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All roads in east Iceland fan out from Egilsstaðir, a service center for all the eastern towns. The regional airport is here, and ferry passengers from Europe pass through after docking at Seyðisfjörður. The town has expanded rapidly in the wake of the Kárahnjúkar hydroelectric project. About 3,500 people live in greater Egilsstaðir, but most workers are here temporarily.

Egilsstaðir lies next to Lagarfljót (aka Lögurinn), Iceland's third-largest lake. Most services -- supermarket, gas stations, bus depot, bank, camping, tourist info, shops -- are clumped together off the Ring Road. The store for outdoor equipment is Verslunin Skógar, Dynskógar 4 (tel. 471-1230), near Fosshótel Valaskjálf.