Into the Belly of a Mountain

20 09 2012

Ísafjörður Trivia: all three roads out of town are through tunnels. Iceland’s oldest and shortest tunnel connects to neighboring Súðavík, the newest connects it to Bolungarvík and the longest connects it to both Suðureyri and Flateyri.

Now that I have been outside Ísafjörður a few times, I have gotten to all the tunnels. There are no words that can accurately describe the feeling of driving through one of these tunnels. So watch the video below:

Note to rowers: this tunnel is 6km so when you do a 6k race… you really are going a long way!

The Westfjords region is the most remote in Iceland and many of the roads are treacherous.  Roads are often gravel and steep as well as susceptible to avalanche and rock slides. I was recently driving through the mountains and the driver in front of us could not pass the road with 4 passengers so everyone got out and walked up a few hundred meters to the plateau of the mountain (good transmission is a must!). The road to Bolungarvik was considered the most dangerous in Iceland and after traveling it I could see why. The old road lies along the seashore under the steep and unstable mountain hills of Óshlíd, it was littered with boulders! When the road was obstructed, the town was entirely cut off since it was the only way into and out of town. Sometimes this was for weeks and to improve both safety and access the new 5.3km tunnel was opened in 2010.

The tunnel between Ísafjörður and Súðavík. It is less than 100m and now it is now widened to 2 lanes. But it is still customary to blast the horn a few times to warn oncoming traffic of your approach to the entrance to avoid accidents.

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One response

11 02 2016
Goiceland.com (@Goicelandcom)

Here is a list of all the tunnels in Iceland! 🙂 http://www.goiceland.com/blog/tunnels-in-iceland/2455/

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