September 8, 2015
I chose the road less travelled.
Before driving the popular route that heads east along the southern highway and the south coast of Iceland, I decide to drive north from Reykjavik to the Snaefells Peninsula – a road less traveled.
Snaefells is a long, narrow peninsula that pokes out into the Atlantic. I encounter misty rain, ubiquitous fog, incessant, even overpowering wind, and a raucous surf that seems determined to smash (and has already smashed) the jagged, black volcanic cliffs that disappear below the waves. What can I expect out in the middle of the ocean?
Executive Decision 1: After an hour or two “out in the ocean” I abandon my attempt to circumnavigate the peninsula. Humbly I bow to the weather, and return to my cozy hotel. Even the horses look unhappy today. Tomorrow is another day.
Executive Decision 2. Shall I take the quick and easy route through the tunnel back towards Reykjavik? Not a chance. I take the long way around, a detour around the Hvalfjordur Fjord. (Redundant?)
There’s nothing redundant on this road: unique mountain formations, calm sparkling waters, and a broad boisterous waterfall. (Video)
I take a detour from my detour. Up a gravel road, on a hill overlooking the fjord, stands the Stedji Natural Monument (Video) or Staupasteinn. By any other name, a huge, tall, narrow and vertical boulder. Up on this hill, the force of the wind almost knocks me down. The boulder is steadfast. I hide from the wind.
Despite the wind and the rain, it’s a splendid day.
Sometimes, a detour and the long way around “makes all the difference.”