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iceland update: gales, glaciers and a great time

A quick update from Reykjavik:

Our trip has been a lot of fun! Upon arrival, we visited the Blue Lagoon. The water was lovely, even though we dealt with gale force winds that created mild surf conditions in the pools. We then took the bus to Reykjavik, where we checked into our hotel (the Hilton Nordica, a very nice place) and then went for a walk along the waterfront, where we saw birds, sculptures and rainbows.

Day two had us on an all-day excursion to see waterfalls, hike on a glacier, eat lobster soup in a southern fishing village, and hopefully see the Northern Lights. We were able to accomplish the first three, but persistent rain and fog made sky viewing all for naught. Instead, we experienced a thermal spring (really an “exploded” geyser) by torchlight – really cool. Our guides were great.

Yesterday, we explored more of Reykjavik: the LEGO-esque church, the shopping streets, a couple of museums (one an anthropological excavation of the original settlement in Reykjavik, the other a modern art exhibit), tried out the famous hot dog stand, and found some fun places to enjoy coffee and tea.

Today we slept in (after checking throughout the night to see if the skies had cleared to see the Northern Lights – alas…), then explored the Reykjavik Botanical Garden and Zoo (the arctic foxes were a highlight), soaked for a long time in the Laugardalslaug thermal pools, then enjoyed an evening of a lovely vegetarian dinner, storytelling of Icelandic tales read by an excellent local actor, and drinks at a perfect little cafe/bar in the main shopping district that had a great deal on local beer.

Now we’re back at the Nordica, unwinding and prepping for another day of exploration (and more relaxation). You can see my photos here, and I’m uploading them as time permits. sprite has also been posting on her blog, which also has links to her pictures from the trip.

Until later…. BLESS!

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