Today was down time since the brethren were busy with other things, so we got up early and headed out to see some of the island north of us. Jimmie and I donned our long-johns for the first time today and I was already grumbling that they were too warm before we left the B & B. THAT conclusion evaporated in a matter of seconds after stepping out of the door to cross the parking lot. The weather in Keflavìk was partly cloudy with a temperature of 35 degrees, but it was soon to get colder still so we were grateful for every bit of warmth we could muster.
William plotted out a course to drive north on Hwy 1, the Ring Road that encirles Iceland. The countryside was lovely with lots of horses again and the first sheep we have seen - a flock of exactly 3! At the Borgarfjordur we took the tunnel that goes under the water to reach the other side then stopped at Borgarnes where it was snowing briskly. Then we branched off to travel around the coast of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula along the coastline and minutes later we had clear blue skies. The snow-covered mountain range was incredibly beautiful. It was also incredibly desolate, the kind of wild beauty where you are actually suprised to meet another car or see an isolated house nestled under a mountain because they were so few and far between. But one section of the drive we experienced the fiercest winds imaginable - gale force at least. We stopped for pictures a couple of times and the guys could barely manage to stand in the wind even hanging onto the car. (We heard after our return that the wind was so bad that it actually blew over a truck.) We were very glad when that was calm again.
We stopped at one particularly striking rock formation along the coast, but had to climb a long grade to reach the cliff and get a proper look. It was worth the effort! The black lava beach with the blue breakers instantly reminded me of Taputimu where we lived in Samoa. Jimmie, William and Katrece continued on up another hill to get another view of the cliff while I opted to wait for them. I sat down on a lava formation and viewed the area around me. Straight in front of me were miles of lava field covered in lichen or dried grass. To my left was the North Atlantic Ocean crashing on the rocks far below me. It and the sea birds circling were the only sounds I could hear. And to my right was a massive mountain topped by the Snæfells-Jokull. I had hoped to see a glacier while we were here, and there it was before me! I could only think that you would not find that combination very many places in the world.
Today was truly a beautiful day, and an amazing reminder of the greatness of our God who created such wonders.