24 July: We're going out of town for the day, with Grétar and Óskar. The first stop: Hvalförður.
UsaKousa, Óskar, Grétar, Tira.

Looking over the peaceful water.

Clouds reflected on the water.
As you near the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, you go through a long strech of lava fields with many red-brown craters and similarly coloured mountains - that's where we stop for a little walk.
We reach the village of Stykkishólmur, in time for lunch of fish soup - flavoured with langoustine, and with lots of tender haddock pieces and prawns. Mmmm...
We then visit the former library overlooking the village & the sea, to have a look at Roni Horn's permanent exhibition, Library of Water - which consists of two installations: Water, selected and You are the weather.
Water, selected is a series of glass columns filled with water samples taken from various glaciers across Iceland. Interesting to see they all vary in colour and have different residues.

For better images and more information on the installations, visit the official website and click on Visual Tours - Water, selected.
(The link will open in a new window.)
You are the weather is a collection of English and Icelandic words that are used to describe the weather, which can also describe a person's moods, on the floor of the exhibition space, close to the water columns. Again, you will find the whole list on the official website.
The water-filled columns have interesting effects when looking through them. Many visitors are taking photos of the landscape outside, seen through the columns - as we do :-)
We drive on westwards along the coast. Near the tip of the peninsula, we stop for some more fresh air. Grétar climbs up the mountain slope to drink some water coming out of the mountain: "very fresh, but surprisingly warm," he comments.
When we come around onto the southern side of the peninsula, we stop by Saxhóll - a scoria crater that errupted 3-4 thousand years ago - for a picnic in the lava field.

The crater. You can walk up to the top (which we decide not to do.)

Relaxing in the lava field. (UsaKousa are distracted by some bananas and are not looking into the camera.)

More lava rocks.

We can see the Atlantic Ocean too.

Tira exploring the field.

The moss is so thick and soft, it's incredibly comfortable lying on top it.

Unfortunately, the Snæfells glacier itself is almost invisible behind thick clouds during our picnic.

But it starts to clear up a little later.

A couple more shots from further down the road.
Our final stop is a little village called Hellnar, right by the bird cliffs of Arnarstapi. We've been here in 2005, but not been aware of this wonderful little cafe at the side of one of the bird cliffs. (Warning: these birds can be extremely noisy.)

The setting.

Our table in the corner.

Kousa checking out Grétar's skyr cake.

Oh yes, isn't it lovely here...?
And so we drive home to Reykjavík through some heavy rain - probably because UsaKousa are tired by this point. We are all very tired, in fact, which must be due to all the sunlight and so much fresh air we've had all day.

Many thanks to Grétar and Óskar for the wonderful day out!

To Part 14 (Fish dinner & more art)