Bjarnarfoss and Snæfellsnes

For this one I would like to thank Ásgeir of the DoMoreAsgeir fame.

I found Ásgeir’s site via Iceland Magazine, and started clicking around. Snæfellsnes was among my 500 links I saved in the MUST SEE folder, but it was his photos that convinced me we had to go. It was a trip of over two hours one way, and I had to convince Husby that it was worth driving there. The page I linked to at the beginning of this post was enough. We got in the car, and off we went.

Driving in Iceland is a pleasure in itself (said the person who doesn’t drive). You’re driving on scenic motorways. But we got more than we ever expected. We got a bonus waterfall.

This is Bjarnarfoss. According to the website I linked it’s “a moderately tall waterfall visible from Highway 54”. I didn’t see it, but Husby did, and started parking the car without even warning me. “What?” I asked, bewildered, worried something car-y broke. He just pointed at…this.

I have never seen a proper waterfall in my life, even a moderately tall one, unless you count the approx. 1 meter tall one at Guðrúnarlaug. It wasn’t windy, so we didn’t witness a sideways stream. But I had no complaints (and stayed dry). It was hard to tear me away from the bonus waterfall, but we knew the actual attractions awaited us further, at the Snæfellsnes peninsula.

Ásgeir begins his description of the journey with Arch Rock, but I got stuck the second I saw Bárður Snæfellsás.

I won’t get into Bárður’s story, because I’d be retyping Regína Hrönn’s words (I have such a sis-crush on Regína Hrönn). I’m just going to say this – seeing him in person is a breathtaking experience, the first of many at this part of Snæfellsnes. I had to touch him and feel the energy myself. He is the work of Ragnar Kjartansson, and the most incredible thing is that the statue looks like a part of the landscape that always belonged there. It looks much more natural than the actual nature. Because this is what nature actually created for us to look at…

Once you get over the fact that a large part of this photo is, er, bird shit, you will notice the columns in bottom left part. I can’t come up with a reason for Mother Nature to make them so straight and angular other than simply that She can. In the top left corner you see some random person whom I got on the photo on purpose. For scale.

The water inside roars, as it stays there on the bottom. Then, without a warning, similarly to a geyser, it shoots up. Sometimes higher, sometimes not so much, as if the Gods found it amusing to ruin my attempts to capture it on film. I tried not to be That Person who hardly sees anything apart from their phone’s screen, and managed, because I kept on getting stuck in various spots where I just wanted to stay forever and watch. When I die, and I hope that will not be anytime soon, I would like my ashes to get scattered here:

The water took all colours. Steel grey, coldest blue you’ve ever seen, yellowish, sickly tint, but also deepest emerald – everything but the blue you’ve seen in my previous posts. And I just sat there on the cliff – that’s where I took this photo from – as the view went forever. The clear air, even on a somewhat rainy day, allows you to look for miles, and being here in April ensured that we wouldn’t see many tourists.

By the way, remember when I mentioned Iceland doesn’t fuck around when it comes to marking the dangerousestest spots? Here’s how they decided to mark a spot where you could kill yourself super fast:

I hope this thick fence makes you feel extremely safe, and it better would, because a few meters later it ends. The path you can see in bottom right corner continues, there are no “do not approach” or warning signs. Having seen what some tourists were doing (the longer we hung around, the more people arrived) I am seriously surprised that the bodycount isn’t measured in hundreds.

Hellnar (I think I’m identifying the spot correctly) doesn’t belong to people – very little in Iceland really does. It belongs to the birds. The kittiwakes (pictured above) make a lot of noise. So do the waves, and the wind. As with most things and places I love, I very quickly started feeling possessive, and tempted to accidentally throw the shrieking children off the cliffs. I had to forcibly remind myself that children are our future, and that they are actually also a natural phenomenon. And once the wind got stronger it became possible to find a spot where I could close my eyes and not hear any sound that was human-made.

We didn’t find the cafe Fjöruhúsið that Ásgeir mentioned. We went into a restaurant at the parking lot, ate caramel apple pie (possibly best apple pie I ever had), drank coffee, then returned into the car. We felt we gorged on the views enough, and skipped the rest of Snæfellsnes. We drove home mostly in silence, interrupted by Google Maps (you wouldn’t believe what the voice of Google Maps can do with words like “Hafnarfjörður”…), expecting nothing more…

…and then nature gave us one parting shot.

A little note. The only image in this entire post where I used Photoshop at all is the first one, the featured photo with a little house. All other photos are unretouched. This is what everything actually looked like…except the reality was not limited by a phone camera’s resolution.

This is my seventh post in the series. I have three more waiting – of the things we’ve witnessed in the meantime. I don’t know if we managed to see one percent of what Iceland has on offer, my bet would be no, as we’re still staying within three hour radius from Reykjavik. I came here hoping – not a joke – that I would become bored, that the weather would put me off, the rain and wind make me count the days until I can go home. It hasn’t worked. The more I see, the more greed I discover in myself.

In unrelated news, I need to find a way to quietly dispose of tourists’ bodies if they don’t stop making noise.

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