Well, in the wee hours of the morning I made it to Iceland safe and sound yesterday. I plan on being here for 4 days, 3 of which I decided to spend about 5 hours (Google Maps lied and said 3 hours) north of Reykjavik on the Snaelfellsnes Peninsula…a decision that I am hoping doesn’t bite me in the ass when I need to head back. Being winter, my tiny KIA rental car comes complete with tiny snow tires, a necessity since the long drive from the airport took me through all sorts of terrifying winter driving conditions.
I had hoped for better weather but didn’t set my expectations too high. I knew it could be any combination of icy, rainy, windy, snowy….but this is Iceland and it is frequently all of the above. This morning the weather had promise to be tolerable for exploring the area but took a turn and I can hear the tempest scratching at the window…
I had researched the beaches around here beforehand hoping to find a few to comb. While there are many here, the sparse population is not big enough to generate much glass waste so I didn’t expect to find any. As it turns out I found a well rounded handful on the icy beach closest to my room!
Despite driving across Iceland for 8 hours yesterday I did not get to see much of the landscape due to the low clouds. I could see the foundations of some seemingly spectacular rock formations and a few waterfalls, but for the most part the ceiling was too low. From what I can tell this is a very stark landscape, I don’t recall seeing a single tree on the drive north that wasn’t intentionally planted in someone’s yard.
I have to mention that I find it hysterical that all the way out in the remote village of Olafsvik, my room is furnished almost exclusively with IKEA stuff – lamps, bedding, kitchen, fixtures, bath, rugs….all of it! I got to the village early and drove around noticing how many windows were open….odd since it was a blustery day (as are most days here I’m guessing). It turns out their homes are geothermically heated, which is abundant on this volcanic island.
This time of year here the sun rises around 11:30 am. It is one thing to have to get up before daylight to go to work, but to sleep in and then get up in the dark and wait hours until daylight is a very strange feeling. As I sit here now waiting for the first glimmer of dawn….it’s 10:15am and the sky is still pitch black!