Last Day in Arnarstapi – Kirsten Surdej

Yesterday was our last day in Arnarstapi, where we’ve been staying for the past few days. Arnarstapi, a small seaside town on the western coast of Iceland, was a much quieter place than Reykjavik, the capital—here’s a picture of our guest-house’s yard.

But for such a quiet place, we’ve done an unbelievable amount! Between the day we arrived here and when we left today, we explored beaches and fields; saw waterfalls; hiked through a lava field miles long; climbed a 4,000-foot glacier; walked a length of seaside coast full of gorgeous cliffs and whirling birds; stood on black sand beaches; and seen a million indescribably beautiful things. Now that we have internet again, I’ve resolved to look up all the synonyms of “awesome” so I’m not repeating myself as we travel from place to place. The scenery is so diverse and on such an immense scale, it’s hard to process or fully explain through pictures.


Yesterday we went to Malarrif, a beach with a lighthouse. Most of Iceland’s beaches are composed entirely of rock, so I was expecting a completely jagged coastline when walking over the hills to the beach. However, I was taken aback as I cleared the hills and looked down at the shore. It was endless, rounded volcanic rocks as far as the eye could see.

Awestruck doesn’t even come close to how I felt standing on the cusp of that distinct shore. Iceland’s geography makes me feel like a single rock on a beach like this: a crucial, but immensely small part of a beautiful whole. However, this beach was where I felt the most mindful of Iceland’s turbulent, yet cyclical formation: the volcanic rock slowly being rounded by and returned to the ocean. I’m a beach lover, so the sound of crashing surf is a welcome one. But the sliding scratch of smaller stones being pulled over one another and back into the ocean was something entirely new and entrancing. I sat on the shore, took a couple pictures, and eventually turned my camera off to listen to the sound and truly experience this beautiful beach.


Iceland is without a doubt the most beautiful and visually striking place that I’ve ever been. I’m having a blast on this trip, and I can’t wait to keep exploring and experiencing this amazing country!



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  1. Christie Boronico Reply May 22, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    I love the pebble picture! The laundry hanging out reminds me of a simpler time.