Although Iceland isn’t a huge place it is big enough and has enough to do that I always warn people about trying to do too much in one trip or cover the whole country. However, if time, distance, and transport were no object, this is what I’d do on my dream day in Iceland:
I’d magically teleport myself to just outside the tunnel leading into my favourite town of Ísafjörður. Just because I rarely get to go through tunnels I find them fun!
From there I would go into town, wander around the streets and watch a plane attempt a landing at the airport, hopefully with several go-rounds. I’d eat at the pizza place, I can’t remember exactly what I had there but it was good. Yep, I realise this is not the stuff most people’s dreams are made of. Just humour me.
From there I’d snap my fingers and have the fun of the drive down the stunning Selárdalur road to the Samúel Jónsson site. I don’t know why I find this place so appealing, it is partly the scenery along the road and the general isolation.
Then I’d magic myself to the sulphurous wasteland of Hverarönd, and remind myself what a trip to Mars or a post-apocalyptic world could be like.
From there I’d go Jökulsárlón, but not to the lagoon itself but to the iceberg littered beach across the road.
Finally, there would be a change of season and I’d go and visit any of the waterfalls in their frozen state.I can think of a few other good combos – maybe they partly seem interesting because they could never really happen! So that’s my dream day in Iceland – what’s yours?
Sometimes you see photos that make you think “I REALLY want to see this some day.” This is how I have always felt about the artworks of Samúel Jónsson. It’s hard to describe what they actually are – sculptures? Statues? Does it matter?
They are the results of the labour of a man who finally had the time to put his dream to life once he reached retirement. He offered an altar he made to his local church. It was rejected, so he built his own church around the altar.
Inside the church, which I never imagined to be so finished
I find it moving when someone is so passionate about their particular hobby. I found examples of this over and over in the Westfjords.
Part of the attraction of this place is also the remoteness, having to drive down a long and bumpy road down to the mostly-ghost-town of Selárdalur. The drive itself is very interesting, passing the fjord where most of Iceland’s sea-monsters are reputed to live, with beaches that are almost tropical in appearance and are worth a post of their own.
You might be thinking the site looks a little like a work in progress. The good news is that after 40 years, the site is slowly being restored and brought back to life by a dedicated group of volunteers. Work is underway both on the artworks and Jónsson’s original house.
I can see this might be a little “niche” for some people but this was one of the things on the trip that I liked even more than I thought I would! Apologies for the rain on some of the pictures, which was quite atmospheric but not popular with the camera.