From sunrise to sunset, for now we're in the half-light.

Coast and mountains, East Fjords, Iceland
Berufjörður

 

Sometimes I feel like my words are just a vessel to facilitate sharing a collection of (far too many) photos with you.

 

This is one of those...

 

Mountains in mist, East Fjords, Iceland
Berunestindur and Steinketill
Mountains in Autumn, East Fjords, Iceland
Smátindafjall and Krosstindur
Moss in Winter, Iceland
Moss and specks of snow.

 

The days have been shrinking and—whereas two months ago I was awake at seven on the dot, my day mapped out, gleefully wriggling in satisfaction at my manic productivity—the lethargy is now growing. Like an indefeatable blanket of sleep, the later I get up, the harder it is and bed time is lagging from 11pm to one in the morning or sometimes as late as three. 

 

Apart from the humans (sometimes), the most important parts of my life* have been happening through the screen (this one I am typing into now). There is only so much time I want to live through this glaring window. When I've been free to do so and the weather was agreeable enough that my face wasn't half frozen twenty meters out the door, I've tried to spend the six, five, four hours of light [or half-light] outside. 

 

*Writing projects; Phone Credit for Refugees; everyone and everything I care about that isn't here.

 

Mountains at sunrise, East Fjords, Iceland
Hálsfjall/Klofskarðstindur
Mountains in cloud at sunrise, East Fjords, Iceland
Sauðdalstindur

 

Sunrises, having rarely featured into my life bar one long Winter in Scotland, became a main event through October and November. On the best mornings, they made the mountains glow.

 

Please consider how these photos would look strung out from right to left:

 

Mountains and low cloud at sunrise, East Fjords, Iceland
Búlandstindur/Goðaborg
Mountains and low cloud at sunrise, East Fjords, Iceland
Hálsfjall and Klofskarðstindur
Mountains and snow at sunrise, East Fjords, Iceland
Looking across Berufjörður.
Sunrise on snow across the sea, East Fjords, Iceland
Looking across Berufjörður.
Berufjörður, Djúpivogur, East Fjords, Iceland
Looking across Berufjörður to the town Djúpivogur.

 

Sometimes it was followed by blue skies.

 

Blue sky and snow on mountain, East Fjords, Iceland
Búlandstindur, Goðaborg, Sauðdalstindur and Hvítárdalur.
Moon in day light.
The moon in the morning.
Havarí farm, cafe and hostel, East Fjords, Iceland
Píla the dog and Havarí behind.
Coast and mountains, East Fjords, Iceland
Berufjörður coast.
East Fjords, Iceland
This is the old road. It's now only used by farmers and very occasional hikers.
waterfall and mountains, East Fjords, Iceland
I find this bridge bizarrely terrifying - please note my shadow standing on it.

 

It's important to note however, that for every one of the clear days depicted here, there were several of savage wind and murk. 

 

Fog on the old farm house, East Fjords, Iceland
Our house as the fog lifted.
Berunesviti lighthouse, Berufjörður, East Fjords, Iceland
Dan sheltering from the wind by Berunesviti lighthouse.
fading into the mist, East Fjords
Smátindafjall and Krosstindur
Icelandic horse, East Fjords
A horse and its foal.

 

One morning we woke up to find that the snow had settled. 

 

Old farm house, Iceland, snow
Our house in the snow.
Havarí cafe and organic farm in snow
The Havarí cafe and farm in the snow.
Cliffs and snow, East Fjords November
The cliffs above our house.

 

I was still hiking whenever I could. I'd been a frequent visitor to the valley Krossdalur, but had never seen around the final corner, over the last hill to the back. The day I finally did was tinged with regret, as if my swimming stroke had been broken by the end of the pool. There were more mountains to climb, but probably none safely within a four hour round trip from the house. I'd mapped a circumference around where we lived, and was working the circles more tightly now, tracing the contour lines in turn.

 

I exaggerate.

 

wren, bird watching, East Fjords, Iceland
A wren.
Krossdalur valley, hiking in the East Fjords, Iceland
Kjalfjall from Krossdalur.
hiking in the East Fjords, Iceland
Hrossatindur from Krossdalur.
hiking in the mountains, East Fjords, Iceland
Steinketill
rock and moss, Iceland

 

As the mountains faded to brown, sometimes dusted with a little snow or frost, the every-day changes along the shoreline were more dramatic. Surrealy beautiful on a calm day, a scene from Wes Anderson film, there were other times when the kilometer and a half walk to the lighthouse was a battle; the wind was so strong that I could barely see out of my eyelashes or a penetrating chill seeped through more layers of wool than I could fit under my jacket. 

 

Lighthouse (Berunesviti), mountains, East Fjords, Iceland
Berunesviti lighthouse, Búlandstindur, Goðaborg, Sauðdalstindur and Hvítárdalur behind.
lighthouse, Berufjörður, East Fjords, Iceland
Berunesviti lighthouse, Búlandstindur, Goðaborg, Sauðdalstindur and Hvítárdalur across Berufjörður.
 Eider Ducks, East Fjords, Iceland
Eider ducks
reflections on water, dark sky
mountains and ice, East Fjords in November, Iceland
Smátindafjall and Krosstindur - reflections on the ice.

 

The frozen things were slightly white from a distance, but the closer I looked, the more absorbing they became.

 

frost on rock
frozen grass
frozen grass
frozen seaweed
frozen puddle

 

Compared to the overwhelming amount of plastic pollution on some beaches in Scotland or Portugal, this coastline was not too bad. 

 

Plastic pollution, beach clean, East Fjords, Iceland
The beach on the east coast, facing open ocean, seems to collect more plastic pollution.

 

I collected what I could, but my efforts were less dramatic than they had been in warmer places. Prizing icy plastic away from the rocks it was frozen onto added another layer of difficulty and my fingers started to freeze into claws half way back to the bin. I soon learnt to wear gloves and only to collect what would fit in a bag.

 

 

Though getting earlier each week in alarming increments, the clear day's sunsets were always magical...

 

sunset reflections on sea
Sunset, East Fjords, Iceland
Sunset over Djúpivogur, across Berufjörður.
Sunset over mountains, East Fjords, Iceland in November
Sunset across Berufjörður.
orange sunset, East Fjords, Iceland
Sunset over Djúpivogur, across Berufjörður.

 

...and that was that.

 

The moon, Iceland in Winter
The moon.

More about Iceland that you might also enjoy:

Specifically about hiking in Iceland:

This site is written and edited solely by me (Katie). Please contact me if you find any typos or mistakes!

 

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