Friday, December 23, 2016

Iceland Part V: The Westfjords- Dynjandi waterfall, a "Shipwreck", and The Edge of the World - Latrabjarg

We woke up refreshed from a good night's sleep and started our drive to the Westfjords. On the way we stopped at what we thought would be an idyllic hot spring setting in Laugar in Saelingsdal. We had seen a beautiful picture of this little spring and decided to stop by to get some nice pictures since it was on the way. Little did we know that it was actually right next to a large hotel and when we looked there were 5-6 guys hanging out in it. So we took some quick shots and got out of there fairly quickly since there wasn't any point, or any room for that matter, to hang around.

Not our picture... taken from here

This is the only picture we felt comfortable taking!

So before I get into anything that we saw that day, let's talk about the "roads". I'm not sure if they can actually be called roads. The dirt paths leading into the fjords had us questioning if we were going the right way (we were). They weren't scary or anything (that came later), just questionable and a little funny!

As soon as we crossed the bridge to the fjords we knew we were in a different place! We stopped to take in the scenery and then continued our drive towards our first stop, Dynjandi waterfall.

The "bridge" to the Westfjords

Road towards Dynjandi

Hello there! 

Dynjandi waterfall is one of the most dramatic waterfalls I've ever seen! The water cascades down what looks like little hills and leads to smaller waterfalls down the path.

We followed the path all the way up to the falls, passing the little waterfalls and came to the bottom of the huge cascade coming over from the mountain. Behind us was a spectacular view of the large fjord. We decided to climb a little higher to get up and close to Dynjandi. Such a great experience!

View from the top... our car is wayyyy down there!

Up top! 
We made our way down and put together some cheese sandwiches to eat before we left. We continued onwards towards Latrabjarg, but stopped at an old shipwreck named Gardar BA 64 in Patreksfjordur. This shipwreck is thought to be the oldest steel ship in Iceland. It was built in Norway as a whaling vessel. It was launched in 1912 and was used up until 1981when it was decided it was too unfit to continue. It was "docked" in the sand where it currently sits today.

We also stopped at a quick snack/museum area for a map and bathroom break. While there we noticed an old U.S. Navy plane on site!

Another hour later and we were in Latrabjarg. So these are the "roads" that were some of the scariest we've ever been on. We've driven through some incredibly scary roads before, namely during our trip from Apricale to San Remo, Italy, but I think this has that trip beat. We're talking about a complete dirt path, only room for one car, and high up on a cliff with no railing. I truly thought we would just casually go off the side because there was no room. At least on the way back we could hug the edge of the cliff, but on the way there I really pictured us toppling over and dying. I couldn't even look up long enough to take a picture. 

Not a scary road at all, but you can see our dirt path towards Latrabjarg

We made it to Latrabjarg in one piece! Latrabjarg is the most western point in Europe aside from the Azores, and are stuffning and dramatic cliffs that house a ton of bird life. We were warned not to get too close to the edge of the cliffs without laying down as the land is soft and unstable. Though the puffin season was nearing its end we were able to spot a few hanging around along with other bird life amidst amazing scenery. I'll upload more puffin pictures soon!

Jon's amazing puffin picture
We stayed for a while just admiring the views and watching the puffins. We had a ferry to catch and wanted to make sure we left with plenty of time to get back given the conditions of the roads. The ferry ride provided us with some down time to relax and opportunities for beautiful views. We docked at 10pm in Stykkisholmur and went right to dinner. After a nourishing meal we drove about 25 minutes to our beautiful cottage where we would spend the next three nights. It was a busy, but wonderful day!

Don't forget your thermal gear before getting in the life raft!

Finally getting to our cute cottage at 11:30 at night

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