Wednesday, 8 August 2018


As one of my most memorable moments of Iceland happened on Snaefellsnes, I decided I have to write about it as well, even if it is already some days past. There are also some places we passed I did not even mention in my articles, but maybe I can give some impressions of them in the next and last time I write about Iceland (it will take some time, but there will be more! Stay tuned!).

Snaefellsnes is a peninsula in the southwest of Iceland, about two hours from Reykjavik. There’s a glacier, the Snaefellsjökull (jökull means glacier), that you can even see from the capital if the weather is good. Here we spent two nights so we could have a full day to explore the peninsula. At this point we already thought we had seen so much, as if anything we can see now would be just a revival of the beautiful places we had already seen. Which would have been nice because we have seen so much beauty that we would definitely like to see it all again. But it was not like that, it was way more and even different again!

First, we decided for what we want to see of the peninsula and planned our route accordingly. One of the places mentioned was the Snaesfellsjökull, but as it is dangerous to explore a glacier on your own and there was a road passing by, we thought it would be a good idea to just drive by and maybe stop if it is beautiful. Just for clarification, there are icelandic roads that are only for four-wheel-drives, these roads are marked f-roads. The road passing the glacier was no such road so I was kind of expecting a normal mountain road.

How wrong I was. Each and every experience I remember of my dad driving up mountain „roads“ in worst shape suddenly came back to me as I did my best to maneuver our two-wheel-drive with four grown-ups inside up this intensly ascending, pothole-filled gravel road. At some point I even warned my passengers „If I say OUT you jump out of the car and push it. If I get the car to move again, DO NOT get in, just hop aside so I can drive the car up to the next even part of the road. There I will wait for you.“ Fortunately, this scenario did not happen, we got up there without the car getting stuck somewhere – but sometimes it was a close call, always using all the momentum I could get and hoping that the snow stays beside the road instead of on the road. Other even smaller cars than ours, driven by people as mad as us, going up the glacier road as well, gave us hope that the road can be done with our car. And we did it – and it was amazing.

The view was so stunning, on one side there was the sea, the coast, beaches, cliffs, waterfalls, other mountains, all you could wish for in a mountain panorama, and on the other side there was the snow and the glacier – and snow mobiles waiting for you to jump in to do a tour to explore the glacier. And the wind blowing down the glacier was so extremely cold, you wouldn’t believe it if you hadn’t experienced it. I could have stayed for ages and just enjoyed the view if I hadn’t felt the cold crawling into me until I was freezing to the bone. As the others felt the same way, we were quick to leave again.

So the next stop was beside the sea, a black beach with lots of parts from a ship wreck. We soon discovered how a ship could wreck on this beach – the rocks were really sharp and the tides were sneaky. We were expecting a beach more like the black beach we already saw but this one was different as the rocks were again shaped completely different and even the black had another shade of darkness. Also, we hat the Jökull behind our back which is a quite unusual beachview.

Here along the coast there are severall really small really cute villages, connected by a hiking trail on top of the cliffs. We were actually planning on visiting each village on its own but we just got so carried away by the view on each of the cliffs that we walked and walked and at some point we just were in the next village and didn’t even realize how far we went.

It is as if the water has a different shade of blue in each small bay. And there are so many birds flying around I haven’t seen before and seagulls nesting and even fluffy baby seagulls sitting on some rocks in the cliffs. And then there is this infinity-stream that looks as if it would just disappear in the sea from the right angle. And the coastline seams to go on endlessly, with snow-covered mountains just directly behind. We almost didn’t mind that it was really really windy.

From here we passed some kind of crack in the mountain with lots of cars parking there, so we decided we had to see what it is and whether it is somehow special. It kind of looked like Scratch (from Ice Age) was here before. So in front of the pathway up to the crack there was a icelandic tale they tell about this „valley“. Once, there lived a half-troll half-human who had two really beautiful and shapely daughters. In the village there also lived his brother who had two sons (are you already thinking about where this story is going?). So the sons and the daughters played together at the beach and they somehow fought and the elder daughter endet up on a sheet of ice and got carried away to Greenland. She was fine, but her father got really angry so he killed the son who did this. Then he threw his own brother (the father) down a cliff and then killed the other son too. Then he ran into the valley deep into the glacier Snaesfellsjökull and was never seen again. What a nice story.

When we approached the gap where a small stream was coming out, we suddenly felt the temperature drop significantly. To enter the gap, you had to walk through the stream or you could hop on the rocks in the stream. I kind of forgot to change my shoes before and did not wear the water resistant hiking boots so I had no choice but to carefully hop from rock to rock. But it was totally worth it. Inside, there were huge pieces of ice just lying around, one was stuck just in the gap just above our heads and you could see the melting ice dripping down into the stream. You could also see how the valley got more and more narrow the farther you go. It was really impressing but we were to afraid to continue and walk below the melting ice as we did not want to get crushed under a falling chunk of ice – they are really heavy! I once tried lifting one as big as a watermelon and I failed because I didn’t expect it to be so heavy.

Again, we kind of endet up ad a beautiful place just because we decided to see what happens and where we will get – I think this is just how Iceland works. Do not just keep stuck to the travel guide, explore a little on your own and go where not all the tourists go. You will see beautiful places you would not have been able to see else.

Needless to say, when going back to the apartment, we decided for the road along the coast instead of the road up the glacier we came from in the morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment