Reykjavik, Iceland

Posted by  Daniël Cronk   in       12 years ago     616 Views     Comments Off on Reykjavik, Iceland  

Many greetings to you all from Iceland, the supposed land of Fire & Ice.

Well, my flight from Minneapolis to Reykjavik went quite well. There was a small delay in their arrival into Minneapolis so we were late boarding and taking off. But, the good news was that the pilot got us into the jet stream which allowed us to actually arrive a whole hour ahead of when we would have had we taken off on time. The bad news was that we still arrived on time.


First impressions usually leave a lasting impression. As we were descending into Keflavik Airport the imrpessions were not good. It was raining out and the land of course was barren. I already knew that the Reykjanes peninsula was barren, but this was a whole new type of barren. Think of a desert wasteland without the desert. I made it from the Airport to the city center without any complications and checked into my Guesthouse. Immediately which I set off to explore the city. It was the Reykjavik Marathon saturday so I went down to the start/finish line and cheered on the crazy marathon goers (though i run, i will never run that hard or far)...

Reykjavik Marathon

I spent much of the day wandering around the city. There is not a whole lot to see in Reykjavik but there was plenty of shopping. The price of course is the only deterrent. I ended up at the supermarket and bought myself some lunch. The price was surprisingly not as much as I thought it was going to be. I bought some skyr (an icelandic specialty of a thick yogurt which is made of skim milk), some bananas and a few other things. The total was about as much as I would have paid at Kowalski's.

Last night was also Menningarnott. This is Icelands bigest festival of cultural events. There are people singing, dancing all around the city. There are also local artists putting on a good show. This of course ends in a night of crazy drinking and overall fun atmosphere. At 23:00 there was also a spectacular fireworks show. It is better than most that I have seen.

Today I did a day tour of the 'Golden Circle'. Day tours are a surprisingly good way of getting around the country and seeing some of the best sites Iceland has to offer. HOWEVER, today did not get off to a good start nor did it really end that good either. It started off raining quite hard as we were getting to the geothermal fields. We were given time to get off and see the field but most people got off and got right back on. This prompted us to head to Þingvellir National Park. This NP plays/ed two roles, 1) it is the area where the American & Eurasian Tectonic plates are pulling apart (at approximately 2 cm per year) and 2) it was the site of the first Alþingi or Parliament. For this part of the tour it was not raining but very overcast.

Next stop, Gullfoss Waterfalls: As we arrived at the Gullfoss Waterfall a miracle occurred; The clouds parted and the sun came out... OPEN MOUTH IN AWE. Gullfoss is a double-cascading waterfall which is formed by the waters of the nearby Langjökull glacier. The waterfalls are spectacular which send the water falling over 32 meters into a sheer wall of spray before thundering into a nearby ravine. GORGEOUS!!

The beautiful Gullfoss Waterfall. One of many gorgeous waterfalls dotted throughout Iceland

From Gullfoss we headed to the Geysir field. Geysir is currently a semi-active geyser that was dormant for well over 100 years. But after the earthquake in the southern part of the country back in May of this year, it has awakened this caldera of boiling water to shoot back into the sky again. Unfortunately it only goes off once or twice a day. However, no worries, right next to it is the very active Strokkur geyser.. This one goes off every 5 or 7 minutes, sometimes twice within a matter of seconds.

After we left Geysir we headed back towards Reykjavik, making short stops at a couple of other sites, pause to yawn.


A composite showing the stages of the Geysir erupting, at Strokkur Geysir, near THE original geysir

Tomorrow I am going whale watching in the Reykjavik harbor. They have a 98% sighting. The most common whales seen include the Minke Whale, Orcas and Humpbacks. Up in the northern city of Husavik they often will see the Blue Whale as well. Mostly Minke are what are seen.



About  

I am very passionate about traveling. My goal is to visit as many places and experience as many things as I can during my short journey on this earth.