Iceland/Greenland 2018 travel blog

Gray seal and eiders

Larry and the "village" of Arnarstapi

Sea arch and window

Shirley and stone giant

Rhubarb tart and rhubarb crepes

Snow on hills and vegetation just beginning to turn green--no trees

Waterfall (that's Larry on the far side)

Snaefells Mountain, clear sky

Mountains with snow and clouds

Up early, ate breakfast and caught our tour bus for a tour of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, to the northwest of Reykjavik. It was a really good tour. Our driver/guide was Pieter.

Our first stop was at a beach where we saw gray seals, eider ducks, and arctic terns.

Our next stop was at Arnarstapi, where we walked along the tops of coastal cliffs of columnar basalt, with nesting colonies of kittiwakes and other birds. We saw a natural stone arch and window and a statue of a giant. This was also our lunch stop—we bought dessert—rhubarb crepes and a rhubarb tart. (Iceland imports a lot of its food; back at the hostel we had some nice blueberries – from Spain.)

At another stop we walked through lava stacks to a black sand beach where there were 4 large stones that fishermen used to gauge their strength. When you could lift the largest one, you could get a job on a fishing trawler. Since neither Larry nor I were looking for a job, neither one of us tried a lift. Another beach had the remains of a British trawler, the Grimsby, that ran aground there in 1948. Many of the Arctic plants were very small and flat to the ground.

Most of the day we had a low cloud ceiling that obscured the tops of the mountains around us. When we got to the end of the peninsula in the mid afternoon, however, the clouds cleared and we could see the mountain and glacier Snaefellsjokull. It seemed to still be early spring there—lots of snow patches on the hills, and the vegetation hadn’t turned green in many places. The lack of trees is notable throughout Iceland.

On the way back, we stopped for a couple of waterfalls. Both of us got in our 10,000 steps!

We got back to the hostel about 8 pm, went over to the supermarket to pick up a few breakfast things, and then had pizza and beer at the hostel. Later, in the shared kitchen, we got into a conversation with a 20-year-old trans man from the Netherlands and a middle-aged American woman who has lived in many places. It was quite interesting, and we didn’t get to bed until after midnight, again exhausted. But I lay awake for another couple of hours. Jet lag, I guess.

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