Well as the Germans say, “tomorrow it is so far” – meaning it the time has come for Yours Truly to take off on a road trip to the wonderful West Fjords to drop off books and generally have a marvellous time.
If you have not yet explored the West Fjords you are missing out on an incredible experience. They are the most sparsely populated area in Iceland (the population has drifted southward for various reasons, mostly economic – more on that later, perhaps) and also the area with the most imposing mountains and dramatic landscapes. Geologically they are also the oldest part of the country.
Here is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland: Dynjandi, near Ísafjörður:
We’ll most definitely be stopping there again.
Our itinerary is roughly as follows:
Day 1 – Thursday
We drive up to Strandir, which is the easternmost part of the West Fjords, if that makes sense … the right side of the head (the head being the head of the beast, a.k.a. the West Fjords area). We’re headed to a place called Trékyllisvík, which is pretty far north, practically into the uninhabited hinterlands, but which has at least one amazing place that I am DYING to return to (I was last there in 1997 or thereabouts). More on that later.
Day 2 – Friday
The plan is to spend a good part of the day in the Trékyllisvík area and then head a little further south to Djúpavík which is also an amazing site, on which I shall elaborate in due course (no doubt some of you have been there already and know exactly what it is there that is so amazing). It’s also a place that I have longed to return to, and I can barely contain my excitement.
Day 3 – Saturday
Heading over to Ísafjörður, which is the main urban centre in the region. Unfortunately it looks like we may have to make haste because I’ve got some book drops to do there and, well, the stores close a bit early. A woman I spoke to on the phone a couple of days ago said the main bookstore closed at 4 pm but I’ve just checked the web and it says 2 (!) … so we’ll see. They’re also closed on Sundays. (“How quaint!” says the urbanite in me while secretly grumbling under my breath.) Just my luck that on the day we plan to be in the main town the stores are closed and the whole reason for my trip (ostensibly) is for naught. Ah, well. Guess it means I’ll just have to spend the time enjoying myself.
Day 4 – Sunday
Heading down to Þingeyri where we’ll spend the night and also go to the amazing Simbahöllin café. It’s a place run by a Danish-Belgian couple who met in Reykjavík, went to Þingeyri, found this dilapidated old house (but with lots of potential), painstakingly restored it, and now run a café there in the summer. Not sure what else there is to do around there, but we shall find out. Maybe they have places that sell books – who knows?
Day 5 – Monday
We head to Patreksfjörður, near the southern jaw of the West Fjords, where we spend the night. Nearby are some of the most awesome places in the region, including the amazing Látrabjarg cliff, and Rauðisandur beach with its wide and beautiful red sands. I’ve been there a couple of times and can’t get enough of the area. It is completely mesmerizing. Here’s a pic I took at Látrabjarg a few years back:
Yes, those ARE people up there on the top.
I hope you’ll join me on the excursion. I will be posting regular updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from the road, and barring a natural disaster (or extreme fatigue) I will be blogging about the day’s activities in the evenings.
Ta for now!