A travel blog by Scott MacNeill about Iceland
We arrived back in RI on Sunday night and thanks to ANOTHER run in with the Department of Homeland Security we didn't get home till nearly 8:00 p.m.
We had a great time in Iceland and one day we would like to go back to travel the eastern and northern regions.
Before we left Reykjavik to travel the region on Wednesday we actually got to experience Sprengidagur which an Icelandic / Finish holiday that resembles U.S. Halloween. The children dress up and go door to door singing different songs for candy. It was very interesting. This holiday is celebrated every 3rd Wednesday in February.
Before we left on Sunday we stopped in at the Blue Lagoon for one last swim which made the flight home more relaxed.
Below are several pictures that highlight some of our travels. Enjoy!
Hallgrimskirkja Church and Leif Ericson
The Blue Lagoon
Jessica enjoying The Blue Lagoon
Sprengidagur (Similiar to U.S. Halloween)
Waterfall at Atlantic Divide (falls off North American Continent)
Jessica next to Waterfall at Atlantic Divide
Waterfall at Atlantic Divide
Strokkur Geyser in Geysir
More Strokkur Geyser
Geothermal Pools in Geysir
The Glacier Langjokull (second largest in Iceland)
The Glacier Langjokull
Jessica at Gullfoss Waterfall
OMG Iceland is Effin Windy!
Barron surroundings of Hekla the Volcano
At foot of Langjokull Glacier
Snowy Iceland Interior
South Coast of Reykjanes
South Coast of Reykjanes
Driving on South Coast of Reykjanes
Seltun Geothermal Field
Seltun Bubbling Geothermal Pools
Searching for the wee folk at Hafnarfjordhur
The Glacier / Volcano Snaefellsjokull in distance
The Glacier / Volcano Snaefellsjokull closer
Jessica in Reykjavik
One of our Favorite Kaffe's in Reykjavik
This is the second part of the entry I posted this morning.
Yesterday we traveled north to Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Iceland's terrain changes in seconds. One second you are in a lava field and the next grass, ocean, mountains, snow, sand storms. Snaefellsnes was an amazing place. The scenery was stunning to say the least. Snowy mountains touching the ocean with black sand beaches, a glacier and total isolation. We took the route along the southern side of the peninsula all the way to the end and stopped in the village of Arnarstapi. This village had about 10 houses and a small pier and was situated at the base of Snaefellsjokull glacier. The trip to this village was worth the hike alone.
Snaefellsjokull glacier is a volcano that had erupted underneath the glacier that sits on top. The eruption caused the volcano to collapse into its own magma chamber. This mountain / volcano / glacier has a very uneasy feeling surrounding it. It is understandable why Jules Verne would choose this as the starting point in his novel.
We traveled around the western edge of the peninsula around the glacier and headed to the north side. The sun was setting as we left so we were able to experience an amazing sunset from the cliffs that meet the ocean. These cliffs are in a lava field with some indescribable lava formations and huge jagged rocks! By the time we reached the north side it was night. We traveled to the town of Olafsvik that has a population of 1100 making this a rather larger town in the middle of no where. I would have expected a small fishing village with some old fishermen and their families but actually the residents of this town are driving around in Mercedes and Porsches. We stopped for some late coffee (kaffi) and enjoyed some of the locals. We then continued east till we found a mountain pass that would take us along the inland side of the glacier through the mountains and back to the south side.
After our return to our small village and a little nap we set back out to see if we could spot an Aurora from this much more remote region (dark). The aurora that we saw was amazing and beats most pictures of aurora's we have seen. My camera does not take pictures at night very well so I could not get a picture but it was madd.
We left Arnarstapi early this morning and were able to catch the sunrise on the ocean before we left. It was interesting being able to see the sun rise and set over the ocean from the same place. We traveled the mountain road back to the north side of the peninsula and we took the northern route back. Again this trip was well worth the hike. The weather today was a bit rougher and some of the mountain peaks were in the clouds.
