As you recall from Part 1, we had an awesome group of friends visiting from The Ice in May. A few days after TS and BB left, LG arrived! And we got to spend a week with her before the next couple flew in.

We mostly just chilled around the house, cruised around Reykjavik and got caught up. But we did get one Saturday and Sunday of amazingly beautiful weather and took the opportunity to have a girls’ weekend on the Snæfellsnes peninsula.

We had originally planned to stay at a spa hotel in Husafell, maybe do a bit of tasting at a local brewery, see a lava tube. But when we arrived, they told us that the spa and all the pools were down for maintenance. Quite disappointed, we decided to eat our deposit and see if we could find something a little more interesting.

So we hopped in the car and checked out a few local sites like the Barnafoss waterfall that flows out from under a lava field, and the little church and stone pool on the farm of medieval poet Snorri Sturluson in Reykholt. Sadly, we couldn’t swim in the pool, but Lonely Planet said this about it:

The most important relic of Snorri’s farm is Snorralaug (Snorri’s Pool), a circular, stone-lined pool fed by a hot spring. The stones at the base of the pool are original (10th century), and it is believed that this is where Snorri bathed. A wood-panelled tunnel beside the spring (closed to the public) leads to the old farmhouse – the site of Snorri’s gruesome murder. The pool may be the oldest handmade structure in Iceland.

Water flowing out from under the lava field at Barnafoss.

Snorri’s pool in Reykholt.

After that, we hauled ass across the valley, up over the pass and onto the north coast of the Snæfellsnes peninsula in search of a pointy little mountain called Kirkjufell. Once there, we stretched our legs and walked around its lovely waterfall…and tried not to be completely annoyed by all the idiots stepping over the safety ropes trying to get better pictures.

Then we proceeded, somewhat like Goldilocks, to find a place to sleep for the night. The first hotel we came across was too dirty (and their hot tub was also down for maintenance). The second hotel was hosting a massive event and was potentially too noisy. The third hotel was attached to a hospital and chapel and hung with crucifixes. So we went back to the noisy hotel and took the last available room with a nice view of the mountains (and the noise turned out to be no big deal).

The town we had settled in was a little gem called Stykkishólmur. You might know it from the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty with Ben Stiller. It was used as the filming location for the Greenland town of Nuuk. We had a fantastic dinner at a restaurant near the harbor called Narfeyrarstofa and hiked up a hill by the ferry terminal with a great view and a small orange automated lighthouse on top.

The pointy mountain, Kirkjufell.

The harbor in Stykkishólmur.

The next morning we backtracked slightly and drove around the peninsula stopping at a stunning black sand beach, another lighthouse near an old farm, and eventually we had lunch in the village of Arnarstapi at a café in a bright red turf house that was also busy feeding a busload of German tourists.

We returned home at a decent hour after our grand impromptu adventure and prepared for the next group to arrive on Thursday! Part 3 up next!

The stunning black sand beach near Olafsvik.