Day 3 of Svava and Jona’s road trip round the Snaefellsnes peninsula
After a good night’s sleep (only possible in the constant daylight thanks to the hotel’s blackout curtains) we eat a hearty breakfast and head out again. Today, we’re going up onto the Snaefellsjokull glacier. Jules Verne set his novel ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ at the volcano’s crater and we are going over the top of it.
Mum enjoys the challenge of negotiating the narrow, un-tarmacked track that twists its way higher and higher. Luckily there is virtually no other traffic so her path is clear, with only the occasional skid caused by the loose lava stones! It’s an adventure exploring Iceland, with the potential for danger always around the corner.
The Snaefellsjokull peak is a constant dominating feature of the whole region, but with the steep climb, the distinct three-pronged snow summit becomes elusive; it is closer than ever, but constantly disappearing from view. There are lots of stories connected to this glacier; a meeting place for extra-terrestrials, the home of a half-man half-troll creature, magnetic energies and one of the seven energy centres (chakras) of the world. Today, the views behind us out to the coast and of the snow peak are spectacular, but even when they’re covered in mist, there is something mystical about this place. Finally, we reach the summit and make our descent, I am not sure what is scarier, charging up or careering down this mountain, but better not upset the driver!
We move on today, rounding the head of the peninsula and continuing our drive along the northern coastal road. There is a dramatic change from sun and clear blue skies to thick wet mists as we reach Djúpalónssandur beach, an awesome lava wonderland, which is said to be haunted. The iron remains of a British trawler, shipwrecked here in 1948, are still spread across the black lava beach.
The weather brightens as we have our picnic lunch in Grundarfjörður in front of the breathtakingly beautiful Kikjufell mountain and we set off again for an amazing drive through the Berserkjahraun lava field, which of course has its own bloody Viking Saga attached to it.
We turn off the main road and stop at Bjarnarhofn Shark Museum. Hildibrandur the elderly owner has been processing shark here for over 65 years. Mum and Hildibrandur are old friends; she has been bringing her groups to this remote spot for over 30 years now. The family business produces shark oil, which has healing properties for joints. It’s not for sale to the general public but, of course, Mum gets given a fresh supply to take with her.
Finally, we arrive in the picturesque fishing town of Stykkisholmur where we’re spending the night and round off our day with dinner of locally-caught fish in hotel restaurant.