Mjoifjordur is a fjord located in the Eastfjords of Iceland, it is 18km long and 2km wide.
It´s name translates „narrow fjord“ and is known for its tranquility and unspoiled nature as one of the most remote places in Iceland.
Since there are only eight people left living in the fjord, there haven`t been too much effort done to build secure roads, so the ride to the village can be quite adventurous and is only possible in the summertime. In the wintertime the roads are closed by the snow. Than the place becomes even more isolated and can only be acessed by boat.
Some years ago there were quite a lot of people living there, mostly stationed around herring and whale fishing, hired by a norwegian company. The company has done some overfishing and the „golden years“ of the "Herring Area" are over now. Most of the people have left the place. The damage and their old houses stayed.
Fusi and his wife also stayed. He had been living here since he was born. He grew up in the fjord as the son of Vilhalmjur, who was also born in Mjoifjordur over 100 years ago and died in the age of 99 .
And than there is the family of Seivur and Erna who’s main income is fishing. Although there is not much fish left in the fjord and most of it is used to feed the community. And also Regina and her Husband, who do fishing and a small amount of sheep for living aswell.
A farmers life is not an easy life, especially on Iceland where you have to deal with unpredictable and often harsh weather conditions. It is usually done as a family business, as men power is needed to take care of the animals and the land. Today most of the young Icelanders decide against this kind of life and either turn the place into a guesthouse or leave. As most of the tourism flourishes around Reykjavik in the West of Iceland and Akureyri in the north, the hard to reach places in the Eastfjords of Iceland do not profit that much from the tourist business.
The people that I have met in Mjoifjordur, live there since generations. They are not focused on growing tourism. The place is small and it profits from it`s freedom, as farming demands a lot of time and planning. They do what they do with all their passion. They might be the last generation to live in this place as there is only one child left, living in the fjord.
I look out of the window and see a small abonded house at the other side of the fjord. There are lots of those in Iceland. They stay abonded or become a summer house for people from the cities.
The history of Mjoifjordur is an old one and it might find an ending like all the other ones too. But I hesitate to believe it at this moment, as this place seems to be so very special and one of it`s kind.
„And this is Asknes“ Fusi points at an rotted old cargo ship. Asknes was the location of the world`s largest whaling station just after the turn of the 19th century. It was started by Norwegian and around 200 people were living and working in that " narrow fjord" at that time.
Fusi is the major of the village and a very lively person who loves to laugh all the time.
Suddenly he stops walking and becomes very quiet. He keeps starring at the sea, while the clouds are passing the huge mountains, and doesn`t say anything. After a while his huge smile comes back and he points at the sea "look!"- I turn arround and see a whale showing up, just a few meters away from us -"she is one of the last whales left that still show up in the fjord“ he says.
I am overwhealmed by the beauty of this giant. Sadly it will remain the last time she came for a visit.
Fusi walks back home. It is time to get some sleep and energy for the next day as there is always something to do. Even in one of the most remote places and smallest communities on Iceland.