After multiple days of clouds, rain and fog, I was excited to enter the fjord for Siglufjordur and see the clouds lift to reveal the spectacular mountains of Iceland.
The small town of Siglufjordur, once known as the herring capital of Iceland, is now a quaint, sleepy town offering picturesque scenery. And, as you may have guessed, hiking trails.
After a long day in Akureyri, Iceland, Jeff and I were content to do a leisurely hike. We stopped in at the tourist information center, which doubled as the local library. The ladies there were quite helpful and directed us to the most popular hike – up the back side of town to the u-shaped meadow in the mountains above. It’s 600 meters to the top of the higher ridge, they said. We knew we wouldn’t be going quite that far. After all, we just wanted a nice walk in the sunshine. One of them noted, “the quickest way is the short cut up the south side of the cemetery.”
Looking up, we could see the Seabourn “hiking excursion”, making their way up the side of the mountain. Surprised that so many of the older generation were making their way up the hill, we assumed it must be the leisurely stroll we had in mind. As I gazed up the mountainside, a little bit of my competitiveness got in the way. Despite their hour lead, we (I) couldn’t let the folks with 20 years on us make it up to the top ahead of us.
Off we scampered to the cemetery looking for the “short” cut. A very small trail through the thick, low brush cut directly upward. This must be it, I thought, and led the way. Scrambling up the steam hillside, and sliding in the wet mud and weeds was a lot of work. Huffing and puffing, we were even more determined to cut the distance between us and the group a mile ahead on the trail. All was well, until I heard a shriek behind me. I spun around in time to watch Jeff slide off the trail and disappeared into the shrubbery, his camera was left alone on trail. A large hole on the side of the trail had engulfed him. Fortunately, the camera was okay. Jeff suffered from a bruise to his pride and some mud on his pants.
Finally, we reached the main trail. Although it was wide and relatively even, it did ascend at a good angle. Perhaps, I was too quick to judge my fellow cruisers as more senior.
Soaked with sweat, we passed the slower group. Partial victory, but we couldn’t rest. We pressed onward and upward, finally catching the first group as they ended their hike at a waterfall in a beautiful meadow high above the town.
If we hadn’t been slowed by lugging all our camera gear, I know we could have caught the first group too! Instead, we settled down to enjoy the stupendous views across the valley. Unfortunately, the views stretched eastward and into the morning sun. Great scenery, but not so good for the photographs.
Remember, it’s all about the light and gaining a bit of respect for our fellow cruisers.