Wednesday, December 6, 2017

SURVEY says. . .

The three of us did a survey of our recent trip to Iceland. Here are the results:

What did you like most about Iceland?
Sarah - Seeing the Northern Lights twice! The Black Diamond Beach and the Glacier Walk.
Rita - The Northern Lights and finding Agnes from the book, Burial Rites
Chuck - The Black Diamond Beach

Northern Lights (Sarah and Rita)

Black Diamond Beach at sunset (Sarah and Chuck)

Glacier Walk (Sarah)

Agnes Magnusdottir from the book Burial Rites (Rita)

What was your favorite food and/or meal in Iceland?
Sarah - Lobster pizza! Then the lamb burger and the pumpkin soup.
Rita - Buffet at Hotel Laugarbakki and the Skyr cake at Geitafell Seafood Restaurant
Chuck - Buffet at Hotel Laugarbakki and the Reindeer burger.

Yummy lobster pizza (Sarah)

Lamb burger (Sarah)

Pumpkin soup (Sarah)

Buffet at Hotel Laugarbakki (Rita and Chuck)

Skyr cake at Geitafell Seafood Restaurant (Rita)

What was your least favorite food and/or meal in Iceland?
Sarah - The fermented shark and the cod the first night
Rita - Pickled herring on some of the breakfast buffets and the warm, fresh cow's milk -- yuck!
Chuck - The Arctic Char

The fermented shark is in the small white bowl in the center of the plate with the toothpicks. (Sarah)

Cod the first night (Sarah)

Fresh, warm cow's milk (Rita)

Arctic char but the mushroom risotto was excellent! (Chuck)

What was your favorite hotel or guesthouse?
Sarah - Hotel Laugerbakki (converted schoolhouse near Hvammstangi) where we had the buffet. Then Seljavellir Guesthouse near Hofn where we had washcloths the first time
Rita - Hotel Laugerbakki with the buffet
Chuck - Hotel Laugerbakki (converted schoolhouse)

Hotel Laugerbakki (all of us!)

Seljavellir Guesthouse near Hofn (Sarah)

What was your favorite waterfall?
Sarah - Ljosafoss Waterfall (little waterfall on the east side) and Svartifoss Waterfall (black basalt waterfall)
Rita - Svartifoss Waterfall (black basalt waterfall) and Gullfoss Waterfall as it was the first one we saw and it was huge.
Chuck - Godafoss Waterfall

Ljosafoss Waterfall (Sarah)

Svartifoss Waterfall (Sarah and Rita)

Gullfoss Waterfall (Rita)

Godafoss Waterfall (Chuck)

What was most surprising about Iceland?
Sarah - That wind in Reykjavik.
Rita - The cost of food in restaurants and the cost of diesel fuel (at $1.84 per liter USD, it comes to $7.36 per gallon USD).
Chuck - Just how unique the scenery is in Iceland.

Would you like to go back to Iceland?
Sarah - Yes! Maybe to ice climb? I would like to see Snaefellsnes Peninsula with better weather and do some hiking in the lava fields. But there's a lot of other places I'd like to go first.
Rita and Chuck - Yes, but not until we first visit a few other places.

Chasing waterfalls in Iceland = Wonderful vacation!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Chasing Waterfalls in Iceland-Day 9: Reykjavik

Our last day in Iceland was rainy and WINDY! After eating a good breakfast at our hotel, we crossed the street to tour Hallgrimskirkja, the huge Lutheran Church and one of Reykjavik's landmarks.

The interior is plain but beautiful.

 The church features a huge 5,275-pipe organ that was playing while we were inside. It sounded magnificent!

Beautiful stained glass window

 The church's tower can be seen from almost any location in Reykjavik.

Icelandic trolls are everywhere!

 Reykjavik's waterfront

Sun Voyager sculpture by the water

 Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center is an awarding winning building situated on the waterfront.

Close up how the modular sections were assembled.

 The famous Baejarins Beztu Pylsur hot dog stand is in the center of Reykjavik and has operated since 1939. We enjoyed a quick Icelandic hot dog before heading to the airport.

Thumbs up to a great vacation in Iceland, chasing those waterfalls!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Chasing Waterfalls in Iceland-Day 8: Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Waterfalls

Before leaving Stykkisholmur we wanted to check out the red lighthouse by the harbor.

Beautiful sunrise by Stykkisholmur's harbor

View from the lighthouse

Began our drive around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and stopped at Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall.

 Near the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall is Kirkjufell, also known as Arrowhead Mountain from the Game of Thrones.

 We wanted to hike down to Djupalonssandur Beach to see the washed up shipwreck pieces on the black sand beach, but it was too windy and rainy so we headed back to the car.

 Moss on the lava flow

 Londrangar lava formations

 Saxholl crater is estimated to have erupted 3,000 years ago.

Waterfall no. 953

 Bardur Snaefellsnes statue in Arnarstapi. 

 Bardur is the mythical protector of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula who was said to be half troll and half man.

 Cliffs in Arnarstapi

Stopped in a cafe in Arnarstapi for carrot cake, hot chocolate and coffee and loved this sign.

 Black church in Budir

Dropped the rental car off and checked into our hotel, Leifur Eiriksson, in Reykjavik.

 We had traditional Icelandic food for our last meal in Iceland at Cafe Loki. Chuck had the Icelandic Plate II which consisted of two rye bread slices with mashed fish and the other with smoked trout, flatbread with smoked lamb, dried fish with butter and fermented shark.

 Rita had the Icelandic meat soup.

Sarah had the gratinated mashed fish with rye bread and salad.

For dessert we shared Skyr cake with caramel and chocolate cake.

Hallgrimskirkja, an iconic Lutheran Church in Reykjavik, was directly across the street from our hotel. Even though it was rainy, the church was very impressive.

Stay tuned for our last day in Iceland . . .