On our last day in Iceland, we took a very memorable trip round the Reykjanes Peninsula. Firstly, it was the first day we saw the sun for more than a half-hour stretch (triggering an even greater europhia than when it happens back home!) and secondly, the tour encompassed the perfect blend of coastline, quaint villages and churches, geothermal areas and expanses of lovely remoteness.
On all Icelandic tours, the guides will give you a lot of information about the history of their country. We learnt that Iceland was founded by Vikings from Norway who came to the island to settle with slave women they picked up on the way, many of which came from England, Scotland and Ireland. Interesting to know that the modern day Icelanders are decendents of us Anglo Saxons!
Here are some snaps from the trip.
Lutheran church in the typical Icelandic style.
Gentle, volcanic coastline
Geothermal area of Krysuvik – some fantastic fiery hues and bubbling mud pots
Lunch stop at Grindavik – this might look like an unremarkable humble workers’ cafe but this place is famed for its lobster soup. I went for the vegetarian option – asparagus – and it was the most delicious soup I’ve ever tasted. Definitely one of the day’s highlights!
Wildflowers growing on a patch of moss admist the volcanic sand
Gunnuhver Hot Springs – pure geothermal magic! This spot is named after a female ghost who was laid there after a priest set a trap for her causing her to fall into the spring.
The Bridge between two Continents – this is a very special spot. This bridge divides the Eurasian and North American continental plates. The plates are currently moving apart at a rate of 2cm per year. We had lots of fun rolling around in the black volcanic sand whilst contemplating continental drifting.