On a trip around Fljotsdalsherad

Because of the renovations in the western apartment in the basement me and my vife knew that there would not be much trawelling in the summer of 2016 . We had to spend most of the summer vacation working in the basement. We still decided to forget about the renovation project for a while and spend one week with my mother and sister and our daughter east of Fljótsdalsherad. The cottage we rented is in the land of Einarsstadir which is located in the middle of a lake called Logurinn. From there there is about ten minutes drive to Egilsstadir. Once the farm Einarsstadir belonged to a farm called Eyjolfsstadir. Today there is no farm at Einarsstaðir but in the woods in the hill there is a number of cottages owned by various organizations. The cottage we stayed in this week was number 24 and is owned by the union Efling.
We left Reykjavik at half past ten in the morning of Friday 1th og July. We had just over a ten-hour driving ahead of us so we wanted to make an early start. Along the way we stopped here and there to stretch our legs. Among other places we stopped at Seljalandsfoss and Jokulsarlon. We've seen these places before but we were amazed by the changes. Seljalandsfoss had not changed but Jokulsarlon had changed a lot. The glacier was smaller than before and therefore the lagoon is much bigger. However, ther changes in nature did not astonish us the most. It was this huge crowd of people that was there. We even had trouble finding parking spaces both at the waterfall and the lagoon. The last time we were at these places there was noone there except us. This was the reason why we did not find accommodation on the way back. We tried to order accomodation in April but we were to late. Everything was booked.

The weather was really nice on Saturday. Me and my wife took a morning walk into Eyjolfsstadarskog (Eyjolfsstadarforest) which is locaded right above the area were the cottages are. The forest is about 172 hectares and consists mostly of small birch trees. In the woods you can find 6 - 8 meter high straight grown birch trees. The first trees planted in the forest were placed in the ground in 1949 but most of the trees were planted between 1959 - 1974. In total, 74 thousands of plants were planted in 11 hectares of land of 14 different species. During our walk through the forest we saw a lot of juniper trees which are the only piniphyta trees that grow wild in this country.
The picture clearly describes the situation as it is in the main tourist places in Iceland today. They are crowded with people. Here, Asian tourists sit at Jökulsárlón and enjoy the scenery.
Eyjólsfsstaðurskógur is a witness to what success can be achieved in forestry in Iceland.
When our traveling companions awakened we decided to explore the East Fjords south of Mjóafjörður. With us was the Iceland Handbook which me and my wife bought with installments when we started living together. Since the book was published there has been a number of changes in this area. The landscape is, of course, the same but the aluminum plant and increased tourism has brought changes to the urban areas.

