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On to Vopnafjörður

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

Wednesday was another big driving day along the east coast of Iceland. Some of the roads also travel through steep mountains and beautiful valleys. There are waterfalls constantly in view. To take photos of all the Iceland waterfalls would take years. They are of all shapes and sizes but every single one is magnificently picturesque.

The drive from Egilsstaðir to Vopnafjörður and the East Iceland Emigration Centre took longer than expected. Driving on the rain-soaked gravel roads through the tall mountain passes were very challenging – even for this farm girl from North Dakota! I am familiar with gravel roads and driving on them in bad weather but the steep and narrow mountain roads were quite an ordeal.

At the top of the mountain, I stopped at a flat spot, saved for cars to turn off the road, to give my straining eyes a rest. With the window rolled down and the car off, there was a pure silence – except for the wind and the side-ways rain pelting the car. I could only see about 30 yards and it was a little bit eerie – like being in a North Dakota blizzard on the prairie. However, the temperature was not below zero and instead of a nice flat and straight road, I had to drive down this very steep mountain on the slippery, gravel road with the continuous wash-board. The big pot holes would have been better if I could have been in my SUV instead of the little rental car.

To drive in Iceland, you need to watch out for the sheep that are alongside the road.

There are warning signs to watch for falling rocks, sharp turns, blind hills, one-lane roads, and there was even one spot that had warning signs for a one-lane gravel road that included a bridge and ended with a sharp turn! I finally made it down to the coastline. Even though the mountains were shrouded in the clouds and rain, I took this photo.

Some of my photos did this …. and I do not know why …. and it is a bummer because the photos that look like this photo below are some of the very best photos that I took this day.

I am getting pretty good at the manual transmission on my little Toyota and even feel comfortable parking the car on a hillside. I have not killed the engine once since Reykjavík!

Jobbi gave me a special treat — a big hunk of Hákarl (Rotten Shark)! He and Cathy were great hosts and made me feel at home. Jobbi took many photos that day including some of me in upphlutur standing by the harbor where many Icelanders left for North Dakota.

Sunna Furstenau in Vopnafjörður

You can view more of the photos on their Facebook page. They had a wonderful group that attended the presentation. Everything has been going very well on this ”International Visits Program” tour by the Icelandic National Leagues of North America and of Iceland.

While these last days have been rainy, I have still taken lots of photos and have enjoyed being outside. I am sort of glad that the weather has been rainy. There are so many thousands of waterfalls, mountains, valleys, and amazing vistas that are just waiting to be captured in a photo. Because of the clouds, fog, and rain, I was able to continue down the road and keep on my tight schedule. Of all the wonderful things that Iceland has to offer, I am so thankful for all the wonderful people who I meet along this trail. They are treasures.

Cathy Josephson and Sunna Furstenau

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