Continuing our counterclockwise circumnavigation of Iceland, today’s drive (Day 5) carried us through tranquil fishing villages,
along spectacular fjords,
and past so many sweeping landscapes…
that Leah wondered—given my many photo epiphanies–if we would ever reach Egilsstaðir, our evening destination.
Fortunately, in our favor, our summer days have 22 hours of daylight.
We started our journey with a brief stop in Djúpivogur, a 16th century Danish fishing port and trading post that attracted European merchants. By the mid-1800’s, there were four houses in Djúpivogur, and Langabúð was one of them.
Constructed in 1790 as the village storeroom and warehouse, it was considered the economic and social engine of the town up until the 1950s. Today it’s a museum and visitor center.
A walk around the Djúpivogur’s harbor offered little shelter from the frequent gusts of blustery wind coming off the water. Leah stayed behind in the Land Cruiser, but I found the 34 granite “Eggs of Merry Bay” atop their pedestals to be an interesting oddity,
as each egg had been named for a local bird.
Next stop was Petra’s Stone Collection,
beautifully curated throughout her house and garden in Stöðvarfjörður.
What started as a hobby during childhood, became an obsession throughout her adult life, until she acquired the world’s largest private collection of mineral rocks,
mostly unearthed in the vicinity of East Iceland.
We also stopped in Fáskrúðsfjörður, a small fishing village with French connections that dates to 1880. Originally developed as a French trading hub fortified by a chapel, a hospital and French consul, the town still retains its French flair.
Once we returned to the Land Cruiser, we vowed to limit our stops, but the road beckoned, and I couldn’t resist!
“One last time,” I pledged. And Leah relented.
We detoured to Teigarhorn, a natural monument and nature preserve most valued for its cache of zeolites, and most likely the source of so many of Petra’s discoveries.
Teigarhorn is also a protected nesting ground.
Ultimately, we made it to Egilsstaðir, had a meal, and found our way to Vok Baths, a geothermal spa,
tucked into the banks of Lagarfljót–a long and narrow lake–where Icelandic folklore (c. 1345) suggests a giant serpent dwells.
Three infinity pools of increasing temperature (105oF max) offered us the perfect opportunity to melt away the stress of a long travel day…without a serpent sighting.
Finally, the midnight sun had set on our day at midnight.
And hopefully, our hotel has decent blackout shades to protect us from a 2am sunrise.