Sunday, June 12, 2011

Breiðafjörður Bay

During our visit Iceland was unseasonably cold. It was so cold in fact that we purchased an extra layer at Iceland's own 66˚N so we could withstand the coldness. Being on a boat only amplified that and we had to remember that this is summer.

Stykkishólmur is part of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, which happens to be one of three Earth Check areas in the world. They have a very high level of environmental awareness and do everything they can to maintain the health of their area.

Boats are taken out to sea to be cleaned and the water is some of the purest and most delicious there is. Greta said her son in law even brings jugs to fill up and take back home with him.

Out in the bay we were on the look out for a variety of birds. Some appeared to me to be the average seagull, but we also saw white tailed eagles, a seal, and puffins! The puffins were the highlight and before we saw them we kept joking with Greta telling her she had better have not eaten them all.

Evidently, at least according to the boat captain, it takes 2 years of the puffins to burrow out a little home. These holes have two rooms, one bathroom and one home where they have their babies.

There are thousands of islands in the bay and they are only considered islands if they have grass on them. Many share the same names, because there are so many. We were surprised to see several small islands with a couple sheep grazing. Greta later told us that they also taste incredible. I don't eat mutton, so I'll take her word for it.

We visited the small cove where Erik the Red is said to have hid out when he was a wanted man before heading to Greenland and trying to entice people to come there by saying it's green. Having been to Greenland myself I can vouch for it being a much rougher terrain.

One really fun aspect of the bay cruise is the chance to eat seafood straight from the ocean.

A net was cast and in just a few moments it was filled with the freshest scallops and sea urchins I've ever eaten. The other sea life including the crabs and star fish were put back into the water.


andrea said...

Gorgeous pictures as always!

I love the 66 North brand, I bought some when I was there too, I don't need it much in Georgia :)

Emily said...

Thanks, Andrea! Hopefully you won't get snow again this year, but at least you'd be prepared... and I'm sure you'll get to use it again on your travels and visits to the UK!