Rock formation on the Icelandic coastline

The Eastern Fjords and Mountain Passes of Eastern Iceland

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Our driving day began early as we headed out into the crummy weather. It was cloudy and rainy most of the day for us – and very, very cold at some points despite it being August. Something about the weather made the already unusual landscape look even more so. This whole area reminded us of the west of Ireland.

Our first actual stop on our travels was around 11:30 when we pulled into Djupivogur. We knew we weren’t going to do the Papey Island Tour, but we wanted to see the village and have an early lunch. The Langabud – part café, part museum, part historical site dating from 1790 – right on the harbor was very charming. We would have had lunch here if it had been warm, but they were leaving the doors open so it was very cold. Instead, we had some burgers at the Vid Voginn fastfood stand.

Red building and Iceland flag in Djupivogur
Djupivogur

After Djupivogur, we headed North, taking the Oxi Pass Shortcut (Route 939). This is 2WD capable, but all dirt. Very quickly we came upon several beautiful waterfalls in this area, not on the map or apparently named. Once past the waterfall, the road became incredibly steep and there were a lot of blind curves. We did it in our little Toyota Auris in pouring rain. By the end of it, the car was completely caked in mud.

Once we cleared Oxi Pass, we encountered Lagarfljot (Lake Logurinn). We headed back up Route 931 to Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss waterfalls. Let me reiterate that today did not have good weather. Let me reiterate that it had also rained – a lot. So, the steep 2.5 mile trip up was slippery from wet rocks and gravel, plus the wind was absolutely punishing. It was miserable.

We made it up to Litlanesfoss with no problems and got some nice photos. Laura decided that a freezing, wet and otherwise miserable hike wasn’t her idea of a lovely vacation, so she turned around and headed back to the warm car.  I then made it a little further up past the third gate, but the wind became too much and I had to turn back too. I could see Hengifoss in the distance and it looked beautiful. Perhaps in better weather we would have made it all the way.

On pulling into Egilsstaidr, we checked into the Guesthouse Eyvindara (it is number 590 on the Icelandic Farmholidays Program). This place sits on the North side of town right above the airport. The guest building is a concrete row of 9 or 10 rooms. The rooms were nice, but they had motion detectors in the bathrooms, so if you go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, the lights come on. There’s a main house where meals are served and then several small cottages around the property. It was very quiet and the owner was an extremely pleasant lady.

Waterfall in Seyðisfjörður
Waterfall in Seyðisfjörður

We headed over the pass (in the dense clouds and fog) to Seyðisfjörður. The drab tin and concrete buildings of most of Iceland gave way to a little fishing village dominated by a large ferry terminal. We drove around, taking a bunch of photos of the cute houses and town.

We opted for the much recommended Skaftfell Cultural Center which is a café/bistro/art gallery/Internet spot for dinner. We both had good pizzas and shared an out-of-this-world skyr cake dessert. You don’t go to Seyðisfjörður for haute cuisine. But this little place serves up good comfort food in a very artsy and laid back environment. I loved all the Dieter Roth art books and was told that Roth had actually lived in the village of Seyðisfjörður for a number of years.

Buildings and boats in the harbor of Djupivogur, Iceland
Djupivogur

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