R. Craig Collins > Web Page Design > Portfolio > Reykjavik, Iceland
August 2017, Reykjavik, Iceland © R. Craig Collins, 2017
To the travel blog, and of course the pictures
Golden Circle Tour
Google Destinations, for some of the things we did in Iceland
The Trip (Scroll down for A LOT OF DETAILS on places visited, and of course, the pictures)
Tuesday, Arrive; Airport Direct transfer; Reykjavik Lights hotel, see the sights:
Wednesday, South coast Tour
Thursday, Golden Circle Tour
Under construction, scroll down for TONS of info... travel blog will be finished shortly... honest.
Monday, August 07:
Get up about 6:00 CDT
9:00am Left home about in the rain... accident on Tollway slowed us down, arrived at 10:45, and checked in for 1:05pm flight.
Gracie brought us new boarding passes in premium seats as an anniversary present... 12 D and E.
Susann and Gracie went to get lunch, and I noticed that our JFK flight was now delayed, with a gate change. We had a three hour layover scheduled, so we are not too upset.
While we are eating our $32.11 Italian sandwiches with cheese, tomatoes, and greens from Annie's Café, we discover JFK is just busy and not suffering weather delays... we finish our lunch with some interesting cannolis.
2:30 Board DL 48 (scheduled for 1:05*-6:00), but we have a fuel delay, making us even later.
3:15, take off and enjoy our seats, plus the fact that no one is sitting next to us.
8:00pm Arrived, but the plane was very slowly making our way to Terminal C.
8:20pm, deplane and run to the Jitney, and ride to Terminal B... then run to our gate.
It turns out there was no need to have run, as DL 446's departure was delayed; we didn't even begin boarding until the scheduled departure time (9:00*-6:45am)
We had seats 23 A and B, and again had our little row to ourselves.
Tuesday, August 08:
We watched bad movies, and early in the morning we had turkey/cheese croissants for breakfast.
DL 446 was scheduled for 9:00*-6:45am, but we arrived about 7:10, but the sun had been up almost 2 hours at that point. It was a long walk to the Arrivals hall.
7:45 Airport Direct transfer drive shows up with our name on his sign... we were the only two in the minivan for the drive into town.
The airport is to the 45 km southwest of town, on the boot heel shaped coastline.
The countryside way out here reminded us of the Irish Burren; fairly rocky with sparse low vegetation; we passed the occasional fishing village with nicknames such as the Viking village and Elves village as we drove on in the rain.
8:30 Arrived at Reykjavik Lights hotel, and got checked in for room 615. We bough two Reykjavik City Cards for 7,400 Krona, which included museum entry and unlimited bus rides for the day... just the planned museum visits made the 3,800 per card a deal.
PS Divide the Krona value by 100 to get an approximate Dollar value... so the cards were about $38 each.
We unpacked, and noted that a lot of the museums were not even open yet... so we took a little nap.
Hotel to the lower right, and some of the places we had cued up to visit
12:30pm We hiked to the Hátún stop to catch the bus headed to the far end of the bay.
~1:00pm Vikin Maritime Museum
The museum had a lot of displays, plus an interesting history of the "Cod war," with Britain, over fishing rights.
Walking around the harbor area, the Harpa across the way, and a neat mural
~2:30pm, we got to Landnámssýningin, the Settlement Museum is the sight of the oldest known building area in the region... mostly the foundation.
The foundation dates to 871 or so, which can be dated due to volcanic ash from a known eruption. The neatest part was the simulations of the area, and how things would have built up, and would have looked.
Walking to the Ráðhús, City Hall, area
I have no idea why a band was on the roof, or if the drone was filming them.
~3:30, Lunch at Iðnó, near the Ráðhús
We also had Carrot cake, and Susann had a latte; 3,350 Krona.
Outside Iðnó, looking south toward Reykjavikurtjörn lake, and the Þjóðminjasafnið National Museum beyond
Walking around the Reykjavikurtjörn lake toward Þjóðminjasafnið National Museum
I will blame it on being jet lagged, but we wound up taking the wrong trail, and had to back track a bit to get to the National Museum.
