We started the day with coffee & pastries from Reykjavik Roasters & pastries for the road from Brauð & Co., which were delicious, then headed north to the Snæfellsness Peninsula. Scenery was beautify as we drove – snow topped mountains to one side and water to the other, more moss covered lava fields, and farms with horses and sheep.
Our first stop was Gerðuberg Cliffs, formed similarly to those at Giant’s Causeway in Ireland. It was crazy windy there, but we climbed up the very sketchy path to the top and back down. Our next stop was Ytri Tunga Seal Beach, which is one of very few white sand beaches in Iceland. There were no seals, but we did see a coast guard ship off the coast and some replica whale bones.
We drove a bit further down the peninsula and stopped at Bjarnarfoss, a waterfall where we walked partway up the cliff for a better viewpoint. Looking toward the sea, we spotted our next stop, the Búðakirkja Black Church, one of the only black churches in the country, with the rest all white, often with a red roof. We stopped for lunch at Arnastapi – soup & fish & chips.
We walked to the coastal cliffs past the Bárðar Saga Snæfellsáss Statue but it was getting late and so windy that we didn’t want to walk them. We drove to the end of the peninsula, past the Lóndrangar Cliffs, to Djupalonssandur Black Beach, the first black “sand” beach of the trip, though it was more pebble like then sand to me.
There are bits of shipwreck on the beach from The Epine GY7 fishing boat that sank in 1948. As well as stone that traditionally were used by fisherman to prove they have the strength to go out on the boats. I was able to lift the 150lb stone and Jeanette tried but failed. Casey and Kat did not give the rocks a try.
We caught glimpses of the Snæfellsjökull glacier through the clouds, where the entrance to the center of the earth was located. There were very high winds all day and it was raining off and on, though luckily the rain hit as we were driving. Unluckily the Duster only had one working windshield wiper, in front of the driver.
We crossed the mountains to our guesthouse on the northern coast. Stykkishólmur, the largest town on the peninsula, has a lighthouse & ferry across to the West Fjords, but only a few restaurants – 3 were open, 2 of which were booked until late with reservations, so we ate burgers for dinner at the gas station. With all the rain, it was too cloudy to see the Northern Lights (a common problem throughout the trip) and we headed to bed early.