Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Iceland Experience

My daughter went on holiday to Iceland a few years ago and really enjoyed it - she said it was something most people should do once as it was something completely different. So we embarked  on a cruise to Iceland and Norway in August and arrived back yesterday.

We went from Southampton to first port of call  Dublin before making our way to Reykavik.

On our tour in Reykavik and beyond the temperature dropped to 8 degrees with a biting wind which made it feel much colder. We travelled to the Thingvellir National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Park straddles the mid Atlantic ridge and its where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet.  These plates are constantly pulling the earth's crust in opposite directions which result in unusual and impressive landscape which seem to go on forever.

We saw the incredible Gullfoss Waterfall and the Geysir Strokkur which shots 75 foot high column of hot water  every few minutes

Thankfully we chose not to bathe in the Blue Lagoon that day given the really cold weather conditions but saved the Geothermal experience until we went to  Akureyri where it was a more comfortable 14 degrees. The pool at Myvatn was wonderful although the smell of sulphur could be overwhelming at times. 

Its quite surreal lazing in very warm water with your head in the cold air - just as my daughter  descrIbed. The mountainous surrounding area was covered with volcanic ash and the whole experience was quite surreal. We also took in another impressive waterfall - Godafoss - the Waterfall of the Gods which was particularly beautiful

The Icelanders are keen to share their stories about trolls, "hidden people" and elves - we were left with the feeling that maybe they believed that the stories were true!

 We agreed it is something everyone should do once we have enjoyed it but we won't be rushing back. Incredible natural phenomena but the landscape and temperatures are bleak and unforgiving. As one of our guides said Iceland doesn't have weather but examples of weather and you can sample them all in one day. The only one we didn't have was snow although we could see it around us on the roadside at times. 

Incredible place. Good to visit but not to live!