Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Not now, Archie Puffin!

"Iceland?" That's what I got - with a look of confusion. Yes, we went to Iceland, and yes we went in the middle of February. And yes, it was cold. But this refreshing, thawing, wet cold that smelled like spring on steroids. Iceland is amazing (and warmer than Boston :P )

For more pictures, click here. Mac users may have an easier time than PC users; it may take a while for the pictures to load on the PC.

The ceiling at Hallgrimskirja (Hallgrin's Church). The architecture here was very different than that of the rest of Europe. Clean lines, nothing ornate, lots of space. This was a Protestant Church, but had a "Catholic Corner" for our Catholic friends.

Pingvellir. Since 960, Icelandic delegates would travel here for three weeks every summer to hold Parliament. Some trips would take over three weeks by horseback, but they all came. It was also a place where traders, farmers and fisherman could sell their wares. This went on until the 1700's, when they set up a building in Reykjavik as a more permanent structure that is still used today.

Pingvellir is also where the North Atlantic and Eurasian plates are separating , you can see the division here.

Gulfoss. The most famous falls in Iceland and a huge tourist attraction. After going there, I have now nightmares and can't sleep. Not exactly what Iceland tourism was going for...

So this snap was taken safely behind a fence. Then I decided I wanted a picture from a vantage point that the tour guide pointed out when we got off the bus. At the edge of a huge cliff. That fell into a river. That had no fence. Josh went and walked right up to the edge. I stood several hundred feet away, not breathing as I pictured him falling to his death. I called for him to come back. He motioned for me to come there. Reluctantly, I did. Then I pictured both of us falling to our death. My mother and sister were far away. No one would know we died. They would all get back to the bus and wonder where we were. Then they would wait. The tour guide would try to find us. In vain. Then he will remember the spot he pointed out. They would see our footprints leading up to the edge in the snow. Maybe a sneaker, but probably nothing. That's ALL I think about at night. That stupid cliff and that river and that drop and how close we were to falling to our deaths as we made silly poses for no reason. It will take a while for the image of Josh going over the edge to fade away. Gah. (See below for this death-defying view...)

Reynisfjara - a beach of liquid hot magma, that has since cooled. Very interesting rock formations and the sand is literally lava (so not sand... whatever).

Halfanefshellir (the cave) with basalt columns in the background.

This was the last waterfall in a row of glacial waterfalls on the side of a mountain. It was very Lord of the Rings/Gollum catching fish, but still very pretty.

A sink. Outside. (It's a camping ground, but still...)

And last but not least, The Blue Lagoon. I didn't take any pictures, mainly because I didn't want to risk the new camera with all the salt water, so here is one from the website. The place was surreal. Set among this huge lava feild, the warm, milky blue water feels amazing on your skin. I had this dry Boston winter skin for weeks. Thirty minutes in the water and it is completely healed and smooth again. An Icelandic miracle! This place is only 15-20 minutes from the airport, so a lot of people we saw at the lagoon were also on our flight. It was odd to look around the terminal and see people who were peeling off bathing suits in front you in at the communal shower a few scant hours earlier. There were also a lot of British school groups (Iceland is the same time zone as England.) So we went to Strubridge Village, British kids go to Iceland. Seems a bit unfair, no?


Blogger Kiwi said...

Aww, I'm so glad you guys had a good time. :) Lovely pics... that one of the blue lagoon is breathtaking.

Did you try hakarl (i.e. death in 'food' form) and brennivin? hehe.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Deepa said...

haha - i thought about you the WHOLE time and your warnings. We did not try it, but we did go to a place that served puffin, horse, reindeer, whale (cooked and in sashimi form) and fish chins. I stuck to the fish, Josh had lamb:)

3:22 PM  
Blogger SR said...

um. what's a puffin?

6:55 PM  
Blogger Deepa said...


7:57 AM  

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