Blogs from Iceland, Europe - page 7

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Europe » Iceland » South » Hella September 30th 2013

Rainland today. Not been too bad the weather. Rained the first day, and today, but the rest of the time has been fine. So, easy day. A leisurely drive down the south coast of Rainland to see more volcanoes, more waterfalls, some trolls and a volcanic beach. The land is quite mountainous, but it’s nothing like the Lakes. I guess the difference is that, although the Lakes are volcanic (help me out here Sed), they are old and weathered. The land here is quite new, so the mountains are jagged and sharp. Very uncomfortable to lie on. Anyway, down to business. Testicle Cake. It’s an Icelandic delicacy apparently. They take lamb’s testicles, marinade them in whey, then press them into blocks and, Hey Presticle, Testicle Cake. (I thought it was bollocks when I first heard it, ... read more
Skogarfoss
Behind Skogarfoss
Water Falling

Europe » Iceland » South » Hella September 29th 2013

Funnily enough, there is a penis museum in Reykjavic. I haven’t been, but I am thinking of making a donation. Anyway, that’s enough penises (penii?) for now. Today is Golden Circle day. This is a 200km trip around south west Iceland taking in geysers, waterfalls and the Thingvellir National Park where two continental plates meet creating a rift valley. First up, geysers ( or rather geysirs, pronounced gay-zeer ). Geysers get their name from a geyser called Geysir in Geysir (according to some geezer). So this was our first stop. We can’t help being awed by all the geothermal gubbins going on here and Geysir is no exception. There are around thirty geysers and hot pools in the area, the biggest one being Geysir itself. It used to go off quite regularly but has got blocked ... read more
Strokkur - Thar She Blows
Strokkur From A Distance
Gullfoss

Europe » Iceland » South » Hella September 29th 2013

We met Thor last night !! Honest to Gods. That’s what the hotel manager is called. A lovely guy. Very interested in aurora too. Lots of animated discussion. Ended up hugging him (and yes, I was pissed, but I would probably still have hugged him anyway. In fact, I want to go and hug him now. Maybe later). So, how are we getting on with the Icelandic people ? Well, they’re a hardy race, but they don’t rest on their laurels :-). They are lovely people. Very friendly. Very approachable. You’d like them. And how are we getting on with the Icelandic language? Wellapartfromthefactthatalltheplacenamesseemtobetotallyunprouncablefullsentencesinthemselves, everyone speaks perfect English (even better than what I do isn’t it). Puts us to shame. I can speak some Icelandic though. For example, the Icelandic for “Hi” is . . . ... read more
Glacier Alley
Skidoos
Us With Our Skidoo

Europe » Iceland » South » Hella September 28th 2013

Imagine a doughnut. (Mmm – cream doughnut). No, no cream. Just a big doughnut. (Mmm – big jam doughnut). Sigh – no, no jam. Just a big plain doughnut, with a hole in the middle. No sprinkles. No sugar coating. Just a good ol' fashioned plain doughnut. (Pause). Got it? Now make it bigger. Bigger. Bigger. Tell you what, make it roughly 2500 miles across. (My my young man, now that is a big doughnut). Now, I want you to hold it over the North Pole (actually, the magnetic pole) (Actually, a few degrees off the magnetic pole). Hold it about 25-50 miles above the Earth’s surface (careful not to drop it). The doughnut will actually be over the top of Iceland, top of Alaska, about halfway over Greenland, top of Norway, and Russia. Now then, ... read more
Auroral Oval

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík September 27th 2013

Blimey – where to start. Let’s start with dinner last night. As we’re not coming back to Reykjavic, we thought it might be nice to eat out at a nice restaurant. We found the perfect place, tiny little restaurant, candlelit tables, Icelandic food (lobster, mussels etc). Just round the corner from the hotel. Perfect. Trouble was, when it actually came down to it, we weren’t that hungry. We stood outside the restaurant for a while going over the menu, and, although the food looked delicious, were we really hungry enough to splash out? No. So, instead, we had our romantic dinner for two at the wiener stall – two lovely hot dogs and a bottle of Chablis (actually, no Chablis, just hot dogs). Delicious. So then, this morning. Whale watching. Did we see anything? Yes we ... read more
Icelandic Coastline
Geothermal Vents by Side of Road
Australia!!

