Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Snaesfelljokull glacier

Visiting Snaesfelljokull glacier, exploring Stykkisholmur, supper

I chatted to a German couple over coffee, he was a prof of music in Tubingen and she worked as a tourist organiser in Reykjavik and they had been travelling around. He commented on how documenting being at the Blue Lagoon on one’s phone seemed to be more important than experiencing it.

I looked around the 19 c wooden Norwegian house here in Stykkisholmur. It is a large house with big houses and full of nice furniture. The owners had clearly been very wealthy and well educated. I enjoyed seeing the papers in Arni Thorlacius’s study and the instruments he would have used to make astronomical calculations.  

I then drove along the north road to the Snaesfelljokull glacier. The glacier is beautiful with steep symmetrical white sides and I saw it arising above the sea and other mountains. I felt very lucky to being seeing it against a blue sky. I drove to the national park through lava fields where lava was heaped in spiky piles. I walked down to the coast and ate at a cafe with a stone terrace next to dramatic cliffs. I then drove along the north part of the peninsula and enjoyed perfect views of the mountains and fjords in the evening light. The fjords were green and I could see the layers of previous rock formations very clearly. I enthused over my day to my host Heimar. He had predicted that I would come back smiling. In the evening the glacier had clouded over which happens often here.  

I had a foodie supper in the upmarket Narfeyrarstofa restaurant, the decor was minimalist with glass table tops and three different types of salt and my scallops were served on a wooden rack. I had a plate of three different types of fish, salmon, haddock and prawns with barley and veggies. Lovely food and about the same price as my other meals. The room had a ceiling fan which seemed a little unnecessary; the temperature never gets above 15 here.

Good: View of the glacier
Bad: Patrick Ridgwell’s death (one of my father’s best friends)
Surprising: wealth of the 19 c house which became a refugees’ home after one of the volcanic eruptions.
Hotel Langey Homestay

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