Natural Wonders of Iceland

Snaefellsnes peninsula

Today’s tour consisted of a 380km (230miles) tour of the Western peninsula with steps along the way at scenic beaches, majestic cliffs and volcanoes and of course, more waterfalls. 

A beatiful hike along the coast gave us the chance to walk off some calories from the wonderful dinner the night before. Beet cured salmon as a starter, followed by rack of lamb (the best I have ever had). Desert consisted of chocolate cake. 

One last night inn Reykolt and then we will return to Reykjavik for a last day in the capital city. Stay tuned. 

Natural Wonders of Iceland

Waterfalls continued

One might wonder how many ways water can fall and here in Iceland, there are thousands. Every one has its own magic andvtoday we added two more to our list. 

Hraunfossar is a natural miracle as natural springs cascade water drum under the surface down volcanic cliffs int to river. The magic was further enhanced by the beautiful fall colors of the arctic birch and r fish shrubs. 

Barnafoss has a more tragic story as it translates to children’s falls.  The legend has it and hat on Christmas Eve, two kids vanished over the stove arch that built a narural bridge across the river. Their mother in her grief, ordered the bridge demolished. 

Before we reached the falls, our tour stopped at a geothermal complex to experience naturally cooked eggs and lava bread baked solely with steam. Quite the experience to watch the bubbling water cook eggs. 

After that, we stopped at the world’s largest geothermal power plant generating 300mgh of power and hot water for the city of Reykjavik. 

All in all a fantastic day which was crowned with a fabulous meal of cured salmon, rack of lamb and chocolate cake. I’ll let the images talk. 

Natural Wonders of Iceland

Waterfalls and scenery that never quits

After a very restful sleep and a hearty breakfast we hit the road toward the town of Vik. Along the way, we stopped at a waterfall called Skogafoss where we got to climb to the top of the drop.  It was quite the climb but totally worth it. 

For a better view from the top, you can watch this video. 

From there we continued on to the black sand beach of reynisfjara. At that point the wind and rain stormed around us with gale forces that required us to lock arms to avoid flying off.  Quite the adventure. 

On the coach most of us needed some dtying off and fortunately the rain stopped by the time we hit the stop at Solheimajoekull glacier. The dry but glacier chilled breeze dried out the last vestiges of rain water in our outfits. 

Onward we teacelled to the visitor center of the famous 2010 volcanic eruption that stopped North Atlantic Air Travel for days. (I remember it, planes grounded and thousands of Oberammergau guests stuck in Europe). 

The short documentary brought these events to life and the peaceful setting is quite lovely today. 

One last stop, which for many was the highlight of the day, was another waterfall. This one, you can actually walk behind and enjoy a fantastic concert of waterworks. 

Natural Wonders of Iceland

Chasing the Northern Lights (aurora borealis)

After a lovely Icelandic dinner comprised of roasted lamb and salmon with dill sauce and potatoes, we took off into the night sky to try to catch the nortern lights. 

It is a bit like a ghost chase to be honest. Even in sparsely populated Iceland it is a challenge to find a dark spot without lhyman made light pollution. We are also hampered a bit but the near full moon illuminating the night sky. 

Nevertheless, we eventually found a spot and got to witness this natural phenomenon live and in person. It is hard to describe the experience in words. One has to see it in person and our group had the chance to do it tonight. 


Natural Wonders of Iceland

Greenhouses, Geyser and Gullfoss

Our adventure continued on from Thingvellir to a greenhouse farm specializing in tomatoes. Ingenious as the icelanders are, this family is using the geothermal forces to grow indoor tomatoes of the “European round” variety, the egg shaped Roma type, as well as the tasty “piccolo” cherry tomato. We toured the facilities before enjoying home made tomato soup and amazing breads. 

Optionally, guests could enjoy the house recipe of a Bloody Mary, or choose a healthy Mary (green tomato juice and basil) or step it up to the “holy Mary” with gin and green tomato. 

Nourished and happy, we made our way onward to the geyser area where we got to experience multiple erruptions of Strokul, a 90 to 110 foot geyser that blows about every 5 to 8 minutes.  

Continuing on, we traversed beautiful countryside, including a traditional Icelandic roadblock in the form of a herd of cattle in the middle of the road. 

Our final stop for the day consisted of a visit to the “golden falls” at Gullfoss. 

It was truly over the rainbows as we saw several spear every time the sun peaked through the clouds. 

Natural Wonders of Iceland

Thingvelir – a tale of two plates (tectonic that is)

Our journey today took us out of Reykjavik and east toward the “golden circle”.  To be truthful it is neither a real circle (more like a bow) and it is an invented title to promote a day trip tour by Iceland tourism. 

Our first stop was Thingvellir whete the outdoor parliament used to take place a millennia ago. The place is also important because it is te fissure of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Our group walked the ever widening fissure (2 inches per year) from the upper to the lower lot. 

The adventure continues… stay tuned for my next blog. 

Natural Wonders of Iceland

Iceland – here we come

Blue skies shone upon our arrival in Reykjavik as our last AAA Sojourns international tour gathered here. A first day visit to the blue lagoon for some, while others made their way here. 

Over the next 7 days, we will discover this magical place with our own eyes witnessing geological wonders and enjoying great Nordic food. 

Join me on this amazing journey as we make our way through Iceland.