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Day Four - Seyšisfjöršur and a Memorable Drive

Tunnel Through Mountain
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Tunnel Through Mountain
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Narrow Roads Leave Little Room for Error
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Seyðisfjörður Fjord and Town
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I was up early and on the road to Seyðisfjörður, a small fishing port in the Eastfjords. A "fjord" is a glaciated valley flooded by the sea to form a long, narrow, steep-walled inlet. Often the fjord and town at its terminal harbor will share the same, as was the case with Seyðisfjörður.

As I rounded the southern coast of the Island, I began to realize I was going to have to deal with some major mountains in order to reach my destination. Three, in fact.

The first was a good test of my claustrophobia, as I drove through a lengthy tunnel of solid rock and dim lights. While this was a little uncomfortable and I was very pleased to see the end approaching, it was mild compared to what came next.

The second mountain range was long, high, and twisty, often with loose gravel roads and narrow lanes, and without railings of any type. Very often there wasn't enough room for vehicles traveling the other direction, so you must seek a wide spot to pull over and let them by. It was pretty tense driving, particularly for me, as my fear of heights is quite strong.

By the time I reached Egilsstašir, a small town roughly 30km from Seyðisfjörður, I was more than ready for a bit of a break for fuel and snacks. Back on my way though, and sure enough, yet another mountain had to be traversed. This time, however, the clouds were low and the same sort of obstacles were now amplified by extreme low visibility. This experience was the definition of "white-knuckle driving."

When I finally reached the town, I resisted the urge to jump out and kiss the safe, low, stable ground I had somewhat miraculously reached. Instead, I checked into Hotel Snęfell and sought out my kayaking man, Hlynur Oddsson. Hlynur was a very pleasant and informative and led me on a nice, long sea voyage. The rain and wind had quit and the water was as still as glass. It was an exhilarating experience; the perfect venture to follow the long and arduous drive.

Dinner at Hotel Aldan (the main part of the group that includes Hotel Snæfell) was the finest meal I had in Iceland. Fresh cod with mushrooms and barley, and, of course, a Viking brew. It was terrific meal, though I was a bit dismayed to see several people ordering young horse off the menu. The Icelandic horses are so beautiful and playful, it really seems a shame to use them in this way.

The town, hotel staff, kayak guide, and meal were really just incredible. Though difficult to get to, Seyðisfjörður was indeed a highlight of this trip.


Day Five

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