Iceland 2016: Through Thick and Thin

2 07 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

With a ferry ride scheduled for 1500 (3:00 PM for us non-military types), we have the whole morning ahead of us.  We decide to pack inside one car and head back down the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.  Alas, the weather has decided to test our resolve.  Spitting rain and gusty winds soon have us drenched and cold.  Still we push on, checking out the sights around the peninsula, not willing to miss one scenic overlook, one cliff, one rock formation.

We go to Arnarstapi, pushing through to see the rock statue of the troll Bárðar Snæfellsáss (he wasn’t in the canyon after all!).  Through the rain and mist we see the rock arches carved by the endless waves.

 

5-26-16 Arnarstapi Bárðar  Snæfellsáss

Out of the rain, under the troll

5-26-16 Arnarstapi (3)

Nancy bravely pushes on

5-26-16 Arnarstapi (8)

And we discover the scene of a bird murder, a kittiwake killed most likely by an arctic fox, one of which we see scampering across the road ahead of us as we make our way back up the peninsula.

5-26-16 Arnarstapi kittywake murder

From the road, we spot the shell of a house by the sea and so we explore it, wondering who lived there and why they left.  And why a solitary sheep stands guard.

 

5-26-16 house

We climb Saxhóll, a crater left by a volcano some 3-4,000 years ago.

5-26-16 Saxhóll (2)5-26-16 Saxhóll

 

 

 

And we stop at another waterfall, because even though we are wet, cold, and cramped inside the car, we are in Iceland and I for one don’t want to miss a thing.  Although I hope for Nancy’s sake that the rain ends soon.

5-26-16 waterfall (2)

We head back to Stykkishólmur to board the Baldur ferry that will take us to Vestfjarðarkjálkinn across the vast bay of Breiðafjörður.

5-26-16 Baldur ferry at Stykkishólmur

And I discover that reading aboard a boat that is pitching and tossing in the swells is not easy on my stomach, so I slip out to the deck and breathe in the bracing wind as I search the horizon for land.

5-26-16 Baldur ferry (9)

We stop at Flatey, an island with a winter population of only five.  Only two kilometers wide and one kilometer long, Flatey is aptly named, meaning “flat island” in Icelandic.  (For a language as difficult as Icelandic, some words are easy enough.)

5-26-16 Baldur ferry at Flatey (2)

Flat Flatey

5-26-16 Baldur ferry (1)

Two-fifths of Flatey’s winter population?

By the time we disembark at the West Fjords, it’s getting late, so only a few more stops at waterfalls before reaching our destination, the Fosshotel Vestfirðir at Patreksfjörður.

5-26-16 waterfall (5)

 

Still, Brian and I find time in the evening for a stroll through town.  What must it be like to live here year round?

5-26-16 Patreksfjörður (1)

Hotel room

5-26-16 Patreksfjörður (3)

 

5-26-16 Patreksfjörður (4)

Playground

5-26-16 Patreksfjörður (2)

City Hall

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