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Published: September 30th 2018
What a lovely day! When we awoke we discovered there were mountains overlooking our harbour! With snow on them! We couldn’t see them yesterday with the low clouds and rain.
So we had an early brekky - we were there when they started at 7. Brekky and then the final touches of our packing. Our large suitcases had been collected last night. Our tag colour was called about 8.30 and we went down to the gangway where Noprada was standing - she’s another of the international hostesses - she’s a lovely Philippina who speaks at least five languages. She helps Colin with trivia and she runs the sudoku challenge. She hugged me as we left. Silversea had organised a marquee on the dock where our suitcases were waiting. From there we walked 10 steps to a waiting taxi who took us to our pre-booked accommodation - Hotel Island (pronounced iss-land).
We arrived at the hotel before 9am, expecting or hoping to store our luggage until check-in time, but the girl said our room was ready, so we went and unpacked a bit, and then read our books. the museum we wanted to go to wouldn’t be open till 10
anyway. So a little later we asked at reception and they told us where we needed to go to get a local bus (that 8 minute taxi ride this morning cost $40 - we’d heard that everything in Iceland is dear, very dear). So we had a fifteen minute walk to the bus stop. The sun was shining, but it was very weak, and the breeze was bitterly cold! It was 6.5*. At the bus stop there was a lovely lady from Columbus, Ohio. She had just arrived in the city too and was going to the same place as us, so we chatted some.
Our bus eventually came and took us to the old harbour (where the Silver Wind was moored) for about $10. We walked a ways down to the Saga Museum which Tom found interesting, and then wandered a little further to the Bryggjan Brughuss, which is a brewery. We shared a burger and avocado on toasted sour dough between us for lunch, along with a glass of fancy beer each brewed especially for Octoberfest. Then we explored the dock area and found a supermarket to wander through. We continued walking along past the wharf area
to the centre of town and eventually found the bus stop for the bus we needed to get back to our hotel. Then we waited for ages for the bus to come by, and had another 15 minute walk back to our hotel. Then it was time for naps and rest before our tour for tonight.
After our big brekky and awesome big lunch we decided to skip dinner, apart from a snack and hot chocolate. At 8.30pm we were in the foyer, waiting for our tour pickup bus. A minibus came along and took us to the big bus terminal where we were joined by about 300 other people. The last two nights of Northern Lights tours were cancelled due to the weather, so tonight was a big catch up night, the organisers (Grayline) have plans A, B and C to track down the lights. The tour guide explained the phenomena on the way out in the coach.
We were taken out of town to a ski lodge (out of season re-purposed) where we could go inside and wait until light activity started. We sat at a table with a Californian, two Mexicans and 4 Scots. After
about 40 minutes the guides called us outside and turned off the lights. We stood out in the freezing cold wind (with layer upon layer upon layer of clothing on) and watched the amazing changing lights. The purple and the green tinges were hard to discern by the naked eye, but are well captured by the professional photographer. The photos on my iPhone were absolutely useless and did not represent what we could see, with the vertical columns of dancing light. Grayline had a photographer and we all get access to their pics as well as the ones we take ourselves. I will use theirs. But we stood theRe and watched it in the sky for about an hour before it started to wane. We stood with a lovely couple from Dublin, Colin and Sinead o’Sullivan.
it was 12 midnight when we returned to our hotel. We were really lucky to have seen the lights on our first outing!
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