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Published: August 24th 2009
I am so excited today because the first thing that I get to do is go horseback riding. I have seen the icelandic horses in the fields and they have to be the happiest horses in the world. I see them chasing each other rearing up on one another and they just look like they are a bunch of kids in the school yard.
When I arrive at the horse farm, we are given equipment to use for the ride, helmets and warm clothing if needed. I take a pair of gloves as I have none. The saddles are English so this will be my first time on one of those. My horse is Sibby and I think they paired her with me because we have the same hair style.
The Icelandic horse is a breed of horse developed in Iceland. Although small and often pony-sized, it is long-lived and hardy. The Icelandic horse displays five gaits, rather than the typical three displayed by most other breeds. Making them one of the most comfortable horse to ride. I can attest to that because my bottom wasn't sore like it usually is when riding. I really
enjoyed this ride in the fields, streams and hillsides of Iceland. Horses living in their native Iceland have few diseases, and laws prevent animals from being imported to Iceland or returning to the country after they are exported. The breed develops late, and individual animals are usually not ridden until they are four years old, with development not complete until age seven. I don't know how old Sibby was but she was full of power and I was constantly having to rein her in in order to stay behind the guide. But we had lots of time to run. Most times on things like this it ends up being a walking trip, but today I was able to gallop, trot, walk and I can't describe the third gait but it was between a cantor and a gallop. I love to ride horses and ride them fast and I was able to do it today!!
After my fantastic ride in the wilds of Iceland I journey to my next adventure: The Blue Lagoon. I told you a little about how the lagoon was an accidental development of trying to recycle the ground water. Well, I was told by a French
couple that it was a tourist trap. But so is the Eiffel Tower - French people!!
But this was well worth the 20 euro entrance and the 20 + euro to get there. It's huge, it's blue, it's hot. What else could you possibly want??- maybe a waterfall, a wet bar, a relaxation room, a steam bath, a sauna, a restaurant, a snack bar. Well it has it all. You can even rent a swim suit, towel and/or a bathrobe. You can even get massages but you have to schedule one and I just had too many other things to do here. You can even have a do it your self facial, there are big vats of the white silica residue available to apply to your face and body as often as you want for free.
What a way to relax after a fast paced thrilling horse ride—AHHHH!!!!!
Back to the hotel where I have a gourmet meal in the hotel restaurant and the most delicious chocolate cake with the thick oozing fudge center. What can I say other than another perfect day in Iceland.
My last day in island and I plan
on an all day tour of the South Coast. This will last 15 ½ hours. But the scenery is worth the trip. We drive through little villages that have only 800 or less people. There are various impromptu waterfalls along the sheer cliffs that once upon a time were sea cliffs. In the Skaftafell National Park there are mountains, lava beds and waterfalls to entice you to take more than your share of photos. There are the occasional farms that sit just below the huge mountains and I wonder if there are avalanches in the winter. Seljalandsfoss is a waterfall that you can walk behind and the Skogarfoss waterfall that is so high it's hard to frame it in a picture. The lava fields are extensive and the older ones are moss covered. The closer we get to the largest volcano in Iceland and also the largest glacier the Oraefajokull, the view is spectacular as it starts out as a distant view on the horizon and grows into this massive field of mountain and ice. The highest point in Iceland is Hvannadalshnjukur at 2110 meters and it sits right in the glacier. This volcano erupted in 1783 with total destruction
of all vegetation and animal life for 565 sq. km and the death to 20% of Iceland's population. It once again erupted in l996 but people were more prepared and had some warning and only about 75 people lost their lives. But I could see the new lava fields and the absence of all plants for miles and miles.
The Glacier is the fastest retreating ice mass in Iceland it retreats 100 meters every year. I was able to take a boat tour in the Glacier Jokulsarlon Lagoon with floating icebergs of all sizes. 80 years ago the glacier met the sea but with it's retreat it has formed this fresh water filled lagoon. It is 200 meters deep and the ice that flows in it is estimated to be 1000-1500 years old. There is an abundance of fish here along with the seals that feed off the fish and the presence of ducks that swim in the lagoon. A beautiful but troublesome site. It really brings home the global warming issue that some are still debating over. What will it take to open our eyes to our destruction of nature.
The trip as I said was very
long but a wonderful way to end my adventures in Iceland.
I have a morning flight and Jon at the hotel is right on top of my flight and has arranged a taxi to take me to the bus station, so I can catch the bus to the airport that this morning takes over 45 minutes. The driver drove like a old lady, taking his good old time, Oh well I made it safely to the airport.
I have a few icelandic coins in my pocket and walk through the store area looking to spend the 80 korunas
that I have and just happen to see a candy bar for 70 k. So I buy it and very happy to have spent the coins. I already have about a pound of loose change from the various countries I have been to and really don't want anymore. SO during the flight I pull out this candy bar that cost less than 1 USD and find that it is milk chocolate this black liquorice on the top. Now I have already hit the jackpot with the pecan pie but now the combo of chocolate and
liquorice which is a bizarre combo but 2 of my favorite things!! Now there is no doubt in my mind that I really love Iceland!!!
The flight to Boston was very bumpy most of the way. A group of Harvard geology students were on it and bringing home boxes of rocks. I asked the one sitting next to me what kind of rocks, I only saw lava and basalt which are by products of volcanic activity. She replied that she wasn't one of them and she only came along for the ride. But she was carrying rocks in her bag for them.
My flight to Columbus has a 5 hour layover. I should have seen if the Red Soxs were playing in town.
So I order dinner and hang out in a restaurant for most of the time. I do spend some time on the computer. But my journey home is smooth. So officially my vacation is over.
I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW MUCH I HAVE ENJOYED MY JOURNEY.
IT'S BEEN A LONG 135 DAYS WITH ABOUT 20 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AND COUNTLESS MEMORIES THAT WILL BE WITH ME FOREVER.
THANK YOU FOR
TAKING THE TIME TO READ MY BLOGS AND RESPOND TO THEM. I WORKED LONG AND HARD TO MAKE THEM ENTERTAINING AND THERE WERE SOME TIMES THAT I GOT LONG WINDED AND I AM SURE BORING AT SOME POINT BUT I APPRECIATE YOUR TAGGING ALONG ON MY ADVENTURE!!
THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!
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