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– Snæfellsnes: 2 days itinerary –
After one day in Reykjavik – world’s northernmost capital – in the late afternoon we drive towards Snæfellsnes Peninsula. We are going through it counter-clockwise.
In such a surreal place, Jules Verne set his novel “A journey to the Interior of the Earth”. Looking at Snæfelsnes’s volcanoes sorrounded by an air of mistery, you will understand why right here. This great Peninsula has the power to nurture your imagination.
Our first stop is the village of Stykkisholmur. Although It is the most crowded and touristic place of the whole Peninsula, here you can enjoy the sound of silence.
Regarding the buildings, I thought Iceland had just hobbit shelters and colourful sheet metal houses as in Reykjavik. That would have been great. Sadly, there is also some architectural monstrosity popping out in such a great environment. On the left of the next picture, you can spot some white constructions made by some building speculator.
We get back into our Skoda Octavia 4×4, driving towards Grundarfjordur to stay overnight. The hostel is really clean and cozy, but even if it weren’t, with a view like this you wouldn’t even notice.
The most common Grundarfjordur image is Kirkjufell. I’m talking about an evocative mountain whose name means “church-shaped mountain”. This connection works just with the pointy-shaped icelandic churches. By adding a bit of imagination you will figure It out.
– Snæfellsnes, day 2 –
We have breakfast in the suggested Eyrbyggja – a nice cultural centre and local tradition museum – and we ask the locals for some tips. Today we’ll complete the Peninsula tour!
Although we are visiting Iceland during the high season, we don’t count more than 3 cars on the way. Who experiences this great country in the most common way – by driving one week along the Ring Road – wouldn’t cross the Peninsula! 🙂
The Saxholl crater is the first stop that Icelanders suggested to us. It erupted 3-4000 years ago and rises 109 m above the sea level.
In a jiffy – after a 300 m climbings – you will admire lava fields from a viewpoint. If you are slender like me, you will be on the point of falling down inside the crater, all the time. Otherwise you may just have some problems in putting your jacket on.
We keep driving with eyes filled with magnificence, because our road trip is getting better and better. Our next stops are the dark sand beaches of Djúpalónssandur and Dritvik: what unexpected wonders!
In Djúpalónssandur there are some big stones used in the past to test the strenght of the aspiring fishermen. The 4 stones weight from 23 to 154 kg, and they are respectively called: “unable”, “slender”, “average strong” e “very strong”. I was already aware that the sea life would have never suited me.
As soon as we get in Snæfelsnes south, we start the 2,5 km panoramic walk from Arnarstapi to Hellnar. The trekking shouldn’t last more than 40 minutes, but actually you will take more. You will stop every 5 minutes in order to admire the beauty around.
The Fjöruhúsið restaurant at the end of the path, is the so-called “cherry on top”. On skyr-cake top. The skyr is a great local cheese that looks like yogurt. It is just 0,5% fat and It is really appetizing. In this restaurant, we had a snack, tasting the best skyr -cake of the whole trip.
Snæfellsnes Peninsula is a kind of “Iceland’s compendium”: enchanted valleys, glaciers, moon landscapes, waterfalls, crackling lava….silences. Hot springs as well, but unfortunately we didn’t experience that on the Peninsula. It seems that we need to come back here.
It is time to say goodbye to this paradise and drive southward. We get to Akranes to stay overnight and to replace our car with a jeep: we are planning to drive on arduous roads in the next days. Akranes’s hostel is as perfect as the previous one: shared bathrooms and kitchens are so clean to seem untouched.
We go to sleep foretasting our next stop: the Golden Circle. Only in one day, we will enjoy majestic waterfalls, geyser and oceanic ridges.
I keep thinking that this kind of travel should be a duty, instead of a simple pleasure. Iceland can teach a lot, even to people who are not percetipble enough. Here nature has the great power of disarming humans, and humble them, as It should be. We are just privileged guests on this planet: we should tiptoe on It and gaving It the respect It deserves.