We awoke yesterday to a cloudy morning and left the comforts of our hotel to drive upto the Snaefellsness Peninsula on Iceland's west coast. In the past two days, we have covered most of the periphery of the peninsula that is accessible by a stationwagon (and even a few areas that might have been questionable). The peninsula is incredibly scenic with miles of coastline with rocky cliffs as well as a mountainous interior that includes a glacier. As the high tourist season is over here, we had many of the sites to ourselves which was a nice treat.
We stayed in a tiny town called Helnar on the southern coast of the peninsula. The location was beautiful with the Snaefellsjokull glacier behind us and the ocean in front. Our first evening there, we took a short hike from Helnar to the neighboring town of Arnarstapi. We spotted an unfortunate tourist who had climbed onto a natural rock arch and watched the ensuing rescue to take place to get him off as the tide had came in since he climbed up. It was all quite dramatic.
This morning we drove back to Stykkisholmur and took a nature tour boat ride out along the outlying islands. The wind picked up and it was a bit cold, but we really enjoyed when the crew put a net in and brought up some of the sealife for us to look at (and eat raw if you were brave enough). Afterwards, we made our way along the entire coast, stopping at various scenic points. We really enjoyed our day of exploring. In the evening, we caught a beautiful sunset before heading back to the hotel where we watched a video about Iceland's history with other hotel guests. We stayed up late talking with some other travellers which was a good thing because we caught an amazing show of the Northern Lights just after midnight. I have seen them before, but here the entire night's sky filled with bright hues of green dancing across the sky. It was absolutely beautiful.