Exploring the Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Our second real day in Iceland (We had 1.5 days in Reykjavik previously) was the beginning of the Driving Days. Lot of driving. Honestly it's the best way to see the country, and being able to take things at your own pace is great. For road trip #1 we went north to explore and stop along the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
While doing some preliminary research for this trip (i.e. blogs, Instagram, TV shows and documentaries), stops along this peninsula kept being mentioned. In fact, it's called "Iceland in Miniature" because of how much there is to see and the great representation it gives of the country's natural beauty.
Even though a lot of the areas I was interested in weren't ones that were on the list (and we wouldn't have had time to go to anyway), it was still a day full of natural wonders and seeing a few of the most popular spots in all of Iceland!
I guess the first actual place we visited was the town where some of the film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was filmed. We checked out the bakery that served as a Papa Johns in the film, and you can clearly see the mountainside where Walter's text is displayed. The bakery even has some photos of the film along the tops of its windows to tell you you're in the right spot!
I honestly have no idea what this little northern town is called, and even if I did, I'm almost positive that I couldn't pronounce or spell it correctly.
Regardless, it was cute, quaint, and had some good photo opportunities. After stopping here for few minutes, we started heading back and hitting some stops on the way.
Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum
Trying the fermented shark was one of the things I was determined to do while in Iceland. I just had to know how bad it was, and also wanted to be able to say that I'd done it. I guess I just want my kids to think I'm super weird / cool someday.
Thankfully, we stopped at this shark processing farm where they have a museum and taste test!
*As a disclaimer, I am aware that some question the ethics behind eating the shark since the Greenland shark is listed as near threatened. I, however, did some research and don't think that my taste test is something to be frowned upon.*
I'll let you watch the video of me trying it, but I will say that I don't think it's the worst thing I've ever had. That being said, I also am not going to go searching for it and probably won't be tempted by it ever again.
P.S. They had this adorable and incredibly fluffy dog. Kevin was extremely happy.
Kirkjufell is famous for a couple things: Being really pretty, and - consequently - being the most photographed mountain in Iceland. It's pretty striking since it's just this solitary, perfectly pointed mountain jutting out of the middle of nowhere.
Fun fact: The name means "church mountain."
We ended up spending a fair amount of time here taking pictures and walking around, since it was really the first major natural attraction that we'd seen so far.
Londrangar is part of the remains of an ancient crater. Over time the sea has eroded it into the form it is today and left these basalt columns in unique shapes sticking out into the sea.
Many birds, including puffins, make their nests on the sides of the cliffs and can be seen flying around constantly.
This was the last stop that I took pictures of, and we arrived as the light was starting to get a little softer. Even though it never really got fully dark during our time in Iceland, the later hours of the day still had pretty decent lighting.
It was a long day that ended up being a little over-packed (which led to a few things being cut out), but it was a good one. I was able to see some of the great scenery that Iceland is so famous for, try some infamous cuisine, and get a tasting of what else we were going to experience in the next few days. It was also pretty lucky that we got good weather for all this driving. The sun was in and out, but we were lucky to not have to experience anything more intense than some clouds.
The next day we headed in the opposite direction, South, to check out some major waterfalls and check out the Westman Islands in the hopes of meeting a puffin!