The road along the coast behind the farm Borg races on past the Cross on the cape that keeps the ogre at bay, on to the puffins in Borgarfjörður Eystri, and back.
Few stop anymore to walk in this emerald, or to see the path this water makes as it hides itself, as all creatures from the other world do, on to test the walls of the houses of men. It is the greenest fjord in Iceland. This image is made from the old Stapavik trail, the right way to come upon it, unless you come by boat, of course. Imagine the first long boat that touched this beach, and the people that stepped ashore in wonder. They are your ancestors as soon as you get out of the car. And then what? Well, friend, then you are lost. And then you are found.
Here at the head of the Hvalfjörður the old trails leap off across country. The old cairns remain, to still mark the way in bad weather, or good. As you can see, there’s a chasm between cairns. No amount of scrambling is going to make that worthwhile. You’re likely to break a fetlock, or worse.
Reading these cairns is not a matter of following straight lines. Obviously, the rock, the cleft and the sky are part of the trail, too, and the reading is a way of orienting oneself in multi-dimensional space, not map space. If you’ve ever read an Icelandic novel, you’ll recognize the pattern!