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 . . . 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Chasing Waterfalls in Iceland-Day 7: "Burial Rites", Horses and Seals

Day 7 began with a delicious breakfast buffet at Hotel Laugarbakki.

A group of horses were at the end of the hotel's driveway as we were leaving. Most of them were beautiful Icelandic horses, but . . .

Then there was this guy!

In Hvammstangi we visited the Icelandic Seal Center, which is a research and exhibition center. They gave us a map of the area so we could watch both harbor and gray seals in their natural habitat.

Seals in the distance at Svarlbard

Icelandic horse by the water

We also stopped at Illugastadir to view the seals.

Illugastadir is also the location of Natan Ketilsson's farm where Agnes Magnusdottir worked in the book "Burial Rites". The current farmhouse is located on the site of the original house which was destroyed by fire. Agnes and Fridrik were accused and convicted of murdering both Natan and Petur Jonsson and then setting the house on fire. 

Natan had a workshop nearby but only the ruins remain.

We then visited Tjorn Church, the burial site of Agnes and Fridrik.

We found Agnes

We stopped at Geitafell Seafood Restaurant for lunch.

We were served a delicious seafood soup, salad and homemade bread.

For dessert we had skyr cake with blueberry topping.

Continuing around the peninsula, we also stopped to see Hvitserkur, a nearly 50 foot tall basalt stack that looks like a dragon drinking water. The ocean continues to erode it but it has been reinforced with concrete to protect the foundation. 

We drove on to Snaefellsnes peninsula and spent the night at Hotel Breidafjordur in Stykkisholmur. Being the off season, we were the only ones in the hotel..

Stay tuned for Day 8 . . .