The Eastern Fjords

Trip Start Aug 04, 2008
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Trip End Aug 15, 2008


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Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008
The Eastern Fjords
 
Dear Readers:
 
A light mist and fog enshroud the mountains this morning as we make our way up the coast of Iceland into the Eastern Fjords. Our first stop is at Djupivogur where a few people stay in town to read or visit a museum, and the rest of us take a short hike to appreciate the first of the many fjords we see today.
 
An interesting stop as we zigzag up the coast is at the home where the lifelong stone collection of a woman named Petra is displayed. The display is enormous, both outside and inside her home, and having a geologist available to explain peculiar ones that catch our eyes is wonderful. I joke that we came here to be "Petra-fied."  (sorry)
 
After going through a long (about 4 miles) tunnel, we emerge at our final fjord of the day, Reydarfjordur. It is the location of a controversial Alcoa aluminum refinery, which is visible across the water.
 
We cross some mountains into the interior, and almost immediately the sky clears and the sun emerges. Driving past a glacial lake and fir forests planted some 70 years ago, we reach the site of an old monastery where a famous Icelandic author, Gunnar Gunnarsson, built a large home in 1939. Revered in Germany (his works long remained second-highest sellers after Goethe), the architect who designed Hitler's "Eagle's Nest" also built this home along the same lines.
 
Our hotel this evening serves as a school dormitory during the winter months, and a hotel in the summer tourist season. It is compact and clean, but no televisions or phones in the rooms. It will be my duty to issue the wake-up knocks in the morning so we can keep moving around this amazing country.
 
Hugs,
Dan
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