A Small Church and a Full Moon in Iceland — By Jennifer Shipp
Europe Iceland

A Small Church and a Full Moon in Iceland — By Jennifer Shipp

John and I found this church and cemetery in the middle of the night during a full moon while jogging through the neighborhood.
John and I found this church and cemetery in the middle of the night during a full moon while jogging through the neighborhood.

As usual, we opted to stay in a small town rather than a big city while we were in Iceland. Small towns tend to be more welcoming and more surprising than big cities. Our vacation rental was small, but very warm (almost too warm at times) and quite cozy.

It’s hard to talk about Reykjanesbaer the place without talking about Reykjanesbaer weather. We visited in early November for five days when the daylight is limited to only about 8 hours per day. Eight hours of daylight was even more than I’d expected at that time of the year, but for me, it definitey wasn’t enough. The combination of cold, being in a basement apartment, and the darkness outside put me into hibernation mode and on our second day there, I slept from 5:00 PM until noon the next day (I could’ve slept longer, but felt like I’d be pretty messed up if I didn’t open my eyes for a few hours while the sun was up).

On our last evening in the small town, John and I went for a jog at 9:30 PM around town. It’s not the most spectacular place in terms of architecture. The housing is solid and simple. We jogged on a small biking path through the town and then eventually found an old church surrounded on all sides with tombstones.

“I hear water, don’t you?” I said to John as we entered the cemetery which was gently lit by a soft

It was the perfect view of the ocean off the coast of Iceland from the city of Reykjanesbaer.
It was the perfect view of the ocean off the coast of Iceland from the city of Reykjanesbaer.

yellow light on the church steeple. I knew the city was located on the ocean, but we hadn’t yet seen the place where land and water intersected. We continued over to a stone wall that was about waist high and look over. There, we saw waves crashing against a rocky shore, the full moon casting it’s reflection across the vast expanse of the ocean. It was my favorite moment in Iceland. It was hard to fathom the distance between our position in the Icelandic church cemetery and any other body of land that lay in the distance.

We went and got Lydian to take her to the same spot. Upon arriving at the church, the wind picked up and we decided to hurry down a path that lead along the shore before it got too cold. We passed by an unlit statue, through some tall grass to the path and continued on until it got so cold we couldn’t feel our faces anymore.

We also saw an Elf Garden, the Kathlahraun lava floes, the Saga Museum, some geysirs, and the Gulfoss waterfall while we were in Iceland but none of them compared to our serendipitous meeting with the ocean during a full moon on that cold night.

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Real, Live Icelandic Elves– By Jennifer Shipp

Dealing with Vacation Envy in Iceland– By Jennifer Shipp

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