Aladdin's GRAND TOUR OF ICELAND 2015 - Snæfellsnes Peninsula

03JUL: SNÆFELLSNES PENINSULA AND LAVA CAVE (190 km)

Day 3

This morning we are introduced to the Icelandic sagas in the settlement center in Borgarnes. The Snæfellsnes Peninsula “the peninsula of the snowy mountain” juts out from Iceland’s west coast, like a long arm with a clenched Map of Iceland - Grönlandsresorfist at its tip, and is in many ways a microcosm of the whole island. A rugged mountain chain runs its length, capped by the 1,446 meter Snæfellsjökull, a mystical coneshaped strato volcano.

We travel around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, through lava fields and along the ocean with many classic Icelandic photo opportunities. We visit the most popular sites at the national park where volcanic craters, lava flows, an ice cap, glaciated peaks, fjords, sandy beaches, and high cliffs shape its landscapes.

We follow the adventure of Jules Verne's classic science fiction novel about the journey to the center of the Earth. Do not miss your chance to go on your own trip to the interior of the Earth under the glacier Snæfellsjökull! This lava cave tour takes you 35 meters underground and about 200 meters into the lava cube called Vatnshellir. During the tour you reach two different sections of the cave by a long and narrow staircase. The upper section has great features and unique formations of lava statues curved on the sides of the lava tube.

In the lower part of the lava cave you experience total quietness and even total darkness when your guide switches of the light. The total duration of the lave cave tour is approximately one hour. Overnight in the Grundarfjörður area.
Grönlandsresor


Friday 3rd of July 2015 and I started the day with a mental note. Have breakfast earlier! Not good to drink a barrel of tea just before going on the bus taking off for a day long excursion. We boarded the bus quarter to ten and we were going to Borgarnes to visit a Viking museum.

Hamar Icelandair Hotels
Good morning view from my hotel room

We had had a very nice night at Hamar Icelandair Hotel. Nice pillows and a nice breakfast. The salmon, melted in my mouth, best smoked salmon ever? Maybe.

We arrived to the Settlement Centre in Borgarnes and we went in to the Settlement Centre Landnamssetur Island - The Settlement Centreexhibition (Landnamssetur Island). They had two exhibitions, one about the Landnamssetur Island - The Settlement Centrefirst settlers coming to Iceland and one about the Icelandic Sagas.

Read more about The Settlement Exhibition and the Egil Saga Exhibition on "Landnamssetur Island - The Settlement Centre's web page by clicking HERE

Both exhibitions were with a tape recorder and no text at the objects. And as I don't like to walk around with the headphones I just looked at the stuff and then I spent the time with our driver and guide outside the museum.

Our fellow passengers came out one by one and it looked like they were satisfied with the visit. We stepped in to the mini bus/ van. Our Guide counted us and all 10 of us were present and we left.

Landnamssetur Island - The Settlement Centre
Landnamssetur Island - The Settlement Centre

Landnamssetur Island - The Settlement Centre
Landnamssetur Island - The Settlement Centre

We are going to spend the day around Snæfellsjökull, the lava tube and some place on the beach. So it promise to be an exciting day full of adventures. We drove along the west coast of Iceland and the whole thing reminded me about a miniature railway landscape.

A landscape you build yourself so it should be as beautiful as possible and beautiful it was. We drove along the coast with the Atlantic Ocean on our left side and the mountains on our right side with waterfalls falling down from the mountains.

If I take pictures of every waterfall I would soon have millions of pictures. But we passed one waterfall and I asked the driver to stop. We turned off the road and we left the mini bus/ van.

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
I ask them to stop so we can take some pictures

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
I ask them to stop so we can take some pictures

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
I ask them to stop so we can take some pictures

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
I ask them to stop so we can take some pictures

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
I ask them to stop so we can take some pictures

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
We continue North on the Icelandic west coast

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
We make another photo stop on our way

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
We make another photo stop on our way

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
We make another photo stop on our way

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
We make another photo stop on our way

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
We make another photo stop on our way

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
We make another photo stop on our way

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
We make another photo stop on our way

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
We make another photo stop on our way

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
We make another photo stop on our way

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
We make another photo stop on our way

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
We make another photo stop on our way

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor
I also takes some pictures through the window

It was at least to say a gorgeous landscape we passed through. And you were never getting tired of it. I remember Las Vegas, coming in to the “indoor” Venice and I was very impressed.
Arnarstapi

or Stapi is a small fishing village at the foot of Mt. Stapafell between Hellnar village and Breiðavík farms on the southern side of Snæfellsnes, Iceland.

