The Kerid crater.
An inactive volcano. Our guide explained that Iceland is covered in volcanoes but most of them are flat and under underground, not like the Vesuvius thing we all think off.
And now the thing I’ve always wanted to see.
The Gullfoss waterfall (which means Golden waterfall).
Even from the car park, the power of this thing is incredible.
Nearer to it, the roar is incredible.
I’d read that an attempt was made to use the waterfall to generate energy.
It was decided that this would ruin it, so it was sold to the Icelandic government.
One of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen.
We drive to Haukadalur. Before we get to see the famous Geysers we stop for lunch.
For the 2nd time that day, I get to see something incredible – soup that costs £14 !
We wander around the Geysers (there are dozens of them, all around).
Because the water is so clear, you can see right inside.
I can’t imagine why, but some people like to throw coins into the Geysers.
There are fences all around, so that some idiot can’t get to close and scald himself.
The biggest one, goes off about every 15 minutes. There were hundreds of people standing next to it with cameras at the ready trying to time the perfect shot.
And after 16 patient minutes, I’m rewarded with this shot.
And now back on the coach to our final destination.
The Thingvellir national park.
We leave the coach and walk in (the coach will re-join us at the car park at the top once were finished.
The first government of Iceland, was set up in 930.
They would rule and pass judgements from the top of this area that you can see.
This river is where adulterous women were drowned in Lutheran times.
We carry on for the main attraction.
The entire area is in a rift valley.
It marks the place where the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plates meet.
There are sections where you can actually walk inside the fissure.
The main things I wanted to see from the trip, are now complete, and I can relax.
Coach back to Reykjavik and then showers ready for dinner at an incredible venue.
A fine dining experience, and one of the most incredible meals I’ve ever eaten (I had steak, Nikki had some sort of vegetarian nonesense)
To illustrate, my “afters”. 4 sorts of of Ice cream made from different forest fruits and it was served on a rectangular piece of ice.
In short, no detail was spared.
Afterwards, we have drinks in the Piano room.
The most expensive meal out I’d ever had but what an amazing evening.
The next day, we catch up with a few things.
Hallgrimskirkja church (which I thought looked a bit like a space ship).
Named after Hallgrimur Petursson a famous poet and clergyman.
At 75 metres high, the view from the top (which you have to pay for) is pretty amazing.
All the more so, as there aren’t many tall buildings in Reykjavik for some reason, so you can see the whole city.
A quick coffee and off we go. We’ve spent lots of time in the city, so its time to see a bit of countryside.
We wander up Oskjuhlio hill. Its a fresh crisp day, and we see lots of small animals and birds.
I start to realise just how much I’ve grown to love Iceland and how much I’m regretting going home.
As we wander farther up the hill, we come to a clearing, and see it for the first time. Perlan.
It looks like the lair of a bound villain, but actually its one of the most innovative tourist attractions I’ve ever seen.
Hot water storage tanks, used for decades were no longer needed.
So a dome was built on top and a series of attractions set up there.
Incredibly, the worlds first indoor glacier.
Our guide disappeared for a few minutes, then re-appeared in down trousers (and yes, the woman on the screen is actually her).
She explained it would be -15 centigrade and we should put on any spare clothing 🙂
I’d seen various tours that would take you out for the day and let you wander through a tunnel in a glassier, but they were all around £250.
She gave a 1 hour tour of the glacier explaining how they are made and fascinatingly, how Tardigrades (known as the water bear) are the only living thing that can survive in a glacier.
After this, we had 40 minutes to wander around on our own.
As we left the ice, there was an exhibition about Glaciers.
To much to write about here, but this one was interesting, it showed a camera, which had captured the growth and shrinkage of a glacier over 15 years.
Augmented reality displays, including this one where you could point at things and they would react to the line of sight between your eye and your hand.
But after the deep freeze, its time for some coffee.
The cafe had an amazing view of the city bellow.
Outside on the observation deck, 360 degree views of the city.
With that, we head home.
So, what an amazing trip, and so many things packed into just 3 days.
But its not over.
As we wander back, I buy myself a 66 degree’s north hat for hill walking (the brand isn’t well known outside Iceland, but their gear is superb.
My lasting memory of the trip, this singing Viking.
I don’t normally go back to places I’ve already been too, but I’m definitely going back to Iceland to see the rest of it.