Iceland – Day 11

Day 11 (July 1)

Gistihúsið Egilsstöðum to Smyrlabjörg (thanks Steve for the correct spelling!)

Click here for the Google Map (then zoom out, and click on "Hybrid" in the upper right, Google Maps lacks data for much of Iceland).

A fairly early start for us, we were on the road by 9 a.m. I think.  We had a circuitous route to manage (see link above) from Egilsstaðir to Smyrlabjörg along the winding coast of fjords.  Naturally we skipped the one tunnel that would have shortened this long route but were rewarded with some magnificent views from the end of the peninsula.  R200706251952391122We were being watched most of the way by the local residents who did not see many strangers in these parts.  Odd looking I am sure (one of us).

There are more than 50,000 Icelandic horses here, and they never leave the country.  If they do they cannot return as they might bring back viruses and other maladies that could infect the local population. Unfortunately we missed the largest horse show of the year in HELLA which was the end of June.  We were on our march around the island and this wasn’t on our short list.

The little village of Briddalsvik is where we found Cafe Margaret.  Look closely for the building in the left photo at the base of the mountain.  Here is a close up (right).  The place was built of Norwegian pine I read, and was, for its construction, quite unique and seemingly out of place for such a small town.  R200707011234202126
Lunch was one of the best on the road we had found.  I had the pan fried cod with potatoes.  It was fabulous.

In and out we went around the fingers of land that were left by glaciers in the past to form long, almost river-like fjords.  Birds and livestock abounded.  This one goat, who had lost his right horn, was particularly interesting to me as he posed for this shot.  Steve can make the best sheep/cow calls going… his talent was key to these images.

Djúpivogur was wrapped around the end of one of these peninsulas formed by the fjords.  Easily accessible from the sea, it has been a trading port since 1589 when German Hansa merchants were granted a trading license by the Danish king.

Along the way we spotted an odd home.  We drove as close as we could get to it without trespassing, but still, we could not quite believe what we saw.  I think it is a DC-3 converted into a house.

We stopped in Hofn for dinner at the Cafe Hornid.  It was OK, but not on our recommended list.  We reached Smyrlabjörg about 8:30 p.m.  It had been a very long day on the road (and off the road).


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