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HomeIceland TravelView-dials - Hringsjár - within the Westfjords of Iceland

View-dials – Hringsjár – within the Westfjords of Iceland


Regína by the view-dial at Óshólar in the Westfjords

In my final collection of travel-blogs, I’ve been displaying you what there may be to see and do by street 61, Djúpvegur, on the northern a part of the Westfjords of Iceland. 

On this travel-blog, I would like the present you the 5 view-dials within the Westfjords which I’ve visited, their location, what they appear like, and the view from them.

Opening photograph: blocking the solar by the view-dial at Óshólar in BolungarvíokThe view-dial at Óshólar Westfjords

The view-dial at Óshólar

There are 90 plus view-dials in Iceland and I’ve usually been requested to write down a travel-blog about their areas. I’ll begin by displaying you the view-dials within the Westfjords of Iceland.

There are 8 view-dials within the Westfjords: one in Flatey island, at Reykhólar, at Flateyri, on high of Mt. Sandafell, in Bolungarvíok, in Hornstrandir, on Arnarnes and on Kambsnes (which I missed by a month or so).

Regína's father-in-law measuring for a view-dial in East-Iceland

My father-in-law, Jakob Hálfdanarson, measuring for a view-dial in East-Iceland

I received the details about the view-dials in a booklet about view-dials in Iceland, which my father-in-law, Jakob Hálfdanarson, made for his private use.

The view-dials in Iceland are of particular curiosity to me as my father-in-law, Jakob, collectively along with his household, my sister-in-law, Þórný, and my husband, Jón Víðis, designs view-dials.

With my husband and father in law measuring for view-dials in East-Iceland

I received to affix my husband and my father-in-law on certainly one of their work journeys once they have been measuring for a view-dial at Eiðar in East-Iceland 🙂

My father-in-law’s uncle, Jón J. Víðis, surveyor (my husband’s namesake), was the instigator for designing the view-dials in Iceland, designing the primary one, which was erected in 1938 on Valhúsahæð hill in Seltjarnarnes within the Nice Reykjavíok space (see my photograph beneath)

That view-dial was erected by Ferðafélag Íslands – the Touring Membership of Iceland, however they’ve erected 15 view-dials in Iceland.

The first view-dial in Iceland on Valhúsahæð

The primary view-dial in Iceland on Valhúsahæð hill at Seltjarnarnes within the Nice-Reykjavíok space, erected in 1938 – trying east in direction of Reykjavíok

Jón J. Víðis, who designed 23 view-dials from 1935-1974, was born in 1894 within the stunning turf home at Þverá in Laxárdalur in North-Iceland. A memorial was erected within the reminiscence of Jón in Laxárdalur valley. You possibly can learn extra about him in my Þverá travel-blog.

Coincidently, Jón surveyed the roads within the Westfjords of Iceland, which at the moment proved to be a turning level in street development in Iceland.

he first view-dial in Iceland on Valhúsahæð hill at Seltjarnarnes in the Great-Reykjavík area, erected in 1938

The primary view-dial in Iceland on Valhúsahæð hill at Seltjarnarnes within the Nice-Reykjavíok space, erected in 1938 – trying west

As a surveyor, Jón wanted two assistants. Typically Jón employed his nephews and great-nephews, together with my father-in-law, Jakob, who later took over Jón’s venture of designing view-dials when Jón Víðis died in 1975.

From 1960 Jakob had assisted Jón Víðis with 11 view-dials round Iceland. And Jakob designed his first view-dial in 1970.

Now that I’ve instructed you about Jón J. Víðis, my father-in-law, Jakob, and the primary view-dial in Iceland, it’s time to present you the view-dials within the Westfjords of Iceland 😉

The view-dial signal and the view-dial at Óshólar within the distance

To search out the view-dials within the Westfjords, look out for the signal above; 2 males with a view-dial between them, that’s the signal for view-dials. I’ve too usually seen this signal used for an statement platform although, i.e. a spot from which the view is nice. However one other signal, much like the view-dial signal, ought to be used on that event.

Additionally, be on the look-out for the signal with útsýnisskífa or hringsjá written on it, which are the Icelandic phrases for a view-dial. Now, let’s take a look at the view-dial at Reykhólar on the southern a part of the Westfjords.

