Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Snæfellnes Pictures

Here's a link to the pictures Stefan, our tour guide, took of an excursion to Snæfellsnes.

More on that later.
*Update May 11*: Snæfellsnes is a peninsula north of the Reykjanes peninsula. Many people go there for daytrips because purpotedly it is mini-Iceland: most natural features of Iceland can be seen all in here. It is home to Iceland's newest national park. In all a day's time, we drove along the southern part of the peninsula, and then the north and then quickly came back down to RVK.

First, we drove to see some basalt columns. Did you know that the design of the big church in Reykjavik, Hallgrimskirkja, was inspired by these columns?

And then we stopped to see some seals. They are such wonderful creatures because they peer at you from a safe yet close distance, bobbing up and down, only their heads sticking out while you watch. No, we did not see any puffins and I do not care about whether or not I will see puffins because they are little brats!

Next we stopped at a fishing village in the southwest. We walked to the edge of the cliffs and below us were sandy black beaches and huge caves. Another part of it reminded me of the Bay of Fundy.

We drove through the national park. Personally, I wasn't very impressed by it as like most of everything else it was a wasteland. But it contained Snæfellsjökull, the volcano-glacier where, according to Jules Verne, one can enter the center of the earth.

We stopped at another beach area but then it was really windy and raining and I felt like I was going to catch a cold so I didn't pay much attention to where we were or why we stopped there.

The best part, though, was the shark museum. It's located on the northeastern part of the peninsula. As we pulled up into the parking yard, we saw a huge dead shark on a cart. Everyone of course jumped out of the car and crowded around the cart, quickly snapping pictures. People started poking the skin, which I felt repulsed by. It was a 110-year-old shark, caught the night before. They can live until 150 years, but it takes 40 years to ferment before it can be eaten. The owner came out - he's really passionate about his field of expertise and it showed - and after a while talking about the shark, he said, "Why don't we go to the drying shack. It's much more interesting." (in Icelandic he said all this). I loved the fact that what we thought was the most fascinating thing was mundane for him. We headed to the shack where fish was drying. There the owner told us the story of his travel to Italy. He had brought some fermented shark meat to his friend in Italy. The police eventually came knocking at the door and asked where he had put the corpse. Then we headed into the museum where a lot of neat fishing and shark things were displayed.

Awesome day.

Cave beach thing.

Shark museum.


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