My last morning in Iceland, I walked into central Hafnarfjörður and then towards Hamarinn Cliff, where the Royal Family of the Hidden Folk are said to live.

Traffic lights in Hafnarfjörður:
Traffic lights

I passed various small houses where elves might live, in people's gardens, and cute little creatures staring out at me from windows in the high street.

I clambered through the snow to the top of the cliff and admired the views of Hafnarfjörður.

On my way back to my hotel, I visited Hellisgerði Park again and said farewell to the elves, and then left Iceland.

Álfagarðurinn

More photos of Iceland can be found on Flickr: Iceland.

Bless bless.
On my last full day in Iceland, I visited the Snæfellsnes peninsular.

Read more... )

Near Stykkishólmur:
Reflections
On Friday, she boarded another coach and was taken to see Þingvellir, Strokkur and Gullfoss.

It was quite grey and cloudy that day and sometimes the snow fell.

Read more... )
She took a bus into Reykjavík, the number 1 bus, that afternoon, and wandered around the city.

Buildings

She found gloves lined up on railings with a sign saying "Single gloves speed dating", and she wondered how her glove that she had lost in Vík was doing.

Single Gloves

She went past a postbox for "letters to the Icelandic Santa" and it explained that you should write a letter with the name of your best friend or child and they would get a letter and gift from one of the 13 Icelandic yule lads.

She walked past souvenir shops selling many toy puffins, and a shop with a large polar bear outside.

It was snowing on and off in Reykjavík that day.

She took a lift to the top of the Hallgrímskirkja and admired the views across the city of the colourful buildings.

Houses

She went inside the Harpa building and stared up at the geometric shapes and the pretend birds flying across. She found a glowing sculpture made out of empty bottles.

Then she stood for a while by the harbour, simply looking out across the water to the mountains, the beautiful mountains.
When she woke up that morning, she found that it had snowed in the night and everything looked even more magical.

She ate porridge with brown sugar for breakfast and then headed off to explore Hafnarfjörður.

It was snowing quite heavily then and she was quite snow covered when she reached tourist information. She purchased a "Hidden Worlds" map there, which had locations marked where hidden folk, elves, light fairies and so on could be found.

The first location she visited had rows of not so hidden folk:
Not so hidden folk

She peered under lava formations, looking for elves, and found icicles, prettily hanging there.

She climbed across lava outside the swimming pool.

She walked by the harbour and watched the waves splash on the rocks and then walked up the hill, to where capricious elf children were said to live.

Feed me toys

She headed into the snow covered sculpture park after that and looked at sculptures.

Sculpture

She wandered through the snow until she came to Hellisgerði Park, well known for its elves and hidden folk. She noticed fairy lights hanging from some of the trees, and other decorations and ornaments.

She wandered through the park and met some fluffy cats (or were they elves?), who she stroked.

She looked suspiciously at the pond which had a pink scooter next to it. Had elves been playing on that?

She found a playground with a slide and swings after that, and brushed the snow off, and started swinging then, amongst the snowflakes.
The girl with only one glove (she lost the other in Vík) went inside the folk museum and listened to the guide at first, who explained that when she was young, if she looked like she might be a bit pale or getting ill, her grandmother would ask if she had been eating too much fresh food. In her grandmother's time, fresh food was scarce and as they were not used to it, could make them feel ill if they did eat it.

The girl with only one glove looked at the objects in the museum - the inscriptions on the bed boards, the old bottles from Hull, and then she went outside and into the turf houses. These were small wooden houses that had roofs with turf over them.

Turf houses

She then briefly looked around the transport museum, at snowmobiles and old telephone switchboards.

The coach tour continued and she saw a waterfall running sideways, and mountains, beautiful snow covered mountains (or were they volcanoes?), and pylons amongst snow.

Pylons

The coach stopped and she got off the coach, along with the other tourists, and stood next to a field, looking for the glacier - Eyjafjallajökull, and the volcano that erupted just a few years ago.

Back on the coach and then it was time to stop at Seljalandsfoss.

Seljalandsfoss

She followed a slippery path that took her behind the waterfall and there was a rainbow waiting for her there, which she walked through.

She had very much enjoyed her first full day in Iceland and found it all amazing and wondrous.
She gazed out of the window of the coach, smiling at the scenery and saying, "wow!" in her head.

The first stop on the tour was at the Sólheimajökull glacier:

Sólheimajökull Glacier

She walked through the pouring rain to stare at the glacier, amongst the ice and snow and lava.

On the way back, she noticed bit of melting ice on the hillside and when she stood still and watched, she could see what almost looked like tiny black creatures wriggling underneath the ice. It seemed magical to her at that moment, the melting of ice.

The next sight was Iceland's most southern village - Vík í Mýrdal. The rain had stopped and the sun shone then, as she wandered towards the sea. She sat on the beach with black sand and ate her sandwiches, and watched the tremendous roaring waves. The distant waves looked like clouds, and she thought about how there was no land mass between where she was and Antarctica.

Waves (or are they former trolls?):
Waves

Church:
Víkurkirkja

Then she visited Reynisfjara beach and it was so windy that she thought maybe she would start to fly.

She also walked inside a cave, and stared at the asphalt pillars:

Cave

The cave had a ceiling made of jagged rocks, so she did not stay inside for long.

Next, she climbed many steps to get to the top of the waterfall, Skógafoss Waterfall, and watched the water rushing down. At the bottom of the waterfall was a rainbow and she felt amazed at the sight.

Skógafoss Waterfall
Sometime in the 1980s, I read The Hardy Boys: Arctic Patrol Mystery, and was fascinated by the fact that in Iceland, people were listed by their first name in phone books.

I had wanted to visit Iceland since then and last year I took Icelandic classes for 10 weeks to find out more about the language.

On Tuesday 24th March I travelled to Iceland.

When I stepped onto the plane, I noticed the seat covers had Icelandic phrases on them and that made me smile:

Seat

Here are some clouds I saw:

Clouds

I travelled by flybus to my hotel (Hótel Hafnarfjörður) and then wandered to a supermarket, where I bought some baked apple skyr (similar to yogurt) and some kleinur (twisted doughnuts) to eat.

I stayed in the town of Hafnarfjörður, which is the third most populous town in Iceland (after Reykjavík and Kópavogur). It is situated in lava fields and has a large population of elves and other hidden people.

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