Iceland 2021 trip - Part 1: Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 1 (July 24, 2021): Keflavik Airport to Grundarfjörður (Day's driving distance: 241.4 km)
We were back in Iceland! We arrived at Keflavik Airport in the morning -- but it was raining. After picking up our rental car, we headed toward the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. But first, we stopped in Borgarnes, a small peninsula jutting out to the fjord of Borgarfjörður, and conveniently just off Route 1, the Ring Road.
(Click on each image to see the high-resolution version)
It was quite cloudy and dreary. We turned our attention to the little things such as this colorful mushroom.
As we turned to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, we made a stop at Gerðuberg Cliffs, the fortress-like, kilometer-long cliff of basalt columns. The dreary weather made these rock walls even more ominous.
There were many Whimbrels nesting in the fields below the cliff, and their whisling calls cheered us up somewhat on this gray day.
We made our way to the peninsula and our destination in Grundarfjörður. Fortunately, the weather relented a little bit when we went to Kirkjufell, and I managed to take a few pictures of it partially lit by the sun. Two years ago, I almost took the same pictures here.
Day 2 (July 25, 2021): Snæfellsnes Peninsula (Day's driving distance: 137.9 km, Total trip distance: 379.3km)
The next day weather turned from bad to worse -- howling winds and slanting rains. We stopped at the fishing village of Hellissandur where there were some colorful murals. In the incessant rain we got out of our car and snapped a few pictures.
It was not until we reached Djupalonssandur Beach (Black Lava Pearl Beach) at the southwestern tip of the peninsula did we finally see a little break in the clouds (thanks to the prominent position of the cape where the beach is). This is a place that we visited two years ago and we were glad to be back.
Djupalonssandur Beach (Elf-church Söngklettur or the Singing Rock)
Rock Arch (Gatklettur Rock)
But as soon as we left the beach, the sky closed up again. At Londrangar, the sky and sea resumed their ominous look.
But one thing about rainy days is that sometimes you get to see rainbows. As we headed back to our guesthouse in Grundarfjörður, we caught glimpse of one near Kirkjufell.
Calling it in early, we enjoyed drinks and a great dinner with Icelandic lamb steak and local seafood at Bjargarsteinn Mathús which I already gave a highly positive review in 2019.
Dinner with Icelandic lamb steak
Day 3 (July 26, 2021): Snæfellsnes Peninsula to the Westfjords (Day's driving distance: 107.2 km, Total trip distance: 486.5 km)
Too bad our time on Snæfellsnes Peninsula came to an end like this -- our stay was mostly stymied by the bad weather. Now we had to head to Stykkishólmur to catch the ferry to the Westfjords. Before we pulled into town, we made a visit to the elegant Stykkishólmskirkja or Church of Stykkishólmur.
We had some time before the departure of our ferry, so we walked to the Súgandisey, the island that stands prominent by the harbor. On top of the island stands a lighthouse, which the sun occasionally illuminated.
Sugandisey Island Lighthouse
A look back at the harbor (our ferry ship is to the right, you can see just a bit of its top), and we were ready to leave the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, but our journey in Iceland had only just begun (we still had two weeks to go at this point).