Today we sort of had waffles for breakfast. I say sort of, because I’d never used a waffle iron before, and most of the batter squirted out the sides and formed puddles on the table. Still, what was left in the iron ended up tasting very good indeed, even with gluten free flour.
After clearing up, we drove south to the next fjord along – Stöðvarfjörður. Whilst smaller than Fáskrúðsfjörður, it packs a punch thanks to our main reason for visiting today – Petra’s stone collection. Petra is sadly no longer of this world, but lived in the village, and spent her life collecting stones and minerals from the mountains nearby. She seemed to have a ‘second sight’, and knew instinctively which stones would contain minerals, so much so that hers is the largest private collection in the world. It gradually took over her house, and then her garden, so that by the end of her life she was living in just one room.
As geologists in a former life, Rich and I were in our element. The whole site feels very calming, and has a luminescence, thanks to the magnificence of the minerals. As the only visitors that morning, we got talking to one of Petra’s daughters who now helps manage the collection. It turned out that her son – Ívar Ingimarsson, used to play football for Ipswich, and that Rich remembered him well! Just like Rich, Petra loved football, and after talking football for a while, her daughter handed us a gift – a copy of a book about Petra, and said that it was from Ívar, who’d also inherited his grandmother’s ‘second sight’. That’s one of the things we love so much about Iceland – gestures of kindness and generosity that touch our hearts every time. Whilst we’re both quite quiet people, we’re interested in and curious about others, and I think they appreciate this. We certainly appreciated the book, and it now takes pride of place on our coffee table.
We left the village feeling very ‘zen’, and parked up at the end of the gravel track which leads to Stöð. From here, we followed a ridiculously scenic trail up the Jafnadalur valley. The snow had only started to melt this high up a few days ago, and Spring plants were emerging in the sunshine. With not another soul in sight, and surrounded by ryholite peaks, we walked up past the snow line until the snow got too deep for our boots, before eating our lunch whilst surveying views to die for.