ICELAND Part 4: The East Fjords
THE EAST FJORDS
Every hour of driving the Ring Road in Iceland brought us to a dramatically different landscape that reminded me of distant places I had visted or places I dream of seeing. As we continued east along the Ring Road past Jökulsárlón, the number of tourists on the road drastically decreased. The furthest east the tour buses and most visitors would venture from Reykjavik seemed to be the glacier lagoon. By the time we reached the first town in the East Fjords, Djúpivogur we had driven from a place that felt like Patagonia, through one that felt like Cape Town, and were transported to a what felt like I imagine coastal Alaska did, like 100 years ago. We were now driving the long roads in and out along the East Fjords, which had a distinct sleepy maritime feel.
Continuing along the Fjords we came to a grass roofed hut that I couldn't resist stopping to see. A sign on the unlocked door welcomed me in to enjoy the "bird watching hut". Looking out on the fjord through on of the windows of the bird watching hut.
Only once we reached the East Fjords did we start to see lighthouses. We pulled the van over for a closer look each time we came to the cute little orange structures.
In the morning of the 5th day of our roadtrip we woke up between a mountain and a fjord just south of the town of Fáskrúðsfjörður. As we continued our drive it eventually brought us up and over the mountains where the winter's snow still had not completely melted. We stopped at a river beside the road to fly my drone.
Before our roadtrip a friend had offered the advice that if we only visit on town in the East Fjords, that Seyðisfjörður should be it. Something I love about Iceland is that as soon as you think that you know what the next town or landscape is going to look like... the island presents you with yet again, somewhere unlike anywhere you've ever seen before. Seyðisfjörður was unique from the other towns in the East Fjords, beginning with the steep climb up the mountain pass to then wind back down all the way to the sea.
Seyðisfjörður proved to be an amazing pitstop. We waited for the sushi restaurant to open for dinner and stopped in El Grillo for a beer while overlooking the bay.
Our much awaited sushi dinner at Norð Austur did not disappoint. We ordered the chef's sampler of local fish and the spicy salmon roll.
At sunset leaving Seyðisfjörður we stopped at the top of the mountain so that I could fly my drone. An elevated black gravel road in the white snow stood out to me as a striking aerial image. After droning I convinced Jason to join me in penguin-style belly sliding down the slope in the icy snow.
Visited May 2016
Photos by Renee Lusano and Jason MacDonald