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Published: July 25th 2018
Decided not to bother with an entry yesterday - it was a travel day from Berlin to Reykjavik and not much to say.We only got into Reykjavik around 6pm, so I basically just showed Mom around the "downtown" area, we had Icelandic hot dogs for supper (always a staple) and that was pretty much that.
Today I got to show Mom a little piece of how pretty this country is - we did the Snaefellnes tour, a peninsula in the the ~north-west (well, north of Reykjavik). I'll label photos tomorrow because I'm off to bed.
Iceland has not had a good summer... which is weird because they normally have a decent amount of sun considering it's light out most of the day in summer (eye masks are so important for sleep lol). Literally every time I checked the weather leading up to our visit it was 12-14C and raining... and sure enough that's what we got today. At least it was a sporadic and soft rain. And the benefit is cloud cover makes for some nice shots (ie super low-laying clouds in the valleys).
So, we headed off on the Ring Road, going up and under the giant
fjord north of Reykjavik - it is a looooooooong tunnel, the only one under water here in Iceland. Our guide was great (as they always are with Reykjavik Excursions) and it was pretty much non-stop history and stories as we drove out. Such as I had no idea this fjord played an important roll in WW2 as a docking and refueling spot for convoys coming from the US heading up to Russia.
After a quick snack and toilet break, we had about an hour drive, so most of us napped lol. I think it's because the bus was a little warm. Our first real stop was at Ytri Tunga beach to try and see some harbour seals. We could hear them, but we weren't successful in finding them haha. I think they were too far out despite the lowish tide. Walking around the beach I did my best to not walk though the kelp... but oh so much kelp. I learned the hard way the first time I came here he impossible it is to get that smell out of your shoes lol.
We continued on through the lava fields - it's such an interesting landscape here, you
drive 30min and it's always something new. Most of the lava fields we drove through today are quite new - you just have the lichen and moss on the rocks. In doing so we also drove past a lot of volcanic craters which pop up all over the place. We also did a few photo stops along the water with some nice mountains.
Throughout the entire day I also had fun being on the lookout for the Icelandic horse - I love them so much - they're so flooffy and tiny. I haven't got riding in a few visits, I'm overdue next time.
Next big stop was Strondin, near Hellnar, for a walk along the coast. I do have to say their coastal path is a lot more defined than the ones I'm used to in Wales lol. The walk was mostly to see the unique rock formations - there were some you could (relatively) climb on as well... I have to say I'm amazed more people don't fall down the cliffside because tourists... well... we were there 45min and I saw about 5 people doing stuff on one of the formations that was extremely questionable lol.
We stopped for lunch in Hellnar... the food looked good but I categorically refuse to spend ~$31 Canadian on a bowl of soup. We ended up just getting sandwiches because no lol. There was a cute church nearby too - I love that they have the red roof. We also drove by this mountain and these black houses which apparently are something like meditation houses..? There's something about the area/mountain that draws people here to meditate, apparently.
Next was a "black sand beach" at Djupalonssandur which really wasn't black sand, ahem. (Not like near Vik, at least) It was still a neat stop though because you're walking down this path with giant rock/lava formations all around you and then the "beach" (giant pebbles) has all these scrap pieces of boat littered all around the place. Down by the water there was a giant sign warning about the potential risk of sneaker waves... yet a bunch of tourists (WITH THEIR YOUNG CHILDREN) are playing right near the water. You're asking for it... when those sneakers come in they can literally be deadly and there is no warning.
Next stop was a giant crater (Saxholl) we could climb
and walk around the top. By giant I mean about ~220 steps to climb up lol. Clearly had to stop for some photos on the way up haha. It's a nice view up there though - you see the lava fields all around you, plus you get to see the crater of course.
Last main stop was near Kirkjufell, apparently the most photographed mountain here in Iceland. It is a striking mountain with a unique enough shape. After that we drove another ~10min or so and stopped at this other gorgeous look out into the valley with lakes and mountains around us. Always have to love the landscapes here 😊
Back in Reykjavik (around 7pm) we went to get some soup in a bread bowl (at Svarta Kaffid, soooo good) and that's that!
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