It was hard to believe, when I woke up this morning, that it was still August out! It definitely feels like late fall here, and by the work the farmers seem to be doing in the fields, I am sure that winter is on its way! I plan on having some heat in Edmonton next week, so it had better not get any ideas from Iceland!
We decided to skip breakfast this morning because we were both still full from out awesome seafood last night. Instead, we packed up and headed up the Snaefellsjokull glacier on the F570 road – have to make sure our rental car (that is insured for those F-roads gets well used!). The road wasn’t nearly as awful as our trusty little book suggested it would be. The unfortunate thing was that the wind was blowing so hard and the fog was so thick, that even at the top of the road we weren’t really able to see the glacier! We could see little bits of it that came down lower, and we got out of the car to walk a bit on the glacier (bragging rights, of course!), but there was no view at all, which was disappointing!
On the way back down, we stopped at a location called Songhellir, or “song cave”. The cave has a small entrance, but is a huge dome inside with remarkable acoustics inside. There were engravings on the walls that dated back to the 1800s and the location was said to be used in the Saga age by Bardur Snaefellsas. It was neat to see, but was a tad creepy with all the fog around today.
From the base of the glacier, we backtracked a bit in order to see the Dritvik area. The car turn off wasn’t marked, but a hiking trail was, so off on
our feet we went. The footing here is definitely not superb, so we picked our way on the lava-moss trail for almost an hour before we reached the coast. The little bay was beautiful, and it was easy to picture how over 200 men worked in the area with about 60 fishing boats all summer. Glad I wasn’t the one doing the fishing, but it was beautiful to see with the waves, beach, and green cliffs!
Because our walk out to the water was rather unpleasant because of the lava rock everywhere, we followed another couple to a beach, and eventually car park – and walked back on the road! Kind of cheating, but we had the chance to see some other sights as well, so it was worth it! We saw the beach at Djupalon where four boulders are present. They were used to test the strength of the fishermen and weigh 155Kg (Fullsterkur – Full strength), 140Kg (Halfsterkur – Strong enough), 49Kg (Halfdraettingur – Half strength), and 23Kg (Amlodi – weakling). Lifting at least the second heaviest was a requirement for the fishermen from Dritvik. Darren was able to lift all of them at once; my hero. Also on this beach were the remnants of a steel ship. The ship was from the 1940s and was caught in a horrible storm where only 5 of the 19 crew survived. The washed up pieces from the boat remain on the beach as a sort of memorial to this disaster.
After our mistake-hike, we headed off to Malarrif where there are two huge stone pillars. The larger is called the “Christian pillar” and the smaller the “Heathen pillar”. There is said to be a story with the devil in regards to the pillars, but I actually don’t remember! Regardless, the pillars were cool and the views of the cliffs and rock were breathtaking!
It was then off to the town of Hellnar. There is a really cool cave/hole in the wall on the beach here where the light plays tricks on your eyes (it looked as though there was water in the bottom of the cave when we looked from up on the hill, however, once down at sea level, it was obvious that the tide was not yet in, and the water was much lower than what was previously thought!). The rock formations here were really cool – layer upon layer of rock from the ground up to the top of the cave and arch! Beautiful view, yet again. Darren and I stopped for a hot chocolate (the most expensive one I think I’ve ever had in my life…this trip is breakin
g all sorts of records!) at the little hut on the beach because the view was so spectacular. Most expensive hot chocolate, perhaps, but also the best view drinking hot chocolate as well! Definitely worth while!
The town of Arnarstapi was a quick stop. There is a rock formation of a fisherman that sits on the edge of the cliffs overlooking the ocean. The statue is of the Deity of Mt. Snaefell, Bardur Snaefellsas. In the saga, it is said that he was a descendent of giants and men. Later in his life, he became more giant-like and disappeared into the Snaefell mountain. However, he didn’t really disappear because he became part of the mountain. The artists who made this made it in honour of a 19 year old that lost his life on the mountain in 1928.
Our last stop of the day was to a little farm called Olkelda, or “Ale Spring”. The water that comes out of the ground here is natural mineral water (it tastes exactly like club soda!)! Kind of cool. We were a tad disappointed, however, because we thought it was going to be a naturally carbonated HOT spring instead of a cold spring! Oh well!!
We made it into Borgarnes where we had no problem finding the camp site. We then went and found the pool and had a nice leisurely time there in there several different hot tubs! I now want a lane pool like this at home, however; at the end of the 25m, there was a view of the ocean…I could go for that!
It was slightly drizzly out, so we made Canada meets Japan (ichiban noodles, chicken noodle soup mix, and bacon) and ate it in the tent while playing cards! All in all, a lovely evening!