A Travellerspoint blog




snow 26 °F


All we wanted to do was to go from the charming little town of Seydisfjord to Eglosstodir, a mere 15 miles away. But it took an hour to climb the mountain, driving up into a cloud where we couldn’t see anything but white (you will recognize the photos) and then switching back and forth down the other side. We were going to Vök baths, floating pools of geothermally heated water floating in a lake. It is COLD in Iceland, and the lake was 33 degrees; the pools were 88 degrees, 91 degrees, and 95 degrees! Getting from one to another in a wet bathing suit was quite a challenge, but the real bravery came in those who jumped (VERY briefly) into the lake. (Yay, Bruce!) And the reward? Cold beer or champagne at the outdoor bar.

Posted by HopeEakins 10:56 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)


The capital of the north

snow 30 °F


For seven hours we were surrounded by volcanic energy: vast lava fields, bubbling hot mud pools, hissing fumaroles; "lunar" landscapes with pseudo-craters, and boiling springs. Waterfalls tumble down mountains into sweeping valleys. We are a long way from Connecticut.

Posted by HopeEakins 10:32 Archived in Iceland Comments (1)


We have left the pool and the Pina Coladas behind!

snow 31 °F


Well, it's getting colder! So we bundle up with long underwear, clothing layers, scarves, hats, and gloves and explore this astounding landscape around Ísafjörður The snow falls sideways here; it makes clicking noises when it lands because it is formed in little balls (like tiny hail), not flakes. The land is covered in ICE not snow. The fjords are loooong; the natural setting looks black and white, but the structures are painted bright bright colors. In a little cluster of three well-preservedhouses, all circa-1780, The Maritime Museum holds relics of a harsh lifestyle. After looking at a fire pit and pots and a narrow bed, we were served typical Icelandic refreshments, including schnapps, dried fish and preserved shark which smells so bad we weren't even tempted to taste it. Next we drove along a narrow coastal road to Bolungarvik, and its Holskirkja Church where a young Icelander sang bar ballads about biting someone. The guide "translated" this as "searching for meaning in life."

Then to some grass-roofed fishermen's huts along the rocky shore and some fish drying sheds. And finally to the Tungudalur Valley waterfall to drink pure Icelandic water. It was cold!

Posted by HopeEakins 10:02 Archived in Iceland Comments (1)


With celebrations!

overcast 34 °F

1aa.jpg1ss.jpg1dd.jpg61871170-d293-11ec-ae59-dbce2405ce9d.jpg1hh.jpg1jj.jpg1kk.jpg1ff.jpg1gg.jpg1zz.jpg63a70b40-d293-11ec-ae59-dbce2405ce9d.jpg1xx.jpgWhat an exciting sight: our son Bruce Adams walking up the gangway to join us! Bruce had been in Reykjavik for a day getting to know the city plan and the menus and the sights to see – and even a little bit of Iceland’s complex and unfamiliar language, and now he has arrived. So we had tea and then a drink and then went out to The Foodcellar and enjoyed the very best of Icelandic food and drink and service. The city is friendly and interesting; its people are helpful and intelligent and seem to speak perfect English. One unusual feature is the boreholes that dot the landscape and have hot steam escaping from them. No charge for hot water here – everyone is hooked up to the geothermal heat underground.

On Wednesday we started our explorations at Perlan, a mammoth structure, once a water storage facility now an interactive museum. We watched the northern lights emerge in a planetarium, saw puffins do puffin things, learned how glaciers form and decay, walked in an ice cave, and learned about snyrting and what happens if you snyrt. Then to Hallgrímkirkja, a huge Lutheran Church with a soaring tower and a magnificant organ that was being played while we were there. (And its pews flip over to face either way. ) Lunch was at Apotec, the former state pharmacy and a fine restaurant that served us a “table lunch” of plaice, ling, and salmon – all fresh and excellent.

Finally, we celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary at La Dame on the ship, with Bruce and Claire and Will Cupples, friends who gave us gifts including the hair band Hope is wearing and needs desperately since she hasn’t had a haircut since Christmas. (photo won't upload)

So we tucked in after a full day – and had a full night as well as we sailed northward toward the Arctic Circle. We have never encountered such rough seas. The Atlantic Ocean is roiling and snow is flying and the ship is rocking and we know why they call it ICEland.

Posted by HopeEakins 18:49 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)

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