Exploring Iceland on our Roadtrip in 7 days -Part two: Things to do in Arnarstapi / Snaefellsbaer in West Iceland.
Welcome back guys to our Iceland Travel Blog, so here we go leaving Reykjavik after one and a half amazing days as the biggest place of civilization spot in Iceland into the totally contrasted wilderness and nature of Iceland.
We were heading more or less quite straight northwards scheduled for nearly exactly 2 hours and 59 minutes (I am German so please excuse my accuracy) for in summary about 235 km.
The route itself consists of the main Route No. 1, near Grundarhverfi, which is the first place of civilization after Reykjavik (the distance is about 30km) we decided to take the longer Route 47 around Foraging – Hvalfjördur, which is a quite long Fjord instead of the direct way via tunnel which would cost about 3000 ISK but would have saved us about 40-50 minutes of travelling time.
But thats why we were in Iceland, to see as much as possible, so we decided to take the longer route, which was a good decision. It enabled us to see more of West Iceland.
The weather was perfect for going by car, sunshine, temperature at about 12 degree, stunning landscape, trunk full of food, cameras were loaded and via Bluetooth we were able to listen for hours to our favorite Spotify-lists. Just perfect.
Reykjavik has also some parts of smaller villages in the outer circles so it took about 20 minutes until we went through the suburbs into the Icelandic nature by day for the very first time.
And of course the view was amazing. Huge mountains, deep valleys and everything also quite close to the ocean.
Its not my will to bore you with lame descriptions so here we go with some pictures instead of talking too much…
So the plan was to reach our destination in about 3 hours, but of course it came different.
You cannot drive through this landscape just by watching how beautiful it is, you HAVE to take pictures as well and so for this we were stopping approximately every 10 minutes, sometimes even more often for taking pictures.
First we stopped on the sideway, got off the car and took photos. Later, when we “professionalized” our travel style we took pics even from inside the car, sidewinder, front window, doesn’t matter, everything that was worth it, we captured it on the cam.
Let the roadtrip begin
The good thing is, that very often you have the possibility to stop frequently somewhere besides the road.
It seemed, that the tourist department of Iceland was already planning, that there might be many tourists traveling Iceland by car and will stop for taking pictures. Well done.
After one hour we stopped for the first longer break on the Route 47 because we saw a waterfall.
It was more like a quick-water, but the first kind of waterfall we saw in general and so it was quite impressive for us and we decided to explore this place and take pictures.
Of course at this time we had no idea about the waterfalls that were waiting for us later…
Anyway, so it was looking like this there:
Quite soon we also realized another interesting thing. Iceland really, really knows how to surprise.
You go for a ride, you think you have seen the most amazing thing, let’s say some huge dark brown mountains with icy tops, greenest grass on its foot and an amazing crystal clear ocean aside and after five minutes, the landscape changes completely into dark black lava fields and you have the feeling you are actually on a totally different planet, the surface of the moon for example.
I am not exaggerating folks, it is like this.
We saw like hundreds of different landscapes and one was more beautiful than the other.
This is what makes it so hard to take all the impressions, sometimes we simply were too overwhelmed to get in touch with this beautiful landscape. But automatically we made the photos as evidences.
Just use your brain…
Back to top – after two hours and we had nearly one third of our trip behind us, we saw an even bigger waterfall.
This was worth to be called a waterfall and of course – again picture time.
Also here I realized something that was totally different than for example in Germany.
In Iceland, as I mentioned in our first part about Reykjavik, people expect something like a functional brain which works properly and tells you what’s right and what’s wrong.
That means you go to places which could be slightly dangerous when you step too far or don’t take care enough or whatever.
Its that easy…
It’s up to you to decide how far you go, where in Germany for example you have borders that tell you where you are allowed to go, where to stop, how long to wait and so on…
In Iceland you feel free related to this. You can get in touch so close with everything if you want to.
That was also holiday for the soul to breathe free and without borders and getting really really close in touch with nature.
The first wilderness of Iceland
So the journey continued like this, we were gathering impressions and we felt more and more in love with this isle.
Half of the way we came to a cozy little town named Borganes and then quite close to Arnarstapi in West Iceland, it was already the Route Number 54 that we took, we saw the third and by far most impressive waterfall. This one was really huge and the scenery was breathtaking with this house at the front of the waterfall.
Half an hour later we finally arrived in Arnarstapi, which is really nothing more than a dozen of little houses directly at the coast based on the ground of Stapafell, an impressive peaky mountain.
The trip took all in all about 6 hours, twice as long as we planned, but of course this was fine and it needed it, at least that’s how a road trip should be like.
One thing i have to tell you about the coasts – Amazing sunshine and clear blue sky, but very windy. Remember, I told you about Reykjavik?
The wind was even for me here a bit too hard to take, at least the second day in the morning, when I got up very early to make some photos of that impressive special light.
And as I was quite touched by the amazing sounds of the morning birds, so I decided sponaneously to make this little video.
Arnarstapi in the morning
Try not to focus on the wind noises, instead focus on the birds, the Birds… Biiiirds, focus on the biiiirds 🙂
What you should also know about Arnarstapi, is, that actually (this might change pretty soon) you don’t have any Wi-Fi there, yes for some fellows this is pretty important of course but you can spend the additional time for example with exploring a landscape that could hardly be more beautiful.
Statues of Stones
The huge difference between the direct coast of the Atlantic with those impressive cliffs and breeding birds on the one hand and on the other horizon a scenery of monumental mountains, also with icy peaks is something that leaves no one untouched.
Of course the huge Bardar Saga Statue is catching your eye from very far.
Look at this guy here, no its not the one with the blue jacket, the other one…
The Saga tells that he was one of the first settlers in this area, but bigger and stronger than others, also because he had Trolls blood running through his veins…
Our stay in Arnarstapi in West Iceland ended as planned after an amazing delicate breakfast quite early in the morning at about 9:30, so we were hitting the road again, next destination Akureyri, the secret hidden Capital of the North!
But because this previous trip took us even planned about 6 hours, you can already imagine that we were having many planned breaks and even more unplanned breaks 🙂
To end the second chapter of our Roadtrip here, we want to share with you again some pictures from amazing places, natural or civilized on our way to Akyreyri. The next half, Akureyri itself and the first half of the third stage you will find in the third Blog, which comes up pretty soon – Iceland Roadtrip 2015 – Akureyri, Home of Santa Claus and Hearts place!
Check out more photos from Arnarstapi and soon the other 5 stations of our road trips in our gallery…
Stay tuned, always travelling with the Bird,
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Thank you sincerely, Birdie & Hendrik.