Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The trip around Iceland, Tue 18th of July Day 2

While travelling on those early morning hours I saw fantastic views with mist, clouds and rising sun popping out between mountain peaks. - I like do things in different times than others normally, because then you might experience something unusual and breathtaking what you wouldn't see in daytime and I rather have peacefull moments without a disturbance of other human beings around.. ;)

Second lighthouse what I visited was Streitisviti, which has nice black and white coating. In Breiðdalsvík was waiting a nice surprice for me, I saw a car of my dreams: Lada Niva 4x4, also know as Lada Sport in Iceland. And of course I did take a picture of it.

Stöðvarfjörður, a town of stone crystals. This village started developing around a trading post in 1896. It is situated on a fiord by the same name and the bases of livelihood are fishing, fish processing, tourism and commerce. Experiments with cod rearing in the fiord were carried out for a few years. The greatest attraction for visitors is the unique collection of half precious stones, rock crystals, chalcedony, obsidian, amethyst, mordenite, calcite, zeolites, jaspers, opals etc. It is astounding how much the elderly lady, Petra, who is responsible for the collection, has accomplished in her lifetime. To see is to believe! Down by the sea is a cave with an opening to the surface. When the wind blows hard and the brakers enter the cave, a natural fountain is created. The Algerian buccaneers, who came pillaging in 1627, struck this area and the inhabitants fled and hid in a cauldron like depression called Stedji.
I was running out of petrol, and last few towns only had gas stations with credit card machines and I only had cash with me, so I was conserned about the fact that I could not continue till some of those stations opens for business but still I had enough that higly overpriced bensin to continue to next bigger town. In Fáskruðsfjorður, I was surpriced that all the street signs were not only in Icelandic but also in French. This town has history of french fishing activities from late 19th century. It was same story with a gas station in this place.
The village Budir is situated at the end of the bay Faskrudsfjordur. The Co-operative Society there operates a shop, a fishing outfit and a fish processing factory. Late in the 19th and early in the 20th centuries French fishing vessels were serviced there and the French built a hospital and secured sacred ground for the burial of the fishermen, who died on the long fishing expeditions to the Icelandic fishing grounds. Altogether 49 French and Belgians lie buried there. The hospital building was moved to the head of the bay and its decayed remains are still standing. All around the village are beautiful and interesting natural phenomena to be seen in the rugged, mountainous landscape. http://www.nat.is/travelguideeng/faskrudsfjordur.htm

The travel distance from Buðir (Fáskruðsfjorður) to Reyðarfjörður has reduced by brand new tunnel through mountain, more or less 16 kilometers long. I did take that shortcut tunnel in hope that I could find a gas station where I could pay in cash, and yes, I was lucky.
Reyðarfjörður is under metamorphosis, new huge sports centre, massive swimming centre, new highrises and etc.. - I was wondering why there such developments in that relatively small town, and soon I found an answare. I drove the main road off the town and I ended up where half finished Alcoa aluminium factory were located with newly constructed harbour. - The landscape was nominated by tall powerline pillars just waiting to get a cord hanging between them. I concluded that the Kárahnjúkar dam project must be related to this factory and the power lines will be connected to the powerplant at Kárahnjúkar.

Tank full of petroleum, and warm sunshine keeping me company, I turned my nose towards hills in north. I was on my way to Egilsstaðir. After the hights of mountain terra should excist the biggest forest in Iceland, first I did not realized that it was a forest because the trees were relatively small or short but yes, there was a forest. And the canyon where the road was going down towards Egilsstaðir was really beatifull with threes a nice small river freshing up the nature.

Egilsstaðir is friendly semi big town in icelandic scale. It has all the infrastructure what is needed for deasent urban life, coffee houses, bars, special stores, etc.. I went to a supermarket there bought food and drinks having an idea to have a picknic in the nature somewhere.

I took a road towards Seiðisfjörður (it has seaway to Faroes and Norway) hoping to find nice spot to have a picknic. Didn't find a good place but top of the high mountins, on the way to Seiðisfjörður, was a safe hut for hikers by the road and I went there to make some sandwiches and eat skir..

After, freshing and fullfilling break I drove down to Seiðisfjörður, which is really beatiful town with good vibes.

Near the town I found a 'Réttir' (sheep cathering fence splitted circle) which served as a sleeping ground for me. I placed a travel matress in a nice spot inside the Rettir and took a really nice nap, two hours or so.. - having a sleep in nature had a strange effect for me, I got so fresh and I was feeling so full of energy that I haven't felt for long time.

After this i started to listen mostly the classical music that was on radio insted the annoying, ear torturing, loud rock music..

Only way to get away from Seiðisfjörður is to go back to Egilsstaðir, where I had a brilliant casserolle / bake with salad and special spiced rice portion at "Te & Kaffi" coffee house. By that point it had been a long time since last good coffee, in countryside it is almost impossible to find desent coffee, and I ordered Cafe Latte (made with double espresso), - it was heavenly good. And just before leaving I had a double espresso, just in case, because you never know when you will get next good cup of coffee.

It was time to say good bye to Egilsstaðir and I destinated myself to visit the Queen of Elfs at 'Alfaborg, which is situated northernmost of Eastfjords in a town called Borgarfjörður Eyst (Bakkagerði).

I falled in love with this area immediately, not so accessible but definately worth of paying a visit. the road was quite small and some parts were not covered with asphalt and the mountain view were spectacular. When walking in 'Alfaborg a butterfly was keeping me company, it was flying around me and I almost heard it singing, hmmm... or was it my imagination running wild when in Elfcastle, who knows.
I didn't meet Her majesty The Elf Queen herself unless the butterfly was the Queen in discuise... ;) But anyhow, I left Borgarfjörður Eyst with a good spirit. (the huldufólk, elves and spirits et. al. are allegedly alive and well in Iceland. Alfaborg (or Elf Mountain) is in the eastern region of the country, named for the elf queen that locals believe lived there. To honour her, an annual festival of bonfires, candles and 'elf songs' happens every January).

The town itself was cute, the inhabitants have payid an attention of garden disign, all kind of nice decorative objects were placed here and there.

It took some time get to the ring road from east, some roads were narrow and had sandcover and travelling was slow. But when on the main road the travel was convinient again.

I was heading towards Mývatn invited to stay at a school accommodation in Skjólbrekka, next to Skútustaðir, by my good friend Rafael, who was staying there with a group of 12 French tourist, which he was guiding.

When I arrived I was offered a delicious fish in blue cheese sauce and rice, it was really good after many hours of travelling. Around midnight when the turist were sleeping we went for a beer to near by hotel. That night I slept very well, thanks for Rafael. [TAKK FYRIR] ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ


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