Western Fjords: Látrabjarg cliffs, BA 64 ship and Hnjotur
En route to Latrabjarj, the westernmost point of Iceland and most famous bird cliff of north Atlantic, the ocean eats into the mountains to create U shaped valleys; ornamented with isolated beaches, viewpoints staring into the ocean and steep cliffs rising from serene waters. We zig zagged along the edges of the fjords to arrive at the deserted ship of Garðar BA 64.
Plan 9 from Outer Space
Gardar BA Ship
Born in 1912 in Norway, the same year Titanic set sail from Southampton to New York for that ill fated voyage, BA 64 was a whaling ship; on whose wheel have stood numerous Ishmaels and Captain Ahabs. After prowling the northern seas for about 70 years, this ship was abandoned to a lonely retired life in 1981. Its hull, which in its prime, pierced monstrous waves of the arctic, now provides photo ops to tourists on way to other more popular attractions of western fjords.
After we too abandoned the ship for Látrabjarg, we encountered surreal golden beaches that shifted shape with ebb and flow of the tide. The sunlight filtered through the now enormous cloud of fog and illuminated the golden swamps. The play of light and ever changing colors of the fjord were reminiscent of our very own Pangong Lake. On the way, we came across Hnjotur Plane museum with US navy planes and more abandoned boats.
Its hull which in its prime, pierced monstrous waves of the arctic, now provides photo ops to tourists
We encountered surreal golden beaches that shifted shape with ebb and flow of the tide.
Hnjotur Plane museum
Everything was perfect except for a queer fog encircling us. It had risen out of nowhere on the fjord near the ship and secretly increased its size until it became a behemoth to be reckoned with. As soon as we left the plane museum we found ourselves right in middle of it. The visibility suddenly dropped to a few meters. The road to Látrabjarg is narrow, steep and of loose gravel with plenty of hairpin turns. To make to matters worse there was no car ahead of us to follow. Sometimes the fog thinned and gave a glimpse of vast stretch of water beneath us. It used to make our flesh creep. It was tense ride and our nerves were tingling with excitement.
Everything was perfect except for a queer fog encircling us.
At one point a clearing in fog exposed a beautiful pond
Another strong emotion in operation was that of despair. The unremitting mist would obscure the cliffs of Látrabjarg. It would deny us the end of the Earth views from the westernmost point of Iceland. It was a horrible, horrible prospect after a 5 hour drive. Látrabjarg was one of the destinations we were most excited about. Our hearts sank with every kilometer we progressed. The mischievous mist was only getting denser. It pained us to no end that the unpredictable weather of fjords had finally caught up with us. At one point a clearing in fog exposed a beautiful pond. Our hearts leapt in joy for a moment. However, all embers of hope were extinguished once we reached the cliffs. We would have not spotted even a Pterodactyl if it was standing right in front of us. Even pretty beds of yellow arctic poppies could not console us. I walked to edge of a cliff and gave a gloomy stare at what should have been a clear view of the North Atlantic in an ideal situation. I could now barely see it through the fog.
We decided to leave this place as soon as possible and at least save the trip to golden beach of Raudisandur which was a good 50 Kilometers away. Látrabjarg cliffs are 14 km long but we couldn't see even 100 metres of it that day. Maybe we will have to come one more time after all.
Arctic poppies at Látrabjarg cliffs
I walked to edge of the cliff
Látrabjarg cliffs are westernmost part of Iceland.
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