Friday, June 20, 2008

East Iceland: Seyðisfjörður 17 May

17th May 2008

Seyðisfjörður is a small village in the Eastfjords of Iceland at the end of the deep 16km-long fjord of the same name. It started around 1848 as a trading centre and later a herring fishery. During WWII it was used as a base for British/American forces. We checked into Hotel Alden around 3pm plus. Seizing the limited time we have here, we set off for a hiking trail.

Seyðisfjörður-Vestdalur Hike
The hike starts by walking uphill along the left side of the Vestdalá river. After a couple of hours and several tiers of waterfalls, the destination is a small frozen lake, Vestdalsvatn. The whole hike will take an approximate 4 hours. We turned back after 1 hour as it's getting late.

Town of Seyðisfjörður. The mountain behind the town is Mount Fjarðarheiði, where we came from.

Halfway up the hill, Vestdalá river on the left, and our car is at the bottom right.

The several tiers of waterfalls and the Vestdalá river

Close up on the waterfalls

This is the biggest of all the waterfalls here, as we walk further.

Turning back, this is the complete view of the fjord.

This is another of my favourite picture, an abandoned farmhouse by the fjord.

Streets and sidewalks
The town of Seyðisfjörður is well-known for its old wooden buildings and has remnants of urban street configurations within its urban fabric.

In 1996, an avalanche flattened a local factory but no lives are lost. This avalanche monument is made from twisted girders from the factory, It is erected as they were found.

Dine In @ Hotel Aldan
Unexpectedly, this dinner turn out to be the best and the most expensive dinner we had in Iceland. The supermarket is closed when we return from the hike. We drive around the town to look for takeaways, but nothing. Hence we decide to dine in our hotel instead. Total bill: IR11,400 (S$228)

This is the bar counter of the restaurant, it also serves as a check-in counter.

Dinner menu, it serves French Fusion

Table setting. The place looks bright because the sun is not setting at all.

Lamb 'portion' with confit lamb
Lemon sole 'three-ways' with mediterranean vegetables and saffran-vanilla sauce

I'm having the lemon sole. As much as I cant stand the buttery cream sauce, the sole turn out to be extremely tasty. The whole block is not entirely sole meat, there is egg white that fills in between. The smooth and silky taste like tofu, which melts in your mouth. Brilliant.

Main course
Butterfried monkfish with mushroom-flan and 'Vallnes-byggotto' with taragon

Seafood is always the safest decision to make if one is uncertain of his choice from a sophisticated menu. True enough, monkfish doesnt let us down. The pan-fried Monkfish meat is firmer, sweeter and more succedent than cod. I'm sure if it is steamed it will bring out the sweetness even more. Take a look at right on the plate, that's barley in cream sauce where the meat is sitting on. Innovative!

Wonder how deep sea monkfish look like? One can never judge a book by its cover right? It's definitely rare on the dinner table here in Singapore. But I found one restaurant serving it at the east coast road, however, it is seasonal. I left my contact for them to call me when available, but they never did.

Warm chocolate cake with home-made icecream
Lemon-Lime tart with blueberry-parfait

Seriously speaking, as much as our budget for this trip is tight, a good dinner or a hot bath can miraculously clear the weariness one has on the road.

Accomodation: Hotel Aldan

We choose this boutique hotel because Lonely Planet named it as the best heritage hotel in East Iceland. And of cos, rich culture comes with a big price tag too. Trust me, it's really worth it.

The main building. There are rooms here too. This is also where breakfast and dinner is served.

This is the block where we stayed. It's a stone throw distance from the main building.

Main staircase.

Quiet corner at the end of the corridor.

Click to see next - Southeast Iceland: Seyðisfjörður → Skaftafell National Park 18 May


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