A taste of Reykjanes

A taste of Reykjanes

A taste of Reykjanes

A walk in Reykjanes is a treat for all your senses, especially your taste buds.

Hvalsnes is a magnificent area with religious history - the church at Hvalsnes was consecrated in 1887 and built of carved stones collected from the area. The wood in the interior is from the shores nearby.

One of the most remarkable items of the church is the gravestone of Steinunn Hallgrímsdóttir who died when she was 4 years old in 1649. She was the daughter of Hallgrímur Pétursson Iceland's most important psalmist which at that time served as a priest at the parish in Hvalsnes.


The gravestone was lost for a long time but was discovered again in 1964 but it had been used as a part of a walkway leading to the church. You can now see the stone inside the church which was carved by the grieving father. This is how he remembered her:

Næm, skynsöm, ljúf í lyndi,

lífs meðan varstu hér,

eftirlæti og yndi

ætíð hafði ég af þér,

í minni muntu mér;

því mun ég þig með tárum

þreyja af huga sárum,

heim til þess héðan fer.

But the area is also known in recent years for Baltasar´s movie Mýrin or Jar City that is based on Iceland´s foremost criminal author´s book, Arnaldur Indriðason. A murder opens up a bleak trail of long buried secrets and small town corruption for a worn out police detective and his squad.

It´s a peaceful area and nothing macabre about it despite the thriller.

The birds will keep you company, you can hear the songs of Tjaldur/oystercatcher, Hrossagaukur/Common snipe and Spói/Whimbrel and they will try to mislead you in a different direction from their nests, very creatively.

If you look closely you can sample the Sheep sorrel which is a delicacy although pretty sour. We used to eat them in an abundance when we were children and although we were told it was sour because the dog´s peed on it -  it didn´t lessen our appetite (and of course later we found out that it wasn´t true).

I was so lucky to find some Rhubarb popular in Iceland through the centuries since it doesn´t require much attendance and survives almost anything. I find it best to eat it straight up with a bit of sugar but Icelanders use it mostly to make jam.

Some say that the best rhubarb is stolen, and it was true.