April 12, 2018
snæfellsnes peninsula \ the west
Behind the Scenes:
We met the scruffiest and meanest little dog of all time (see photos below for proof).
We never saw the Westfjords or Ísafjörður without fog. The next morning we set off south toward the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, which lies just south of the Westfjords and a little north of the greater Reykjavík area. We had two major sights we wanted to see: Kirkjufell and Búðakirkja.
We only got to see half of Kirkjufell since the trademark peak was obscured by mist and fog. Kirkjufell is heavily photographed, so we actually enjoyed getting shots that showed a different perspective than most. It wasn't crowded either because of a light, but persistent, rain that had been falling all morning, so we had Kirkjufell and it's dual waterfalls largely to ourselves.
We drove on to one of the last stops we added to our trip, and what immediately became one of our favorites. Búðakirkja is a stoic black and white church that sits alone in a field of tall golden grass. There is a smart graveyard that lies next to it like a garden, and just a hundred yards away is a long beach with long waves and the lonely gray ocean. Standing back from the church in the field, you can't see the waves, but you can always hear them.
There are no walkways or trails past the parking lot and small hotel that lie a few paces from the church. If you walk off into the fields, there's nothing to stop you, and nothing to guide you. The light mist, the tall grass, the the ambient sounds of the ocean and circling gulls, and Búðakirkja transport you into a different time, into a Victorian novel.
In contrast, our Airbnb was an ultra modern square building with two glass sides looking out over the sunset and a bay. We drove over a long bridge into town where we had dinner and picked up some beers (which were a whopping $12 a bottle). We had some rare down time to work on photos and relax before our trip back into Reykjavík the next day. We had come full circle, and the exploration part of our trip was largely done, but we had two incredible experiences planned for our last full day in Iceland: horseback riding and a visit to the Blue Lagoon.
- Rain and fog aren't always a vacation-ruiner, they're a sure fire way to make your instagrams #moodygrams
- Go to Búðakirkja. It's still a hidden gem, close to Reykjavík, and you won't see a church like that anywhere else