The Berufjord Bay



Berufjord is between the two bays Hamarsfiord and Breiddalsvik, about 20 km long and 2-5 km wide. The most prominent mountain on the bay is Mt Bulandstindur, just west of the village Djupivogur on the southern side. The mouth of the bay is dotted with islets and skerries, but most oft the rest is clear. Oceanic currents are very evident in the bay. The southern shoreline is too sheer for farming, but the northern one is divided between a few farms along the whole shoreline. The mountains on the northern side are decorated with sharp and beautiful ridges and pinnacles and rhyolite intrusions are frequent and prominent. One of the rhyolitic sub-species is ignimbrite. It is greenish in colour and is created during violent, pyroclastic eruptions. A thick, narrow layer of ignimbrite can be traced down the mountain slopes into the sea on the northern side of the bay.
The name of the bay and a few other spots are derived from the name of the settler Bera. According to the legend, she, her husband Soti and their household went to a party in the Fljot Valley (near the present Egilsstadir town) one winter. On their way back, they were caught in a snowstorm and everybody perished en route except Bera, who let her horse find the way home. When they saw the houses, the horse galloped through the stable door and broke Bera’s neck.
In 1627, Algerian buccaneers first arrived in the East. They killed, robbed and burned down the farm at Berufiord before heading west along the south coast. They picked up about 240 people from the Westman Islands for the slave market at home and at last they attempted to attack the abode of the governor in the Southwest without success.(Source: www.nat.is)

Berufjord
The farm Berufjord is situated at the end of the Berufiord bay. In earlier times it was a parsonage and during catholic times the churches were dedicated to St. Olaf, the king of Norway. The church at Berunes was annexed. The present church at farm Berufjord was built in 1874.
One of the few outstanding scholars of the country, Eirikur Magnusson (1833-1913), born at the farm Berufiord, became a librarian in Cambridge, England. He published quite a few books and translated Shakespeare’s Storm (1885), the Icelandic Lilja Poetry (1870) and Legends of Iceland (1864-66) among other works. He and William Morris also translated a few of the Icelandic Sagas into English. He was a true patriot and wrote and published many pamphlets on important national issues.
An ancient route over the mountains at the end of the bay down into the Landslide Valley (Skriddalur) called Oxi (The Axe) is passable by 4wd vehicles and shortens the way to and from the Egilsstadir town by several dozens of kilometres. Another popular bridle path of the past connected the Berufiord area with the Wide Valley (Breiddalur) in the north. In 1951 an area of about 7 ha was fenced off for forestation purposes. (Source: www.nat.is)

The old Berufjord farm



Gautavik
Gautavik is a farm on the northern side of the Berufiord Bay. It is situated on a cove by the same name, where there was a trading post and a harbour in the past. The ruins of the houses were declared inviolate and some research has been carried out there. One of the first missionaries to visit Iceland before Christianity was adopted was a priest by the name of Thangbrandur. He was a German, who became the priest of the Royal Court of Norway under king Olafur Tryggvason, who sent him to Iceland to christianise the population. He is described as a violent person, who carried the crucifix in one hand and the sword in the other.
The annals of the 14th and 15th centuries mention the Gautavik Cove harbour as the main trading post of East Iceland. German tradesmen of the Hansa League were based there until they moved across the bay in the latter part of the 16th century, first to the Fuluvik Cove and then to Cove Djupivogur. A landslide hit the farm Gautavik in the summer of 1792 and the family was killed.(Source: www.nat.is)

The Gautavik farm



Nonnusafn
At the farm Berufjord is a nice little museum, Nonnusafn.

Nonnusafn



Teigarhorn
Teigarhorn is a farm, about 4 kilometres west of Djupivogur. It has become world-famous for crystals and houses an exhibition of them. Probably is the most renowned zeolites’ spot in the world. Zeolites usually are created in the pores of the basaltic rock and at Teigarhorn they are eroded from the cliffs on the coastline by the sea.
The sub-species called scolesite are most commonly discovered there. They were collected by anyone in the past, but the area was declared inviolate a few decades ago, and the farmer and his family are the only ones, who are permitted to collect the crystals, that have been eroded from the cliffs nowadays. They are sold on the spot to the passers by.
The first continuous weather observations in the East were commenced there in 1874. There is nothing to prevent travellers in the area from visiting the farm to buy scolesite crystals and look at the cliffs on the shoreline, where they are collected.(Source: www.nat.is)

The Teigarhorn farm



Mountain Bulandstindur
Bulandstindur is easy to recognize by its pyramidal form above the south shore of the fjord Berufiord. It is one of the most beautifully shaped mountains of the country and the symbol of the Djupivogur County between the two bays, Berufiord and Hamarsfiord. It is a pyramid shaped stack of basaltic strata, reaching 1069 m above sea level. The Castle of the Gods (Godaborg) is a 700 m high mountain ridge to the east of Mt Bulandstindur. Immediately after the acceptance of Christianity in the year 1000, the chieftains, who were also pagan priests, demolished the statues of the gods in their temples. The chieftain of this area had them taken up to this ridge and thrown over the edge. This mountain is counted among the few power centres of the country. The Buland Valley is to the south of Mt Bulandstindur and rising above its end is the highest elevation of the area, Mt Hrossatindur (1156m).
Some attribute supernatural power to this mountain, and many more enjoy the strenuous walk up.

Mountain Bulandstindur

River Fossa
River Fossa is the discharge of the Corpse Lake. Once a few men were fishing for char from a boat on the lake and then went to an islet, where the boat drifted away from them and they starved to death on the islet. The river cascades down the valley over several waterfalls on its way to the Fossa Cove on the southern shores of the Berufiord Bay. According to a legend, a kelpie lived in a pool below the last waterfall. The people of the valley did all they could to get rid of it with no avail until baptismal water was poured into the pool. During high tides, the estuary of the river became too deep for horses and the people travelling through had to make a long detour on narrow paths in the slopes above the last waterfall to continue if they did not want to get wet by swim-riding. The old bridge still standing, which was built in 1954, improved communications considerably.(Source: www.nat.is)

One of many Fossa river falls


Fossa valley
The Fossa Valley is framed with high mountains and during the darkest part of winter the sun does not shine there for 18 weeks. It contained a whole parish of 18 farms in the past. In the early 15th century the plague killed everyone there, but in the 17th century it was colonized again. The ruins of the old farms in the valley are still obvious in many places. In 1953 a broach dating back to the Age of Settlement was discovered in one of them. The only inhabited farm in the valley nowadays is Eyjolfsstadir.
Many passers by stop by the estuary to search for semi-precious stones and rock Crystals.
Like everywhere else in the East, berries ripen galore after mid-August or so.(Source: www.nat.is)



Oxi
Scenic route of Oxi has now been greatly improved is now a popular route from from Berufjörður to Skriðdalur and from there to Egilsstaðir. Also ideal if you need to save time getting to Egilsstadir. The nature is very extreme at Oxi but yet very beautiful, with many falls and interesting places to stop at.



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