The View-Dial at Hellishólar in ReykhólarThe view-dial at Hellishólar, Reykhólar Westfjords

The view-dial at Hellishólar trying south

Allow us to begin by driving on the southern a part of the Westfjords, and go to the view-dials in chronological order. There’s a view-dial at Hellishólar in Reykhólar village on the southern half of the Westfjords.

The view-dial exhibits the names and top of the mountains and the time of three hours. The pillar is a basalt column on a molten platform with a railing.

The view dial at Hellishólar Westfjords

The view-dial at Hellishólar 

The view-dial was erected in 2007 by Ferðamálafélag Dala og Reykhólahrepps. It was designed by Jakob Hálfdanarson and his assistants have been his youngsters Þórný and Jón Víðis.

When my husband took me on our first journey earlier than we even began relationship we stayed at Reykhólar on our strategy to Dynjandi waterfall. He confirmed me the view-dial at Hellishólar, and instructed me that his father had designed it and that he had helped him once they have been measuring the view.

My husband showing me how to use a view dial at The view dial at Hellishólar Westfjords

My husband by the view-dial at Hellishólar again in 2013, displaying me how you can use view-dials

And he confirmed me how you can discover out the names of the mountains by utilizing a pen. What he did not know is that I used to be already serious about view-dials and had visited a lot of them on my travels in Iceland and photographed them 🙂

So now we’ve a standard curiosity in trying to find view-dials in Iceland and photographing them. He all the time desires one photograph of me standing by the view-dial to point out the peak of the pillar.

The view-dial at Hellishólar – Reykhólakirkja church within the background

The view from Hellishólar is fantastic – on the east facet, you’ll be able to see so far as Gilsfjörður and Skarðsströnd and Snæfellsnes.To the west, you’ll be able to see Barðaströnd and the ocean view between Mt. Stálfjall and Snæfellsjökull glacier is of Breiðafjörður fjord with its numerous islands.

The Breiðafjörður islands are certainly one of 3 innumerable areas in Iceland. On one of many islands, Flatey island, can be a view-dial which was erected in 1996. We stayed in Flatey for one night time, however the view-dial was so soiled that I did not take a photograph of it.

We often carry moist tissues with us to scrub the bird-shit of the view-dials earlier than we {photograph} them, however on this case, the Arctic terns had actually gone to city 🙁

The view-dial at Hellishólar Westfjords of Iceland

The view-dial at Hellishólar trying south

In a while, when my husband and I have been married, we stayed at Reykhólar for 3 days and I’ve written 3 travel-blogs about our keep. There may be a lot to see and do in this space, which I like to recommend visiting.

Many travellers proceed driving on street 60, however turning on street 607 will take you to Reykhólar, the place you’ll f.ex. be capable of go to a geothermal space, Lómatjörn – The Pond of the Looms, and bathe in seaweed, so it’s effectively well worth the detour. 

I took a video of a choir of looms singing on the Pond of the Looms at Reykhólar:

See my travel-blogs for extra details about what to see and do in Reykhólar:

3 days of enjoyable at Reykhólar within the Westfjords of Iceland – Half 1

3 Days of Enjoyable at Reykhólar within the Westfjords of Iceland – Half 2 – the Reykhólar Seabaths

3 days of enjoyable at Reykhólar within the Westfjords of Iceland – Half 3

The following view-dial is on high of Mt. Sandafell, which is the mountain above Þingeyri village.

Let’s return again to street 60 and observe that street by means of the numerous southern fjords of the Westfjords, till we attain Vatnsfjörður fjord, the place we proceed driving on street 60 over the heaths, Dynjandisheiði and Hrafnseyrarheiði heaths (or take the brand new tunnel which opened in 2020, and is now street 60) till we attain Dýrafjörður fjord.

For those who take the brand new tunnel, when exiting as an alternative of driving throughout the fjord by way of street 60, take street 622 and 626 for Þingeyri and Mt. Sandafell.