In Jules Verne's A Journey to the Center of the Earth, Stapi is the last stop on the route the protagonists take before they climb Snæfellsjökull and enter the interior of the planet though a tunnel in the crater.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Almost like I lost my foot hold, second time I saw it I was already bored. But this, you never get tired of it.

And look at the colours of the landscape, Iceland is full of a blue flower. I think it is called Alaska something. This blue with all the different colours on the lava and rocks makes it a very beautiful place. But as I said to one of my fellow passengers:
- Living here more than a day and you would be bored senseless!
Snjófell Restaurant
Time passed very quickly and we left the #574 road at Arnastapi for lunch. We passed the Snjófell Restaurant and there was a tourist bus parked outside and the place looked like it was full. So we continued 200 meters to the fishing harbour for Lunch at Snjófell Restaurant in Arnastapisome pictures.

We got out of the bus and I could not see any boats. I took a few steps forward the water front and I could see the fishing boats way below me.

It was a beautiful place and the columns if rocks were full of seagulls laying on eggs in their nests. We walked down to the bottom and over a ridge to a viewing platform. Time to go for lunch at Feroapjonustan Snjofell in Arnastapi and on our way up from the fishing harbour our Guide showed me a hole in top of one of the rock columns. He told me it would make a beautiful picture with the mountain through the hole. But taking pictures of the mountains behind through the very small hole wasn't any success

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Arnastapi
Stop for lunch in Arnastapi

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Arnastapi
Stop for lunch in Arnastapi

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Arnastapi
Stop for lunch in Arnastapi

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Arnastapi
Stop for lunch in Arnastapi

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Arnastapi
Stop for lunch in Arnastapi

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Arnastapi
Stop for lunch in Arnastapi

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Arnastapi
Stop for lunch in Arnastapi

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Arnastapi
Stop for lunch in Arnastapi

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Arnastapi
Stop for lunch in Arnastapi

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Arnastapi
Stop for lunch in Arnastapi

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Arnastapi
Stop for lunch in Arnastapi

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Arnastapi
Stop for lunch in Arnastapi

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Arnastapi
There is a hole in the rock

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Arnastapi
Well, not possible to see anything through the hole

We were soon at the Feroapjonustan Snjofell and the bus was still there, but they were about to leave the place. I ordered lamb chops as we had passed plenty lambs on our way coming here and I Lunch at Snjófell Restaurant in Arnastapiwant to support the local economy.

I also asked for a Rhubarb pie/ cake something. To serve Rhubarb pie/ cake in Sweden without vanilla sauce is like one of the Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stworst thing you can do and you will face several years in prison.

Obviously and sadly, they have a more medieval legislation here on Iceland and to serve rhubarb pie/ cake without the vanilla sauce is, well, no one cares. Or gives a shit as we say in
Snjófell Restaurant

Arnarstapi has a very unusal and picturesque restaurant built in the style of old turf farmsteads.

Arnarbær, with its twin roof rows, was completed in 1985. It is fully licensed and seats 55. In this traditional and friendly atmosphere, all kinds of food and drink are available for individuals and groups.

From Snjófell Restaurant's WEB PAGE
Skåne. I asked if they had vanilla ice cream and a microwave machine, but no. But they promised to give me whipped cream. And real whipped cream, no foocking Scooby Doo whipping from a spray can. They had whipping cream and I took my seat while waiting for my food.

We had a 30 minutes stop and 30 minutes passed and no sign off my food. 2 other passengers missed their food as well. We asked for our money back, but just as I was at the bar behind the other two they brought my lamb chops, covered in rosemary.

I had asked them if they had rosemary when I ordered the lamb chops, and obviously, they had rosemary. The best lamb chops I have ever had? Maybe, but I left what was supposed to be Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Snæfellsnes Peninsulapotatoes behind as it was French Fries. If it only say potatoes in the menu it is boiled potatoes. Never mind, I got my Rhubarb with whipped cream.

Well, a long story short, I was satisfied with the whipped cream the second time he was back. It was good, so imagine how good it would have been with proper vanilla sauce! We left Feroapjonustan Snjofell and Arnastapi behind bound for Vatnshellir, the lava tube or lava cave. This is the way the lava came up to the surface Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Snæfellsnes Peninsulathousands of years ago.

Lava is coming up from the earth through yes, ground. And when the lava stops the flow cuts and the lava goes back to the centre of the globe and leaving a tube behind. And we're going down in one of those tubes today.

We're passing Vatnshellir and there are plenty cars. So we make a quick change in our program, we go to see some black beach first and then we return to Vatnshellir. Here is another big hole in the rock and it would look nice with the glacier Snæfellsjökull in the hole.

