Vala and Anna began to prepare for the SYLRA 2005 meeting on the flight back home from Denmark in august 2003. Few meetings and one camping together to the summerhouse of Vala’s family with the transceiver and antenna were used to establish the SYLRA 2005 meeting.
It was decided to have it early in the Icelandic summer when we have daylight around the clock.
Vala and Anna earned some money by making hot chocolate for group of people just before Christmas 2004. Part of that money was used to buy the domain sylra.is.
June 10th, some YL had arrived
This evening Vala decided to go downtown to say hello to Inger and Unni. But she could not find them in the restaurant they said they would be in. While she stood outside the restaurant, just in front of the hotel most of the SYLRA guests were using, she saw some foreigners come out of the hotel. This people came across the street and began to speak German. “Those are a little bit like amateurs” Vala thought. And then she decided to say hello to this people. Lia, Joachim, Gerda, Hilde, Anita and Dieter were surprised discovering that it was Vala standing right in front of them.
June 11th, women's run day.
On Saturday some of the YL had decided to go to the Women's Run in Gardabaer and Vala had “open house” after the run/walk for those she knew would be participants in the happening. But all out of the blue Anna, Unni, Inger and others ran into lots of YL in Gardabaer. So participants in Vala's home were lot more than expected and it was so great to see everybody enjoying live.
It was decided to drive everyone to the shack to look at the place and see the equipment. Villi, TF3VS, who is Anna's OM and the QSL manager for TF3SYL, gave us a tour around the house of IRA. It was a demand from the YL that Vala and Anna would take the first QSO so they sat down in front of the transmitter and got the first contact.
Everyone was driven to the hotel after a lesson in the Icelandic bus system.
June 12th Arrival day
Some of the YL came earlier, other on Sunday the 12th. Solveig and Bengt came with the ferry Norröna (Smyril line) but the rest came with flights. Most of the people knew each other.
Board meeting was held this day, that is those of the group which started SYLRA sat down and talked about SYLRA matters. This meeting was held at Vala’s home and was very successful.
June 13th Get together day
At 0900 in the morning of Wednesday the 13th of June 2005 the SYLRA 2005 group gathered together in front of Hallgrímskirkja. A bus came to pick us up. Vala and Anna welcomed everyone.
We drove around Reykjavik centre and then we headed to the GANNET ATC COM communication centre at Rjúpnahæd in Reykjavik. At this communication centre we met Thor, TF3GW, but he is the chief of this centre. He showed us antennas and lot of transceivers, receivers and other stuff used to communicate to flights and ships around Iceland.
After about 1 hour stop at Rjúpnahæd we headed to the fresh water plant Gvendarbrunnar. There we looked at how Reykjavik city gets its clean drinking water. The water plant is built into the cliffs and there you can watch down to the drilling holes used to get the water out of the ground. What Icelanders look at as usual thing, getting fresh drinkable water out of the tubes at home, is a big adventure for some foreigners.
From Gvendarbrunnar we headed to the mountains. In the middle of nowhere the bus stopped and Vala and Anna prepared lunch. The lunch was sandwiches and soda water outside under the clear blue sky. People enjoyed the meal looking at Icelandic nature. And Hardy found some snow!
Hydrothermal Plant at Nesjavellir is producing electricity for Reykjavik area. They use hot steam that comes up from the earth. We got some lesson about the power plant and then we walked around and looked at the machines.
Next stop was Thingvellir, one of the national parks in Iceland. At Thingvellir the Icelandic parliament was established in the year 930 and has been active since then. It was great to look over the area in the beautiful weather we got. Almost everybody walked with our guide through Almannagjá and got lot of information about Thingvellir and Icelanders.
After the great view of Thingvellir we headed to the river Sog where we looked at different way to produce electricity, water plant. At Sogsvirkjun electricity has been produced for many, many years using the water from the lake of Thingvellir.
From Sogsvirkjun we went to Hveragerdi. There we looked at the hot spring area in the middle of town. The guides there told us that for few months early in 2005 the area had changed a lot and showed us lot of dry hot springs and places where new one were coming through the earth. Vala could confirm this since she saw the same area 7 months earlier and then it was quite another area. It is strange for foreigners to believe that there is hot springs in the middle of a town, but so it is in Hveragerdi.
After the tour through the hot spring area Anna and Vala gave everyone apple snaps into eatable glasses made of cucumbers. Some persons ate their glasses before they got their second snaps. TF1VG met us at the hot spring area, he lives in Hveragerdi.
After the sightseeing through the hot spring area some of the YL went swimming in the swimming pool in Hveragerdi. In that swimming pool hot spring water is used and there you can go to natural steam bath. The rest went to look at some greenhouses at a place called Eden. There you could also get coffee to drink and buy some stuff.
