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“Iceland in Miniature”

“Iceland in Miniature”

The second part of our trip has brought us to the Snæfellsness Peninsula. This region is often referred to as “Iceland in Miniature” because a wide variety of Icelandic topography can be seen on the peninsula. Standing in front of our hotel, we are able to take in the sights of a black sand beach, rolling farmland and the Snæfellsjökull Volcano all at once. The Snæfellsjökull Volcano is one of the symbols of Iceland, and the glacier at its peak can be seen on clear days from Reykjavik, a distance of about 120 kilometers.

Our first adventure in this area took us to the Eldborg Crater. We began our journey by filling our water bottles with natural spring water straight from the stream. The crater rim sits 60 meters above sea level so when we reached the summit of the crater, we were amazed by the panoramic views of Iceland and the Snæfellsness Peninsula from the top. Many of us described the feeling at the top of the crater as sitting on top of the world. We also enjoyed looking straight down into the crater which descends to a depth of 50 meters. 

The following day, trip members had a chance to observe the natural beauty of this area while visiting the Ytri-Tunga Beach Seal Colony. First, we wandered along a path overlooking the cliffs and the beautiful blue water below. Bria could not get over how blue the water was and how much the scenery resembled Hawaii. It was here that we learned about the Arctic Tern. These birds lay their eggs in the grass and dunes at the top of the cliffs and they are very protective of their nests. While following the path, Lexa and Spencer picked wildflowers that Trip Director Nicole fashioned into a flower crown. Upon our arrival at the seal colony we were initially unable to see the seals; however, our guide led us to the shallow pools, where we located a multitude of seals sunning themselves on the rocks and playing with their pups in the shallow waters. To compete our hike, we followed our guide on an off-road adventure which led us through a small cave to a private beach at the bottom of the cliffs.

Another highlight from this portion of our trip was the Viking Sushi Tour. Here, we enjoyed a boat tour in Breidafjordur Bay which enabled us to observe puffins up close. Half-way through the ride, we were invited to the top deck where the fisherman hoisted a net out of the water filled with fresh scallops, urchin, crab, and starfish. Chloe enjoyed playing with the live starfish and crabs while Abe and Spencer got their fill of fresh sea scallops with a side of soy sauce, ginger and wasabi.

In the evenings, we took advantage of the beautiful weather and relieved our favourite moments from the trip thus far through games of Viking and Fishbowl on the beach. We are looking forward to our continued exploration of this country as we head north to Akureyri. 

The Westcoast Blogger

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