The first village we came to was Stodvafjordur where the Petra´s stone museum is located. The women wanted to visit it but unfortunately this was not the right time for itt. Thirty years ago, 357 people lived at Stodvafjordur but today 197 live there. The village in the fjord Faskrddsfjordur is called Budir. There lived 762 people when the Iceland Handbook was written but today 672 live there. At Reydafjordur there were 730 people living there but today 1188 lives there. The aluminium plant explains the increase in population there and probably also in Eskifjördur, where 1092 lived but today 1112 are living there. The population at Neskaupsstadur has decreased significantly. There were 1714 people living there but today the residents are 1481. In Egilsstadir there were 1380 residents, but now they are 2300. Beyond the bridge over the lake Lagarfljot is the village Fellabaer and it´s number of residents has also increased. Residents were 264 but today they are about 400. All these urban areas belonging to the municipality Fjardabyggd were established because of the fishing industry with the exception of Egilsstadir and Fellabaer at the beginning of 19. century. Egilsstadir and probably Fellabær also built up after 1940 because the need for services increased.
In the picture, we are the couple in good spirits in the restaurant Gudrún drew us on.
On the picture to the right are Lilja, Jenna, Guðrún and Guðrún at the viewing slope right outside the village in Neskaupsstaður.
We had a good weather on this trip around the fjords. Stopped here and there to enjoy the scenery. My wife had heard about an innovative restaurant when she was teaching in Eskifjordur last winter. The restaurant is located in an old seafarers house and the owners have not changed it much so it was like eating at a museum. We decided to stop there and get a cake and coffee. In Eskifjordur wa also looked at an atwork on a wall made by Balthasar af famous Icelandic atist and the church. We drove through the other villages but only stopped by the little boat at Neskaupsstaður and drove out to the viewpoint at the north end of the village. In these villages we do not know anyone except my daughter who knew a girl she met in Spain. She lives in Neskaupstad. My daughter sent her a message saying that she was in Neskaupsstadur and got right away this reply. "What are you doing here?" As it was a weird thing to do to visit Neskaupstadur.
The fjord Eskifjordur in all its glory. You can see the village at the far right in the photo. The photo is shot by the entrance in the tunnel through Oddskard.
The weather forecast predicted rain on Sunday so we decided to take it easy that day. We did though go to the forest Hallormsstaðurskogur. I suppose that many foreigners do not find it intriguing though few trees grow on 740 hectares. But for Icelanders this forest is magnificent and of great importance since it is the biggest forest in Iceland. This forrest is a witness how the country might look like if the plants get a peace to thrive. Hallormsstadarskogur was declared a protecded area in 1905 and since then there have been 85 species of trees planted there from 600 places in the world. Today, the largest trees are well above the 20 meter high.

Guðrún and Ingibjörg Lilja with Héraðsflóinn in back view. Guðrún and Ingibjörg Lilja with Héraðsflóinn in back view. In the morning of Monday 4. In July, Lilja and Gudrun went into Skriðdalur and explored fishing in Skriðuvatn and Haugatjörn. We did not get well, but Lilja managed to land her first fly-fishing vessel she had all the way. From throat to landing. The fish was pretty small, but the big fish are not always the most amazing fish. After lunch we headed over Fjarðarheiði in Seyðisfjörður where Kristian man Imbu grew up. Seyðisfjörður is a beautiful town. The people today are 668 but were 996 when Guðrún was here last trip. The blue painted church and tidy wooden house attracted our attention. Like so many fishing villages in Iceland it is surrounded by high mountains. Most of them are Strandatindur east of fjarðar and Bjólfur to the west. The mountain Bjólfur is taught by the settler Bjólf who took the whole fjord. The origin of the place of purchase is attributable to the year 1848 when Norwegian fishermen built the first wooden house. Some of them still stand.
The author of this text under a mighty tree trunk in Hallormsstadaskogur.
My wife and daughter with Heradsfloi in the back.
Heradsfloi is seen from the moor Hellisheidi.
The lake Logur was like a mirror and the sky was clear when we crossed the lake and drove north up the river Jokulsa a Bru. In the east the mountains, Dyrfjoll could be seen in the distance. When we reached the top of Hellisheidi the sight over Heradsfloi was a magnificent. We were on our way to að village called Vopnafjdrdur and then up the river Hofsa in Vesturdalur towards an old farm called Burstafell. There there you can see how the old farm houses the old and a little bit of the history of the family that has been living there since the year 1532.

Gudrun at the Strandlengjuna in Skjólförum. The dragon that resembles an elephant is visible behind it.Ground the Strandlengjuna in Skjólförum. The dragon that resembles an elephant is clear behind it. Shortly after we came down from Hellisheiði, we went to Skjólfjörur. The beach and the sea beyond are fun climbing. One of them is called Ljósapi, which reminds you of an elephant heading to the beach. The next stop was Drangsnes where Gljúfurá flows to the sea. The waterfall is named by the river called Gljúfurárfoss. At Vopnafjörður we visited the Múlasafn where the brothers Jóns Múla and Jonas Árnasona are the least. From Vopnafjörður we drove to Burstafelli. Torstafbær on Burstafelli is a legendary history. He has changed over the years because it was built upon him as needed. The oldest part of town is from 1769. It is interesting to look at the three kitchen in town because they testify to the working methods of the time they were in use. At the earliest, there is a laundromat, followed by a petrol stove in the bathroom corner and finally a modern kitchen that was poured up in the year 1944.
My mother by the shore close to að place called Skjolforum. The cliff that resembles an elephant can easily be seen behind her.
Old town of Burstafelli.
The following day we saw the ruins of Skriðuklaustur (a closter) built at the end of 15. century and the house that Gunnar Gunnarsson's, a popular Icelandic writer built close to the ruins of the closter in the year 1939. Gunnar's house is a testament of the poet's big ambitions. His dream was to build a big farm like he had seen in Europe. Gunnar did not succeed an in the end he gave the Icelandic state the house in 1948. In Gunnarshús, we received a good guideance from a young woman named Skotta. My wife recognized her because she thought that the guide looked a lot like the family which lived in the farm Krokur where my wife was rased.

