Monday, September 5, 2016

Voyage of the Vikings Cruise - Cruise Day 12 - Reykjavik, Iceland Day 2

We slept in and had a leisurely morning before leaving for our day’s tour at 11:00.  Today we took a ship’s excursion which was a photography tour.  When we have taken photography tours in the past they have been limited to four to eight people so when we saw it was a large group of about 30 people, we were a little worried.

When we looked out on the balcony this morning we saw a freighter arriving in port.
A view of Reykjavik from the bus as we begin our day's journey.
Luckily this tour would not cover the same area as yesterday so we wouldn’t be duplicating anything.  Our first stop was a place where fish heads were being dried.  There were hundreds of racks most of which were full of drying fish heads.  This may not seem very appetizing, but it was interesting and fun to photograph. 

Many, many fish racks with most of them full of drying fish.

Our next stop was by a lake which in itself was not particularly interesting, but here were many rock formations that made up for it.

Next, we stopped at an area of hot springs which certainly didn’t rival the hot springs of Yellowstone, but were still worth the stop to photograph.

We made a short stop in an area which was a barren lava rock strewn landscape.  There is a moss that grows over the lava rock which will eventually break down and form the base for soil that will lead to new growth.  The moss is very spongy and you have to be careful walking on it as can disguise deep holes in the rock.

Which way do we go next?

We drove through several small fishing villages and then stopped at a beach area that had a lighthouse and many nesting arctic terns.

We saw numerous sheep during our two days of traveling the area around Reykjavik.

This is one of the many steam pipes we saw which carry the steam from the geothermal sites into the cities.  Surprisingly there is less than a degree of heat loss before it gets to its destination.
Most of the electricity in Iceland is generated by steam driven turbines at plants such as this one.

Another generating plant with the red steam pipe carrying steam from the plant.
Our final stop of the day was a stop at the Blue Lagoon.  The Blue Lagoon is probably the most famous tourist stop in Iceland.  It is a man made lagoon formed by the hot water from the steam used to drive the turbines which generate power.  This water is very high in minerals particularly silica which causes the water color to be a distinctive blue color.  The main appeal for this area is bathing in the warm mineral waters, as our location guide humorously said “it makes you look ten minutes younger”.  It is so popular they have had to limit the number of people who use it; it is also quite expensive.  We weren’t there, though for the therapeutic baths, we were there to photograph the blue waters in an area separate from the bathing area.  It was very photogenic and we took many pictures.

The Blue Lagoon with another steam plant in the background.
This was our last stop of the day and from there it was back to Reykjavik.  This turned out to be a much better day than we thought.  Our photographer guide had picked spots that were great for photography and added commentary on Iceland along the way.  Much of it was the same thing we heard yesterday, but we also learned many new things and got a slightly different slant than from yesterday’s guide.  We also got to see more of the countryside which was very worthwhile in itself.  Iceland is a very beautiful and amazing place.

Reykjavik off in the distance as we make our way back to the ship.
We got back to the ship just before the all aboard time which was at 4:30 since we would be sailing at 5:00.  We have thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Iceland and are already looking forward to the two more days we will spend here on our return voyage to Boston.  We have heard it said that the naming of Iceland and Greenland is an anomaly because Greenland is covered in ice and Iceland is green and now we know that it is true.

After getting back on board, we immediately went to the Neptune Lounge for a snack as lunch hadn’t been included on the excursion.  We had several hours before dinner so we spent the time resting and relaxing.  We have come to not only look forward to dinner for the food, but also for the conversation with Ken and Mary Beth.  We have also gotten to know Glen and Richard who are at the table next to Ken and Mary Beth and are from the Shreveport, Louisiana.  As anyone who knows me knows, I am not the most social person around, but I have really enjoyed our dinner conversations on this cruise.

We spent most of dinner tonight comparing notes on what we had seen and learned in Iceland.  The casino wouldn’t be open until late so after dinner we returned to the room and I downloaded all of our pictures for the day.  This is quite a process as not only do I download them to my computer, I also back them up on two portable hard drives which I carry with me.  I am very compulsive about backups and am always concerned that we will lose our photographic memories of all these wonderful places we are visiting.

We will lose another hour of sleep tonight as the clocks will be moved forward once again.  At least it’s gradual and there is no jet lag, but the one thing I am looking forward to for the return trip is getting all those lost hours back.  The next two days are sea days so we are looking forward to relaxing and catching up on our rest.

1 comment:

  1. I was dazzled by all of those fish heads. What do you do with a dried fish head? I Googled "dried fish heads Iceland" and found that today they are mostly exported to Nigeria where they make soups out of them. Fish Head soup...yum!