Well, I was not too excited and when we arrived the glacier Snæfellsjökull was covered in clouds. But there was a lot of other beautiful things to take pictures of.

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Lava field - OJ OJ or AJ AJ is the name of this lava
after the sound you give off walking here barefoot - I think the name is from Hawaii

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Snæfellsnes Peninsula
They are busy with the hole in the rock

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Snæfellsnes Peninsula
They discover me

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Snæfellsnes Peninsula
They discover me

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Snæfellsnes Peninsula
They discover me

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Rusty remains of some old wreck left on the beach

We stayed for 45 minutes or so at the beach. Well, they were at the beach, I stayed on a Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellirviewing platform close to our mini bus/van.

We got on board the mini bus/ van and we returned to Vatnshellir and there will Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st hopefully be less people and cars so we can park our vehicle.

It was a few minutes’ drive to Vatnshellir and there was almost no space for us to park.

We got out on the road from the bus and as soon as one of the cars left our Driver parked the mini bus/ van on the parking lot. We had to wait before we could go down the lava cave as I think they are only allowing four groups at the time down in the cave at the same time.

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Rocks on the beach close to the Vatnshellir

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Rocks on the beach close to the Vatnshellir

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Rocks on the beach close to the Vatnshellir

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Soon time for us to go down

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Our “special” cave Guide giving us “special” instructions

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
A group comes up before we can go down

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
We can go down

And we need a “special” cave Guide to enter the Vatnshellir lava cave. We also needed a helmet and a hand torch. And of course special instructions before going down the spiral stairs to the first platform.

From there we will walk in to the top chamber and then we will walk down the other chamber and at the end of that chamber we go down the ladder to the bottom and then we're 35 meters underground. It was kind of cold down there and pitch dark, only light was from our torches. I had my camera set to ISO speed 10 000 and aiming was by chance.

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
They are down on the first platform

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
We go in to the first cave

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Dripstone or whatever they call it

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
I ask everyone to aim their torches up in the ceiling so I can get a picture

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
I ask everyone to aim their torches up in the ceiling so I can get a picture

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Our “special” cave guide tells us something

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
The ceiling

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Our “special” cave guide helps me with his power torch

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Coming out from the first cave

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Going down to the second cave

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Brown lava and that means that there have been much iron ore in the ground

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Not a precious stone, but a bacteria. They don't know what it is but it is not dangerous
Well, I would not have been Aladdin if I did NOT point out how strange that statement was
Everyone was laughing, but no answer

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Lava drippings hanging from the wall

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Lava have come up through a small hole under high pressure

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Lava have come up through a small hole under high pressure

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Different layer and thickness of the lava when going back in to the earth
Last and thinnest layer disappearing is the ground we're walking on

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Waiting for one group to leave before we can continue in to the middle of the earth
(All the way down to China?)

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
They are leaving and we can continue

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
There are one group in the bottom and I take a picture from the stairs

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
We're at the bottom of the cave and the other group can leave

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
The other group leaves up the stairs

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
The other group leaves up the stairs

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
We are as far in and down we can come

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Time to go up again

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellir
Almost up
Pictures by Aladdin
All pictures shot with ISO speed 10 000 and only light is the hand torches
Of course I took pictures when I was back up again, forgot all about the ISO speed and yes, there was nothing but white


It was a very interesting visit and a highly recommended visit. You learnt a lot about volcanos. And it was pitch dark. At the bottom of the cave our cave Guide asked us to turn off all lights, camera Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Vatnshellirlight and it was total darkness down the. Well, our Hero was fumble with his e-cigarette but no one noticed.

It was pitch dark and we only heard the water dropping.

Our Guide told us that this was how it had been for about 8000 years until they discovered the cave. 8000 years, complete darkness and drip drip, this is for sure putting things in perspective. Well, we came up from the cave and it was like someone hit us Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Sjomannagardur - Maritime museum in Hellissandurwith hot air and the smell of grass and spring. It was really nice, down in the cave and it had been cold and I don't know what the smell had been.

But as soon as I stepped out on the ground it was like a hot spring day sitting in the grass, a beautiful experience.

We left Vatnshellir and as we had been quicker than expected, ask the guys that didn't had time for their lunch, we had time over and we stopped at a place with a sign: Sjomannsgardur I understand Icelandic as much as I can guess it is a “folk” Maritime museum.

Hellissandur

Hellissandur is a village and part of the Snæfellsbær municipality at the northwestern tip of Snæfellsnes peninsula in western Iceland.

Once an important fishing area, the village has recently experienced growth in tourism. The maritime museum has examples of the turf roof houses once common across Iceland, as well as marine engines and Iceland's oldest rowing boat (1826). According to the 2011 census, Hellissandur and nearby Rif have 544 inhabitants.

