Isafjordur, Iceland

First of all,
now that we’re in the Arctic, there’s no such thing as night. I mean the clock
still goes through all twenty-four hours, but we’re in the land of the midnight
sun, and even at midnight, it seems like it’s twelve noon. Luckily, our cabin
gets pretty dark, and I did manage to fall asleep, yesterday, my brain is just
so freaking confused that it does not know how to process anything anymore.

Anyhow, today
was an amazing day, it was our second day in Iceland, and we went to
Isafjordur.  Isafjordur is a settlement
that began in the 9th century and began growing as a trade center in
the 16th century. The population is Isafjordur is approximately
2,748 people. Isafjordur is beautiful. It’s a tiny and quaint fishing village
surrounded by cliffs covered in snow and green calm water. Apparently it has a
supernatural history, and back from 1625 to 1685, it was thought to be a haven
for wizards, sorcerers, and witches.

Isafjordur
experienced a cold climate year round, although I didn’t think it was too cold.
The prime sailing season to this remote region occurs from mid June to mid
August. July is the warmest month with temperatures around 50 degrees
Fahrenheit. I would say it was probably between the high 40s and low 50s today,
personally I found it refreshing. But then again, I come from Texas, where it’s
a hundred plus degrees with humidity for 75% of the year.

Geologically
speaking, the western fjords, where Isafjordur is location, is the oldest part
of Iceland. At 16 million years of age, this region is still very young
compared to other parts of the world. Due to ancient volcanoes that carved out
the landscape of Iceland, Iceland was the last country in Europe to become
inhabited.

I had a lot of
trouble waking up today. I don’t know if I was tired from Blue Lagoon or
confused because it doesn’t get dark, so my body is unsure when it should be
asleep or be awake, but I was exhausted. I had two cups of coffee with
breakfast, and some iced tea, and I still felt like I fall asleep, where I was
sitting in the buffet. For brunch, I had a turkey sandwich, some pineapple and
honeydew, and two cookies. I called Justin and spoke for about five minutes to
him, and then called my dad. My dad would absolutely like Isafjordur; it’s very
much his sort of place… An isolated fishing village, surrounded by cliffs,
waterfalls, and snow, it’s absolutely gorgeous.

Isafjordur is
nothing like Reykjavik. Reykjavik is a very modern and developed place. It’s
very much a city. While it has its own nature, such as the lava fields near
Blue Lagoon, it’s very much an urban city, with buildings, public
transportation, universities, schools, apartment buildings, commercial
buildings, museums, etc. Isafjordur is very much rural. It’s a tiny fishing
village that’s completely surrounded by nature and natural wonders. It’s very
much a place that seems like it’s caught in the past, I mean it has modern
stuff like electricity and what not, but the whole aura about the place, is
like a fishing village from the early 1900s, and it hasn’t been developed like
Reykjavik has been, if that makes sense.

Before our
excursion, mom and I browsed the few stalls that were set up outside the ship.
There wasn’t any store like there was in Reykjavík; there were two or so stalls
that sold a mixture of handmade and imported things. I actually found the
perfect gift for Justin at one of the stalls. After shopping, we walked to the
pier, where the ship for our excursion was leaving. I went to use the bathroom
at the pier, and there was this really heavy wooden door, and I couldn’t open
it after I finished, and almost had a complete panic attack and started
screaming help before I finally managed to basically shove it open.

The ship was
decent sized. I had a seat, but I gave it up for an older woman, who had
trouble walking, which I didn’t mind, I preferred to be outside of the ship, on
the deck, even if I was standing because I wanted to take lots of pictures.

We took a
glacier fjord cruise, which took us through waters and bays to the isolated
island of Hesteyri. Hesteyri is part of the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, and is
a village that was abandoned over 50 years ago. Hesteyri once held a whaling
station and herring-processing factory, but the town was abandoned in 1952
because it was so secluded that it was hard to get supplies and things that allowed
people to live.

The cruise
itself was beautiful; we passed a glacier, which didn’t quite look like I
thought it would look like… It was blue and covered with snow and resembled a
mountain moreso than the icy thing I was picturing in my mind. We saw either a
dolphin or a whale as it dove into the water. There were snow covered mountains
on all sides, as well as waterfalls. It was absolutely beautiful. I hope my
pictures do justice in showing how beautiful it was.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once we got to
Hesteyri, we took a zodiac boat over, which is sort of like a white water raft?
The tide was low, so the boat couldn’t pull up next to the dock, so we
basically had to raft over; we put on life-jackets, and rode over. Hesteyri was
beautiful. We also had an amazing [and sexy] guide, whose name was Vestinn
[sort of like Justin with a V]. He was a park ranger, and his job is to
actually spend time on the nature reserve to make sure the hiking trails are
hike-able, and things like that. He also told us about what plants on the
reserve were edible, and I learned that dandelions are psychoactive. He took us
around the village, and showed us where the school was, and said all the
buildings were just as they had been back when the place was actually an active
village. Then we hiked this beautiful trail surrounded by flowers, and streams,
and waterfalls. It was amazing. It was one of the most beautiful places I have
ever seen. I was in awe of all the beauty.

After the hike,
we went to the “doctor’s house”, which was built in 1901, and served as the
hospital for the village, and we got to have some coffee, and they served us
these Icelandic pancakes that were really good. I think they’re made of rye
bread and sprinkled with sugar. They were delicious. Then it was time to go
back to the bigger boat, and head back to the ship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were actually
the last tour to get back to the ship. The ship was supposed to leave at 5:30
pm, but our tour didn’t get back till 6:30 pm. After we got back, I showered,
and it was time for dinner. Basically as soon as we got on the ship, the captain
was ready to go. For dinner, I had a fruit plate with sour cream, and then this
pasta with lobster cream sauce, which was actually really good. For dessert, I
had some strawberry shortcake like thing. The frosting was really good.

Isafjordur was
absolutely amazing. It was one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever been in my
life. I am so happy we went here and I absolutely loved the excursion I took.
If anyone goes to Isafjordur, and has the option to go on the glacier fjord
tour to Hesteyri, please do it, you won’t regret it.

Tomorrow is our
last day in Iceland. We’re going to Akureyri, Iceland. Akureyri is in central
northern Iceland, on the ice-free, Eyjafjordur fjord.  Akureyri is the second largest city in
Iceland, and we’re seeing Godafoss Waterfall and visiting the nature baths at
Lake Myvatn. After Iceland, it’s one sea say, then it’s off to Scotland.

And that was Day
10, and I have to say, that so far Day 10, is one of my favorite days of the
cruise.

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