|* iPhoneSE shot from my bedroom window|
My first destination was the Samúel Jónsson outdoor sculpture museum in Sélardalur, through the tiny town of Bíldudalur, and then almost at the end of the long and quite stunning Arnarfjörður. The pass out of Patreksfjörður was - not surprisingly - incredible, winding and foggy (as usual)! Even though the passes looked similar in these conditions I still loved them and pulled over when I found a safe spot at the side of the road to pull off. These roads were sealed, so I managed to get myself down to the town in good time.
The road hugged the coastline, passing endless stretches of sand and turquoise waters. I can only imagine how the colours must look with the help of a little sunshine. The weather had become a little drier, with big clouds visible off into the distance and the odd patch of sun appearing occasionally. The views around every bend were just spectacular, thankfully visibility was good. It was possibly my favourite drive on the whole of the trip. Not a soul around either :)
I passed a couple of houses, one was stark and alone, another was hidden behind trees - a perfect retreat with incredible views. I could imagine living there (in spite of the lack of actual sun for many months of the winter).At just after midday I finally reached my first actual destination (rather than just beautiful stops along the road) - the museum at Sélardalur that was created by Samúel Jónsson to show off his work. It was a strange little place, with an austere little church, a couple of houses (one recently rebuilt, all recently re-painted) and some rather odd sculptures. The grey skies and pointy dark brown mountain behind were certainly a fitting setting. I'd read that Sigur Rós had performed there - what magic that would have been! The place was amazing, and I wandered through the figures, unsure as to what it was all about; a glimpse through the window to his workshop giving me just a little hint...
Obviously I had to stop on numerous occasions as I drove back past the sandbanks, which were now far more visible as the tide was lower. I climbed up a little hill for a better vantage point at one stage - great view of the potholes in the road too!
I'd hoped to pass a petrol station grill bar in Bíldudalur, so I could get a burger for lunch (it was after 1.30pm by the time I got back there so was feeling a bit peckish). There isn't much there and I didn't turn off the "main" road, but instead continued on, leaving my lunch options to chance. After leaving the town I began a long meander around the edge of endless small fjords. At the end of the first, Fossfjörður, was a small waterfall by a bridge. I stopped for a short while and was graced with sunshine - the first glimpse since just before Flatey on my ferry ride two days earlier. The marshy land between me and the fjord's edge glowed almost yellow for a couple of minutes, with the mountains providing a blue backdrop, before a cloud snatched the sunshine away from me again. The waterfall, I found on my map later, is imaginatively named Foss.
A little way up the hill on the way to the next fjord I suddenly slammed on the brakes as I saw the most picturesque hut, with a triangular section with a rectangle attached, covered with a bright orange corrugated iron roof - it shone in another brief patch of sun.
Around in the next fjord, was Reykjarfjörður (one of the many), with it own little hot pool at the side of the road. There was a small hut with two changing rooms, a large green-painted rectangular pool with strange green water, and a few steps away were some hot pools in the grass. I changed into my bikini and settled down to a quick soak in the more authentic grassy pools. A couple showed up, took a few photos, but didn't join me, and then I wandered across the muddy grass and did a few lengths in the bigger pool, which was also a lovely temperature. I dried myself, got changed, and headed on, Dynjandi beckoning.
|* iPhoneSE shot|
In the next fjord, Trostansfjörður, the road began to climb again - another mountain pass up into the fog! At the top it cleared a bit and I had a fantastic view down to the river valley below.
I was keen to get up to the top of the falls, where the main waterfall cascades down the rock-face, so I rushed up the path, only taking a few handheld shots on my way. Before I set off my empty tummy reminded me that I hadn't had any lunch, so a Nature Valley was wolfed down. It's uphill all the way to the main platform, but not too far. It is an extremely challenging waterfall to capture, however; something I hadn't expected. At the base of the main falls I set up my tripod, wiping spray off the lens between each shot.
It was getting late, and I had to leave by about 5.30pm in order to make my dinner reservation (more on that below!).
I wandered back down the path towards the car, stopping along the way to capture the view from below with people silhouetted against the falls, now too exhausted to get the tripod set up, so just shooting hand-held with a high ISO and fast shutter speed.
The first pass - Hrafseyrarheidði - was most definitely one of the most spectacular roads I'd driven on, both on the ascent up from the fjord and the descent on the other side leading down to Þingeyri. I stopped at the top and met the woman in the orange jacket and her companion - they were taking silly selfies at the top. I took one too on the iPhone - grinning madly at the wonderful view (with the hair whipping across my face in the wind). The pictures don't capture the depth of the descent and the sheer splendour of this view.
|* iPhoneSE shot|
After that stop the road continued to wind up and up, around and around, before finally reaching a plateau and then opening up to another spectacular winding road down into the valley and fjord below. I was blown away, again!
Click here for the blog from Day 2 - Exploring the Látrabjarg Peninsula