Þjóðminjasafnið, the National Museum
5:00pm We rented a locker, packed our wet stuff, and wandered around... not the British Museum, but they did have some interesting artifacts.
Early computer; in Icelandic they keep their language free of foreign words, so they call computers a Tölvur, a "Numbers Witch"
6:00 pm Walking to Hallgrímskirkja
Walking around the Reykjavikurtjörn to Hallgrímskirkja
Passing one of the sculpture gardens
Stature of Leifur Eiríksson in front of Hallgrímskirkja
For 1,800 Krona we bought tickets to ride the Elevator to the Clock faces in the tower, and took the stairs up even higher
Views from the clock faces
The view out toward our hotel
The Perla, 6 huge water towers to store hot water, which were capped by a domed space for museums, and so on.
We then walked down to Snorrabraut and waited for the bus... lovely houses nearby.
We were severely jet lagged, so we returned to the hotel, and decided to eat next door, at Krúska
7:30pm, we had Rauðrófu súpa með heimabökuðu brauði og hummus, a red pepper TomYum soup with bread... and hummus
After dinner, we headed to our room.
8:00 We had packed cookies and crackers, so we had a little dessert, and started to settle in.
We had been up since 6:00am the day before, and it was now almost 9:00 pm local time, or 3:00pm CDT... 33 hours or so that we had been up.
We broke out our sleeping masks saved from our flight, and settled in for the night (sunset was not until after 10:00, and it never really got dark outside... twilight at most; and the curtains did not really darken the room when pulled).
The sky at 9:00pm
Wednesday, August 09:
Breakfast in the Hotel, then South coast Tour on a wonderfully clear day
We had cheese, eggs, bread, coffee, juice, and pastry available.
8:45, the big bus pulled up, and we met Rupert the driver, and Frea, our 'host.'
"The tour starts with a drive through lava fields, right by the actively volcanic Hengill mountain and then down to the rich coastline farmland. On clear days you will see Hekla Volcano and in the distance the glacier-capped Eyjafjallajökull Volcano will rise majestically above the coastal mountains at its base. Just a few kilometres off the coastline and easily visible are the volcanic Westman Islands, an archipelago of around 15 small islands, one of which is inhabited."
Our 'host' gave a lot of great information as we went; but the bus also had wi-fi, and we were given tablets that updated based on our location, with further details... the guide was available in 10 languages, as well.
Waterfalls, we'd stop at a few on the return trip.
The glacier capped Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, and more waterfalls
Closing in on our first stop, Sólheimajökull Glacier
Then, it was back on the bus.
The southernmost tip of Iceland, Dyrhólaey. Note the keyhole weathered into the peninsula.
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, basalt formations, and cave
Behind the beach were Puffin nests
Reynisdrangar, basalt sea stacks
Legend says that the Reynisdrangar stacks originated when two trolls dragged a three-masted ship to land unsuccessfully and when daylight broke they became needles of rock
"The village of Vík is the southernmost village in Iceland, located on the main ring road around the island. Despite its small size (291 inhabitants) it is the largest settlement for 70 km." It is also odd that this village has no harbor.
We went to the Víkurgrill for Ostborara m/frönskum for 1,295 Krona... kind of a cheese burger and frites with drink.
We also grabbed some Icelandic chocolate for a bus snack for 465 Krona.
Reynisdrangar, basalt sea stacks, as seen from Vik
Our 'host' Frea waiting for passengers to load up
We then headed to southernmost tip of Iceland, Dyrh ólaey
Standing on top of the keyhole at Dyrhólaey
Reynisdrangar, basalt sea stacks, as seen from Dyrh ólaey
More black beach, and outcroppings as viewed from Dyrhólaey
Back on the bus, and headed back toward Reykjavik.
