East Iceland offers dream-like escape in sparsely populated area

Once we dream, individuals we all know from our waking life typically flip up in uncommon locations, doing issues we by no means anticipated. Actual life is so much like that within the tiny city of Neskaupstadur, nestled within the easternmost a part of Iceland.

The person with the gray hair and the piercing blue eyes I met on a small fishing boat one afternoon is identical man who turned up within the city’s lone bar that night time, after which on the sole live performance afterward (attended by simply forty). The subsequent day, I see the person once more, this time serving breakfast at one of many few native lodges, which, it seems, is owned by his son.

“Everybody has to put on many hats right here,” stated one other native resident, Siggi Olafsson, who payments himself as a administration marketing consultant, lecturer, climbing information and bassist. “With so few individuals, all of us pitch in.”

A boat ride in a fjord in Neskaupstadur, Iceland.

A ship journey in a fjord in Neskaupstadur, Iceland.

(Rhombie Sandoval)

The spirit that fosters — of cooperation and intimacy — distinguishes this unspoiled place and offers one in every of its key attracts. Comparatively few vacationers to Iceland linger within the east, favoring as an alternative the south for its sprawling glacier.

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The east’s rarity proves splendid for many who pine for solitude and a private contact. One other city within the area, Djupivogur, underscores the latter factor: You possibly can rent the mayor himself as your tour information to the native seashore, an expanse comprised of black sand, the devilish by-product of this volcanic island nation. There, Mayor Gauti Johannesson regales guests with native myths, all of which appear to finish with its protagonists in hell.

Egilsstadir, a town in east Iceland on the banks of the Lagarfljót river.

Egilsstadir, a city in east Iceland on the banks of the Lagarfljót river.

(Ragnar Th)

As untrammeled because the east could also be, it isn’t onerous to get there. An hour’s aircraft journey whisks you in from Reykjavik, the capital and largest metropolis of Iceland, the place a lot of the nation’s inhabitants resides. You’ll land in Egilsstadir, which boasts an allegedly haunted lake whose shore line lures hikers, wanting to gape on the surrounding mountains, mirrored within the nonetheless water. Mountains within the area climb to sharp peaks, a function you gained’t discover elsewhere within the nation. (The glacial legacy elsewhere flattened their tops). You’ll additionally discover extra timber on this a part of the nation, although nonetheless only a few. Credit score, once more, the…

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