Norröna ferry to Iceland. Her destination has always been the same: the picturesque banks of Þingvallavatn Lake, where she encamps from June through August, comfortably so.

“Not at all uncomfortable,” she told RÚV yesterday. “My tent is spacious and cosy, equipped with quality mattresses and sleeping bags. I actually sleep better here than in my own bed.”

A spiritual connection

Never once has Glantz sought refuge in a hotel, despite occasionally challenging weather conditions.

Though she has family in Switzerland – including children and grandchildren – and is widowed, she’s pulled to Lake Þingvellir each summer.

“It defies articulation – it’s more of an emotional pull. This feels like where my roots are,” she reflected. “The serenity of nighttime, the aroma of foliage, and the symphony of bird calls create an environment where I am profoundly at ease.”

A fitting goodbye

Having recently turned eighty, Glantz has decided it’s time to cease her annual pilgrimages to Iceland. Last night was her final stay in the tent.

“In the beginning, the idea of this being my last visit filled me with sadness. I spent hours contemplating by the lakeside, eventually finding peace in the realisation that everything has its season. I’ve now achieved a sense of peace, and I am immensely thankful.”

Lifelong memories

Over the years, Glantz has cultivated friendships in Iceland with not just humans, but also various bird species and even a family of geese residing on the lake. As she prepares to leave, she intends to take these cherished memories with her.

“All of this,” she indicated, sweeping her hand across the tranquil water. “I’ll carry the quietude and love with me. And – I hope it’s alright to say – I’ve spoken to a mysterious lady believed to dwell in the lake. Her presence is captivating and beautiful. These memories are etched in my heart, reinvigorating me for the remaining chapters of my life.”

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