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Published: August 24th 2019
August 23, 2019 – Reykjavik, Iceland – Weather: 52°F/11°C, partly cloudy with the scattered showers, wind 1mph, humidity 71°
Port of call for the next two days is Reykjavik the capital of Iceland which is situated on the western shores of the island. First thought to have been settled in the 9th
centuries by Celtic and Norwegian immigrants it wasn’t until the 18th
century when a full-fledged community had developed.
Today we docked at 11:00 am out in the container port area under threatening skies. Cloudy skies, rain and cool temperatures have certainly been a large part of this journey.
Our tour for today is called the Best of the Golden Circle, an eight-hour driving tour of the area that in the end covered over 300+ kilometers. On our tour we stopped at a geothermal power plant which produces enough electricity to light 300,000 homes. Once the steam has been used to produce electricity it is put through exchanges to heat the domestic water supply to heat the homes. To complete the cycle the spent steam is cooled and injected with carbon dioxide and sulphuric oxide and reinjected into the earth.
Back on the bus we then moved on across the Lyngdalsheidi Heath to the Gullfoss waterfall which is fed by the melt water from the nearby glacier. After spending an hour exploring the waterfall area, and getting rained on, we moved across the countryside to the Geysir Geothermal Area with its many hot springs venting through the earth’s surface. The most active of the geysers lets loose every eight minutes or so. Our English word geyser comes from the Icelandic word geysir. During our stop at the geysers we also had our meal stop which consisted of mushroom soup, Atlantic salmon, boiled potatoes, carrot and celery slaw, followed by coffee with a coconut macaroon.
Our final stop for the day was at the Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, a primary location for Iceland’s geological and historical heritage. Iceland sits on both the Eurasian and Americas tetanic plates and at Thingvellir the fault is evident on the earth’s surface. As we walked down the fault line we entered into the area of Europe’s oldest national legislative assembly. In 930 AD the chiefs of the Icelandic tribes met here to establish the Icelandic Althing to create common
law. At the same time every year for centuries the chieftains and their followers met to deal with legal matters, resolved disputes, carried on trade, married off their youth and generally had a good time. Oh yes and once again the skies opened and the umbrellas had to come out.
We arrived back at the ship in the early evening and after depositing our wet outer gear in the cabin ventured off to the Lido restaurant for a light dinner.
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