Stykkisolmur – The Walter Mitty Town was a must visit place during our self drive Icelandic Trip. And the reason of putting the place in the list was due to the fact like many others I had also fallen in love with the place while I watched the movie. And then I started reading more about the place and got to know it’s importance in Iceland and in the tourism. How this smallest town of Iceland got the title of European destination of Excellence.
This beautiful town is located in the northern part of the Snaefellsness peninsula. You can combine it with your drive to south west part of the Iceland.
We visited this place during the winters and it was so deserted and yet so idyllic and peaceful. I am not sure whether I was in the love with the seashore, empty roads, colourful houses, still boats or I was just Happy to be here.
There are many reasons for visiting this beautiful town like the conservation of cultural heritage & history as well as its environmental awareness.
The town was also the first municipality in Iceland to start fully sorting its waste as well as the first town in Iceland to receive the prestigious Blue flag eco-label for its harbour.
The hot water used in Stykkisholmur is completely sustainable as it is reinjected into the ground when it has been used for heating purposes. The town has on top of all this started a project eliminating invasive plants from its land.
Oh yes the road you see in the above picture, is exactly the one when Walter Mitty ran to get into the helicopter. I was so delighted to be standing here.
Fishing and tourism are the bread butter of this town.
You can walk upto an adjacent island which showcase an old red light house. It is a small walk from the town. The view from the top is worth it.
Wondering how does the scenery looks like while driving towards Stykkisholmur during the winter months, the picture below is a snap shot of the same. It looked more heavenly than this.
Until we visited Iceland, the only times I saw glaciers were in the movies or national geographic documentaries. It always made me wonder, how it would feel to be standing near to one. How the place around will look like covered with ice and all you see is Ice and Ice and Frozen Ice.
So me and Ash decided to visit one of the glacier in Iceland from much closer distance. We did not go for glacier hike, but we want for a small walk on top of it and to feel the aura around it. We decided to visit Sólheimajökull Glacier on the south coast, and just 2 hours drive away for Reykjavik.
Sólheimajökull, a glacier outlet from the fourth largest glacier in Iceland, Mýrdalsjökull. I can not express in words how beautiful that sight was. Cold, yes freezing cold but a sight that will remain in your memories forever. Those different formations of Ice clinging to one another, caresses that it was forming one after another, it looked like you are standing in a land of crystals. And the roughness of black volcanic sand adds so much beauty to the landscape.
Happy us trying to walk over the glacier with our hiking boots.
While driving on Golden Circle Route of Iceland, another popular attraction or stop over is to watch out for Geysirs. The hot springs are located to the east of a little mountain called Laugafell. This place is another wonder of nature where in you see huge springs spurting out of earth, roaring into steam and then disappearing into air.
I still remember that cold afternoon, temp was just around -10 degrees but it felt like -20. But nonetheless even though we could stand outside only for 10-15 mins at stretch, it was worth every second. And I would not mind visiting this place over and over again 🙂
Strokkur (the churn) is currently the most energetic spouting spring in Iceland. It spouts every few minutes, sometimes to a height of 40 m, yet generally less than 10-20 m.
Morning of another colder day in Iceland, we decided to go for Golden Circle Tour. The most popular destination in the Iceland, almost everyone who visits Iceland heads off to the golden circle, whether it is just a lay over in Iceland or a long trip. There is a well established road network on the golden circle which makes it easier to drive in summer months and a bit comfortable in the winter months as well.
We were happy looking at the weather from the window of our Air B&B accommodation, it was a bright & sunny day and were very excited to head out on to the roads. But as soon as we came out of the room reality hit us hard, it was sunny but it was freezing cold. Temperature was -5 degrees and winds were chilled as ice. We knew we might have to spend a lot of day in the car today.
Our first stop on the golden circle was one of the Iceland’s most popular park i.e. Þingvellir National Park. This park does not only have geological significance but it plays an important role in the history of Iceland. It is situated on the northern shore of lake Þingvallavatn, Þingvellir is the national shrine of Iceland. It is the oldest existing parliament in the world first assembled there in 930 AD. Þingvellir has for this reason been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over two weeks a year, the assembly set laws – seen as a covenant between free men – and settled disputes. You can still see the fragments of booths where assembly was held. It also have a Þingvellir Church and adjacent farm.
Another popular destination in the park is a major rift, which has produced dramatic fissures and cliffs demonstrating inter-continental drifting is spectacular. People flock to this point to see a continental drift between the continents. The water is so clear between the drifts that it has become a hot spot for scuba dive and you can always show off that you swam or dived between the continents. I did not swim or dive in there, I could not have in freezing temperatures, but I did threw a coin between the rift making a wish to come back to Iceland and another one that actually came true 🙂
Me and Ash are wanderers and do not know how we managed to walk all the famous parts of walk. I can still feel the cold winds slapping my face and knocking me off the ground. I think the urge to travel and see more just makes you do anything. Oh!! I miss Iceland now.