I’m really quite taken with Icelandic churches. The smallest of hamlets will have a church, many created from the same set of architectural drawings it seems. This particular church was on the banks of Miðfjörður in the northwest of Iceland.
It had been our plan to tour the Westfjords during our first few days in Iceland but the weather beat us unfortunately. It was touch and go whether we’d make it to the northwest at all following the journey I wrote about in my first post from Iceland which you can see here.
Arriving in the northwest we were treated to three days of near hurricane force winds. Gusts of wind were making it impossible to open the door to our cottage and when parking the car, I had to park broadside to the wind so that Chris could get out on the lee side and then turn the car around to allow me to get out.
It was crucial to get this right; the best that could happen if you got it wrong was you simply couldn’t open the car door. The worst was a real risk of having the car door ripped from your hands and blown open causing a great deal of damage. This is the most common type of damage that occurs with hire cars in Iceland apparently.
For the two nights we stayed in Hvammstangi, a red alert was in force. This meant the wind was gusting at speeds greater than 27 metres per second. That’s a force 11 on the Beaufort scale, a wind that is very difficult to stand up in. The advice from the Icelandic road agency is that when a red alert is in force, driving is hazardous and vehicles of all kinds risk being blown off the road. Thankfully we didn’t get blown off the road but with snow and ice covering the roads, it really didn’t make sense to travel too far afield. These were the conditions we encountered just a few minutes after taking this photograph. You can hear the snow flakes hitting the windscreen they were driven with such force.
I had wanted to revisit Arnastapi and Snaefellsness where this picture of another very similar Icelandic church was taken but the sadly the weather was against us..