The Peninsula Revealed

I just went to grab my tooth brush out of my pack and smelled something awful and fishy inside. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what it might be until I realized with horror that it’s the sweater I bought yesterday at the shark place. It smells like fermented shark! The horror. That’s going to have to go straight to the dry cleaners.

Moving on.

Today was lovely, despite being the first day I’ve actually seen rain. For one thing, I saw an arctic fox!! No iPhone picture of it–it was too fast, but I got one on my other camera. I had just read a little sign that said there were only three dens in the park so I figured I’d never see one and then there it was, running across the road in front of me!! Fantastic.

I was roaming around the Snaefellsnes peninsula today. There’s a national park at the tip of it and I spent most of the day scrambling around lava formations, looking for lava pearls down on the stony beaches, and walking the cliffs from one sight to another.


The sun would shine weakly for a few minutes, then the mist would be blown in and soak everything.

I was fascinated by some of the landscapes.

I also spent a good amount of time looking down, at the lava stones smoothed by the sea. These are lava pearls and I couldn’t resist collecting a few.


Usually, Adrian makes fun of me for collecting rocks everywhere I go. But this time that’s the only thing he wants me to bring home for him!

There were other, bigger, stones on the beach too.


These are the lifting stones. They were set out as a test for fishermen. The smallest weighs 23kg (50 pounds) and the largest 154kg (339 pounds). I’m not sure why there are five stones there now, since there were originally only four, but in order to qualify to be an oarsman at the fishing harbor, you had to be able to lift the next-to-heaviest stone.

I would not have been eligible.


This is the fishing harbor. At one point it had dozens of boats fishing out of it! It’s name, Dritvik, is rather unfortunate. It means Dung Bay.

The terrain was quite varied. Here’s a volcanic crater I scrambled to the lip of.


And this is a dead whale. There was a helpful sign at the trailhead, alerting motorists to the sight.


I thought it would be interesting to see a whale up close, but it was just kind of depressing. It’s clearly been there a while. I thought it was remarkable that it had no stench…until I walked downwind.

For all of yesterday afternoon, once I got off the car ferry from the Westfjords, and for all of this morning, the most striking and obvious feature of this region was obscured by low clouds. But just as I was leaving the park this afternoon for a long drive back north, I caught a glimpse of this.


The Snaefellsjokull glacier. Thought by some to be a place of powerful spiritual energy. And used by Jules Verne as the location where his adventurers entered the earth in order to journey to the center of it. I didn’t get any spiritual vibes, but it was pretty awe-inspiring to look at, even if I never saw it all free of clouds.

Okay. Bed. I’m in a hostel and don’t want to disturb my roommates too late.

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4 Responses to The Peninsula Revealed

  1. Jo Woolf says:

    Love the pebbles and the amazing rock formations!

  2. I also collect stones everywhere! :) Especially in Iceland! Beautiful pics btw!!

  3. Pingback: Fútbol y Fábrica | The Common Wanderer

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