Iceland – Day 4-5

Day 5 (June 25)

Click here for
the Google Map (then zoom out, and click on "Hybrid" in the upper
right, Google Maps lacks data for much of Iceland)

Sleep does not come until late in the evening.  Between time zone
shifts, and latitude drifts north, there is no darkness, time is an
improbable measurement.  So I get what I can, and try to hold on the
rest of the time to a schedule.

We head north again, to Stykkishólmur, on the north coast of the Snæfellsnes
Peninsula (do ask for pronunciations when I return).  This was where I
took my first 360 degree cubic VR of the trip, and was the site of my
first disappointment.  R20070623181256854
I had not realized until this morning, how vast Iceland is in fact.  I
wanted to go to the western fjords, but alas this was a trip that would
require another week to accomplish.  Stykkishólmur
is where one can take a ferry to the fjords and bypass many rough
roads, a ferry I will take on another trip.  We checked in early at our
new inn, but decided to have dinner nearby early as well since lunch
eluded us.  Freed of dinner and accommodation issues, we went east and
north to the Vatnsnes peninsula, to circle it before midnight in the
great light of the day.  R200706251846191087
We passed through Osar on a great alluvial plain on the east side of
the Vatnsnes peninsula.  The wind was roaring from the north but we
managed a few shots of the large bay between Blönduós and the Vatnsnes peninsula.

Good fortune was upon us stumbling into the path horseback riders
herding 100 Icelandic horses down a rural road.  We followed slowly for
half an hour.  Stopping and starting as they did on the road. R200706252026361140edit
Then, after speaking to some of the participants at the rear, we were
informed that they were on day five of their trail ride.  We were
allowed to pass, so we could photograph then from in front.  R200706252026441143editIt
was all about the light, and that was just about perfect at 4 p.m.
These are beautiful horses.  Unlike other horses of the world the
Icelandic breed have another gait that they can execute and it’s as
smooth and fluid as the Icelandic tongue.

We stayed the night at the head of Hrútafjörður fjord on the north
coast of Iceland.  Returning late, almost to the hotel, I looked across
the fjord to see the "earth glow" from the late evening sun off the low

Day 4 (June 24)

Click here for the Google Map (then zoom out, and click on "Hybrid" in the upper right, Google Maps lacks data for much of Iceland).

I’ll get in the swing of things here soon I am sure.  Like the first time I heard  "Icelandic" spoken on the airplane, it was a shock at first, but then it comes to sound  like the flow of a babbling brook, smooth and continuous.  I should speak so well, let  alone write.  I have so many images I am working on simultaneously that it is hard to let  go of the fact that I will not get to finish all of them in the space and time I have, I should just close this box and keep shooting.  R20070624115050904
Which I will do in a moment… but I had to  show my girlfriend of yesterday (I type this on the beginning of day 5).  She was  somewhat short, but lovely, and had an eye for me, as I did for her.

We headed further west out the Snaefellsnes Peninsula towards the entrance to the center of the earth in the Snaefellsjoekull volcano (see:  Jules Verne, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH). 

We stopped at a black church in Búðir. N64° 49′ 18.92", W23° 23′ 5.89" exactly, all of these images are "geotagged".  First constructed on this site in 1703, and again in 1850.  This apparently is a modern day replica of the 1850 church.  R20070624133720940_709939_655938
Few churches on Iceland have such a stunning location.  The photo of Steve (upper left) in the car, is the parking lot of the church.  A group of "birders" were there in the parking lot too, on tour with multiple spotting scopes.  One showed me a Ptarmigan which was nesting on a chunk of lava.

R20070624112542891_2 There were several farms/homes that appeared to be built next to other entrances to the underworld as well. 
The rumbling earth must give them pause for a whole new appreciation of life in their home!  The one on the right looked like they had built next to the entrance to hell.

R200706241854321032_2The road is long and winding in places, varying from good to very bad. It seems to constantly flow between clouds and the sea.  This was a particularly good stretch of road pavement as well.

R20070624152108975Along the way we stopped at Anarstapi for a dramatic walk along the cliffs of extruded volcanic rock now graced with black sand beaches… then on to Hellnar for lunch in a spectacular setting above the sea and below Snæfellsjökull volcano.  AmarstapiThe Fjöruhúsið Café on the water (right image) is highly recommended.  I wish that we’d had the time to hike along the coastal trail back to Búðir.

Some of the cliffs seem to form a strange face, frozen in geologic time.  R20070624152347978_2We circled the volcano along a rough dirt & gravel road, passing a bicyclist, who walking with her panier-laden conveyance, had written all over her face, "what have I gotten myself into now."


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