For Christmas, I gave Lance a trip to Iceland, a place we have both wanted to visit for a while. The idea for when to go - for the lunar eclipse and northern lights - was provided by my step brother, Danny. It turned out to be a wonderful trip, just the two of us, in the beautiful desolation of this haunted land.
They say that Iceland is a land of fire and ice. We experienced both (although I still want to see molten lava in a live volcano!) in the form of geysers, hot springs, and lots of snow and ice.
On Day 1 (we flew in late the night before) we started in Reykjavik, awaking to enjoy the rooftop hot tub heated with geothermal water (in my top three experiences in Iceland). We then headed downtown for a business breakfast I had set up (Iceland recently wrote a constitution that was politically stillborn, and I was meeting with a drafter and activist about a few things).
After breakfast, we high-taled it to the "Golden Circle." Although we had read that most of Iceland's real wonders lay further afield, we both wanted to see Gulfoss waterfalls, and I the initial Geysir after which all geysers are named.
|Inland lake, near where the ancient Althingi met, the world's first proto parliament|
|Mud pots near Geysir|
|This isn't Geysir, but a geyser close by that more regularly erupts - I didn't actually catch the spray, but the plume of smoke!|
|Gulfoss, Europe's largest falls|
Overall, I think we were glad we saw both, but we certainly didn't enjoy the crowds and the tour buses. It seemed all professional and amateur photographers had descended on the place at once, and we certainly liked other sites more.
We then tried to find Gjain to hike around from this blog post, but the road hadn't yet opened for the Spring/summer. We enjoyed peering into this church, however, the 5th smallest in Iceland's southwest (what that means, we'll never know). It had a recognisable Carl Bloc painting above its altar.
We then made our way down the 30 to the 1, the road that circumnavigates Iceland, to this converted dairy for amazing Volcano soup and burgers (the cows must have been slaughtered on that very farm that very day - never tasted anything like it).
We then stayed at the less-than-glamorous but cheap guesthouse across the way that happened to be the perfect spot for watching the solar eclipse - more to come tomorrow!
|View out our window that second night.|