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Iceland Wonderland: Part 2

Sunday, September 17, 2017

From Reykavik we sailed to Akuryeri through a fjord Ejiafjordur; very beautiful. And the captain announced two whales off the port bow! What a treat to see whales in the distance. Our excursion guide said the two whales are frequent visitors.

Linda and I took and excursion to explore Iceland's diverse landscape -- it was AMAZING. And again -- our local guide was GREAT. I loved that she told stories!

Driving around the end of the fjord

Our first destination was a milky blue waterfall, Godafoss.

River (on the trail to Godafoss)

Rainbow from the falls

From there we drove to an area of pseudocraters by Lake Myvatn. Pseudocraters are formed when hot lava flows over a wet area (like a swamp) and causes and explosive reaction. Actual craters are vents where the lava has flowed out from the earth's core.

We then went on to an area of lava formations called Dimmurburger. Large volcanoes surrounded this area. And many of them were leaking steam and smoke ...

But here are a few photos from Dimmurburger. Our guide told us the folk tale about this area: Iceland has many hidden people, including trolls. Trolls are huge, ugly and mean, and they freeze in sunlight (I think I knew that from a Hobbit movie!) In Iceland, the trolls decided to all meet together to discuss how to get rid of the pesky humans that were moving into their homeland. But since it had been a long time since they met together, they decided to have a party with lots of alcohol and roast meats. They were having such a good time, and got so intoxicated, they forgot to watch for the dawn. The big lava formations are frozen trolls; some of them are kissing each other in a final goodbye.

Kissing trolls

Many of you know I live in a very volcanic area with lots of lava. But we don't have any frozen trolls! Iceland's vegetation is very different also -- the Vikings denuded all the trees, and trees have been very slow to grow back. But there is some vegetation that is the same -- heather was blooming among the lava rocks.

Our final stop was my favorite: Myvatn, near the fissure between two tectonic plates is a textbook of volcanic action! Geysers, steam vents, craters, boiling mud pots!

Can you see the tiny figures across the shallow hot lake? It's not the best photo, but it might give some sense of the size of Myvatn.

We took the bus back on the other side of lake Myvatn, around the end of the fjord, and back to the ship.

Linda and I explored Akureyri in the evening, and the next morning. We normally take the hop on/hop off buses, which have a narrated tour in various languages (through ear buds that are provided). In Akureyri, the tourism office told us the city buses went to the same destinations and were free. So we rode the city buses -- in hindsight, that might have been a mistake! We had no clue as to where we were! Of course all the announcements were in Icelandic. Near the end of our ride, a Japanese passenger from our boat helped us out by showing us where we were on the GPS app on his SmartPhone. On the plus side -- I do like going into the non-tourist areas of the city, and the bus stopped at apartment houses and grocery stores, and the university.

The beautiful Lutheran church at the top of a hill is by the same architect that designed the church in Reykavik.

We loved the pedestrian mall in downtown! It had flowers -- and TROLLS!

My favorite photos from the whole trip are the ones of the fjord as we sailed away from Iceland. I just loved the dramatic light on the hills, and the colors! One of these will be the inspiration for my first landscape painting ... And the whales were spouting in the fjord as we were leaving!

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    for posting these fantastic photos and descriptions! Much appreciated! chris
    1111 days ago
    Just awesome! You look so happy and looking good too!
    Love those kissing troll rocks-really fascinating! Such an interesting area to visit! Glad you got that chance! emoticon
    1134 days ago
    beautiful! some day....
    1135 days ago
    Wow, what beautiful photos! You just moved Iceland back up into my Top 5 bucket-list travel destinations...
    1135 days ago
    Thank You once again, Alison. What a beautiful country..............what is the warmest that the temperature gets there. I was surprised to see you without a jacket.

    A couple of years ago, my husband was asked to be a guide for a bus tour of the Amish establishments in our area. The entire bus was filled with tourists from Iceland. Part way through the tour, Ken could see that more than a few of the woman seemed troubled with something they had seen. He asked them if he could answer any questions and they very quickly asked why so many of the woman were barefoot. They were also asking about the treatment of the women and girls in general. Ken told them that going barefoot was fairly universal in the summer as it was a way to stay cooler. It was the choice of the women and girls to wear shoes or not. He quickly found out how progressive Icelandic women were. If I am correct, their leader (I don't know if the office is called the Presidency or if she is a Prime Minister or what) is a woman and a lot of government office holders are women.

    1136 days ago
    wow so beautiful , that is god to have a good guide,I did not know Iceland people of the land had their own language I thought it was English. (sorry for sounding so dumb about it ) !!
    Why is it taking so long for trees to come back since the Viking days? Was the weather cold in Iceland even though the flowers are out? I love the story of the trolls never heard that .Are the people friendly there?
    You are so blessed and thank you for sharing!!
    1137 days ago
    So beautiful... believe it or not, last night at the band BBQ, we learned that the Drum Major was on exactly the same cruise as you were! They loved it too. He talked about Cawdor Castle, stopping at Invergordon instead of the Shetland Islands, and Iceland.
    1137 days ago
    Wow! Gorgeous!!! I do want to go. You tell the story so well and your pictures are so beautiful. Thank you.
    1137 days ago
    How beautiful! My husband's first degree was in geology...this looks like a wonderful destination for us!!
    1137 days ago
  • DYANNE4293
    1137 days ago
    What a beautiful place to visit. And I love the pics; thanks for sharing them.
    1137 days ago
    very nice! thank you for sharing
    1137 days ago
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