Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, September 04, 2010


The weather wizard was playing games all day today. It started when I glimpsed a little patch of blue peeking out from the clouds early this morning. And then the changes began.

First things first, breakfast and conversations started my day. And then the driving began. My travels today took me north and then west along the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, ending in the town of Stykkishólmur.

It was dry when I started, but the raindrops started decorating the windshield before I had cleared the edge of Reykjavik. The rain was heavy for a bit, easing to sprinkles and then stopping before I headed inland to drive around the Borgarfjordur fjord near Borgarnes. Driving around was quite a bit longer than the almost 6 kilometer tunnel beneath the fjord, well worth the time to see such a beautiful place. I actually found a few places to pull off of the road for a bit of camera play. The sun and clouds nicely decided to join in.

Just after returning to the Ring Road, I jumped off of it again to head to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The clouds dropped once again, shrouding the mountains, spreading heavy rain. I thought about stopping my forward movement. Nope, not now. I wanted to give myself a change to wander into Snæfellsjökull National Park. Unfortunately when I reached the turnoff, a dirt road 7 kilometers long, the rain was still quite heavy. Driving up a narrow dirt road following the contours of the land didn't feel like a smart thing to do. Maybe I'll head back that way on my return trip, maybe not.

I missed a lot of photos today though; it was so wet that it wasn't possible to keep the raindrops off of the filter I was using. Rain spots on photos really don't work, do they? At one point I was trying to take photos from the car - as soon as I opened the window the raindrops gravitated to the camera. I finally pulled out my baby camera to grab a few shots. The colors and shapes were amazing, volcanic rocks covered with green moss, water, reds popping out occasionally in some watery plant life. The more I think about it the more I know this peninsula deserves a dry day visit. Fingers crossed for the weather and for the time to wander the same road once more.

Waterfalls jumped in front of my eyes today, some short, some tall, falling down the face of rocks. Most of the photos (so far) are in my mind, not in my camera.

Stykkishólmur is my home for the night, a small village on the northern side of the peninsula. I followed the information sign in the hopes of finding a B&B here. That was interesting - the woman who usually staffs the info center was on the golf course, and her replacement didn't see any B&B information. She started looking through brochures, then asked someone who walked in as we were talking. The next thing I knew, a call was placed to Holmur B&B asking if a room was available. It was. Instead of giving me directions, the owner drove over and led me to the house. Ah, no worries, I was quickly settled into a home for the night.

When I first drove into town I saw the harbor and what was once an island towering over the boats. It looked like someone was standing on top of a rather steep hill. Hmmm... how did those people who looked like stick figures get to the top? I walked from my B&B to the harbor, playing with the reflections of boats in the harbor, finally getting a chance to exercise my camera. Past the boats, and look! there is actually a staircase leading up. Easy... I walked to the top, saw a light positioned to warn ships. Clouds were strewn in diagonal lines above the water, sometimes reflecting, sometimes not. The light was wonderful.

Food, it was definitely time for food. I headed to the restaurant that looked most interesting. There was a couple sitting at one table; all of the other tables were empty. When I asked to be seated, the waitress informed me that all of the tables were reserved. I was turning to leave when the couple sitting at the one occupied table asked me to join them. The thing that I found interesting is that when we left the restaurant almost all of the tables were still empty.

It was fun comparing notes with my new acquaintances from Helsinki, talking about travel here and elsewhere. I had an excellent meal, couscous and beans tossed with some vegetables and a bit of a light but tangy sauce. Just what I needed!

I'm totally in awe of all of the people I've met here who can switch from their native language to English as soon as they are addressed in English. That's very good for me as I've always been language-challenged.

Tomorrow? The direction in my mind right now is east.