Journey to the Center of the Earth

Day 8: Our journey to the center of the Earth 
Just kidding, but also not really because those of you who know your Jules Verne, know that one of the supposed lava tubes that gain access to the center of the Earth is actually located in a volcano on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. 
So that is what today is about! Discovering waterfalls (surprised?) volcanoes!, oh and some incredible fjords along out drive! 
I literally took all 3 of the above photos from a moving car, half crushing Braden as I had to lean over him to get the shots. (He lucked out and was on the right side of the car this day for driving…)
Though we definitely had to stop a few times to admire the incredible coastline and fjord views. 
Also I was super stoked to FINALLY have weather dry/ warm enough to wear the dress I brought along! 
Troll land again! 
Our first stop as we haeded SE, was the overly famous:
Kirkjufell
We drove through the town Grundarfjörður, shown above is the incredible view from Kirkufell.
The town has a small grocery store and tourist office and after that is just a short drive to the Kirkufellfoss!
The foss is beautiful but after all the other incredible waterfalls we saw in Iceland… it was kind of meh. Especially considering the hordes of people around it! 
Kirkufell mountain on the other hand, was awesome to see in person! It has such a cool shape and sits like a peninsula out on the water. The mountain is 463 m high (just over 1,500 feet) and has been featured in dozens of outdoor catalogs not to mention the latest season of Game Of Thrones! 
The iconic short of the waterfall and mountain together
There is a large free parking lot but otherwise no facilities at this site so you’ll want to stop in the town for lunch foods/ toilets before continuing on around the Snæfellsnes peninsula. 
And the sun has finally emerged! Look at that! BLUE SKY!
We immediately knew we had to take advantage of this sun shine and scenic drive, and what better way than with a picnic (which luckily we had the supplies since we’d essentially been doing this everyday IN the car so far) There we lots of pretty pull outs but a sad lack of picnic tables. We drove a little ways along and ended up at a nice picnic area with rubbish bins in the small harbor town of Ólafsvík, about 20 minutes further along Rt. 54.
The town was small but cute with a waterfall and cool looking church 
Next stop: Dritvik Djúpalónssandur
About another 30 minutes along the circuit and on right about the SW tip of the peninsula is a national park with cool beaches and a lovely walk. See that line of rust colored fragments on the beach? Those are actually oxidized fragments of a ship wrecked British fishing trawler that was wrecked back in 1948. 
The parking is FREE and there were decent free toilets at this stop as well. The trail to the viewpoint of the beach is very quick and short but to go down onto the beach expect to walk an easy 1.5 miles RT. That being said the trails runs along this really cool rock formation which would be fun to take a look at on your way. Unfortunately this was the coldest and WINDIEST stop of our day so we just got out to take a quick look around and continued on our merry way. 
Remember that story about lava tubes to the center of the Earth? Well you’re looking at one ! The Snæfellsjökull volcano is the setting for Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth and this volcano definitely dominates the SW tip of the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
The Snæfellsjökull is 700,000-year-old with its last eruption taking place all the way back in 200 AD ( give or take150 years)
The national park is actually named after this mountain/glacier and there is a nice FREE visitor center for the park just past Dritvik. (I took this photo of the volcano from the parking lot) There is a lot of good information about the volcano and the history of the area as well as free toilets! You also have a nice view of a lighthouse from here. 
And then another short drive to our last anticipated spectacle of the day: Port Arnastapi.
There are a couple places to park and get out to stretch your legs. We drove all the way to the end first where we got this iconic Iceland shot. Then we back tracked to the sculpture of Bardur Snaefellsas statue parking lot to see some Sea arches!
This first one was just past the statue and an easy walk! 
Mind where you walk and try to stay on trails… you never know when the ground might just… open up to a giant pit like the one below! 
But look at all the Basalt!!! AHHH
Photo taken from a spot STANDING on an arch. 
The most Instagram worthy arch in the business! Such an incredible geological feature! albeit a little scary to think of falling off… That being said IF you want to find this spot, go LEFT at the statue. It is a pretty short and easy walk along to find this arch and definitely recommend it! 
Continuing along the peninsula the clouds were rolling in over the top of the mountain ridge. So I give you another moving car window pic. 
And of course another roadside waterfall!
We headed into Borgarnes to pick up some groceries for dinner and then headed out to what is probably the BEST AIRBNB EVER. 
Just 10-15 minutes off the main road 54 is this Airbnb CABIN. It had room to sleep 6 with 2 bedrooms and an upstairs loft. The kitchen and space were amazing and having the private rooms again was nice after our previous 2 nights of bunking. 
And the best part? The amazing views from our front door! Fall colors GALORE and a stunning sunset! 
Fall colors and one of the few other cabins close by 
Amazing porch AND A HOT TUB!!! We loved this Airbnb!
Amazing sunset, amazing cabin
We got ourselves one giant filet of arctic char and some yummy veggies from the store so not only as it one of our fav lodgings of the trip, but just may have been one of my favorite meals as well! This is one place I could’ve stayed longer! 
Total Driving time and distance: 5h 30min, 400 km
Day 8 Costs:
Breakfast: included again! 
Lunch: picnic’d with groceries (about $10)
Dinner: a giant filet of arctic char for $21
Night 8 airbnb cabin: $170 for all 4 of us, so $85 for us 2

Rental Car breakdown for 1 day/2 people: $66
Gas breakdown average/ day for 2 people: $18/ day
Day 8 Total Costs: $200 for 2 people 

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