The View-Dial on Mt. Sandafell The view-dial on Mt. Sandafell, Dýrafjörður Westfjords

The view-dial on Mt. Sandafell is nearly on the sting of the mountain with a incredible view

You can find a view-dial on high of Mt. Sandafell above Þingeyri village in Dýrafjörður fjord. The mountain just isn’t very tall, solely 367 meters above sea-level, however from the highest, there’s a breathtaking view.

The view-dial on high of Mt. Sandafell is the one view-dial, which I visited within the Westfjords, that is on high of a mountain. However solely a brief stroll is required because the considerably steep street leads nearly to the highest. Properly, it results in the highest, however park your automotive in a parking spot and stroll to the highest.

The view-dial on Mt. Sandafell, Dýrafjörður Westfjords

The view-dial on Mt. Sandafell

I’m not very eager on driving to mountain tops however humoured my husband as his thoughts is ready on seeing all of the view-dials in Iceland. However he took it a bit far final 12 months when he drove to the highest of Mt. Geitafellshjnúkur (430 meters above sea stage) in Reykjahverfi in North-Iceland to see the view-dial there.

The street was completely inconceivable and I used to be so scared that I needed to crawl on my arms and toes down the mountain!

Now, again to Mt. Sandafell. The mountain is known as after the outdated manor Sandar, thus the title Sandafell. There may be one other mountain within the east known as Sandfell, which means Sandy Mountain.

The view-dial on Mt. Sandafell, Dýrafjörður Westfjords

The view-dial on Mt. Sandafell

The view-dial was erected in 1969 by Dýrfirðingafélagið. It was designed by Jón. J. Víðis, with the assistance of Jakob Hálfdanarson, my father-in-law and Már Viðar Másson (Jón’s great-nephew).

The view-dial can be a sundial (sólúr). The pillar is molten, comparatively low.

As I instructed you earlier, then my husband all the time pictures me standing by the view-dial to point out the peak of the pillar. So I’ve images of me by all of the view-dials.

Regína standing by the view-dial on top of Sandafell

Standing by the view-dial on high of Mt. Sandafell

It was so windy on high of Mt. Sandafell, plus that it was getting darkish that I used to be a bit reluctant to show my again to the sting of the mountain.

So he took the photograph from the opposite facet and I feel it turned out okay, and you may see within the photograph how low the pillar is, in comparison with many different view-dial pillars.

The view of parts of Þingeyri village, Dýrafjörður fjord and Gemlufellsheiði heath

The view of elements of Þingeyri village, Dýrafjörður fjord and Gemlufallsheiði heath

From the highest, there’s a stunning view of the encompassing fjords and mountains. Completely breathtaking in all instructions.

It was getting darkish, so my images are darkish, however I hope to have the ability to go to Mt. Sandafell once more in sunny climate and take higher images.

The view from Mt. Sandafell Westfjords

Trying within the path of Hrafnseyrarheiði heath

My grandmother was born right here between Dýrafjörður and Önundarfjörður fjords and I’ve written a travel-blog in regards to the distant valley the place she was born, if you’re to see extra of this a part of the Westfjords: Ingjaldssandur within the Westfjords of Iceland – my Grandmother’s Birthplace.

As I used to be strolling down the mountain to the automotive following the gravel street, it impulsively felt like I used to be strolling off the sting of the mountain – a trick of the attention, very scary.

A good friend of mine instructed me that the identical factor occurred to her, so bear this in thoughts if you may be visiting Mt. Sandafell.

Mt. Sandafell in the Westfjords

It appears just like the street falls off the sting of the mountain from this angle

In my travel-blog A hazardous Tour of Svalvogar & Kjaransbraut within the Westfjords – probably the most harmful Street in Iceland we have been driving on probably the most harmful street in this space and in my final photograph in that travel-blog you will notice the view of Mt. Sandafell from Hrafnseyrarheiði heath.

This space is the place Gísla Saga Súrssonar occurred, however Gísli and his brother Þorkell lived at Sæból in Haukadalur in Dýrafjörður for a while. When their sister, Þórdís, received married to Þorgrímur, she received Sæból and the brothers constructed the farm Hóll throughout the river from Sæból.

Þórdís and Þorgrímur have been the dad and mom of Snorri goði at Helgafell on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. It is a very fascinating Saga, which I like to recommend studying.

The Saga sign on Gemlufellsheiði heath - looking in the direction of Dýrafjörður and Mt. Sandafell

The Saga signal on Gemlufallsheiði heath – trying within the path of Dýrafjörður and Mt. Sandafell

You will notice wonderful data indicators about Gísli in historic areas within the Westfjords, one on Gemlufallsheiði heath. That signal tells us about Vésteinn, the brother-in-law of Gísli, coming to go to him. Gísli had a hunch that Vésteinn was going to be killed at Gísli’s residence, so he despatched his labourers to warn Vésteinn.

However they missed him as they did not take the identical route, and once they lastly met up with Vésteinn he mentioned the next: “…Nú falla öll vötn til Dýrafjarðar…” which means: “…From right here all waters circulate to Dýrafjörður…” and that it was too late to return again to his residence in Önundarfjörður.

Vésteinn received killed and a sequence of heartbreaking occasions occurred the place Gísli killed Þorgrímur, his sister’s husband whereas she was of their bed-closet beside him (and pregnant on the time), and grew to become an outlaw. 

The following view-dial is positioned above Flateyri village in Önundarfjörður fjord, which is the following fjord north of Dýrafjörður fjord. Let’s return again to street 60 and proceed driving by way of Gemlufallsheiði heath and activate street 64 resulting in Flateyri village.

On the best way, you’ll move Sela-Kirkjuból, the place my great-grandfather lived for some time, earlier than he constructed his personal farm Sæból at Ingjaldssandur.

The View-Dial in Flateyri in ÖnundarfjörðurThe view-dial in Flateyri Önundarfjörður Westfjords

The view-dial at Flateyri – the view of Önundarfjörður fjord

In Flateyri in Önundarfjörður, you will see a view-dial on a platform by the avalanche boundaries above the village.

The view-dial was erected in 2000 by the Kiwani’s Membership Þorfinnur and the designer is Guðmundur Björgvinsson.

The view-dial is an aluminum plate and exhibits a time of three hours. 

The view-dial in Flateyri Önundarfjörður Westfjords

The aluminum view-dial at Flateyri

The pillar is 3 rust-free pipes on a flagged platform with a picket railing. Because the plate is manufactured from aluminum it’s not as shiny as among the different view-dials, which means that the environment do not mirror in it.

To succeed in the view-dial you stroll in direction of the mountains above Flateyri village and undergo a brief tunnel on the avalanche boundaries.

The barriers and tunnel leading to the view-dial in Flateyri

The boundaries and tunnel resulting in the view-dial in Flateyri

You can find a number of such avalanche boundaries within the Westfjords because the mountains listed below are tall and avalanches are frequent, as I instructed you about in my travel-blogs in regards to the village Súðavíok the place an avalanche fell on the village in January 1995.

I additionally instructed you about Hnífsdalur, the place my great-grandfather received caught in a giant avalanche again in 1910

The view-dial in Flateyri Önundarfjörður Westfjords

These stunning mountains, which will be so fairly within the summertime, will be so unforgiving within the wintertime.

The avalanche boundaries shield the inhabitants from avalanches within the wintertime. Two main avalanches fell on Flateyri again in 1995, however 1995 was a really tragic 12 months for the inhabitants of the Westfjords.

The primary avalanche fell on the 18th of January from Innra-Bæjargil and brought about minor injury to 2 homes. The second avalanche fell on the twenty sixth of October from Skollahvilft.

Twenty individuals received killed in that avalanche and 29 homes have been broken or destroyed 🙁 The memorial for the victims of the 1995 avalanche in Flateyri

The memorial for the victims of the 1995 avalanche in Flateyri

I keep in mind effectively how the entire nation was holding its breath whereas the rescue get together was trying to find survivors buried beneath the massive quantity of snow, praying that they might be discovered alive.

You can find a memorial for the 20 victims of the avalanche by Flateyrarkirkja church.

One other avalanche bypassed the avalanche boundaries and hit a home in January 2020. A lady was rescued from the home and fortuitously, there have been no fatalities.

The following view-dial is at Óshólar in Bolungarvíok.

