"" Writer's Wanderings: Iceland - The East Coast

Friday, September 30, 2016

Iceland - The East Coast

As we started out in the morning I asked to take one more look at Hofn where we'd had dinner the night before. At a bend in the road near where we ate there was a great view of four glacial fingers reflected in the water of the fjord (fjort). I could imagine a great picture with the sun rising. Well, the sun rose but it was well hidden by the clouds as were the glaciers. They were indiscernible. So much for the great shot.

Our drive took us along the east coast of Iceland where there are quite a few fjords. We wove our way down and back up sometimes climbing a mountainside and then descending to the sea again. All the while we were in and out of the clouds. The weather made the fjords mysterious in their shroud of fog and mist and at times even romantic as through the mist the harsh lines of rocks and cliffs and even rooftops were softened and mellowed.

It was a nice drive as we passed through several small towns finally stopping in Faskrudsfjordur at the Cafe Sumarlina which was on the second floor of a small wooden structure. It was quaint and the lunch was delicious and surprisingly not as high priced as most places we'd been so far.

Just up the road from where we had lunch we encountered the first tunnel of our trip. It looked kind of eerie with all the fog around it but this one at least was easy to navigate. (Yes, I'm foreshadowing.)

As we made our way around the fjords, we began to notice fish farms. Some were large operations and others only had a few rings of pens for raising their fish. Fish is quite a staple of the Icelandic diet, especially cod. I hadn't realized that they were actually raising some of their fish supply. I just assumed they were fishing the sea around them.

Skirting the coastline, I suddenly did a double take. REINDEER! Bob hit the brakes and thankfully with no one behind us backed up. I snapped a few pictures with one lens and quickly changed to another for a closer look. We had seen signs along the way--you know those yellow ones with the picture of deer, or other animals possibly on the street but thought it was just for deer or elk. What a fun surprise. It would be the first of several during our trip.

We arrived too early to check in to the Vinland Guesthouse so we drove along the fjord and crossed over to see a waterfall, the Hengifoss, said to be the tallest waterfall in Iceland. Unfortunately it was about a three mile round trip trek half of which was uphill. It was like climbing Mount Fuji all over again only this time it was Bob asking, "Shall we go?" We made it maybe halfway up and between the rain that started to fall and the climbing, we decided seeing the lower falls was enough. I got out my telescopic camera lens and zeroed in on the upper one. Close enough. We turned around and started back down hill.

Our guesthouse was reminiscent of a cabin in the Poconos. There were six small units in a wood frame building with a little porch around it. The shutters had a heart design cut into them. No heart shaped bathtub though. However the toilet looked like a throne. There was a TV, only the second one that we had in four days and this one had satellite but all you could get was the news from Great Britain and tons of shows in German and Icelandic. Still, Bob got to surf so he was happy.

Our dinner was in a nice little restaurant that offered BBQ ribs on the menu. While they weren't what I'd consider something common to Iceland, they sounded good and tasted even better. It was something other than soup or fish which we seemed to be eating a lot of.

That night there was not much hope of seeing the Northern Lights with all the rainy clouds but I still checked--just not all night. At least our window faced north so I didn't have to go outside to look. I stayed dry and warm.

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