Since I travelled around Iceland in the company of a small group of girlfriends and Oðin, our incredibly good-natured driver guide, I’ve revisited most areas to explore in much more detail, and I look forward to returning to the Eastfjords. Planning visits and meetings is exciting, and I’ll want to focus on what’s new and interesting amongst food and craft producers as well as places to stay. Flying into Egilsstaðir, we can pick up a car and head to Djúpivogur, the most southerly point on our travels. Over the following days, we can wind our way northwards along the coast back to Egilsstaðir, circumnavigate the shores of the mysterious lake Lagarfljót and then finish off with a journey to Borgarfjörður Eystri, which was too icy to see in 2011!
What will we find? This is wild Iceland, and so we may be lucky and see reindeer, certainly plenty of birds and although it’s not yet the season for foraging, we’ll be investigating the local specialities that use berries and wild mushrooms. Traditionally made Icelandic skyr is a feature of the area and we’ll look forward to smoked lamb that will have its own regional flavour, which comes from the vegetation used for grazing and method of smoking. The East is proud to set itself apart from other areas of Iceland both as a slow food paradise, and also as a place where geothermal energy is not plentiful and the climate is colder. We’ll find out how these differences have affected farming and food production.
While in Egilsstaðir and a little further east in Seyðisfjörður we can focus on the inspiration created by this fabulous landscape for wonderful art, craft and design. There are all sorts of delights to discover en route from Djúpivogur. One of the most amazing and unusual places that I remember from my last visit was Petra’s stone collection. This intrepid lady from Stöðvarfjörður began collecting rocks and minerals from her local area in 1946, and by 1974 decided that she should open her garden to visitors. As an exhibition, it’s a stunning collection and even with the smallest knowledge of geology, the sheer number or rocks that she gathered in her lifetime is quite astounding.
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