Return to street 60 and proceed driving till you attain the tunnel by Botnsheiði heath. Once you come by means of the tunnel you’ll have reached Skutulsfjörður, by which Ísafjörður city, the capital metropolis of the Westfjords, stands.

We’ve by now reached street 61, Djúpvegur street, on the northern a part of the Westfjords and can be driving to the final village on street 61, Bolungarvíok.

Ósvör maritime museum in Bolungarvík

Ósvör maritime museum in Bolungarvíok

I’ve written travel-blogs in regards to the cities and villages you will notice alongside the best way:

A pleasant Go to to Skutulsfjörður & Ísafjörður – the Capital Metropolis of the Westfjords of Iceland

Hnífsdalur Village within the Westfjords of Iceland & the massive Avalanche in 1910

The View-dial at Óshólar in BolungarvíokThe view-dial at Óshólar in Bolungarvík Westfjords

The view-dial at Óshólar hill – the rust-free pipes and the 2 forms of rock on the cabinets 

To succeed in Bolungarvíok you drive by means of a 5.6 km lengthy tunnel from Hnífsdalur village on street 61. You flip proper for the view-dial on street 6302, as an alternative of driving to the village on street 61.

Earlier than you attain Ósvör Maritime Museum you will notice the view-dial at Óshólar hill. Keep in mind Ósvör maritime museum from my Bolungarvíok travel-blog: Visiting Bolungarvíok Village within the Westfjords of Iceland – the Finish of Street 61 Djúpvegur.

It’s a good suggestion to mix a go to to that museum with a go to to the view-dial. We left our automotive on the parking by Ósvör and walked to the view-dial
The view-dial at Óshólar in Bolungarvík Westfjords

The chrome-plated copperplate – the blue sky displays within the view-dial

The designer of this view-dial is Pétur Guðmundsson artist and painter at Ísafjörður, and Jón Sigurpálsson, artist in Ísafjörður, designed the gorgeous pillar.

This view-dial was erected by the Lions Membership of Bolungarvíok in 2000. It has a chrome-plated copperplate and exhibits the names of the encompassing mountains, the peak of the mountains, and the time of three hours.

The view-dial at Óshólar in Bolungarvík Westfjords

The view-dial at Óshólar

For those who look carefully at my photograph above then you’ll be able to see that Greenland is marked on the view-dial. Greenland is 316 km away and can’t be seen from Óshólar, however it’s a good gesture so as to add it to point out us how shut Greenland actually is to Iceland.

I discover the design of the pillar so fairly, particularly when the solar shone on it and lit it up. The pillar is manufactured from a number of pipes with 2 cabinets.

The view-dial at Óshólar in Bolungarvík Westfjords

The view-dial at Óshólar

The design is particular as on the higher shelf of the pillar you will see rocks from the mountains, however on the decrease shelf, you will see rocks from the sea-shore. It has been nicknamed “Milli fjalls og fjöru” or Between the mountain and the shore.

The view-dial is positioned on high of Óshólar hill, not excessive up, however from the hill, there’s a beautiful view of the encompassing space.

The view from the view-dial on Óshólar hill. You will see Bolungarvík village to the left

The view from the view-dial on Óshólar hill. You will notice Bolungarvíok village to the left

Óshólar hill is not marked on Google maps, however Ósvör maritime museum is simply throughout the street from the hill.

My sixth photograph on this travel-blog is of the view-dial signal pointing in direction of the view-dial on the hill.

The following view-dial is comparatively shut by on Arnarneshamar in Skutulsfjörður.

So after visiting Bolungarvíok village, we return again to Skutulsfjörður, go to Ísafjörður city, and proceed driving on street 61 till we attain Arnarnes. 

The View-dial on Arnarnes by SkutulsfjörðurThe view of Skutulsfjörður from Arnarnes

Is not this gorgeous? The view from Arnarnes

There’s a view-dial on Arnarnes by Skutulsfjörður. Keep in mind the Arnarneshamar (Arnardalshamar) tunnel, the oldest tunnel in Iceland which I instructed you about in my Ísafjörður and Súðavíok travel-blogs?

