Scott MacNeill

Iceland Day 5 and 6

This is the second part of the entry I posted this morning.

Yesterday we traveled north to Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Iceland's terrain changes in seconds. One second you are in a lava field and the next grass, ocean, mountains, snow, sand storms. Snaefellsnes was an amazing place. The scenery was stunning to say the least. Snowy mountains touching the ocean with black sand beaches, a glacier and total isolation. We took the route along the southern side of the peninsula all the way to the end and stopped in the village of Arnarstapi. This village had about 10 houses and a small pier and was situated at the base of Snaefellsjokull glacier. The trip to this village was worth the hike alone.

Snaefellsjokull glacier is a volcano that had erupted underneath the glacier that sits on top. The eruption caused the volcano to collapse into its own magma chamber. This mountain / volcano / glacier has a very uneasy feeling surrounding it. It is understandable why Jules Verne would choose this as the starting point in his novel.

We traveled around the western edge of the peninsula around the glacier and headed to the north side. The sun was setting as we left so we were able to experience an amazing sunset from the cliffs that meet the ocean. These cliffs are in a lava field with some indescribable lava formations and huge jagged rocks! By the time we reached the north side it was night. We traveled to the town of Olafsvik that has a population of 1100 making this a rather larger town in the middle of no where. I would have expected a small fishing village with some old fishermen and their families but actually the residents of this town are driving around in Mercedes and Porsches. We stopped for some late coffee (kaffi) and enjoyed some of the locals. We then continued east till we found a mountain pass that would take us along the inland side of the glacier through the mountains and back to the south side.

After our return to our small village and a little nap we set back out to see if we could spot an Aurora from this much more remote region (dark). The aurora that we saw was amazing and beats most pictures of aurora's we have seen. My camera does not take pictures at night very well so I could not get a picture but it was madd.

We left Arnarstapi early this morning and were able to catch the sunrise on the ocean before we left. It was interesting being able to see the sun rise and set over the ocean from the same place. We traveled the mountain road back to the north side of the peninsula and we took the northern route back. Again this trip was well worth the hike. The weather today was a bit rougher and some of the mountain peaks were in the clouds.

After leaving the Peninsula we traveled along the cost of Hvalfjordur and again found some interesting changes in the terrain. We saw the old whaling station which is now the NATO refueling depot. After a short hike and some amazing views we set back to Reykjavik.

Once back in Reykjavik we had dinner and stopped in at the ice bar which was totally unimpressive and quite lame. We are crashing in a guesthouse in central Reykjavik a few streets from the party. I am now in a little coffee shop called kaffi Hjomalimo and like most places in Reykjavik they have wifi and coffee.

Johnathan I tried a hot dog at what we were told was the best spot in town. It was surprising good but what took 5 mins to eat ended up taking 1 hour to pay for. I guess I don't have that taco-bell-Friday stomach!

Tomorrow we will go back to the Blue Lagoon and then leave for the airport from there.

Seltan Geothermal Pools
Black Sand Beaches
Snaefellsnes South Coast
Snaefellsnes West Coast
Snaefellsjokull Glacier
Snaefellsnes West Coast Sunset
Waterfall we found at Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Snaefellsnes North Coast
Snaefellsnes North Coast

I will try to post again before I leave. I will definetly post when I return.


A map of our traveled path.