PHOTOGRAPHING ICELAND: SNAEFELLSNES PENINSULA

PHOTOGRAPHING ICELAND: SNAEFELLSNES PENINSULA

I described Iceland repeatedly as a place that felt much closer to nature than elsewhere in the world and meant it almost literally. The second day was most emblematic of how amazing the weather can be in Iceland. We started in the morning in our rental car, heading towards the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, in white fog so dense that it looked like someone had taken a soft eraser in Photoshop and wiped out half the image; it felt like there were clouds just hovering at the base of mountains, and there were entire mountains that would loom suddenly into view only as we drove past and then disappear back into the mist of white.

We stopped for a bit to wander around Hellnar and Arnarstapi, which are quaint and very silent towns with a handful of quaint eateries and cottages; I loved them for the rolling green hills, the unlimited sense of space and wilderness, the crash of water against black sand coves. If you do want to visit Snæfellsjökull, make sure you rent a 4WD as we found out too late that you can’t drive off-road any other way. You really must go down to see the gorgeous brilliance of the rock formations and layers, the seabird families roosting in them, it was truly art. And then, as we stopped by the side of the road to climb onto the tall rocks in this a field of yellow wildflowers, with the glacial mountains in the distance, I watched as the sun came out properly for the first time.

We reached Mt Kirkjufell (Iris and me: ‘Yep, that’s a mountain’) as the final stop before we rounded the peninsula to begin the journey back to Reykjavik. The sight of the sunlight shining on the misty waterfall opposite the main knoll of the mountain was only further surpassed as we drove up the hill and reached a stretch of flat, empty earth and saw the clouds left behind from the previous rainfall and more promising a stormy night.

Do you know how much I love clouds? Words fail me - please, just look at the photos.

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