July 20 continued. We visited the Seltjarnarnes peninsula in Reykjavik, Iceland again in the misty rain. The area around Grotta Lighthouse and Bakkatjorn pond on Seltjarnarnes are natural reserves, surrounded by black sands and a rugged coastline, you can see across the water to the Reykjanes and Snæfellsnes Peninsulas.

There has been a lighthouse at Grótta since 1897, and the one currently standing dates back to 1947. It was connected to the electric grid in 1956 and has remained more or less unchanged since. A farm existed on the site in the 16th Century. Grótta is thought to derive from the old word for a wheat-grinding mill. 

Throughout summer, many species of birds nest in the area. Arctic Terns, tufted ducks, can be found in Bakkatjörn pond. Some areas are cordoned off to protect the birds during nesting. Terns will dive-bomb you if you are too close to their eggs or young, and you are likely to receive a fine. Seals are occasional visitors.

In winter the area has little light pollution, making it a popular spots to view the Northern Lights.

Grótta is connected to the mainland by a thin spit that becomes submerged at high tide. Those walking over to the lighthouse need to be aware of the tides, so they do not become stranded. See the tide chart.

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