After leaving the Peninsula we traveled along the cost of Hvalfjordur and again found some interesting changes in the terrain. We saw the old whaling station which is now the NATO refueling depot. After a short hike and some amazing views we set back to Reykjavik.
Once back in Reykjavik we had dinner and stopped in at the ice bar which was totally unimpressive and quite lame. We are crashing in a guesthouse in central Reykjavik a few streets from the party. I am now in a little coffee shop called kaffi Hjomalimo and like most places in Reykjavik they have wifi and coffee.
Johnathan I tried a hot dog at what we were told was the best spot in town. It was surprising good but what took 5 mins to eat ended up taking 1 hour to pay for. I guess I don't have that taco-bell-Friday stomach!
Tomorrow we will go back to the Blue Lagoon and then leave for the airport from there.
Seltan Geothermal Pools
Black Sand Beaches
Snaefellsnes South Coast
Snaefellsnes West Coast
Snaefellsnes West Coast Sunset
Waterfall we found at Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Snaefellsnes North Coast
Snaefellsnes North Coast
I will try to post again before I leave. I will definetly post when I return.
I will post this entry in 2 parts.
We left Reykjevik on Wednesday morning and traveled to Pingvellir (pron: thingvellir). This is where the North American continental plate and the European plate meets. They are separating at a rate of 1mm per year resulting in a very large fissure between the 2 continents.
From Pingvellir we traveled out to Geysir which is the site of a geothermal field with a geyser that erupts every 5 mins. Then onto Gullfoss, a waterfall that is about 105 feet and is settled into a little canyon. We then traveled north on an interior mountain road as far as we could before it became impassable. On the way we stopped at Langjokull which is one of the three largest glaciers on Iceland and from here we could see some of Hofsjokull which is another of these glaciers.
We traveled south at this point to Hekla. Hekla is a 4,920 ft volcano that is very active. In the 16th century this volcano was believed among Europeans to be the entrance to hell. Now we know its just a volcano. It erupts on an average of every 10 years and its last eruption was in February 2000. This volcano can pretty much be seen from most of the southwest. They say that Helkla is almost always covered in clouds. We were lucky enough to see the volcano completely uncovered. Around this volcano are signs of past eruptions and it is very barren.
After our day we crashed at the farm again which was very educational and extremely cozy. The next day we made our way southwest to Kerio a volcanic crater and Seltun geothermal fields with boiling mud pools and fun shizzy like that. Then, we are heading north to Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Snaefellsjokull the 4,772 ft glacier that is named in Jules Verne's "Journey to the Centre of the Earth".
Props to Jonathan for the heads up in the airport on some of these amazing places!
Between the continents North America and Eroupe at Pingvellir
Geyser Erupting 1
Geyser Erupting 2
Geyser Erupting 3
Bottom of Gullfoss waterfall
Top of Gullfoss waterfall
Hekla, the volcano
I will post part 2 of this later tonight.
Ok real quick. I'm beat.
Went out to Reykjanes Peninsula today. All of it black lava rock. Nice!
Went to Blue Lagoon for most of the day. The Blue Lagoon is generally a big geothermal pool. I'm not really into the public pool scene but this was pretty cool!
After finishing up a late dinner, Jess and I decided to try our luck and look for the Aurora and we scored! Over Reykjavik bay we spotted what would probably be an unimpressive aurora for locals but not for me. I couldn't get a picture but maybe I will later.
Tomorrow we are leaving the city and heading out to Geysir. We got a truck and we are hitting the road! We will be staying on a farm outside of Geysir so I am not expecting connectivity but who knows.
We arrived in Reykjavik at 6:40am this morning and it is actually warmer here than it is in RI (madd windy though). We spent the morning and early afternoon walking around the capital and planning some of our trip. We visited Hallgrimskirkja and had some great views of Mt Esja. Did some window shopping and sampled some choice eating spots. I found a place that sells Hakarl (putrefied shark), but I am still yet to try it. Rough!
Tomorrow we are heading to the Blue Lagoon. Then on Wednesday we got a truck and are attempting to drive out to Geysir and Gullfoss.
I will post some pics tomorrow.