On Thursday, 27 June, there was a groundbreaking ceremony for the new cluster of holiday houses belonging to Efling in Aratunga in Biskupstungur. It’s fair to say that this is a momentous occasion for the union. The plans have been under way for a long time and a lot of effort has been put into its preparation. 12 houses will be built in two stages and it is estimated that union members will be able to make use of the first houses in the middle of next year.
Sveinn Ingvason, head of the vacation division at Efling, has worked tirelessly for years to see this cluster of vacation houses become a reality. He says that there are mainly three things about this venture which make it special: The location is unique. The ground slants down to Tungufljót in Biskupstungur, above the row of cliffs which separate the area from the houses in Aratunga. The natural environment there is breathtaking and the view over the countryside surrounding Tungufljót is indescribable. The proximity to the services offered in Reykholt is also a great advantage and last but not least it is unique for Efling to own this land and therefore to be able to draw up plans for a cluster of 12 vacation homes utterly on its own terms, where the whole project is tailored to the needs and demands of the union’s members.
The history of this vacation house cluster may be traced all the way back to the year 1944 when the labor union Dagsbrún bought a piece of land with the aim of building a recreation- and retirement-home for the members of Dagsbrún. This idea is an unusually progressive one for that time, coming as it did before the era of vacation rights for workers and before unions were able to offer their members the use of vacation houses. Although the retirement home was not built at that time, it may be said that the purchase of that land and the ideas for a retirement home there were the first inklings of the current vacation policies of the unions. These years saw a great struggle for the increased vacation rights of workers and this idea for a retirement home was a very prescient one. Along with the right to longer and better vacations, the plans for vacation houses changed. It is therefore a great honor to be able to realize these farsighted ideas of our predecessors, albeit in a slightly different form, where the cluster of vacation houses is tailored to the needs of the current members of Efling.