We took The Baldur
in August 2005 near the end of a grand anti-clockwise drive around Iceland. We'd been in the Westfjords (Western Fjords) and were heading back towards the Snæfellsnes peninsula and then on to Reykjavík.
The Westfjords are magnificent, but driving there is not for the faint of heart, either as driver or passenger. We drove along many single track roads on the edge of steep hills, and I found myself scouting out the road as far ahead as possible for any approaching vehicles, so I could chose the least scary place to confront them. Fortunately most of the area is very sparsely travelled. It also has the longest road tunnels I've ever been in, mainly single track and with unlined, native rock walls. One of life's great driving experiences.
The ferry trip on the Baldur takes just over three hours, and we spent most of that time on deck watching the ever-changing view. And also being entertained by puffins landing, diving and taking off again close to the boat. About half way across the ferry stops (sometimes?) at the Island of Flatey; this was once quite heavily populated, but now includes the old village of traditionally painted houses.
Stykkishólmur is an interesting little fishing port. But when we arrived we headed straight for Drápuhliðarfjall, a mountain about 12 south of the town. During much of the ferry trip we'd a endured dark, low overcast sky with occasional drizzle, but watched the sun constantly shining on this one mountain in the distance. We weren't disappointed and hiked a way up this old volcano in the sunshine, and were treated to glorious rainbows.
If you can take a holiday without the need for beach umbrellas and can appreciate natural beauty in its raw, magnificent state, then Iceland is the place to go. We enjoyed the country so much that it has become a benchmark against which our travels are measured. Expensive, and apparently a lot busier than it was when we visited in 2005, but there is a lot of great scenery to go around. See
for more of our Iceland photos from 2005.