Iceland Day 5: Borgarfjörður Eystri

After not anticipating staying another night in Akureyri, I was eager to keep pushing on down the country and to see a new area. There was an interesting small town in the East that looked like a good spot to spend a day hiking and exploring, Borgarfjörður Eystri. I packed my things, and said good bye to my cozy hostel once again. The sun was out, and the weather was the nicest I had seen so far. I threw on my shades, cranked some tunes, and I was off. 

On the way to my destination, I decided to stop off at Hverarönd, a geothermal "hot earth" spot. I first noticed it on the way up to Viti Crater, and figured I might as well check it out since it was just off the road. I pulled into a parking lot full of cars and tour buses. People of all ages wandering aimlessly around the steaming rocks and colorful ground. The first thing one might notice when visiting the area is the intense smell of sulfur. If you'v never smelled a very intense concentration of sulfur before, the best way I could describe it would be "Earth fart." The area was cool, but I didn't want to stay long. 

Back on the road, I took my time on winding up and down the roads, once again soaking up the amazing views. Blah blah blah, it was beautiful, you get it. I stopped off in a new location just below a bridge, where I had a great view of a small river running through a canyon and under the bridge. It was a pleasant little surprise that was thrown my way. 

Iceland is full of random gems like this. 

I continued onward, making my way toward what would be considered the Eastfjords. As I pulled onto the one road leading into Borgarfjörður Eystri, I really started to feel like I was in the middle of nowhere. Small towns and homes began showing up less and less. I knew I was headed into a very remote part of Iceland. I began winding up and up a steep grade, into the snowy mountains. As I descended on the other side, I spotted a very small village on the edge of a beautiful bay. Still not my destination. As I passed that village, I began wrapping around yet another mountain, this time hugging a cliff with the bright aqua blue ocean on my side.  

After wrapping around the mountain, the town I was looking for was finally in sight. I made my way into the isolated village, only to get a very weird gloomy backwoods kind of vibe. Maybe it was the weather or the atmosphere, but the town just seemed cold and empty. Nevertheless, I pulled up to the first spot I wanted to hike, Álfaborg. Icelandic folklore claims that the Álfaborg was home to Hildur, queen of the elves, as well as various other creatures like trolls and goblins. It was pleasant getting to see something of cultural significance. Hiking up the "mountain", was a little underwhelming. It only took a few minutes to reach the top, but still, it was a great spot that offered a wonderful 360 degree view of the village and surrounding mountains. This was another spot I took my time at, enjoying the silence and peacefulness of it all. 

Surrounding mountains of Borgarfjörður Eystri.

After I got back to my car from Álfaborg, I lit up my Jetboil and started to cook some pasta. As I was looking in my car, I noticed something was missing. Something I kind of needed to continue my trip. My sleeping bag was nowhere in sight. It dawned on me pretty quickly that I probably left it at the hostel, so I called them up, and sure enough, they had it. Being basically in the middle of nowhere with only one road leading in and out, I really only had one choice: drive my ass 4 hours back to Akureyri and get my sleeping bag. I was definitely upset at myself, but hey, at least I could enjoy another beer or three and a bed. 

So I ended my day after about 8 hours of driving, back at the coziest of cozy hostels in Akureyri. I began to grow a little attached to that city and hostel, and deep down kind of missed it before I even knew I was going back. Regardless, the day wasn't completely ruined, but it did change my schedule around a little. I went to bed peacefully knowing tomorrow was going to be another great day, so long as I didn't forget my sleeping bag again. 

I'd live there. Yup, definitely.