West fjords,

486 views
394 views

Published on

Published in: Travel, Art & Photos
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
486
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

West fjords,

  1. 1. West Fjords,Iceland<br />August 2011<br />
  2. 2. Ferry across Breiðafjörður to Vestfirðir (West Fjords)<br />
  3. 3. One of many lonely islands<br />
  4. 4. Flatey Island<br />
  5. 5.
  6. 6. The island includes two sheep farms. In summer, locals load the sheep onto boats for transport across the fjord to summer pastures.<br />The two farm families are embroiled in a generations-old feud. Must be some lonely winters…<br />
  7. 7. Unloading supplies and catching up on the local gossip.<br />
  8. 8. A monastery was established on Flatey Island in 1172, a center of learning in medieval Iceland. Included in the monastery’s library was the Flateyjarbók, a collection of illuminated manuscripts. The Bishop of Skálholt gave them to the Danish king in 1659. In 1971, the Flateyjarbókwas among the first handrítin (Icelandic manuscripts) returned to Iceland – half the country turned up at the docks in Reykjavík waving flags as the Danish navy handed them over.<br />
  9. 9. Mountains of the West Fjords<br />
  10. 10.
  11. 11.
  12. 12. Lucie (from Leipzig, Germany) on the deserted beach we discovered<br />
  13. 13. All the mountains have this distinctive look in the eroded top rock layers.<br />The West Fjords are the most remote region of Iceland, just below the Arctic Circle and connected to the rest of Iceland by a sliver of land. Only 7400 people live in the entire region. <br />
  14. 14.
  15. 15. West Fjords can be cold and windy in summer – I bundled up despite the sun.<br />
  16. 16.
  17. 17. Racing the approaching storm on a lonely West Fjords road.<br />
  18. 18. Drive through the Gláma moors – water, rock, and sky in the mountain highlands<br />
  19. 19. Couple from France and Chile in the back of the “bus” – no more than a van rattling over gravel tracks labeled a highway. One of the more stunning drives of my life!<br />
  20. 20.
  21. 21.
  22. 22.
  23. 23. Descending into one of many fjords<br />
  24. 24. Lucie photographs the mighty Dynjandi Waterfall<br />
  25. 25.
  26. 26.
  27. 27. View of Borgarfjörður from the waterfall<br />
  28. 28.
  29. 29.
  30. 30.
  31. 31.
  32. 32.
  33. 33.
  34. 34.
  35. 35. Ísafjörður – population 2540<br />
  36. 36.
  37. 37. “Downtown” Ísafjörður – located on a skinny gravel spit curving out into the fjord<br />
  38. 38. Morning clouds over the seamen’s monument and library – most prominent building in town. Traditionally, Ísafjörður’s economy centered around fishing.<br />
  39. 39.
  40. 40.
  41. 41.
  42. 42. Modernist church built after the old wood church burned down in a devastating 1987 fire.<br />
  43. 43. Whalebone arch in the town park.<br />Ísafjörður became a trading post in the 16th century, first as a Hanseatic League town – a network of German merchants – then as a center for the Danish Trade Monopoly in 1602. Norwegian whalers used the town as a base. Iceland began commercial whaling from Ísafjörður in the 1950s, until the worldwide ban in 1989. Before the ban, numerous confrontations occurred between whalers and protestors.<br />
  44. 44.
  45. 45. Sunday morning stroll<br />
  46. 46. Faktorhúsið – one of the oldest catalogue buildings in Ísafjörður. Locals would order their houses as kits from Norway, as timber is scare on the ground in Iceland. Corrugated tin protects the wood from erosive salt water and storms.<br />
  47. 47. Meet Eplasmjör (Apple Butter) – the local kayaking shop’s cat. Ísafjörður is crawling with friendly cats. Eplasmjörfollowedme into the hostel, only to be discovered a half hour later.<br />
  48. 48. Evidence of Danish rule – Iceland’s bakeries serve fantastic pastries.<br />
  49. 49. Westfjords Folk Museum – a collection of old harbor buildings. Looking towards the Turnhús, the 1784 warehouse.<br />
  50. 50. Inside the Turnhús, displays on the town’s fishing, whaling, and trade history.<br />
  51. 51.
  52. 52. View from the Turnhús<br />Bowl carved from driftwood. In treeless Iceland, driftwood was highly coveted. Intricate laws determined who had the rights to driftwood washing up on shore. <br />
  53. 53.
  54. 54. Krambúð – 1757 storehouse, now a private residence. (Imagine living in a museum!)<br />
  55. 55.
  56. 56.
  57. 57. Boat from Ísafjörður to Hornstrandir<br />Hornstrandir is the most remote part of Iceland, so harsh an environment that the last of the farmers left in 1952. Today a summer hiking destination and center of research for the arctic fox.<br />
  58. 58. Julia (of Australia) and Lucie (of Germany) chatting as we leave Ísafjörður’s harbor.<br />
  59. 59.
  60. 60. Most of the tourists on the boat were from Iceland. Very few foreigners know about the West Fjords. The woman is wearing a traditional Icelandic wool sweater.<br />
  61. 61. Ísafjarðardjúp<br />
  62. 62.
  63. 63. Mountains of Hornstrandir<br />
  64. 64.
  65. 65. Drangajökull – ice cap on Hornstrandir<br />
  66. 66. Hesteyri – abandoned settlement on Hornstrandir<br />
  67. 67.
  68. 68. Backpackers and day-trippers disembark from the ferry.<br />Hesteyri was founded in 1894 as a Norwegian whaling station. Later a Norwegian herring processing factory set up here. At its height, the settlement was home to 80 residents and even more seasonal workers. The factory closed in 1940 and the last remaining residents voted to abandon the settlement in 1952. Descendants still maintain a few homes as summer cabins.<br />
  69. 69.
  70. 70.
  71. 71. The graveyard remains, but the church was literally stolen in the 1960s, board by board, by the bishop and rebuilt in Suðavík on the other side of the fjord.<br />
  72. 72. Burfell towers above fields of angelica<br />
  73. 73.
  74. 74.
  75. 75.
  76. 76. Looking towards the old doctor’s house from the old general store.<br />
  77. 77. Inside the doctor’s house, now run as a café and hiker’s hostel in the summer by the family’s descendants. We sampled homemade Icelandic pancakes here.<br />
  78. 78. Julia, my Hesteyri hiking companion.<br />
  79. 79.
  80. 80. Hikers enjoy a rare sunny moment at the doctor’s house.<br />
  81. 81.
  82. 82.
  83. 83. Impending rain shower on the ferry back to Ísafjörður<br />
  84. 84. Silfurtorg – Ísafjörður’s central square<br />
  85. 85. Knitting café – full of mothers knitting sweaters, gossiping, and watching their kids<br />
  86. 86. American-style diner – the local teenage hangout<br />
  87. 87.
  88. 88. Flying over Ísafjörður<br />

×