I picked up my friend Jack Graham at the Airport around 6:30am and we headed to the northwest of Iceland, the Snaefellsnes peninsula. It was a three-hour drive through the darkness with intermittent rain. We had to travel over a mountain pass and we were glad for the studded tires. We arrived at Grundarfjordur and checked into the Kirkjufell Guest House. We were at the famous mountain Kirkjufell for sunrise. Kirkjufell refers to the shape of the mountain (kirk means church, ju means bell and fell means mountain – Church Bell Mountain. You can see why it’s so named. There are waterfalls in the foreground that make this one of the most photographed spots in Iceland. We got a little sunlight at sunrise but not like we had hoped for. The scene wasn’t as dramatic as I have seen it before.
I settled for photographing parts of the waterfall.
After Kirkjufell we traveled along the peninsula to the west. We spotted this small church with snow-covered mountains in the background. This is Ingjaldsholskirkja, one of the first concrete churches in the world. There is a painting of Christopher Columbus in the church. He stayed in this area the winter of 1477-1478. There is speculation he learned of the sailings of Lief Ericsson and other Vikings to the new world.
Located at the western most tip of the Snaefellsness peninsula is the Svortaloft lighthouse. To reach this lighthouse is a long rough road over lava. This is another good bird viewing area, but not in the winter.
Below the lighthouse is an arch in the lava cliffs. The white specks are either gulls or locations of former nests. The birds weren’t very active in the heavy wind.
The wind was fierce and the ocean was smashing into the lava cliffs.
We headed back to Grundarfjordur in rain, snow and wind. He had an interesting time finding somewhere to eat. Everything was closed in Grundarfjordur. We had to travel back to Olafsvik. Thirty minutes back from the direction we had come to find a restaurant then back to Grundarfjordur.