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Clare
Clare

Day 9: Blönduós to Rif

It was a bright sunny day when we woke up in Blönduós this morning.

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Although the hotel had been nice, the breakfast buffet was a bit limited so it felt difficult to get our money's worth this morning! There were waffles again, though :) 

Our day started with quite a long drive from Blönduós towards the Snæfellsnes peninsula. We are taking a detour from the Ring Road for the final part of our road trip, to explore this peninsula which has it's own little ring road, route 54, running around the edge of it.

We reached the peninsula around midday, and soon had a view out to sea.

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There were lots of small islands in the water...

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...while the interior of the peninsula is very mountainous.

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Our first stop was the town of Stykkishólmur, which is the biggest settlement in Snæfellsnes (but still pretty small!).

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We were hoping we might be able to find somewhere to get lunch here, but there wasn't a lot going on. Just some colourful wooden houses...

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...and a small harbour.

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We drove on into the mountains again.

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Although it was a bit cloudy, there were some really beautiful views on this stretch of the road.

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The road itself was a little bumpy at times!

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We drove through the Berserkjahraun lava field.

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It was a very unusual landscape!

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From there it wasn't far to the small village of Grundarfjörður.

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We had more luck there with food, finding a small cafe where we were able to get lunch (although Tim ended up with a chicken burger drowned in mayonnaise!). We finished off with coffee and cake :) 

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Just outside of the village is Kirkjufell.

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This is allegedly the most photographed mountain in Iceland (I think it's been in Game of Thrones).

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Tim wasn't very impressed; he thought it looked like a witch's hat xD

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Across the road from the mountain there is a waterfall.

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There's a path you can follow up and around it.

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Compared to some of the other waterfalls we've seen on this holiday, this one seemed rather small. But it was pretty :) 

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The views of the surrounding countryside from the top of the path were good as well.

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This is the highly photographed view of the mountain and the waterfall, which features on lots of postcards.

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There were some very serious people with tripods here, trying to get the perfect shot.

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The best view of the waterfall itself was from a bit further down the path.

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Once we'd taken enough photos, we were on our way again, progressing further along the northern edge of the peninsula.

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We were soon rewarded by some beautiful views out across the sea.

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We were on the look-out for a beach called Skarðsvík, which apparently is one of the view beaches in Iceland which has golden sand, but we struggled to find the correct turn-off.

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Instead we found ourselves driving through what looked like another lava field.

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When we saw this strange shape looming on the horizon, we just had to pull over and make an unscheduled stop.

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This is the ancient volcanic crater of Saxhóll. You can follow a metal staircase to get to the top.

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It was quite a tiring climb!

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It was smaller than the crater we'd been to yesterday, but still impressive :)

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There were some good views from the top as well; the mountains in one direction...

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...and the sea in the other :)

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We got back on the main road and this time managed to find the correct turn-off for the beach :) 

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By Icelandic standards, the sand does look pretty golden.

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We stood and watched the waves for a while. Some of them were enormous!

This definitely isn't a beach where you would want to paddle!

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We're staying overnight tonight in the small town of Rif. As we began to drive down the road towards it, we suddenly got a wonderful view of the ice-capped Snæfellsjökull volcano.

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We're staying in a small apartment tonight, which was one of our cheaper nights at £108.20180909_172631.jpg

It's been another fun day - definitely worth taking a detour off the Ring Road to visit Snæfellsnes :) 

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