Blogs from Southwest, Iceland, Europe - page 15

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Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík August 3rd 2011

Iceland: known as the land of fire and ice. Well, we didn't get to witness any fire and there was a lot less ice or snow than we had expected - it was summer - but the name does give you certain expectations. In Icelandic history, the stories of the Vikings are recorded in mammoth accounts known as The Sagas and in what is fast becoming a common event, our flight from Zurich, Switzerland to Reykjavik, Iceland was not without drama. We would like to think of this as a 'saga' of our own (but we'll make it much shorter...) We arrived at Zurich airport to check in for our 7.20pm flight and after some confused searching by the attendant were told that we were not on the passenger list for this flight … but had ... read more
The Sun Voyager
The Harpa, Reykjavik
Mud Monster, Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík August 2nd 2011

INTERNET SERVICE IS IFFY THIS FAR NORTH. WILL POST AS I CAN. Surprise! Surprise! It’s a cloudy day with a chance of showers but the temperature is a balmy 62. Our group met on the dock and was introduce to Jens (pronounced Yens) for our grand circle adventure. There are fifteen of us and our cost was $40pp versus $189 the ship was charging. We had a quick tour of Reykjavic. It was a National Holiday so the streets were empty. Tradition has it that everyone heads out to the country for the last three day holiday of the summer. Yes, up hear summer is coming to the end. I wish I had more time to explore this city. It is very clean and almost graffiti free. The oldest building dates to the mid 1800’s. Before ... read more

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík August 2nd 2011

Iceland is so remote that many things have developed without interaction with other cultures or species. The Icelandic horse, sheep and cattle are the same as when the Vikings brought them over in the 9th century. All animals are free to roam until shearing of slaughter and grow very warms coats in the winter. The horse is smaller than other horse species and has five gates rather than three or four: walk, trot, pace, gallop and throp. Throp is a very smooth pace such that one can ride for hours and not feel tired or ride around a ring with a glass of liquid and not spill a drop. The horses are handsome animals with rich flowing manes and tails, the color of which often contrasts to the coat. Enjoyed watching two young males play fighting, ... read more

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík August 1st 2011

Notes on the Prinsendam: She is really a small ship. She has two banks of two elevators each so the wait for one is often long. My cabin has a Plexiglas window inside the windowsill of the ships windows. I’m not sure why. My bathtub is so big it allows me to stretch out full length. The Lido buffet is really small. More than once I have had to either bring food to my cabin or order room service because there was no place to sit. Part of the reason is the weather. Not many people wish to eat al fresco at 52 degrees. The Terrace Grill has been moved inside. The kitchen seems to be struggling. Last night my Beef Wellington arrived long after all the other meals. Service at Afternoon Tea was erratic; I ... read more

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík July 31st 2011

We docked at 5:00 pm and by six thirty I was off for a swim in the Blue Lagoon with three busloads of my closest friends. The ride took us through a moonscape of lava fields. Although the nearest volcano has not erupted in three hundred years, the only vegetation to be seen is a think layer of moss. This delicate plant protects against erosion but when the winter winds howl, it can be swept away in seconds. I got my first glimpse of the rift where the North American Plate is moving west and the Euro-Asian plate is moving east leaving a jagged fault line clearly visible. Off in the distance, volcanic mountains and cinder cones provide a rugged backdrop. The Blue Lagoon is a huge complex. Our guide remembers when it was just a ... read more

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Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Laugavegur July 25th 2011

for english scroll down Een maand arctische zomer aan de noordpoolcirkel, lijkt ons een uitstekend plan om de hongerige liefde te stillen die we voor het hoge noorden koesteren. Vooraleer we ons storten op een ferm uit te kluiten gewassen wildernistocht in Oost-Groenland, gooien we de benen los op, het met trollen en elfen, bevolkte Ijsland. Op het intrigerende eiland middenin de Atlantische Oceaan, is er een eeuwig gevecht aan de gang tussen zijn grote ijskappen en actieve vulkanen (waarvan Eyjafjallajökull intussen de sterrenstatus heeft bereikt). Dit voortdurende spektakel houwt het landschap in een buitenaards profiel. Met zijn slechts 3 inwoners/km² is het eiland, eenmaal van de kust weg, een vulkanische wildernis, waar haast... read more
Lord of the Rings landscape
Eagle's eye on the Mýrdalsjökull
Rjupnafell

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík July 13th 2011

When planning our trip, we knew our layover in Iceland on the return would be a welcome bonus. After a 4 1/2 hour trip from Paris, we reached Iceland at 9:30 am. We had 7 hours before flight home just enough time to see the famous Blue Lagoon. There was a bus outside the small airport to take passengers to and from the Blue Lagoon so we bought tickets and set out on the 10:15 bus. It took about an hour to get there after all stops, 40 minutes longer than advertised. It was a rainy day and we did our best to see the terrain of the fascinating island best we could. When we reached the Blue Lagoon, we could see the lava rock terrain and geothermal waters. We had never been to such an ... read more
Iceland
Iceland
Iceland

Europe » Iceland » Southwest July 12th 2011

What it is about Stewart and Jen, I don't know, but since we met them, they have somehow been a catalyst to ensure Justin and I have amazing summer vacations. Last summer it was our drive around the United States, largely for the purpose of attending their wedding in California. While most of our friends took an airplane there, Justin and I opted for a more leisurely mode of transportation...the automobile. While last summer it was radio blaring, windows down kind of fun, this trip will be entirely different. In fact, the automobile will be our most rare form of transportation for the next 2.5 weeks. Instead, we will be walking, training (railing?) and flying. None of which involve the radio blaring... What it will involve is spending 1 week with Jen and Stewart touring Iceland ... read more

Europe » Iceland » Southwest July 10th 2011

We have a new dear companion, and her name is Suzy. She is small but full of energy, and raring to go whenever we are. She's a Suzuki 4door automatic and we can't get enough of her. Thank goodness for the sweet angel Icelander at the Budget rent a car, who upgraded us from a manual to automatic free of charge, allowing Brian and I to trade out driving responsibilities. Thus far, the workload has been entirely on his shoulders. Yesterday we drove around the Golden Circle......a favorite circuit just outside of the city with some of Iceland's most photographed areas. Our first stop was Pingvellir (pronounced THingvellir...we think), an old meeting place for Norsemen, and Parliamentary sight. Here you can also see the tectonic plates sliding against one other (we didn't, but supposedly you can). ... read more
DSCN1297
Driving out of the Reykjavik
Suzy, our new sexy redheaded companion

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík July 8th 2011

We arrived in Iceland this morning, incredibly grateful to be met with a gust of the impossibly clean and fresh arctic air and to finally have the chance to stretch the kinks out of our necks and cramps out of our legs after hours of foiled attempts at stealing a few seconds of sleep while we crossed the Atlantic in the world's most uncomfortable seat assignments. Given the series of unexpected events that had unfolded in the 10 or so hours prior to us landing in Iceland, it was hard to believe that we had managed to arrive at all. A flight cancellation due to inclement weather had spun our well laid plans into a jumbled mess of hoping we'd have time to get to where we needed to be. What ensued was a series ... read more
Sunset on the way to New York
Lava fields leaving the airport
Too good to be true hostel view




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