Kleifarvatn, Reykjanes peninsular

Stewart is instructed to drive to Reykjavík by way of Krýsuvík, Lindholm is waiting for Stewart on route 42 alongside Kleifarvatn on the stretch of road between Syðri-Stapi and Innri-Stapi.

Krýsuvík is an ancient manor farm and church now abandoned along with other nearby farms. There is much geothermal heat, with drill-holes for possible exploitation. The church is still standing and was consecrated anew in 1964, and has been in the care of the National Museum since then. The land belongs to Hafnarfjörður. To the south, on the coast are the Krýsuvíkurberg bird cliffs. [1]

Kleifarvatn at nearly 10 km2 and up to 97m deep it is the third largest lake in southern Iceland. The water level rises and falls at intervals according to precipitation. Formerly a dead lake, though some trout have been imported and are prospering. At the crag Innri-Stapi on the shore there is a bronze plaque commemorating the guide Stefán Stefánsson, whose ashes were scattered in the lake. [1]

In 2000, following an earthquake, a fissure formed below the lake and it started to drain away. The fissure has since refilled and the lake has returned to its previous levels. The Icelandic crime author Arnaldur Indrðason wrote the novel Kleifarvatn inspired by this event. Originally published in 2004 it was translated and published as The Draining Lake  (Reykjavík Murder Mysteries 4) in 2007. The novel features Indriðason’s popular character Detective Erlendur.

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Images © BBC Scotland, © 2014 Google.

1. Steindórsson, S. Hálfdanarson, Ö. Hálfdanardóttir, E. (2007) Þingvallavatn – Vegahandbókin 2007. p219.