Posted by: jeanne | July 26, 2014

walking in the sunset

this evening we had our art exhibition in olafsfjordur, and afterwards i didn’t feel like going to bed, so i took a late walk.  it was after 8 pm when i started, and i got back after sunset, which was just after 11 pm.  it was a glorious evening.

the name of this valley is skeggabrekkurdalur, and it’s the last of the valleys i had yet to venture down.  it’s very long, and the ‘road’ only goes up some of the way.  it’s one of the old paths to get over the mountains to go to siglufjordur, and when i first started up it, i thought oh yeah i can get to the crest easy and have a peek over.  but of course distances aren’t what they seem in this environment.  maybe it’s the light.


this is what the lake of olafsfjordur looked like in the evening sun.  you just can’t get any prettier than this.


the walk first goes a little bit around the lake, and it’s where i went to see the island where the elves live in the beginning of my stay.  it goes up a rather steep bit right where the ‘road’ turns off the actual road around the lake, and then it levels right out.  i could have brought the bike up the steep bit and ridden the entire way down the valley, but i think i preferred to walk.  i didn’t need my hiking stick, either.  but i was glad to have my boots and my down jacket for when i got up to the end.


i’m completely ignoring the first part of the walk, which tho peaceful and contemplative, was just your standard gorgeous glacial valley…  this is the part where it got interesting.  there is a whole section of the valley that’s ridges of rock coming down across the valley floor.  i guess it was glacial moraine when the glacier retreated and stopped, but i’m only guessing.  the valley was pretty damned flat up until then, with the usual roaring glacial river cutting steep rocky banks over on the left side.  you can just see one of the zillion waterfalls there on the left of the photo above.  i drank out of several of the streams i passed.  the water was as cold as it could be, having been ice until just this afternoon, and wonderfully delicious.  i love being able to just drink the water right out of the stream, something i wouldn’t dare do at home.


here is more of the rocky ridge cutting across the valley.  i was quite taken with it.


then, as i passed into the ridges, i discovered several tarns, or glacial lakes, just as peaceful as possible, with trolls, i mean big boulders, scattered here and there.


and then i was at the end of the rocky bit, and found a rocky place to stand and have a look.  the valley stretched on from there, much farther than i could see, and from there until it started rising into the snow field it was boggy and full of river and muck, and there was no visible path, and it was after 10 pm, so i decided that was as far as i was going to go.


just beautiful, tho the lateness of the night made the photos rather dull.  you’d have had to have been there…


right at the edge of the boggy place there were these two rocks, both of which were obviously elf houses.  i went around both of them clockwise, and put a rock on the flatter one, wandering around the rocky bit for awhile.  the moss was very deep, there were blueberry plants and heather everywhere, and lots of lichen.


this was one of the rocks on top of the flat boulder.  can you see how troll-like it looks?  and the wonderful lichen.


on the way back down i was very happy to observe the stripes of the mountainside, scree alternating with green, and the brightest green being moss that seemed to grow on top of the water, and only came out a few weeks ago.


and i’ll finish up with the sunset.  the near headland on the right is olafsfjordurmuli, and the far one is the other side of eyjafjordur, the longest fjord in iceland.  you’d have thought everyone would have been in bed by the time i came down, but after having a little dessert and a chat with home, i went to bed to find the town’s preteens outside on the street, laughing and screaming and kicking balls around and riding their bikes and scooters.  like they had nothing else to do.  but i was a kid once, and used to sneak out much later than that to just hang out with my friends, so i didn’t go out and scare them off like some old bat.  i turned on my light and read instead until they went away and i got tired.  this morning, of course, i was stiff and sore.



  1. The rocky ridge cutting across the valley that you were quite taken with would make a great woven tapestry piece. Just sayin’ 😉


    • hah!


  2. Being is nature is truly magical. You have been there long enough to uncover something wonderful. I liked the comment about time being timeless.


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