There is not a single place in Bíldudalur you can stand and not see a mountain. In fact, we are totally surrounded by them. We are situated in a fjord-within-a-fjord, giving us a full 360 degrees of pure mountainy goodness. Sturdy old Hálfdán stands behind us (unless it disappears under a snowstorm), with a winding road weaving up it, heading towards the town of Tálknafjörður, where wonderful pizzas may be found. Either side of us we have the lips of our fjord, ridiculously steep from the town but accessible from Hálfdán, and with surprisingly flat tops, a fairly simple climb to a particularly stunning view. One of these is almost directly behind my house, looming over me every time I leave for work. If you end up on one of these in the summer, you are quite likely to find a local climbing with you. Out towards the sea, we have more, layered behind each other, and when it's snowy, it's often hard to tell you're looking at two or three mountains at the same time. All different lengths and heights, all different valleys and fjords. Sometimes invisible beneath snow, sometimes with a long arm of fog rolling close to the sea but not high enough to hide the peaks.
When I first described Bíldudalur's mountain encasement to friends and family back in the UK, one of the main questions I was asked was "isn't that a bit claustrophobic?". And I suppose to some degree it is. You can't see open water, and often our nights are a little longer than everywhere else around here because the sun will hide behind one of our mountains. But after a few days here, anywhere without this degree of mountains starts feeling strange. These big walls around us start feeling like our protectors, and they are a big part of what makes little Bíldudalur so unique. Our mountains give us some of the best weather in Iceland, and make the bad weather all that more interesting. And there's something especially calming about being able to look out your window and across the sea and see a snowy peak or three.
I've lived here for three months and I have yet to exhaust all the photography options when it comes to these mountains. The views from the tops of the accessible ones are breathtaking from all angles, and from a high point in the town, you may be lucky enough to get a photo of a mountain with a fishing boat sailing below. If you drive a little out of the town towards the hot spring in Reykjarfjörður or the strange buildings and oddly shaped lion statues of Selárdalur, you may even spot us sitting in a patch of sun while the surrounding area is in shade. They don't call us the good weather capital of the Westfjords for nothing!
So yes, if you want to see mountains, there's no better place than Bíldudalur. We have a mountain for every occasion, and we have some of the nicest mountains in the country. And we even have a restaurant if you'd prefer to look at mountains while enjoying a meal!
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