Iceland’s great mountain is not on the Ring Road, which is an arrangement of highways across the width and breadth of the main chunks of Iceland that allow tourists to flow through the country on “road trips” and, with luck, meet only professional tourism operators. This allows the country to get along with things and to pay for its roads. When you’re off the Ring Road, though, you have to be clever. The people of Snæfellsnes have hit on a couple of solid ideas. They won’t tell people that the name of the town that hosts their tourism marketing staff, Hellissandur, means The Sandbar from Hell, and they promote the daylights out of the idea of day trips from Reykjavik to view the sites. No overnight stays necessary. Clever.
Welcome to the Centre of the Earth
It makes a lot of sense. If people come for longer, they won’t leave, and if they don’t leave, they won’t need a tour bus, and if they don’t need a tour bus, what then? These are the big questions. The mountain and its snow spirits (I mean, look at them up there!) do not need to answer. It is an inspiring purity of presence.
The road along the coast behind the farm Borg races on past the Cross on the cape that keeps the ogre at bay, on to the puffins in Borgarfjörður Eystri, and back.
Few stop anymore to walk in this emerald, or to see the path this water makes as it hides itself, as all creatures from the other world do, on to test the walls of the houses of men. It is the greenest fjord in Iceland. This image is made from the old Stapavik trail, the right way to come upon it, unless you come by boat, of course. Imagine the first long boat that touched this beach, and the people that stepped ashore in wonder. They are your ancestors as soon as you get out of the car. And then what? Well, friend, then you are lost. And then you are found.