Day 13 – The final countdown

  • Post by Daniele & Ira
  • Jul 17, 2018
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Yesterday was basically the final day of Iceland exploration. We woke up in our warm room of the guesthouse we booked the day before. The weather was surprisingly nice, so we had our included breakfast and we loaded back all the stuff in the van. We had a long day in front of us, since we wanted to explore the whole Snaefellsnes peninsula. img We had to drive back for a while from Olafsvik to reach one of the most photographed places in Iceland: Kirkjufell. This mountain has a very particular shape and is surrounded by waterfalls and green valleys. img The road to reach it appears in the “Secret life of Walter Mittty” movie and it is obscenely scenic. We were in good company when we stopped to snap some pictures, but we found a spot where there were just two more people except us, so it went quite fine. The official parking for this attraction is on the other side of the road, where other mountains stand, probably some tourists would not even look at the correct mountain, which is a plus. img Once we were satisfied with our pictures, we drove to a remote waterfall, Svodufoss, which is visible only by far. Here we were literally the only ones where we arrived, so we made some pictures, but the sun was shining fully and it was quite hard to get a good picture. We will see if we managed once back in Tallinn. After this beautiful but far waterfall, we continued on our way until we reached a little lonely church which is reachable through a road full of purple flowers. img

The road was really beautiful but sadly the church was closed. Here it was supposed to be a painting of Christopher Colombus which apparently arrived in Iceland before discovering America. img

We entertained for a while with a horse nearby and jumped back in the van. We kept going on our way until we reached the Snaefellsjokull National Park. The park starts with a huge lava field, all covered in yellow moss. A very short drive from the entrance of the park, we climbed the Saxholl Crater. img

This is a very old volcano that erupted thousands of years ago, and now just the caldera is left. To reach the top there are a lot of steps, and from the top you have a wonderful panorama on the park and also you can look directly inside the crater, which is now full of moss as well. img

Once we got down we kept going until we reached the Djupalon Beach, a very popular black sand beach. Before reaching it through the road, we followed a traffic signal and we parked at the beginning of a 4Km hike to reach it through lava fields. img We walked on this trail for just 15min, since we did not have time for the 2h which it requires. The walk is indeed beautiful since you literally walk all the way on and between these black rocks on a tiny path. Once we went back and drove the beach, we found tons of buses with people of all ages going there as well. img We understood the reason once we saw the beach. This is completely full of dark stones and a deep blue ocean water. The ocean is quite heavy and it is beautiful to see the waves crushing on the black rocks, making a beautiful contrast. It was so beautiful that Daniele went all the way back to the car to take tripod and filters that he left there to take proper pictures of the beautiful beach.
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On the ‘sand’ there are also a lot of remains of a British ship which sank nearby and whose pieces have been washed ashore. At this point we were really hungry and we looked for a place to cook our wonderful gourmet meal. We went to a visitor center few Kilometers down the road for this, and here the short path to the Malarrif lighthouse started as well, so it didn’t cause a detour for us. img After lunch we visited this simple rocket shape lighthouse in which pieces of art from a local artist are also in exposition. We were welcomed here by a very warm and extrovert lady who invited us to sign the guestbook while she was singing opera music.
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The lighthouse was simple so it did not take much for us to be back in the van to reach Thufubjarg bird cliffs few Kilometers away. The view from here was really beautiful and there were a lot of people birdwatching, since the whole cliff is a nesting place for seagulls and who knows how many other kinds of birds. The part that interested us however was the view of the black rocks on which the ocean crushes and of course the cliff itself. img

This was not a really stunning place considered the rest we have visited in Iceland, although would be definitely a landmark if it was in Estonia 😀 . The next and last attraction for the day was the Raudfeldsgja canyon. It took around half an hour to reach it and 10 minutes walk. img

The canyon itself is nice, it gets narrow quite fast and looks more like a crack in the rock. To visit it you need to walk on the stones that emerge from a river, although the biggest risk is to get wet of freezing water, since the river is quite low. img This canyon was not really incredible, again considering the rest of Iceland, and with it we called it a day and started looking for a campsite. We drove in direction of Reykjavik, which is what we will visit today, until we looked for a decent campsite. We ended up 15Km from Reykjavik, in a very nice camping with lots of gardens, plants, flowers, greenhouses and chickens. It looks like this is managed by some hippie, the camp is very cute and with a friendly atmosphere. Its best feature though is the table of leftovers, where you can leave and grab stuff you are not going to use. We left some of the food we were not going to eat that we bought, and we had noodles that someones else left (thank you stranger). After dinner, we retired in our van and we went to sleep. Today we are going to visit only the Capital since the last attraction we wanted to see (the tallest waterfall in Iceland) requires a 2hours hike on a rough terrain which we do not have the time for, and we were not prepared to undertake, so with yesterday we concluded our “adventurous” side of Icelandic exploration and now we will slowly and sadly go back to the city life. We hope to meet you soon with the tale of our last day here and the conclusions from our trip. Have a nice day! img