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Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík September 26th 2013

It was obvious if we'd thought about it. Obvious. We chose to come to Iceland in 2013 as its Solar Max (best chance of aurora). We chose to come as near to the autumnal equinox as possible (aurora best around equinox). We chose to come at this time as the Moon is waning and skies will be dark. However, the average temperature is around 6 degrees. And what is ice if it is > 0 degrees. Yes - we've come to WaterLand. Plane landed at Keflavik Airport (about an hours drive from Reykjavic) around 3:30 yesterday in fog. Couldn't see anything. Hired a car and drove through beautiful dramatic fog to the capital. We saw all sorts of grey. Dark grey. Light grey. Medium grey. Occasionally, there was a clear patch where we could make out ... read more
Downtown Reykjavic
Hallgrímskirkja Church
Downtown Reykjavic

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík September 17th 2013

A: Stand up. Ah Reykavik...the gateway to Iceland and the most Northern European capital city. We spent a total of 3 days in Reykjavik; 1 at the beginning of our trip and 2 at the end. We got acquainted with the city by taking a "Reykjavic Excursions" bus tour when we first arrived. This is something we often do when travelling to new places. They are usually worth the investment and they help you get oriented. Reykjavik's was fantastic and it took us to all the major highlights and then some! The bus driver also got off at various stops to tell us more about what we were viewing. Churches are often tourist hotspots and Reykjavik is no exception. Hallgrimskirka is the city's largest church (Luthereran), it took 40 years to build and the architect used ... read more
The Blue Lagoon
Creature from the Blue Lagoon
Bjork Lives Here

Europe » Iceland » Southwest September 15th 2013

Just a short drive from Rykholt are two well known waterfalls called Hraunfosser and Barnafoss ("Children's Falls"). The Hraunfosser waterfall is both beautiful and very unique. It is about 1 kilometre in width, but it doesn't flow from a stream over a ledge (as most waterfalls do) it flows from an underground stream and magically appears through some lava rocks on a steep sloping hill. The water from Hraunfosser flows into a stream which showcases Barnafoss ("Children's Falls") just upstream. The Children's Waterfall isn't that grand, but it does have strong powerful waters gushing through it. Sadly it got its name 100's of years ago when two small children fell into the water while playing on a crossing a bridge. After the falls we hit the road and our next adventure had us involved in some ... read more
Hraunfosser
Hraunfosser
Barnafoss

Europe » Iceland » Northwest September 13th 2013

This day started in Akureyri. We were up and out of our hotel early and we were able to walk around and enjoy this picturesque city, before hoping into the car for our next adventure. The area we were travelling through is known for horse breeding. The Icelandic Horse is a unique breed of horse and is recognized as such world-wide. They are smaller than the horses we're used to seeing in North America but their manes are quite voluminous. Along our route we decided to pull over to the side of the road to snap a few pics of some horses we saw grazing in a field. As luck would have it one of the horses was quite friendly and he wandered over to us to say hello. We got to spend quite a bit ... read more
Making Friends
Glanni Waterfalls
How's my do?

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík » Kopavogur September 12th 2013

Can you be a guide with some Indian ladies? They are coming to Iceland in March, six ladies all from the same family. Ah, I haven’t had many Indians on tours so I welcome such an opportunity, nice to get to know people from all around the world, hear how they live their lives, their culture. Worst is they arrived around midnight. I can’t say I enjoy picking people up at midnight. Well, let us make the most of it and since the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) will most likely be in the sky that evening then I will stop on the way to Reykjavik to show them this phenomena. And they were! A great show in the sky. I think my Indian ladies were tired after a long flight, they did not show much interest ... read more
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