On our fourth day in the Westfjörds, Haldóra and I left Isafjördur on a rather gloomy and cloudy day with a mystical atmosphere. Our plan was to visit Flateyri, the largest settlement in the 2km deep fjörd of Önundarfjördur; known for its sublime landscape and beauty and then continue to Þingeyri with a stop at the farm called Lækur in Dýrafjördur (seen in photo below) to see where my great grandmother was born.
Throughout the Westfjörds, as in Flateyri, the fishing industry has always been vital. However, dating back to 1792, Flateyri was better known as a trading center and then later as a support base for Norwegian whalers and shark fisherman.
Nowadays, the town has successfully managed to link the tradition of fishing to tourism and has become a thriving tourist destination, especially for sea anglers.
Another attraction is the town’s old bookshop that has also been turned into a museum where visitors, as we did, can learn about the town’s history, buy books and other items. . . and visit the old merchant’s home
I could have stayed much longer in Flateyri but we were on a tight schedule that included photographing some Stock-fish that I had seen on drying outside in the wind and sun in the adjacent area, followed by a visit to one of Haldóra’s friends who also lived nearby.
Here we enjoyed the best cup of coffee of our entire trip . . . while admiring the magnificent view and striking colors with rays of sunshine creeping through the clouds and making the scenery even more spectacular!
Invigorated by the coffee we sped to another beautiful spot in the fjörd of Dýrafjörður . . . to discover another trail of our family roots; three generations back! Here at least, we found the farm where our great, great grandparents lived and managed to enjoy the scenic fjörd in beautiful weather!
From here, we drove directly to the small coastal village of Þingeyri, where we wanted to check out a cozy coffeehouse called Simbahöllin . . . known, amongst other, for their Belgian waffles that are served with rhubarb jam and whipped cream.
This unique coffeehouse is located in an old grocery shop from 1915 that has been restored by a young couple from Denmark and Belgium . . . who apart from running the coffeehouse also offer daily horseback riding trips and professional mountain bike rental.
What I found unusual about this coffeehouse in Iceland was the old bus parked on the front lawn . . . used as an extension of the coffeehouse . . . that increased its seating capacity and seemed very popular; especially with the younger crowd!
Having indulged on the delish Belgian waffles we got into the car and drove to one of the day’s much anticipated highlights; the breathtakingly beautiful Dynjandi (“Thunderous”) waterfall . . . one of the Westjörds renowned jewels!
In my opinion, this majestic waterfall with its six subtiers (not counting the main tier) called . . . Bæjarfoss, Hundafoss, Hrísvaðsfoss, Göngumannafoss, Strompgljúfrafoss, and Hæstajallafoss . . . is one of Iceland’s most spectacular waterfalls and certainly the one with so many subtiers with hard to pronounce names . . . especially for visitors not familiar with the Icelandic language!
The walk to the waterfall’s main tier isn’t too hard, especially on a dry, sunny day like we had. Keep in mind however, that in Iceland you always need to bring sturdy waterproof walking shoes with you to enable you to stroll or hike idly or leisurely in Iceland’s beautiful countryside.
The trip from the waterfall to Brjánslækur (photo above), our final destination of our Westfjörds road-trip . . . where we later took the ferry (seen in last photo below) over to Flatey (a small island in the fjörd of Breidafjörður where my grandfather was born) . . . was both strenuous and nerve wracking!
Poor visibility and construction work on the gravel-road through the rugged mountainous terrain made the driving difficult but as we slowly approached our destination and following our last of many coffee cups stops at Flókalundur, the sun came out through the clouds and brightened up our day . . . again!
If you missed the first blogposts of my Westjörds Adventure - tap on one or all of the links below:
I'm already looking forward to my next Westjörds Adventure . . . that I hope will happen sooner than later!