Less Rain - And Walking on Water

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Europe » Iceland
August 28th 2019
Published: August 29th 2019
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Today we continued driving around the Ring Road. We are traveling the East Fjords, and there are plenty of them.

Sindri, our guide, had a surprise for us this morning. He took us to Stokksnes.

From Wikipedia: Stokksnes is a headland on the southeastern Icelandic coast, near Hofn and Hornafjördur. Stokksnes is located south to the mountain Kastarárfjall, where the dent Vestarahorn was featured in the Bollywood film Dilwale. The H3 Radar Station is located at the tip of the headland. The Iceland Air Defense System uses the station to monitor Iceland's airspace.The U.S. built a radio beacon there in 1942, and then a radar station that was used by U.S. from 1951 to 1988. They would monitor Russian air force flights in this area during the Cold War.

I go these photos from website https://guidetoiceland.is

We couldn't see the mountain due to low clouds. We took silly pictures that make it look like we are walking on water, then we went to the Viking Village. This was built as a movie set that was never used. The guy that owns this land leased it to the movie company and they built the set. Then the economic crash of 2008 happenend and the movie company delayed making the movie. In the meantime the guy charged admission to see the set because it's on his land, and the movie company was still paying to lease the land. The movie was never made, but tourists still come to see the set.

From here we drove around lots of fjords, and had lunch at Djupivogur, a cute fishing village.

From Wikipedia:

Djúpivogur is a small town and municipality (Djúpavogshreppur) located on a peninsula in the Austurland in eastern Iceland, near the island of Papey and on the fjord Berufjörður. The municipality was formed by the merger of rural communities Berunes, Buland, and Geithellur on October 1, 1992. The coastline consists of three fjords Berufjörður, Hamarsfjörður, and Álftafjörður. The town of Djúpivogur is located on a peninsula between Berufjörður and Hamarsfjörður.

Approximately 900 m west of the town is a work of art named "Eggin í Gleðivík" (The Eggs of Merry Bay) by Sigurður Guðmundsson. The work is a replica of the eggs of 34 nesting birds in the area, and was installed in the summer of 2009.

The eggs are all different because they represent different birds and they have different shapes.

We turned off the main road onto a dirt road to travel over the Highlands. It was raining so we didn't get a good view of the HIghlands until we were coming down the other side. We drove around a lake called Lagarfljot, which supposedly had an Iceland version of the Loch Ness Monster.

From Wikipedia: In Icelandic folklore, the Lagarfljótsormur or Lagarfljót worm is an Icelandic lake monster purported to live in Lagarfljót, a lake by the town of Egilsstaðir. Sightings have been logged since 1345 and continue into the 21st century, including a 2012 video supposedly showing the creature swimming. The serpentine creature is said to live in Lagarfljót, a freshwater, below-sea-level, glacial-fed lake which has very poor visibility as a result of siltation. It is described as longer than a bus, or 40 feet (12 m), and has also been reported outside the water, lying coiled up or slithering into the trees. It is a "many humps" type of lake monster, rather than the simply serpentine type of, for example, the Loch Ness Monster.

Lagarfljót (also called Lögurinn) is a lake situated in the east of Iceland near Egilsstaðir. Its surface measures 53 square kilometres (20 sq mi) and it is 25 kilometres (16 mi) long; its greatest width is 2.5 km (1.6 mi) and its greatest depth 112 m (367 ft). The River Lagarfljót flows through this lake. The 27 MW Lagarfossvirkjun hydropower station is located at its lower end.

We went most of the way up the lake, and stopped to hike to two waterfalls: Litlanesfoss and Hengifoss.

Hengifoss is the third highest waterfall in Iceland, 128 meters. It is located in Hengifossá in Fljótsdalshreppur, East Iceland. It is surrounded by basaltic strata with thin, red layers of clay between the basaltic layers. Fossilized trunks of coniferous trees, sensitive to cold, and lignite, which depict warmer climates during the latter part of Tertiary. Further down the Hengifossá river is Litlanesfoss, notable for the columnar jointed volcanics around it. Hengifoss is the most popular hiking site in East Iceland with path leading from the parking lot to the falls. It takes 40-60 minutes to walk to the waterfall.

These waterfalls are really impressive and worth the hike. Then Sindri showed us a place where they found a buried structure by using ground penetrating radar. The excavation took 10 years, and this was determined to be a monastery, built in the late 1400's. From here we went to Egilsstadir, where we are staying tonight.

Egilsstadir is located at 65°17′N 14°23′WCoordinates: 65°17′N 14°23′W. The town is young, even by Icelandic standards where urbanization is a fairly recent trend compared to mainland Europe. It was established in 1947 as an effort by the surrounding rural districts recognizing it had become a regional service centre. The town, which is named after Egilsstaðir farm, is near the bridge over Lagarfljót where all the main roads of the region meet, Route 1 as well as the main routes to the Eastern Region.

Egilsstaðir has grown to become the largest town of East Iceland and its main service, transportation, and administration centre. The town has an airport, college, and a hospital. The town grew quickly during the economic boom in the region from 2004 to 2008 associated with the building of the Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant and Alcoa's aluminium smelting plant in Reyðarfjörður. The growth has slowed markedly since the banking collapse in 2008.

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