Posted by: Gary Guertin | August 20, 2015

12. Viking Cruise – Aug. 12 & 13, 2015 – Reykjavik, Iceland

Hi All,

I know that most of you have heard of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, and its largest city.  Let’s put Reykjavik in perspective.  It has 120,000 habitants and our first port, Akureyri has 80,000 habitants, but there are only 320,000 habitants in all of Iceland.  As the capital, on the western coast of Iceland, its history, like most of Iceland, goes back to the 9th and 10th  century. It was first believed to be settled by Celtic and Norwegian immigrants, but it wasn’t until the 18th century that a full-fledged township was developed. It has become a tourist center in the summer, when its temperatures get up to a balmy 55 degrees F..  The main draw is what is referred to as the “Golden Circle”; including waterfalls, geysers, volcanoes, mountains, and the famous “Blue Lagoon”.

Now after all those words about Reykjavik, we arrived on Wednesday, Aug. 12th to a rainy, cold, and windy (up to 60 miles per hour) day.  Our departure, which was to be at 4 PM the next day, was delayed until midnight on Aug. 13th due to inclement weather around us.  Since Susy and I at least wanted to make an attempt at seeing this port, we ventured out into this lovely weather.  Our usual ship and port signs including a look at the port store/building:




Susy and I almost got blown away when going over to that port store, so the decision as to take a one hour tour around town on a hop on/ hop off bus or a 7 hour bus tour around the “Golden Circle” was easy to make; go hop on/ hop off.  Here we are leaving the port:


You’ll have to put with the rainy photos just as we did looking out the bus windows.  Houses:


Luckily I got this church through an open door:


A colorful building:


And for the young ones, the Whale building:


My traveling companion sometimes (lol) comes up with some great ideas.  She had seen that a building called HASP, which was a new large opera/ theater with galleries, restaurants, etc. had a small theater that showed the “Golden Circle” tour in a 360 degree room that had projectors on the ceiling and all four walls.  Here’s what we saw, first fjords:


Then the waterfalls:


The scenic coast:


And the scenic interior:


Fields of glaciers:


I need to stop here as we look at the glaciers and let you know that this part of the world is very fortunate regarding energy. Between the waterfalls, and the geo-thermal water (underground water with temperatures at about 147 degrees F.) they generate not only all their electricity, but all the hot water for heating their homes and buildings, at basically only the cost of installations. In our virtual tour here is one of the most famous “hot springs” in Iceland called the “Blue Lagoon”:


And we got to see the famous “Northern Lights” you see in the winter when there is darkness all day:


And to finish our tours, a look at the many volcanoes in the area, both active and not, day and night:



So that’s it, in a little over 20 minutes, in a nice warm theater, we had accomplished a 7 hour bus tour, and with our hop on/ hop off bus  tour saw metro Reykjavik all accomplished in one day instead of two.  In the meantime the storm continued for both days.  However, as you can guess, at 8 PM as we were going to sail away in a few hours, the sun came out, and Susy and I took these three photos from our dining table:




Only two ports left, Torshavn, Faroe Island on Saturday, Aug. 15th, and Edinburgh, Scotland on Monday, Aug. 17th., so until Torshavn,

Love You All,

Gary (alias Gagu or Opa)


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