Snæfellsnes Peninsula – part 6

Rugged and awe inspiring.

How does one follow up the view of Kirkjufell, you might ask. In Iceland, the answer is simple, as each landscape is unique in its own way and dramatic!

As we were heading toward a great little church (coming up in part 7), we made a stop to enjoy another aspect of Snæfellsnes Peninsula: Berserkjahraun lava field.

Berserkjahraun I

The lava field is about 4000 years old and covers the western part of Helgafell, situated between the towns of Stykkishólmur and Grundarfjörður. Its name, Berserkjahraun comes from one of the old Icelandic sagas, the Eyrbyggja-Saga. According to the tales a farmer brought two berserkers from Sweden to the Snæfellsnes peninsula, who he later gave to his brother Viga-Styr, who lived on the other side of the lava field. One of the berserkers fell in love with Viga-Styr’s daughter and asked for her hand in marriage.

The shrewd Viga-Styr made a deal that stipulated he could have her hand in marriage, if he cleared a path across the lava field, which feat was considered impossible. Of course, the berserkers worked together and completed a path in short time. Instead of keeping his promise, Viga-Styr had the two Swedes killed and buried them near the path. The landmarks of this legend can be found in the field: the path, Berserkjagata, the burial place of the berserkers, Berserkjadys, a boundary fence, Landamerkjagarður and a sheep den, Fjárrétt.

Berserkjahraun II

Looking across this field, one can imagine the source of such a wonderful tale. The entire field is strewn with lava stones, which seem nearly impassible. If you find yourself here, it is well worth spending some time exploring the field, as long as you watch your footing, as it is treacherous.

The images in this post are taken with my iPhone 13 Pro Max and Canon EOS EOS R5 using a Canon RF24-105mm F4 L IS USM lens. First level processing of the images was done using Skylum’s Luminar AI software; for these images, I created a template based on the Backlit Clouds template that is part of the Overcast collection of templates. Touch up processing was done in Photoshop.

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