Skriðuklaustur. The monastery was below the hill that Gunnar's house is on. Skriðuklaustur. The monastery was below the height of which Gunnar's house stands. Close to Gunnar's house is Snæfellsstofa, an information center for Vatnajökull National Park. All of this was very enjoyable considering the information center was well placed and welcoming to guests. That evening, we tried Gudrun and Lilja to fish in Urriðavatn. We managed to land four small bleaks, but as strange as it is then there are only charles in Urriðavatn.

fljotsdalsherad13Skriðuklaustur. The monastery was below the height of which Gunnar's house stands.
Mjóifjörður and Dalatangi were the places we planned to visit on our last weekend at Fljótsdalshérað. The fjord is narrow and narrow with steep mountains on each side and does not offer much farming because the lowlands are small. When we came down from Mjóafjörðurheiði, we stopped by the Klifurbrekkufossar (it´s a waterfall) and took few photos. In the middle of the fjord is a small village called Brekkuþorp. It is a small fishing village. There we got a dry chocolate cake with cream and a coffee in a resturant called Sólbrekka. Then we we continued our travel out the fjord. In the village I discovered that my car keys were no longer in my pocket. I suspected that the keys had fallen out of my pocket as I lay on the grass taking the photos. Above Brekku village is Brekka, where Vilhjálmur, former education minister lived.
We continued to drive out the fjord to Dalatangi which is a peninsula between Mjóafjörður and Seyðisfjörður (two fjords). On the peninsula are two lighthouses. The older was built in 1895 by Otto Whatne, but the younger lighthouse was built in 1908 and is still in use. My wife really wanted to see the lighthouse frome within. She found the lighthouse keeper and asked if she could show us the lighthouse. The lighthouse keeper came on a trail bike with a dog and a young boy from Germany. She spent a good time with us and informed us that, according to law, one of the duties of the lighthouse keeper was to show the lighthouse. We had a lot of pleasure from this visit and even my mother who has always been scared of heights climbed the stairs to the top of the lighthouse. I think her scare of heights must be cured but my wife did not dare to climb the stairs. On the way back we stopped at Klifurfossar were I lost my carkeys and there they lay in the grass.
The years before World war XNUMX there was a lot of progress in Iceland. Life standards improved and society was changing rapidly. The lighthouses at Dalatanga testify that. The photo to the left shows the older one. The photo to the right shows my daughter sitting with her beloved Samsung phone trying to photograph the seabirds flying by. Unbelievable but true. She got a great picture on the phone.
Now this wonderful week in East Iceland was coming to the end. The drive south was just as long as the drive north. There were fewer stops on the way but we stopped quite a while on the beach at Reynisdrangar. As we expected, there was a terrible number of tourists there. It was not like it was before when we walked across these beaches, enjoying the sights alone. This week was well spent and it was really necessary for us because needed to forget about all the work which waited us at home.

The car keys were found on the grass close by the bluebell I was photographing. In the back Brekkufossar (the name of the waterfall) can be seen.The car keys were found on the grass close by the bluebell I was photographing. In the back Brekkufossar (the name of the waterfall) can be seen.