The final day of Svava and Jona’s road trip round the Snaefellsnes peninsula
Once just a typical Icelandic fishing village, Stykkisholmur is one of the most popular destinations to visit in Iceland and we're spending the fourth and final day of our road trip here.
A ‘must-do’ here is the boat trip on the Breidafjordur fjord. We weave around many tiny islands (nearly 3,000 in total) which are a real hot-spot for nesting birds. Now, I had never thought of myself as a twitcher, but it’s really exciting, with over half of Iceland’s birds living in this region, the big favourite being the very cute (if somewhat ungainly in flight) puffin. Another highlight of the boat trip is a trawl from the sea-bed, this really is a unique experience, standing on deck eating fresh scallops, (I didn’t fancy the urchins), sushi style!.
Back on dry land we are spoilt for choice with things to do: a volcano museum, library of glacial water, craft shops, pottery studios, golf range, city-hike along the harbour island above basalt cliffs, outdoor pool, church, lighthouse, Norweigan House cultural museum and great cafes and restaurants.
But what really makes this town are the immaculately-maintained traditional buildings, each painted a different bright colour; it feels like a period set. As we wander around the quaint shops and houses, with the back-drop of snow-capped mountains, shimmering harbor and bay of many islands, it occurs to me this would make a great film location. It seems someone else had the same idea, with Stykkisholmur featuring heavily in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
Homeward bound, only a couple of hours' drive and after four days I’m trusted to drive us back to the capital. Reykjavik is one of the world’s smallest capital cities with a population of around 120,000; it has a very ‘villagey’ feel. Drawing closer to the city (albeit a tiny, laid-back, easy, hip city which I love), I begin to get nostalgic for the great wild countryside, its dramatic panoramas and huge skies. I suppose its all relative!
In town, there are lots of cousins to meet and catch up with and as it's the 17th June, it’s the great annual day of celebration throughout Iceland, Independence Day. It’s a very relaxed affair with street parades, family entertainment, balloons, candy-floss, free concerts and performances. Being this close to midsummer, the celebrations inevitably extend long into the small hours. What a great way to end our little 4-day excursion, seems like everyone else in Reykjavik is relaxing and celebrating with us.
Takk mamma/Thanks Mum!