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Young Money

Young Money

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Published August 5, 2011

The Eastfjords of Iceland are beautiful and fun to visit; with a rich history, a mild climate (it sometimes even gets ‘hot’ there during summer—‘feels like 35°C’) and heaps of natural beauty and majestic mountain ranges one could spend weeks there cavorting between fjords and running up steep mountain hills.
Established in 1947, Egilsstaðir is likely Iceland’s youngest rural municipality. It lies inland, on the banks of lake Lagarfljót (where Nessie’s cuz, Lagarfljótsormurinn, likes to hang out) and serves as a service hub for surrounding towns like Reyðarfjörður, Seyðisfjörður, Neskaupsstaður, etc. With its population of around 2500, this young town is the largest municipality in the East and quite unique for its youth and lack of local history (even though the area it stands is rife with history).
You will stop there while in the East. It has a nice and large tourist centre (with free coffee!), a pool, a camping ground, a gas station, some museums and shops; everything you could ask for in small town Iceland.
There is a charm about Egilsstaðir’s newness, and the fact that it connects you to some of the most beautiful and unique places in Iceland ensures that any serious tourist to Iceland will pay a visit. Stop there, even camp overnight there, but by all means move on to see the rest of the magnificent East.

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In A Van Down By The Ocean

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Nearly 200 kilometres of road lay in front of us. From Reykjavík to Vík í Mýrdal in two days, that was our mission. That’s not at all that much, you might note, but we had to make some stops on the way in order to delve into the towns along the way and get a feel for their lovely people. It all took a while. We started our journey with rays of warm sunlight, heading southeast on the Ring Road. Not long into the trip, however, we found ourselves in the midst of a snowstorm that forced us to slow

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The Bright Side Of The Storm

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In spite of the weather, we’d managed to make something out of the morning.  We’d had that hot spring all to ourselves, and successfully followed our little treasure hunt to that carbonated spring where we stood triumphantly in the freezing wind and rain, laughing and taking turns chugging sweet, sparkling water from its natural source.  But the hours since had been a monotonous drive through a bleak tunnel of grey that left the splendour of the Snaefellsnes peninsula—beyond the hundred feet of visible road in front of us—only to our imaginations.  Every stroke of our windshield wipers ticked off another

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Don’t Forget to Breathe

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“You don’t have to be crazy to go swimming in the sea, but it helps.” So says the man sitting next to me in the hot tub at Nauthólsvík, Reykjavík’s Geothermal beach. We’re facing out toward the Fossvogur bay, and if you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of the waves lapping at the shoreline. It’s six in the evening and pitch dark. But for the time being, at least, the perpetual drizzle and fog, which have hung over Reykjavík all week, has lifted, so the twinkling lights of Kópavogur are visible across the water. The man next to

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To The Vík-tor Go The Unspoiled Spoils

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“There were only six people in my year at school,” says Eiríkur Vilhelm Sigurðarson, who is possibly Vík’s most familiar face. “The other five have moved to Reykjavík. I’m the last one here.” I knew it was small, but this detail puts the size of Vík into sharp perspective for me. The manager of the information centre in the heart of town, Eiríkur probably knows Vík better than most, and he brims with a youthful wonderment at the almost supernatural forces in the area. To the north you have Katla, one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes, currently more than 50

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Hiking In Kerlingarfjöll

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The fine group of peaks known as Kerlingarfjöll were named after a high rock pillar that is said to be a female troll who was turned to stone as she was hit by daylight back when her kin roamed the country. The massif is colourful and rich in contrasts with its peaks and valleys, glaciers and snowfields and all that lively geothermal activity that serves to make the area so interesting. The mountains—roughly 1,100-1,500 metres tall—are part of a large, local centre of volcanic activity that has been around for a long time but is probably extinct by now. The

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Hanging Out On The Arctic Circle

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“You’re spending five days on Grímsey?”, a Reykjavík friend asked me in astonishment. “But there’s nothing to do there.” ”Precisely why I’m going there,” I replied. For I’d rather go to a place where there’s “nothing to do” than to a place that whacks me over the head with its activities or sights. Since the Arctic Circle bisects Grímsey, the island does in fact have one sight—an Arctic Circle sign. And on the first day of my visit, an American cruise ship vomited forth several hundred tourists, all of whom wanted to get their photographs taken next to this sign.

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