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27th July, 2016

Grundarfjordur. Iceland

For sure it is the scenery that one comes to Iceland for, particularly when heading away around the coast. Grundarfjordur (not easy to get your tongue round) is a small town not really so far away from Reykjavik, as the crow flies, but 110 miles by sea. On entering the wide fjord the mountains are pretty spectacular, and so is the sea bed. We had to navigate around the undersea mounts until we came to the flat glacial plain, just 18 meters below the keel.

It was an anchoring day as the little harbour is just a tad too shallow for us to enter, but with just under a quarter of a mile to the breakwater the run in for the tenders was short. One tour went off for a long day heading towards the Snæfellsnes Peninsular and its famous Snaefellsjökull Glacier. Other folks went puffin spotting in a delightful typical old Icelandic fishing boat while Mrs R and I stomped off through the town towards the Kirkjufell Waterfall.

In fact we were the ‘advance party’, as there was a passenger walking tour to follow. We met the guides who were to take the passengers and they suggested we take a couple of short sticks that had been prepared before our arrival. Interesting I thought, but it was explained there were a large number of Arctic Terns nesting on the route and they have a tendency to ‘dive bomb’passers-by in order to defend their territory. And they weren’t joking, at one stage we were like a couple of mad dervish, waving our sticks in the air in some sort of animated defence.

After a few miles we came across the waterfall. A few picys and we headed back, passing the Saganauts all waving their sticks in defiance, and arrived back above the town in time to take a quick detour into the impressive church. Built in the early sixties, but somehow not looking like other modern churches, the lectern in particular was striking, as it was constructed by a local craftsman in the shape of a ship’s bow with marquetry depicting scenes from the bible. From the first landing of the white painted bell tower large windows gave a fine view over the small town and Saga Sapphire lying peacefully at the head of the fjord.

Captain Philip Rentell

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

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