Many tourists come to Iceland with the goal of ‘doing the Ring Road.’ They want to drive around Route 1 all the way, starting and ending in Reykjavik. Unfortunately for many of them, this does not include the Westfjords. The place is remote, and even some Icelanders have not visited.
The upper lefthand corner of Iceland holds its own ‘ring road,’ a network of highways, tunnels, and gravel that makes a full loop if driven from Búðardalur. We went North on the first day, ending up in Súðavík. On the we stayed there two nights, and then moved on through to Þingeyri . On the last day we drove to Bjarkarholt Guesthouse, which isn’t even on Google’s maps most of the time. We completed the loop the next day, 1300km later.
The Road Less Taken is one of my favorite poems, and one which I used this year to say ‘bye-bye’ to my Chinese students. It makes a lot of sense in terms of my life and how I choose to travel, but also in terms of those five days in the Westfjords.
Here are the pictures I got of this second Ring Road in Iceland. It’s well worth a visit. We went to many hot springs, ate smoked Puffin, and dipped three times in the freezing sea.
Our trusty steed, a Nissan Pulsar
The Red Beach
The Road Not Taken — Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.