Grand parking spot

This is where I parked the car for the night. The camp-site had not actually opened for the season, and no-one came around to collect a camping fee, which didn’t matter since the facilities weren’t open anyway. This is, I think, the parking lot, or possibly space for motor-homes and trailers.

Yesterday’s lambs were inside the fence behind the car:



My VW Caddy in Hvalfjörður

Although it is a very simple, clean look (only until you get closer: white cars are a nuisance to keep clean), I think the Caddy looks a bit plain with the original white paint job. I would like to get some tasteful decals to decorate it, but I don’t want it looking like it belongs to a rental company. Right now, of course, it looks like one of the things it was designed to be: a delivery van. Maybe I’ll use some of my photos, or perhaps some drawings? Decisions, decisions.

The mountain is called Þyrill.


The Anvil – Steðji (Staupasteinn)

Iceland_road_sign_E02.61.svgThe peculiar rock in the photos below is hidden in a small vale on the south side of Hvalfjörður, a short drive off the main road (turning right). It is marked as a place of interest (see the sign on the left) and the road-sign sign says “Steðji”, which means “Anvil” and is one of several names for it. Others include “Prestur” (“Priest”), “Karlinn í Skeiðhól” (the Old Man of Skeiðhóll) and “Staupasteinn” (literally “the rock on which goblets are placed”, although I think the “a” was probably inserted to make it easier to say the name rather than to indicate plurality, so Goblet Rock is probably a more correct translation). It used to be a stopping point by the highway, but must now be sought out specially. It has been a protected natural monument since 1974.

Unusually for a lone standing rock, it is not considered to be a petrified troll (although the Old Man… name seems to indicate that perhaps it was once seen as such), but rather the home of a friendly elf hermit named Staupa-Steinn. Incidentally, the American TV series Cheers was called Staupasteinn in Icelandic, a very suitable name for a bar, and in fact you can find at least one bar of that name in Iceland. It, however, postdates Cheers and is probably named after the TV series and not directly after the rock.

From this angle, it looks like a slightly misshapen goblet, a fist or perhaps a tree. What do you see?



I wonder what other nationalities would call it? Seeing it from this angle I am pretty certain an American would call it the “Catcher’s Mitt”.



Seen in a wider context:


Sunday drive to Seltún and Kleifarvatn


I mentioned, in an earlier post, that I have a new car which serves the dual purpose of daily transport and motorhome. The objective of taking it out for a day’s driving was, partly, to test everything before I set off on an overnight trip. I wanted to get used to driving a car that is longer and slightly wider than my old one, test the equipment and generally learn the car. I also wanted to see how the interior would test out, i.e. the bed, cupboards and drawers my father and I installed to turn the van into a motor home.


Apart from a drawer that wanted to stay open and some creaking of the wood and rattling of things I hadn’t secured properly, it acquitted itself very nicely. The Saturday drive tested the installed interior for noise, and the comfort and manoeuvrability of the vehicle. On Sunday I took it out again, this time to test it on a hilly, winding road that is part gravel, part tarmac. Aside form a minor difficulty on a steep, very gravelly hill, the car performed well and I considered myself prepared to take it on an overnight expedition.

(I have been on two since then. More on that in a later post.)

Lastly, here are some photos from the Seltún geothermal area, which I visited during the drive:





Not really – but the waterfall is called Hjálparfoss (Help Fall).

Looking small, tranquil and cute:


With a human included for scale it doesn’t look quite as cute: