Monday, 6 August 2007


Hello all - I missed blogging so much, but was unable to face the dingey squat referred to as an Internet Cafe. I even missed by blog-versary. 1st of August was one year's blogging. Crikie - that passed too fast.

New images have been added to my last post.

So a quick refresh of what we did in Iceland. All those who want a more long winded approach should have a peek at: Life of a Wastrel.

Day 4 - Went up Hallgrimskirke which had an incredible view of the whole of Reykjvik. Also found a brilliant heated outdoor pool with hot pots and a steam room and sauna. You pay and you get a key for your locker. There's somewhere to put shoes so the changing rooms are clean. You have to wash naked before but the showers are great and shampoo/body wash is provided. Very civilised. Fancy fish restaurant in the evening - mmmmmmm.

Day 5 - went to the Photography Museum which had 3 small exhibitions. Some incredible large scale photos of Iceland and some heritage displays from the turn of last century to the mid-80s - fascinating.
The Settlement museum which was short and highly informative whilst being slightly interactive. Cool touch sensitive table: there was an American woman who just could not get the hang of it though - you had to wait for your language then touch the table to get an expanded bit of info - she had to choose between Icelandic or English and failed every time!?!

Day 6 - mostly rest before we head off in the car. Swam 30 lengths in the same fab pool.

Day 7 - we collected the car and started our journey. Drove up the main ring road (route 1) taking millions of photos on the way. We went through a 5k tunnel which was a twisting, turning, climbing feat of engineering. Walked up Grabrok volcanic craters:

Stopped at the incredible peat houses. We bumped along a track out to the point of a fjord to find Grettislaug outdoor hot pools. We waited 'til the tourists had gone and sank ourselves into the hot pools whilst looking at the snow covered peaks of the mountains around. An incredible spot.

The night was topped off by spending the night in the Tindastol Hotel - the oldest in Iceland and where Marlene Deitricht stayed when entertaining the troops.

Day 8 - headed off to Akureyri to meet those who flew up. Got to our country hotel. Peace and quiet in a huge valley.

Day 9 - Husavik - a small town in the north provided us with a place to stop (and smell the fish) on our way to Asbyrgi where the North American and European continental plates meet and are still moving. The giant horseshoe shaped rift of cliffs rising out of the land took my breath away. Then more natural wonders as we bumped our way along a dirt track to Dettifoss - Europe's most powerful waterfall is beyond words. It was a freezing day and grey as hell. The power of the water was stunning.

Day 10 - Huge day. Went to Godafoss falls - where there was a geocache. Saw lake Myvatn:
Krafla and the lava fields (still warm in places) walked the huge Hverfjall crater which provided great views and was a proper bit of exercise too. Old lava lake at Dimmuborgir was like a lava garden that someone had designed - freakishly quiet there - as if all the birds have flown off because disaster threatens. The stinking sulphur bubbling mud pools and whistling steam stacks were a highlight though. The smell and the steam really brought out the small child in all of us. Late night sun hitting the evening waves was a perfect end to a packed day.

Day 11 - Incredible , time to drive back to Reykjavik. We took a route (F35) through the interior. It's a barren desert with incredible views over the two smaller glaciers.
Stopped at the 'oasis' in the middle. This mini-Iceland had hot pools, a geysir, a steam vent, and bubbling mud. All in the least hospitable campsite I have ever seen. It was late July and the temperature was 3 oC - and some people had CYCLED there! Frickin CRAZY.

Made it back in time for a super fast 22 lengths crawl before going out for an incredible meal at Vi(th) Tjornina. The best meal I've had in Iceland: Raw fish starter, Guillimot main and the best chocolate brownie. Perfect in every way.

Day 12 - Our last day was v relaxed. A wander to the Perlan to see more stunning views of Reykjavik and a nice family lunch gave plenty of time to snooze and read too. Oh, also went to the Modern Art Gallery.


Overall the most incredible holiday I have ever experienced. I need to go back in winter, I need to see the darkness as well as the light. I think I'd like to move there - it just blew me away - and felt like home simultaneously. Home still feels a little small, but nonetheless welcoming.

1 comment:

Rae! said...

wow great pictures and it sounds like you had a great time. Happy one year!!!