Dinner was served at a restaurant Hafid bláa (The Blue Ocean) located at the seashore near Selfoss. We got fresh salad and a soup with bread. The view from the restaurant out to the Atlantic Ocean is great.
From the restaurant we went back to Reykjavik.
June 14th The meeting day
On Thursday we had our meeting day and the OM had day of until in the afternoon. The bus picked us up at Hallgrímskirkja and from there we drove to our meeting place. Union of Icelandic Electrical workers lent us their meeting room and they also invited the group to lunch.
Vala and Anna opened our meeting and welcomed all the YL. Unni, chairman of SYLRA, told about how SYLRA became real. She also thanked Anna and Vala for their effort in making this meeting possible.
Mr. Haraldur Thordarson TF3HP, president of IRA (Icelandic Radio Amateur club) talked to the group and he was very happy to see so many YL in one room in Iceland. He told us about activates in IRA and welcomed us to their shack during the meeting days.
Three working groups were formed and each had its topic to talk about and exchange experience and ideas. One group talked about how to increase the number of YL. Second group talked about YL clubs and what they are doing and the third group talked about YL activities. The groups had 1 hour to talk about their topics.
Before lunch Unni informed us about the YL meeting in Mumbai in India in year 2006. Unni and some others also read all the good wishes we had got from YL around the world.
Pictures from the Copenhagen meeting in 2003 were showed.
Lovely meal waited for us at Gallery Fiskur (a fish restaurant) near the meeting place. Lot of the YL walked to the restaurants in the lovely weather we had, blue sky and the sun was shining. Lots of matters were solved over the dishes.
Since the lunch took longer time than expected we had not time to discuss the topics the working groups talked about in the morning. We had to go straight to SYLRA formal meeting. Unni Gran chairman of SYLRA told about things the “board” had decided the day before.
We talked about how SYLRA should be “built”. It was decided that just YL from Scandinavia will have the right to vote in SYLRA matters.
The board of SYLRA will have 11 persons, 2 persons from each country and the chairman. Each country will have their main contact person and one assistant. Those are the main contacts for each country:
- Denmark: Inger - OZ7AGR
- Finland: Jatta - OH2IO
- Sweden: Solveig - SM6KAT
- Norway: Ingrid - LA8FOA
- Iceland: Vala - TF3VD
Unni Gran, LA6RHA, was elected as chairman for the next two years.
It was decided to have SYLRA meetings every second year and this is the plan:
- Sweden 2007
- Norway 2009
- Finland 2011
- Denmark 2013
- Iceland 2015
After lot of talking about sponsoring or inviting YL to SYLRA we decided to invite YL to our group. Since we do not have members fee it is hard to sponsor.
As Tuulikki has asked to be excused from carrying on as being the webmaster due to her health status, Anna, TF3VB, was elected to become SYLRA's new webmaster.
Thor Ottesen from the Union of Icelandic Electrical workers came and we thanked him a lot for their great assistance to our SYLRA meeting and the lovely meal.
After very good meeting with lot of information exchange the bus came to pick us up and drive us to Bessastadir to meet the president of Iceland. Everybody was very excited to go there. The visiting OM came with Konrad to Bessastadir and joined the YL.
It was strange for the foreigners to see that we could drive directly to Bessastadir without any security check. Then we just walked the last 20 meters and the door was opened. We were invited into the house and after we had signed the guestbook we went into the living room and waited for few minutes. We were offered champagne and some nice cookies. Then Mr. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson the president of Iceland came into the room. He talked a lot to us, asked about our hobby and told us that he knew a radio amateur when he was young boy. The president guided the group around Bessastadir, which is very old house.
After the great visit to Bessastadir everyone went to their hotels and homes and prepared for the gala dinner in the evening.
The dinner was in central of Reykjavik at a nice restaurant named Laekjarbrekka.
The Minister of Communications had offered us an appetizer before dinner. Unfortunately he could not attend personally, as he was sick in a hospital. Instead he sent his political advisor who addressed us. He gave a short welcome speech where he told us that he knew some amateurs and his mother was a telegrapher by profession. He also gave us best regards from Minister Sturla Bodvarsson.
3 young boys, (two of them TF3VO and TF3VHN are sons of Anna), played some music for us.
The menu was mixed seafood with garlic, and then we had lamb and beef with pepper sauce. And for desert we got ice-cream with a dipole antenna on the top! Well the antenna was some sugar decoration.
During dinner everyone had nice talk to each other. Anna and Vala then thanked everyone for lovely days together during SYLRA 2005 conference.
Anna and Vala enjoyed preparing this meeting and it was great to have the opportunity to meet YL from so many countries with so different interest in our hobby.