To me, the Snæfellnes Peninsula on the west coast of Iceland felt like the set for a post-apocalyptic western movie. Vast open plains in rich browns and reds dotted with mountains dusted with snow, that from a distance resembled Viennetta ice cream. A robot on a horse with a rifle slung across his back could’ve cantered past me and I wouldn’t have thought it looked out of place at all…
Our party of four arrived on the peninsula mid afternoon and were immediately struck by the quiet isolation of this part of Iceland. While the country isn’t particularly busy with tourists in early November, Snæfellnes felt truly remote.
The Gerduberg basalt columns weren’t far from where we were staying on the peninsula and were our first sight-seeing stop. Impressive in the winter sun, they look like they’ve been hand carved by a giant stonemason.
Not far from the columns is the Landbrotalaug hot spring. It’s quite close to the main road, but once you’re there, civilisation seems a million miles away. It was frigid when we took a look around, and although it would’ve been tempting to jump into the steaming water, the chilly (and quite challenging) scamper back to the car put us off stripping off!
That night while the rest of snuggled into warm beds in our accommodation for the night, Adam rugged up and headed outside after getting an alert about the possibility of northern lights (again!) He was treated to absolutely amazing show and I’m a little disappointed I couldn’t muster the energy to head out with him. The lack of light pollution meant the aurora was strong, clear and vivid. He took some amazing pictures and the next morning you couldn’t wipe the grin off his face!
We’d planned to spend a morning at the very tip of Snæfellnes, exploring the rugged coastline. Unfortunately as we made our way west a huge snow storm blew in leaving us in a white out. The snow was falling heavily and quickly and we made the decision to bail on our plans. It all could’ve blown over relatively quickly, but we didn’t want to take the risk and end up being isolated (especially as we were flying back to the U.K. the following morning). It was disappointing but watching the storm move across the countryside was amazing.
Instead we made our way back towards Borgarnes, stopping to climb the Eldborg Crater. I’m not the greatest with heights, so I must admit walking around the rim of a volcanic crater made me slightly nervous, but the views from the top were worth the butterflies in my tummy.
Our final afternoon in Iceland was spent wandering around the capital, Reykjavík. A charming city of just over 120,000 people. The CBD is compact, easily navigated by foot and had some of the most beautiful shop fronts I’ve ever seen. In retrospect, it might have been nice to spend a bit more time exploring Reykjavík.
Iceland completely blew my mind. It’s a beautifully, haunting place. The landscapes are so vast, it’s overwhelming at times. I really feel like our week only just scratched the surface of what there is to experience. Adam and I have already briefly talked about returning at some stage, probably in the summer, so we can explore the island’s interior wilderness. If you get the opportunity, go! It’s a country quite unlike anywhere else I’ve visited and it left me wonderfully awe-inspired, like a child seeing something for the first time.: a sensation I’d like to keep experiencing, no matter how old I get.
Have a wonderful weekend. x