Day 6 on the Road
End Location: Höfn
Distance: 135 miles
Accommodation: Lambhus Cottage
There was nothing really planed for this day which gave us a break, so we decided to stay a little while in Seyðisfjörður and take a hike. Like many of the towns we visited in Iceland, this one was quiet and peaceful. A blanket of fog rested upon the sleepy buildings creating a beautiful setting. Seyðisfjörður is nestled in a fjord and surrounded by mountains on all sides. The only road in, winds itself up over Mt. Fjarðarheiði, and connects the town to the Ring Road. You may recognize this road from the Ben Stiller movie, the Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It was down this road that Ben Stiller’s character escapes the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano on his skateboard. Unfortunately (or fortunately) Eyjafjallajökull is no where near the town of Seyðisfjörður, so you needn’t worry about erupting volcanos if you visit.
Our hike took us on a short trail along the side of one of the mountains. We passed through small pine trees, tall grasses, flowers, wild blueberries and of course, waterfalls.
Q: What do you do if you get lost in a forest in Iceland?
A: Stand up!
While researching Iceland before this trip I had read this funny joke (above) and was surprised at how true it is. While I saw trees in town here and there, this was the biggest forest I saw while in Iceland and it looked to be freshly planted. The most likely reasoning I could find for the lack of trees, had to do with the Vikings. When they arrived the country was covered from mountain to shore with lush forests, but pretty quickly they cut them all down for building material and firewood. Sheep and harsh conditions kept them from growing back. If only the Vikings had thought ahead, Iceland could be a very different looking place.
Located on the mountainside above Seyðisfjörður, is a unique sound sculpture by German artist Lukas Kühne. Each of the five domes have a different resonance that corresponds with one of the five tones in the Icelandic traditional harmony. There is a 15-20 minute walk up a gravel path to get to the sculpture, but if you a, the acoustics are well worth the walk.
Tvisongur sound sculpture.
After leaving Seyðisfjörður, the next stop was our accommodations for the night, the cozy cabins at Lambhus. They were a little snug for 5 people, but had a kitchen, and something we had never seen before, double bunk beds. The cabins also offer a picturesque view of the Vatnajökull glacier.
A dirt road from Lambhus takes you right up to the Fláajökull glacier, which is one of the glacier tongues of Vatnajökull. The glacier has receded more than a mile over the last century. Once again taking advantage of the endless daylight, we took a drive there after dinner. A foot bridge and many hiking trails make it an easy and interesting place to explore.