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Back from hiking

We returned from our hiking excursion two evenings ago and I’m only now just getting a chance to sift through the photos I took and upload them to Flickr. In contrast to many other trips the weather was less than stellar so I wasn’t particularly inspired to take photos this time around. Iceland in sunshine is a whole different country from Iceland in clouds.

Still, it was a great trip. As many of you will know, EPI and I belong to a hiking group that meets once every summer for a four-day excursion. We tend to stray off the beaten track and go to places that are secluded or even deserted, and generally stay in very basic lodging, like boarding schools [with dorms and an industrial-sized kitchen] or other types of sleeping bag accommodation where we have access to a kitchen.

This year we went up north to the Eyjafjörður region, near Akureyri. We stayed in an old farmhouse located between Akureyri and Dalvík and took day trips from there. We hiked in Svarfaðardalur, which has some of the most imposing mountains in Iceland, the tops of which were covered or sprinkled with snow, HIGHLY unusual for July …

Day 1
On day two we scaled the highest mountain in North Iceland, Kerling, which rises 1538 metres [5,000 ft.] above sea level [we started our ascent at 70 m]. What a kick to finally reach the top, after four hours of straight climbing!

Day 2

On day three we travelled into one of the most remote areas in Iceland, accessible only by 4WD. Amazingly they have flushing toilets up there with even better quality paper than I have in  my own bathroom. As you can see, the womenfolk made full use of the facilities [the menfolk generally going more, um, natural] …

Day 3

On the fourth day we sailed to delightful Hrísey island, where the most prevalent mode of transport is Massey Ferguson tractors. Just about every house has one, and even the single taxi on the island is a MF tractor …

Day 4 - Hrísey island

And on the final day, before we headed home, we made a little detour to check out the lovely Safnasafn museum on Svalbarðsströnd, directly across from Akureyri. It’s dedicated to naive and “outsider” art and it’s now officially my favourite museum in all of Iceland. Just beautiful.

Day 5

I’ll elaborate a bit more on our trip next time, perhaps … in the meantime the full set of photos is here. Remember you can choose the slideshow option on the top right of the page.

The weather here in the capital is fairly cool at the moment, or maybe it’s just the wind. It’s been mostly sunny today, temps currently 14°C [54F]. The sun came up at 4.30 am and set at 10.35 pm.

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  • maja August 1, 2009, 12:03 am

    Wow, you climbed Kerling! It’s an amazing looking mountain. What a crazy little trip, that art museum looks great!

  • Guy August 1, 2009, 1:26 am

    Even though the weather wasn’t spectacular, the pics still look great.

  • Ljósmynd DE August 1, 2009, 9:45 am

    It is interesting to see, that the weather forecast for the Reykjavik area has been consistently better than for North Iceland this summer. In the past it was mostly the other way round. The fotos with the snowcapped mountains convey an impression of autumn.

    So far, I have neglected this area around Akureyri. But your post shows, that it’s worth spending some time there.

    The Kerling looks very formidable and forbidding. It must provide a great view if not shrouded in mist.

    Which one is this remote area with the comfortable toilet? Is it the peninsula east of Eyjafjörður?

  • Paul H August 1, 2009, 1:48 pm

    Looks like it was a good hiking trip, even with the weather being what it was.
    I really like the deep blue sky shots from Day 2, and also the close ups of the plants.
    Hiking is something we want to incorporate more of into our time spent in Iceland.
    On our last trip we hiked up Glymur.
    The top was covered by clouds and not a soul in sight.
    A mystical experience.
    I took HD video of the hike from the top down, 60 clips totaling around 30 minutes (big editing job ahead of me).
    As we headed back down, the clouds lifted and revealed the waterfall.
    Beautiful.
    Even with the less than perfect weather, Iceland shows its beauty.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • matt August 1, 2009, 5:03 pm

    Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your journey and photos!

  • alda August 1, 2009, 9:54 pm

    Thanks, everyone. And matt, you’re welcome! 😉

    LDE – Is it the peninsula east of Eyjafjörður? — Correct. That’s the one. This is a trail that leads from the road up to the far north coast.

  • Steve August 2, 2009, 1:44 am

    Beautiful! However, that MF tractor is a Ford!

  • CarolQ August 2, 2009, 10:42 pm

    You all must have had a terrific time hiking! Thank you for the beautiful photos. I do the same thing with plants, mosses and lichen! I’m not alone in my choices, thank you.

  • Rozanne August 3, 2009, 9:40 pm

    Sounds and looks like a completely wonderful trip. I love how you always seem to combine a trip to a regional museum with your hiking.

    How ’bout all the snow? It is pretty, although I’m sure it made the long climb to the top of Kerling even more grueling. That’s a lot of elevation gain!

  • Rose August 4, 2009, 7:37 pm

    Thanks for sharing photos of this trip! I enjoyed every minute! 😉