Ghosts and Gorgeous Landscape

Laundry on a line by the physician's residence.

Laundry on a line by the physician's residence. Árni Sæberg

Vala Hafstað

“Visiting the West Fjords has seldom been as enjoyable as this summer,” states photographer Árni Sæberg in an interview with Morgunblaðið , where he works. “The beauty and serenity is unlike anywhere else, and this time my travel companion Katherine Sherlock, from England, and I made the conscious decision to disconnect from everything and not to look at any media for six days. For a news photographer, that’s not easy, but it does you good once in a while, not least in times like these, when negative news dominates due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was extremely nice.”

Ísafjörður Harbor at night.

Ísafjörður Harbor at night. Árni Sæberg

This was Katherine’s first trip to the West Fjords, and she was quite impressed. Among other places, they spent two nights at Gemlufell in Dýrafjörður fjord, near Núpur – a place where Árni went to school for a couple of years as a teenager.

Happy people in Hesteyri. Hrólfur Vagnsson plays the accordion.

Happy people in Hesteyri. Hrólfur Vagnsson plays the accordion. Árni Sæberg

They checked out Skrúður, Iceland’s first botanical garden. After that, they spent time in the town of Ísafjörður, which Árni thoroughly enjoyed.

While in Ísafjörður, they ran into a woman who was selling day trips to Hesteyri – a deserted village in Jökulfirðir fjords, in the northernmost part of the West Fjords. One of the remaining houses used to be a physician’s residence, but is now operated as a café and guesthouse from mid-June till the end of August. The rest are used as summer cabins.

For more information about Hesteyri, see here .

The abandoned farm Arnarnes in Dýrafjörður fjord.

The abandoned farm Arnarnes in Dýrafjörður fjord. Árni Sæberg

“We hadn’t been planning to go there, but since the opportunity presented itself, we decided to sail there – something we do not regret. Hesteyri is a beautiful place, and we enjoyed visiting the old physician’s residence, made famous in Óskar Þór Axelsson’s movie I Remember You , based on the eponymous novel by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. When I showed Katherine the trailer, it scared her, since this is a ghost story,” Árni states, grinning.

The river in Hesteyri runs by the physician's residence.

The river in Hesteyri runs by the physician's residence. Árni Sæberg

The story is about a young couple who moves into an old house in an abandoned town, which turns out to have a dark history.

Luckily, Árni and Katherine made it back to Ísafjörður, successfully leaving any potential ghost behind.

Hraunskirkja church in Keldudalur, Dýrafjörður fjord. Arnarnúpur mountain in the …

Hraunskirkja church in Keldudalur, Dýrafjörður fjord. Arnarnúpur mountain in the background. Árni Sæberg



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