Denise and David in Europe 2016
October 3-5
  Iceland - Reykjavik, Gullfoss
last updated 5 October 2016
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Monday 3 October - Reykjavik

As fate would have it we received a message to advise our flight to Iceland would be 1 hour later.  It had its good side of course.  We were able to update the website so all our loyal viewers would not miss out.  The flight technically ended up leaving two hours later because we sat in the plane for about 1/2 hour and then the rest was the taxi out to the run way!  Thus we lost a significant portion of our afternoon where we were going to luxuriate in the Blue Lagoon, now re-sheduled to the other end of our Iceland exploration.

The first sighting of Iceland's coastline!  Yayyyyyyy.  Pretty sparse down there.... not too much in the way of neighbourhood as yet.


The first thing that hit us as we stepped out of the plane on to the steps was the windchill factor  -3 degrees at least and blowing 100 km/hr.  The wind was so strong it was coming up under the wings and literally rocking the plane from side to side on the tarmac.   Bracing ..... refreshing..... and certainly quite a contrast from the humid London where every venue was hot and stuffy. 

It took forever to get to the car rental office by shuttle in the wind.  Then to get a car without a cracked windscreen.  Eventually we were all fixed up and ready to drive on the wrong side of the road. The car is a left hand drive manual.  Now that felt weird.  Gears on with the right hand - and the pedals seemed just a little too far to the right somehow.  But we'll get used to it. 

Driving the road from the airport to Reykjavik.  45 kilometers of nothingness.  This is great.   We feel like we are on another planet! Volcanoes to the left of us, coastline to the right and some buildings sparsely dotting the moon like landscape.

The 50 kms from the airport to Reykjavik was effortless on this beautiful road.   Iceland's top speed limit is 90kms tops.


Our first volcano - a few more where that came from.

Our final approach to Reykjavik - civilisation and trees even.

And David goes immediately to sleep!  Great room ... not so great a view but if the night sky is clear tonight we could be sleeping with the curtains open to watch the Northern Lights.  They say they have been happening all week.  Sadly it is cloudy at present and we are not too confident that we will see them tonight.  Alarm is set for pre-dawn.  See if we catch them in the morning.



David is cosy-ing down already....

Tuesday 4 October - Reykjavik

We start our day with a big walk.    Headed down to the foreshore first....


Look at that view ... not bad.  It was rainy, windy and cold but it soon fined up by the time we reached the half way mark.  Our aim was to get to the old harbour pictured way in the background.  And we did it ... and more.

Pictured below a very interesting Viking woman.

Looking back on part of Reykjavik - the sun is pushing through the clouds....

Harpa Concert Hall - quite a stunning looking building inside and out.

Just on the other side of the Harpa Concert Hall was the historic part of the port.  Below the map identifies all the shipwrecks from 1870 to 2015. There was lots of boards set up showing the chronological order of the ship wrecks and history boards of those who were lost and those that survived.

A short stroll from the historic harbour was downtown Reykjavik.  An assortment of stores in a village like setting. Gotta love the architecture here.

More buildings....

And pictured below the oldest settlement in Reykjavik.

We had been walking for some hours now with only a 45 minute stop at Volcano House where we saw a film about Iceland's volcanic history up to its more recent eruptions.

How's this for a cathedral? Its called Hallgrimskirkja.   Very futuristic looking.  There is a lift that goes to the clock level (8 stories up) then two flights of stairs where you can look out of those windows at the top.  They arn't actually windows they are bared and the wind howls through them.  It was icy up there but the views were worth it.  The building houses the most impressive pipe organ we have ever seen.

The pipe organ.   This picture doesn't do it justice it was truly spectacular to stand in front of.

Pictured below the views from the top of Hallgrimskirkja.

More views......

More views.....

Can never get board with these views....

One more view .... couldn't resist. :-)   our hotel is left of the yellow cranes in the back ground.

On the way back to the hotel this was a gem.... A turf house.

Pictured below was our final stop for the day.  It is called the 'Pearl' or better known as Perlan.  Some lovely views from the look out here as well.

Thus ends our stay in Reykjavik as we move onto our next destination - Gullfoss.

Wednesday 5 October - Reykjavik to Gullfoss

Leaving Reykjavik in search of geysers and waterfalls.

On the road again.  Love the Iceland scenery.

Pictured above -  Pingvellir. Pronounced - Thingvetleer - The Atlantic ridge cuts Iceland into two parts drift away from each other at the rate of 2 cm a year.

Views in the area follow....

The ridge tearing apart...

Below -   Note the interesting geology in the background.

Views from the rift.

Below - The ridge - The stunning forces of nature at work all the time in Iceland.

Not very far is the 'Geysir' near Gullfoss.  The Geysir erupts every 7 to 8 minutes.  There are sometimes smaller eruptions in between.  Quite a site. 

Followed by the sulfur emitted....

Just before the 'Geysir' erupts there water is sucked down then pow....... up she goes!

The temperature of the pools are 80 to 100 C.  Enough to boil you to death in no time at all.

Look out - death only a few feet away for those silly enough to cross the roped off area!

Snow capped mountains in the distance from 'Geysir'.

Pictured below views of the valley below from 'Geysir'.

Our hotel.   Humble looking from the outside but nicely appointed on the inside.

The view from our room (below).  Not too shabby :-)

Tonight in the distance there is something glowing in the distance - unfortunately it is not the Northern lights.  Probably only the lights of Selfoss behind the mountain range.  It's cloudy again and if we are to see the Northern lights it needs to be clear and cold and between midnight and 4am.  Perhaps we will have more luck as we venture further north.

Pictured above the famous Gullfoss waterfall.  The biggest waterfall in Europe.  It was quite mesmorising. The view spectacular from every angle.

Selfie time at the top of the waterfall :-)

A short and relaxing fun day has been had by all.

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