Рассказ о путешествии на Западные Фьорды на русском можно почитать здесь.
If I am asked, what is my favourite place of Earth, I have no proper answer. It is not about particular countries and locations I have been to, it is more about special experiences and people I shared them with. Having said that, I can claim, that a short 3 day trip the the Westfjords turned into one of those journeys which you recall over and over again, fill your heart with the most precious moments: remember northern winds blowing through your hair, how time stood still in front of the giant waterfall behind. It was an absolute edge of the world, but at the same time place where all the things are meant to begin.
Being remote and not easy to reach, the Westfjords are believed to be the real gem of Iceland offering its rare wanderers hidden wonders and rewarding the bravest ones with fairytale like rainbows and unexpected encounters with a Special guest of this region - Merry Dancers, stepping down to Earth to celebrate the great miracle of Life. Certainly, 3 days are not enough to deeply explore this unique place, but it is promised during this period to fall in love hopelessly, wishing to come back one day...
Travel dates were chosen perfectly due to the weather conditions. In early Septemper it is warm enough to take long hikes and almost all the regions are available to reach. At the daytime temperature can be up to 17 degrees and there are still chances to witness northern lights. When touristy flow reduces, you can take an advantage of having solitary (or at least less crowed) strolls to the most famous spots, plus being the only one on camping grounds feeling lie a conquerer of your own Lands.
Hiking through Icelandic landscapes is priceless...It gives you this unique feeling of being balanced with nature, with people around you and, most importantly, with your inner self. Cold but welcoming winds free your mind from unwanted thoughts and blow away all the anxiety and vanity you've collected while living in a city. Majestic mountains take away burdens of all kinds which you carry every day and bless you with this infinite and peaceful feeling of universal eternity instead. It may become a very right moment to recall some precious stories from the past, remember careless childhood we all had and bring the most cherishing memories to presence tributing them with dignity and respect.
Endless roads of Iceland - long, curvy, empty, inviting, never ending, adventurous, picturesque, winding but never misleading - I could come up with many more adjectives describing this phenomenon. Traveling in Iceland (and in WF in particular) means inevitability of driving roads surrounded by the most beautiful views. It's definitely worth it being a shotgun, not a driver, if you know what I mean (managing food supplies, mad DJ skills and constantly marveling at landscapes while navigating at times). Don't overestimate yourself with thinking you will be driving hundreds of kilometers every day to chase all those insane views. In fact, you can do it obviously, but be prepared to give up shortly after seeing too many tempting places to stop by, take a picture, take a deep breath and think 'okey, this is one of the most incredible sights ever, I couldn't help it making a short stopover'.
In The WestFjords facing a sheep herd crossing the road is more likely than meeting other travelers unless they are desperately lost going circles but still badly enjoying it. Moreover, from our experience, chances to find a petrol station are lower than witnessing Northern Lights (not sure, if it's a benefit or not, anyway, if you ran out of fuel after sunset, you could always just leave a car and stare at the night carpet of millions of stars while Auroras would be ritually dancing above, glowing and glittering...).
Bay after bay, fjord after fjord, some may say that it is easy to get used to it, but I doubt that's ever possible. We felt blessed to lose track of time and sense of reality and just immerse into this 'Lord of the Rings' like atmosphere...I remember myself not being able not to clutch my camera every single minute but we were chasing the sunset, the clouds already turned into purple, velvet and burgundy colours, the Sun was slowly crawling down, softly kissing shadowed fjords with golden rays and just a few minutes left till it would be over...Speedometer was rising rapidly, we were getting closer and closer to the final destination - Dynjandi waterfall, which is, by the way, the most famous waterfall in the Westfjords, and one of the most beautiful ones in the whole Iceland. In fact, it is a cascade of small and large waterfalls merged in one.
When we got there, I literally got perplexed by what view I wanted to shoot the most, all the surroundings were outstanding and worth capturing. Eventually, we started hiking to the top of the waterfall (at least as far as it was possible) while merely observing the surreal sunset reflecting from the water. Nature was very generous that evening and rewarded us with the most stunning images which stuck in our minds forever. After such an adventure it was a sheer happiness to cook super easy-going but tasty dinner and enjoying it on the camping ground right beside the waterfall.
The Westfjords are a dream destination not only for hikers, bikers or road-trippers, but also for those who appreciate calm relaxed holidays. You can easily book a remote cabin and find over 20 natural hot pools in this region. Almost all of them are marked with a special sign so It is not a big problem to identify them. One of the highlights of the trip was definitely the evening when after 7-8 hours of driving we found one of those hot springs. The water was around 40 degrees so we even had to refresh ourselves at times getting out of it...There was the ocean bay in front of the pool and amazing starry sky above. I couldn't believe it was for real until even more ridiculous thing occurred to happen later on. After 30 mins barely distinct glowing started to appear on the sky and we knew what it was actually. The Northern Lights were steadily growing, the colours were getting brighter and more saturated, the shape was constantly changing resembling either a long snake or a wind-blowing ribbon. The overall atmosphere was unforgettable, I could barely breath as it seemed that If I moved, everything would disappear...The fragility of the moment made it even more valuable and cherishing...
Talking about natural wonders that Iceland and the Westfjords in particular offer to its visitors, it's mandatory to mention diversity of surfaces and landscapes - from white and red sand beaches to steep cliffs and massive fjords with their recognizable image.
There is this old saying which claims that 'We don't inherit Nature from our ancestors - we borrow it from our children'. These powerful and wise words remind me that such great experiences should always come with a great appreciation of Life. None of us knows what we actually deserve but we shouldn't take for granted things which are enriching our inward nature.