This view-dial was designed by Ágúst Böðvarsson and erected in 1983 by the Rotary Membership of Ísafjörður. Kudos to the Rotary golf equipment for erecting all these beautiful view-dials 🙂

The view of Hnífsdalur village from Arnarnes

The view of Hnífsdalur village from Arnarnes

The view-dial is a copperplate and exhibits a time of three hours and the names and top of the encompassing mountains. It stands on a molten pipe on a sq. molten platform.

The view-dial at Arnarnes was soiled with chicken droppings and we all the time do our greatest to scrub the view-dials earlier than photographing them. It was simpler mentioned than completed with this view-dial. We have been to search out out why shortly…

The view-dial at Arnarnes Skutulsfjörður Westfjords

The view-dial at Arnarnes

That is the most effective I may do in cleansing the view-dial.

There’s a beautiful view from Arnarnes, I’d advocate visiting it if just for the view. However then it’s a on condition that many of the view-dials are to be discovered on good statement spots.

We loved this glorious view for a protracted whereas. You’ll additionally discover a small lighthouse at Arnarnes, Arnarnesviti lighthouse, in-built 1921. It’s 5.4 meters tall.

Arnarnesviti light-house at Arnarnes Skutulsfjörður Westfjords

Arnarnesviti lighthouse

Once we went again to the automotive we seen that it was surrounded by a flock of Arctic terns, which attacked us huge time. And we now understood why the view-dial was so soiled.

The Arctic tern assaults when it thinks you might be too near its nesting grounds, however this chicken tends to kind me out and assault me regardless that I’m far-off from its nest or chicks. It’s best to carry a stick or an umbrella as safety from this chicken.

We took a video from the automotive:

Arnarnes in Skutulsfjörður just isn’t marked on Google maps, so I embody a screen-shot from Landmælingar Íslands – The Nationwide Land Survey of Iceland

That is the final view-dial that we visited within the Westfjords.

Then we’ve a view-dial at Hornstrandir, which I do not suppose I’m ever going to see. And a view-dial at Kambsnes which I missed by a month. And the one in Flatey which was too soiled for a photograph on the time of our go to. That sums up the view-dials within the Westfjords.

I’ve photographed the main a part of view-dials in Iceland and have an enormous view-dial album. I’d love to point out all of them to you, however that may be a VERY lengthy travel-blog. 

The view of Ísafjörður town in Skutulsfjörður from Arnarnes in the Westfjords

The view of Ísafjörður city in Skutulsfjörður from Arnarnes

I’ve included a few view-dials in my travel-blogs by means of the years, if you’re serious about seeing a few of Iceland’s view-dials:

A wide ranging View from Hringsbjarg Cliff on Tjörnes Peninsula in North-Iceland – the view-dial is on Imbuþúfa.

Ólafsvíok Village & the Bridal Veil Bæjarfoss Falls on Snæfellsnes Peninsula – the view-dial is on Ólafsvíkurenni.

Mývatn in North-Iceland – Half II – Dimmuborgir Lava Discipline & the Cave of the Xmas Lads – the view-dial is by the parking zone.

The less-visited Peninsula Fellsströnd and Skarðsströnd – the Golden Saga Circle of Iceland – the view-dial is by Klofningur.

Álfaborg – the Metropolis of the Elves in Borgarfjörður-Eystri in East-Iceland – Icelandic Folklore – the view-dial is on high of Álfaborg.

Djúpivogur Village in East-Iceland and the Eggs at Gleðivíok Bay – the view-dial is by Bóndavarða.

The spectacular Geysir Geothermal Space – Strokkur and all the opposite Sizzling Springs – the view dial is a brief distance above Konungshver scorching spring.

Borgarvirki Fortress in North-West Iceland – was this a Viking Fortress? – the view-dial is on high of Borgarvirki. 

An interesting Hike by means of the Geothermal Space of Hveradalir in Mt. Kerlingarfjöll and the Kjölur route – there are 2 view-dials by Kjalvegur street, one at Geirsalda and one at Áfangafell

Hraundrangi in Öxnadalur and Hörgárdalur Valleys in North-Iceland – the view dial is in Jónasarlundur grove and is the eighth view-dial erected in Iceland

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