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Not Enough Time

We'll need to go back to the East Fjords

Story by Dan Bretl April 1st, 2017

icelandic accommodation

Airbnb has become Catie's and my favorite style of accommodation while traveling, and there are plenty of great listings spread across Iceland. On our fifth morning, we woke up in an adorable little garden gnome house in the small town of Reyðarfjörður. When we went outside, we were even greeted by some rare blue skies! (They didn't last long.)

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After breakfast, we started making our way north along the East Fjords. We ran into some sheep along the road and stopped to ask for directions. Catie's sheep impression is far superior to mine - not a surprise.

through the clouds

Our first destination for the day was the artists' town of Seyðisfjörður. To get there, we quite literally drove up into and through the clouds. On the other side there was a beautiful valley that led town to the town on the water. The road crisscrossed with a river along the way and we stopped at a couple of the larger waterfalls.

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The biggest we found was Gufufoss. It was right next to the road, and you could pretty much walk all the way up to the base (so long as you were OK with getting pretty wet)!

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A Hiker's paradise

While we were in Seyðisfjörður, we ate lunch and also found the immensely helpful Víknaslóðir hiking map of trails near Borgarfjörður Eystri. (If you're an outdoorsy type heading to the northern East Fjords, I'd highly recommend picking up that gem at some tourist information center.) There were weeks' worth of trails to explore, but we only had an afternoon to work with, so we drove up as fast as we could and threw on our rain gear. We started on Hike #8 from Vatnsskarðsvegur to Stórurð, but we weren't overly impressed so we turned back and tried again on Hike #10 from Njarðvík to Stórurð. That one grabbed our interest right from the start, and while we clearly had no chance of making it all the way to the glacial lakes, we enjoyed the views of the lush sweeping valley.

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I probably could have made it a lot farther than I did, but I kept stopping to photograph the streams and waterfalls cutting across the bright green landscape. I'd love to go back and hike the whole trail or even camp in the area.

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When it started pouring rain, we headed back to the car and then further down into the valley to check into the Borg Guesthouse. The house was right by the water, and we had the whole place to ourselves.

Borg Guesthouse is on the far end of that bright green patch by the water.
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I'm not sure whether this old house on the property is still in use.
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City of the hidden people

Just before night fell, we went to see Álfaborg, the city of the hidden people. It's a large natural rock formation that looks over the entire bay and gives the town of Borgarfjörður Eystri its name. It is believed that the queen of the hidden people resides there!

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I think Catie was channeling the elf queen as she stared out at the sea. It was a great place to end the day. I really loved the wild spirit of the East Fjords.

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East Fjords, Iceland