Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Snæfellnes

Exploring the Snæfellnes peninsula today, although Snæfellsjökur itself stayed stubbornly hidden by clouds all day. The landscape feels like a younger version of Scotland (but with the addition of lava fields); the weather certainly feels similar to Scottish weather.

We started with a quick visit to a narrow gorge at Rauðfeldargia.

Stream,_canyon_@_Raudfeldargia,_Iceland.jpg

Next was a walk along the sea cliffs from Arnastapi to Hellnar, with various blow-holes along the way.

Harbour,_house_@_Arnastapi,_Iceland.jpg Bay,_sea_@_Arnastapi,_Iceland_4.jpg Rocks,_bay,_sea_@_Arnastapi,_Iceland.jpg

A little further around the coast are the Þúfubjarg cliffs (where legend has it that a poet won a rhyming competition with the devil).

Cliffs_@_Thufubjarg,_Iceland.jpg

On to Djúpalónssandur (with the remains of a wrecked ship, originally from Grimsby, strewn around the beach) and from there to the ruins of an old village at Dritvík (in the driving rain).

Beach,_shipwreck_@_Djupalonssandur,_Iceland.jpg Beach,_stones_@_Djupalonssandur,_Iceland_2.jpg

Finally, round the coast road to Ólafsvík, and then over the mountain road to a soak in an hot swimming pool at Lýsuhóll.


Reading the guidebook, I came across what has to be the earliest recorded instance of marketing:

The country which is called Greenland was discovered and settled from Iceland. Eirík the Red was the name of a man from Breiðafjörður who went out there and took possession of land in the place which has since been called Eiríksfjörður. He named the country Greenland and said it would make people want to go there if the country had a good name.

  (From Book of the Icelanders by Ari the Learned)

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