Saturday, December 24, 2016

Iceland Part VI: A Day on the Snæfellsnes peninsula

We slept in a little bit and enjoyed a nice breakfast of toast, cheese, and jam in our cute little cottage for two. Seriously, this place was calm and tranquil; I would love to stay there again!

We had a plan to drive around the whole peninsula while making stops in key places we wanted to see or explore. First on the list was Búðir church, a church covered in black that was built in 1703 and rebuilt in 1848. We made a point to come here for its idyllic setting in which the church overlooks a sweeping landscape of water and mountains.

Next we went to Rauðfeldsgjá, which is a massive crack in the mountain Botnsfjall, where you can ascend up a path and wedge yourself in. It doesn't look to be accessible from the road and it can be easily missed if you aren't looking for it. The gorge goes into the fissure where it keeps narrowing to where a stream begins. It is possible to go very far up, even as far as climbing up a rope under a small waterfall. We went into the fissure, and then Jon went a little more.

Next we stopped in the small fishing village of Arnastapi. We read about a nice easy coastal hike to do that would put us in the town of Hellnar where we could then have lunch. When we arrived we were impressed with the scenery. The arctic waters were laid out in front of us with a ton of space to enjoy everything around us.

The hike to Hellnar was about 2.5 km each way. It was an easy and scenic route that gave us beautiful views all around us. The trail goes on an ocean cliff and through lava fields so we were able to experience the different terrains that the area has to offer. It was so beautiful outside that we had to shed some layers and were able to just wear short sleeves. We had some lamb stew in Hellnar and then did the hike back to Arnastapi.

Next we stopped at a beautiful black sand beach named either Londrangar or Djúpalónssandur, I honestly can't remember which one.

Onward we went to the most photographed mountain in Iceland, Kirkjufell, whose name means Church Mountain. Kirkjufell sits just outside the town of Grundarfjörður and is situated right on the water adjacent to a small waterfall, which makes it very picturesque.

We stopped in Grundarfjörður at a cute little cafe and had some hot chocolate and coffee before moving on and driving back to our cottage. We relaxed for a couple hours before leaving for Stykkishólmur to have dinner. On the way to dinner we stopped at some lava fields nearby and had some fun with pictures.

The fishing dock where Walter Mitty runs to get the bike



Next up, another day on the Snæfellsnes peninsula!

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