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Islands of the North Atlantic Trip report

Stykkishólmur and Kirkjufellsfoss

Today we drove along the northern coast of the Snæfellsnes peninsula in an easterly direction until we reached the town of Stykkishólmur, which sits at the mouth of a large fjord. It was a few degrees colder this morning, than yesterday, and raining constantly as we drove. The road took us past Kirkjufellsfoss. The car park on both sides of the road was packed, and there seemed to be a hoard of tourists, despite the inclement weather, so we pressed on, hoping for better on our return. We hadn’t even noticed Kirkjufell itself, as it was hiding in cloud and rain just to the left of the road.

Stykkishólmur was a pretty town. The harbour was protected by an outcrop of pure columnar bassalt, with two colours of lichen growing on its sides. The top was grassed, and there were stairs up to the top, where there was a walking path. By this stage the rain had stopped and the air cleared and the view was tremendous. The sun even started to come out a little, shining on the islands in the bay.

The wind was still blowing though, and we wanted a spot to picnic for lunch. Drove around a bit, up to the modern cathedral, not finding anything appropriate, before deciding that the most out-of-the-wind spot had been the bench seat at the foot of the stairs up the lookout knoll, where we had just been. So that’s where we had our lunch. The wind direction had shifted a bit by then, so it wasn’t really out of the wind, but that was no real bother.

After lunch we headed back to try our luck at Kirkjufellsfoss. Luck held, and the rain (which had become heavy again along the road) lifted just as we were parking. The falls were indeed very picturesque: two main cascades over two levels, with pools of black gravel at each. Very nice.

After exhausting the angles at the falls, we drove a bit further down the road and off on a lane to the north to find another view of Kirkjufell itself. The road became a private driveway before we got to the end, but even from the no-entry sign point, the view of the mountain was grand.

Would have been nice if we could have seen all the way back to the snow-capped peak that the peninsula is named for (one assumes), but the cloud was too low for that.

Back home to Olafsvik at a reasonable hour to tidy up for dinner. Another good day.

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