Vacation in the "Land of Fire and Ice"

... and only about a four-hour flight from Logan


My friend, Margie, my sister, Margie, and my friend, Joyce on the boat
cruising the Joksularlon Lagoon

When you fly into Reykjavik, Iceland, you land in a place that is like no other
on earth.  This capital of Iceland is an extremely busy city, with shops,
theaters, museums, restaurants, art galleries, ancient buildings and modern
buildings and, of course, a very large geothermal heated swimming pool in
the middle of the city.

City Hall is built on the edge of a lake populated by many species of water
birds who nest there and entertain children and adults alike. Overlooking the
city is the glass-domed "Pearl," a revolving restaurant that sits on top of
large gleaming hot water tanks. Unfortunately we did not have time to visit

The next day our bus took us past mountains and glaciers, lava fields,
waterfalls, and green rolling hills on our way to the second largest city of
Akureyri, just 60 miles from the Arctic Circle. This city has the warmest
climate in Iceland and has a lovely Botanical Garden.

Geothermal steam is below the surface in much of Iceland. We stopped to
look at the Krafla Power station where the steam is harnessed and
transmitted to Akureyri for heating buildings and homes. They have no need
of gas or oil for heating.

Not sure if this is the Godafoss or Dettifoss.

From here we visited two of the famous waterfalls in Iceland, the powerful
Godafoss and the mighty Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall,(at least  
these are two names you can pronounce and spell). In July it does not get
dark and that evening we boarded a plane for Grimsey Island.  A short
walking tour took us across the Arctic Circle, so now my sister Margie and I
can boast about being over both the Arctic and Antarctic Circles.

Here we are on the other side of the Arctic Circle...

Much of Iceland is covered with glaciers and volcanoes, some of which are
active, with snow-covered glaciers sitting on top of them. When they erupt
they form lava fields and fjords. We visited "Petra's Stone Collection." This
Icelandic woman has spent her time collecting varied stones from the fjord in
her area. Her house and garden are filled with these amazing beautifully
shaped and colored rocks that she has found.

The Jokularson Glacial Lagoon.

At the Jokulsarlon (try pronouncing that one) Glacial Lagoon we cruised
though a surreal scene of enormous icebergs as well as smaller ones. I know
you will be glad to know that the next day's tour took us along the south
coast through Skeidararsandur, Reynisfjall, Dyrholaey and the twin torrents
of Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss (thanks to Vantage's  day by day itinerary).

The next day we viewed the Gullfoss, the largest waterfall in Europe, and
Geysir - the name given to all geysers throughout the world and the only
Icelandic word in the English language.

No trip to Iceland is complete without a dip in the Blue Lagoon, where the
water warmed by hot springs and minerals make the water blue and leave
your skin soft and silky.

My advice - if you get the chance, visit Iceland - you'll love it.

October 3, 2014

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