One of the points of interest near Hellissandur is the Snæfellsjökull glacier, made famous by Jules Verne in his Journey to the Center of the Earth. Just outside of the village, there is the northern entrance to the Snæfellsjökull National Park, which surrounds the western and southern sides of the glacier.

Nearby is the 412 metre tall Gufuskálar radio mast, the tallest structure in Western Europe, located 2 kilometres westward.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Yet another folk museum here on Iceland and it seems like people have some garbage laying around. What to do we spread it in the garden and we open a “folk museum” charging people 500 to 1000 Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Sjomannagardur - Maritime museum in HellissandurScooby Doo Dollars.

Our Guide went to check on the placard next to the gate if there was any entrance fee. There was, 500 Scooby Doo Dollars.

My fellow passengers got in to the “folk museum” but I had spotted a mini mart a few hundred meters away. Don't misunderstand me, “folk museum” is an adventure and the excitement is killing me, what kind of scrap are they showing here? But I had more important things on my mind right now, the mini mart. And I pondered on many things.
- Do they have soft ice cream?
- Do they have diet drinks?

I just had to go and investigate and I was soon sitting on a bench outside the mini mart enjoying a soft ice cream and the sunshine with a bag of diet drinks next to me.

I finished my soft ice cream and I walked back to the “folk museum” and I paid the 500 to get inside. It was like a seaman's home from the good ol' times on display. So, yes, it was worth the 500 to get inside. Amazing how people lived not very long ago.

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Sjomannagardur - Maritime museum in Hellissandur
Our Guide

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Sjomannagardur - Maritime museum in Hellissandur
Dwellings

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Sjomannagardur - Maritime museum in Hellissandur
The kitchen

Grand Tour of Iceland with Grönlandsresor - Sjomannagardur - Maritime museum in Hellissandur

We left and we were now steering towards Grundarfjörður and hotel Framnes where we will spend the night. We passed a village/ town where everything was decorated in red balloons and flags etc. Grand Tour of Iceland with GrönlandsresorAnother part was decorated in yellow and then one in pink. Obviously something going on, but no one knew what.

We reached Grundarfjörður and hotel Framnes and at the dinner I discovered a drawing in the bar. IT was a pencil drawing with two Killer whales and I asked if they had Killer whales here. Oh yeah, but the whale watching was only in the morning
Grundarfjörður

Grundarfjörður is a small town, situated in the north of the Snæfellsnes peninsula in the west of Iceland. It is situated between a mountain range and the sea. The nearby mountain Kirkjufell forms a small peninsula.

The town received the right to do commerce in 1786. Around 1800, French merchants came to Iceland and lived in Grundarfjörður, where they constructed a church and a hospital of their own. The town has become rich through the fishing industry, and this wealth shows in the style of the original, luxurious houses being built.

The road to nearby Stykkishólmur crosses a big lava field, called Berserkjahraun. This is partially warm, so that even in winter, there is not snow everywhere. The name of the lava field comes from the Eyrbyggja saga, according to which two Berserkers were slain here by their master, because one of them fell in love with his master's daughter.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
and afternoon. In the evening it was Puffin tours.

Are they joking, everyone here is either going to Látrabjarg to see Puffins or coming from Látrabjarg. I asked how much the boat was if I wanted to go check out the Killer Whales. 1900€, well, I did not want to buy the boat!

The bread, homemade was maybe the best since I had arrived to, no since I left Elite Marina Plaza Hotel in Helsingborg. The food was Hotel Framnesvery good. Finished ith the dessert and we had a chat about the good ol' time. But I was tired and I was soon off to my cabin as we will leave early tomorrow morning. We have a ferry to catch and that will be an adventure.

We will arrive to Látrabjarg, Iceland's westernmost pint to watch the Puffins. And there will for sure be some Puffin extravaganza for you if you click HERE



       
                  
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
Jiffy (also jiff)

noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.

So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!

Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas

Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!

Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!

Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra

Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!

คุณพูดภาษาไทยได้ไหม ไม่มีปัญหา ถ้าคุณต้องการไปหน้าถัดไป ให้กดปุ่ม “Next” ข้างบนนี้

Вы говорите по-русски? NJET PROBLEMA! Просто нажмите синюю кнопку "Next" с левой стороны и Вы моментально переместитесь на следующую страницу!

E ni Svenskar och inte förstår Engelska så ska ni skämmas. J och Björn, med det menar jag inte att alla mina stavfel ska ältas varje gång vi träffas.

Flag of Skåne / Skånska flaggan Well, the flag of Skåne, just a BONUS flag.


                                       

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