Monday, 26 May 2014

Grundafjordur & Stykisholmur

On a cool grey misty morning we pulled alongside the pier in the picturesque Grundafjordor harbour at 07:30.  Kittiwakes and Northern Fulmars wheeled about the ship.
Photo © Lisa Anderson
The first tours of our Icelandic Odyssey set off at 08:30.  We hoped to see Snaefelsjokul but the constant low cloud cover and steady drizzle rendered that possibilty null and void.  Snaefelsjokul is the glacier capped mountain where Jules Verne’s famous story Journey To The Centre Of The Earth took place.  According to Jules Verne, the entrance to the centre of the earth is found on Snaefelsjokul.  The word jokul is Icelandic for glacier and is generally included with the name of the glacier as one word.  To say, “Snaefelsjokul glacier” would be incorrect.  It would be akin to saying, “Snaefels glacier glacier”.  Despite not being able to see the famous glacier it was wonderful to tour through the national park.  Tortured lava fields were everywhere.   The lava fields were largely covered in dense, luxurious moss. With all of the spring rain the mosses were turning a bright green.
Photo © Lisa Anderson

Shortly after 13:00 the motor coaches were back at the ship. In short order the AB’s cast off the lines and we were under way to our second landing of the day.
Our plan was to drop anchor outside of Stykisholmur and then use the Polar Cirkel boats to tender everyone in.  Our Icelandic Pilot informed us that it was possible to get Fram into the harbour and that we could tie up at the pier.  Great news!  It was an impressive docking.  The pier was tiny and the maneuvering space next to nil.  The ship’s officers and sailors did themselves proud by sliding Fram into the tight docking area as if they had been there 100 times before.
The cold rain continued on and off through the afternoon, but undaunted the hikers set off into The Berserk Lavafields.  Is it just me that thinks that is a great name?  The Berserk Lavafields.  It sounds straight out of a fantasy novel or a movie like The Princess Bride.
Another group went on a boat tour and visited many of the small islands close by.  It was possible to get great views of Puffins and many other seabirds.  One of the highlights of the tour was to taste seafood that they trawled up from the bottom of the sea.

At 20:00 we cast off our lines once again.  Our destination for tomorrow Flateyri!