Monday, 12 September 2016

A Postcard From Iceland

A little while ago we got to spend a few days visiting Iceland.
The flight to Iceland only takes a couple of hours so after leaving home it wasn't long before were touching down on the island. We were too early to check into the hotel so we left our cases and went for a wander round the city Reykjavik.   

It was a bit cloudy as you can see from these pictures, but it didn't spoil our walk around the harbour - taking in the mixture of new and old in the city.
The picture below is of the impressive Harpa Concert Hall - if you look carefully you might just be able to see us reflected in one of the windows...


After walking around for a few hours we finally headed back to the hotel and checked into our room. We couldn't wait for the next few days. We also needed a bit of sleep as it had been a long day. One thing you might find odd about a visit to Iceland is that, at the time of year we went, the sun hardly sets at all - easy to understand why it's known as the land of the midnight sun. It's a little strange waking up in the middle of the night though and finding that it's still light outside. On the first night I woke in the middle of the night and thought we'd overslept - but it was only 2 in the morning.

After breakfast the next day we went on a trip to the Blue Lagoon - a natural geothermal spa where you can spend the day relaxing in the mineral rich water that comes from deep underground. It's amazing how long you can spend there just relaxing. The water was very warm and it was a hot sunny day so we got quite a sun tan too. There's even a bar in the pool so you can bob along and get a refreshing drink to cool you down.
The picture above is of the natural pools outside the Blue Lagoon bathing area. The water you bathe in looks just like this... The Blue Lagoon is open until late at night so next time we visit Iceland we plan to go in winter so we can relax in the water and look at the Northern Lights. 

The day after we took a coach trip around the Golden Circle so that we could see some of Iceland's famous sights - Gullfoss Waterfall, The Geysirs, and Thingvellir National Park.

Situated on the northern shore of lake ├×ingvallavatn, ├×ingvellir (Thingvellir) is the national shrine of Iceland and UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's a very important location in Icelandic history as the oldest existing parliament in the world first assembled there in 930 AD. As well as being place of historical significance, ├×ingvellir is also protected as a national park due to its unique geology and natural features.

From there we went on to see the Geysir hot springs. The area became active over 1000 yers ago and is made up of lots of hot springs and boiling mud pits...

The geyser, Strokkur is very active and fires a jet of water up to 30 metres in the air.

Others, like the one above just steam and bubble away gently.
From the geysers it was only a short drive to the impressive Gullfoss waterfall. On sunny days you can see rainbows over the falls but as you can see - it was a bit wet when we went.

The final outing of our visit was to go whale watching... I didn't manage to get any pictures of the humpback whales that we saw but I did manage to get a little picture of a puffin swimming in the sea.
We had a great time visiting Iceland and we're really looking forward to going again before too long... 

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