"On our way back to Reykjavik, we stop by the the powerful Skógafoss Waterfall "
Eyjafjallajökull Volcano when erupting in 2010, and today
Approaching Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, famous for the pathway behind and around it
We did buy some cards at the park for 300 Krona, and got some gifts for 1,390 Krona. I hate change, so I donated some for the park, as well.
8:30 pm, we walked down to Nings and we each had Steikt hrisgrjón með græ... a fried rice with veggies for 1,780 Krona.
After dinner we bought a candy bar to split from the display in the hotel, and settled in for the evening.
Thursday, August 10: Breakfast, then Golden Circle Tour
About 9:00 a small van picked us up and shuttled us to the big bus, where we met the driver Thomas, and our 'host' Siggy.
"See the world famous erupting geyser & hot springs, experience the magnificent Gullfoss Waterfall and follow in the footsteps of the Vikings, as you walk down the lava canyon where the American and Eurasian continents are literally pulling apart in Þingvellir.
The tour starts with a stop in Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site listing and the birthplace of the oldest existing parliament in the world. This is also where the gigantic tectonic plates of America and Eurasia have pulled apart and the resulting rift valley is right there before your eyes on the shores of Iceland’s biggest lake."
The rift between the European and American Tectonic plates
Lögberg, or Law Rock, the location for the assembly of the Alþing, Iceland's parliament from the 10th to 18th centuries
Continuing on toward the "Drowning pool"
The Drowning Pool
Similar to American witch trials, some poor folks were tossed in the pool to see if they were innocent or guilty, but the innocent often died.
Our Guide, at Þingvallavatun lake, where water travels 80 years through the aquifer, resulting in absolutely pure water that we could drink... some folks filled water bottles.
More of the rift, and our progress
Bonus visit Efstidalur Dairy and Hotel, between Bláskógabyggð and Laugarvatn, where we had fresh ice cream fro 450 Krona.
"The next stop is at Geysir Hot Springs, the home of the one-and-only original geyser and Iceland’s most iconic natural attraction. Here the ground trembles and steaming hot water spouts spectacularly skywards from the famous Strokkur Geyser every few minutes."
Bonus, play with some Icelandic horses
"Now for a leisurely walk down to Gullfoss Waterfall, which is an awesome sight to behold. Here a powerful glacial river cascades down 32 meters on two levels and into a narrow canyon with a thunderous roar."
After wandering around the falls, we had a roast beef sandwich to go with the crackers we had brought, 1,540 Krona.
We also bought some post cards for 300 Krona.
Bonus Stop Foxi Waterfall, with a salmon ladder on the side
Bonus stop, Hveragerdi where an earthquake split along the continental rift. So now there is a Shopping center in two continents; after the quake, they did not fill in the split... instead, they put glass so you can see the fissure underneath. Nearby they have a small earthquake simulator. The town does not have a cemetery due to the high magma level.
We paid $2 for the use of the WC, and bought some cookies for the bus ride... 239 Krona.
We then drove by Kerið, a volcanic crater lake located in the Grímsnes area in south Iceland, along the Golden Circle.
It was getting late, and we had to get up early, so we just grabbed pizza at Eldsmiðjan next door to the hotel, 2,295 Krona.
Friday, August 11:
The sky at 3:00am
The sky at 4:00 am
Airport Direct picked us up at 5:30 am after gathering up some more folks around town, we got to the airport about 6:15. We tipped the driver about 300 Krona.
A bit of a line to check in, but we got through and got cards, candy, and so on at the duty free to spend most of the Krona we still had left.
We only took about $210 worth for our three days whirlwind trip.
DL 261 8:25-9:55 We were bussed to the old fashioned stairs on our plane well away from the terminal, and laughed at all the people who rushed the line were at the back of the bus and we were among the first to board.
Layover MSP was long but uneventful, aside from a gate change. Bought some snacks to pass the time.
DL 2005 1:30-4:18 Was a smaller plane, but no issues.
Grabbed the card from parking, took a look at Gracie's new place, before grabbing dinner at Corner Bakery. Then, the short drive back home, and the real world. What a great trip
Note the glaciers, the white