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July 24, 2015

Two Weeks in Iceland, Day 12 & 13: Baldur Ferry, Stykkishólmur, Snæfellsnes, Borgarnes

Day twelve was a chill out day - a break in our routine of cramming in driving and sightseeing from morning to night. 
We took the Baldur Ferry from Brjanslaekuracross across Breidafjördur Bay to Stykkishólmur, where we got our first taste of the Snæfellsnes peninsula.

The ferry ride was relaxing, and when we arrived on shore we did some grocery shopping, sought out some Icelandic hotdogs and took a break at the Library of Water. The gallery space there is full of floor-to-ceiling cylinders filled with glacier water. There's also a bright front room with chess sets, where Kamil taught me how to play chess.

The drive to our lodging in Rif was wonderful, with the gorgeous scenery of Snæfellsnes keeping us entertained: lots of mossy mountains, houses, sheep and views of the ocean. It dawned on me that our road trip was coming to an end soon, so I resolved to soak up as much of the Icelandic countryside atmosphere as I could. 

DAY THIRTEEN: Snæfellsnes, Borgarnes & home again
The final day of driving! A beautiful breakfast - the fanciest of our entire trip - with a buffet including quiche, croissants, delicious salmon, fruits, and more.

We started the last day of driving in our beloved rental car by taking in the sights of the Snæfellsnes peninsular: its grand glaciers and mossy lava fields.

A nice hour's walk from Hellnar towards Arnarstapi allowed us to breathe in the fresh coastal air. 

This was followed by more Ring Road driving and a quest for lunch time hotdogs (success!)

Our final stop before heading back to the capital was at the incredibly worthwhile exhibition "100 Years of Children" in the sizeable town of Borgarnes.

The exhibition was a real gem of storytelling through photographs. Visitors to "100 Years of Children" can experience the last century of Icelandic life in an interactive, engaging and personal manner. Enlarged photographs of Icelandic children fill the curved walls. This theme of children is important- it ties everything together across the broad timeframe of 100 years and gives the exhibit a personal feeling, like looking through old photo albums. You see how much life has changed, get a sense of how difficult the conditions endured by those in the past were, and learn how certain events in Iceland's history effected everyday people. 

Behind some photos a secret door opens to reveal objects belonging to Icelandic children of the past. These items - from cooking implements and household items to toys and clothing - add an extra element to the experience. A booklet of translated texts accompanies you on your journey through the past but the personal details of the children in most photos are not addressed. We do not know who exactly they were, but our minds are provided with the perfect framework to wander.

The gallery attendant was a lovely young girl who has a passion for the history of Iceland. The exhibition was the perfect ending to our road trip, reminding us of the inhabitants of the wonderful country we had spent the last two weeks exploring.

And with that, we were ready to head back to our starting point in Reykjavik; Sad to finish our road trip but totally satisfied with the everything we had been able to see. 

To be continued

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