Lots of things to do before leaving this land. Will it ever get done?
Started as a cruise ended as an epic adventure
This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.
Lots of things to do before leaving this land. Will it ever get done?
A treat from my wonderful daughter
One and a half hours of silence and relaxation in a peaceful area. Thanks Tara
Trust Lana to find friends within hours of arriving!!
The amenities available in YVR
12.10.2015 - 13.10.2015
We started our holiday at 10:45 and went to pick Jen up, she will take my jeep back home. We went to Lonsdale Quay for the Canada Line to the airport. Such a good service, about half an hour and $2.75. Lana and I arrived at the airport in plenty of time and decided to go through security early. As we were going through Lana mentioned her camera and it was at that moment that I realized I had left mine, with all it's chargers, batteries, etc. in the jeep. Tried calling Jen but she was already in Squamish so......what to do?
Go to a vending machine!!
Best Buy has vending machines where they sell cameras, camera accessories and many other electronic gadgets. All at good prices. So, unexpected cost, but I now have a better camera than I had before. It is the same brand as I had before so the learning curve to use it is very small.
Our first day was spent hiking around Reykjavik. The city is pretty easy to navigate although there are some small challenges. There are often no signs on the intersections and streets change names from one side of a cross street, to the next. An Icelander told me that "we don't need them, Reykjavik is so small we know where everything is."
The City hall is not a pretty building on a cloudy rainy day but it is right on a little lake with lots of water birds. The Parliament Building is close by and is a lovely old stone building built in 1884 of hewn Icelandic rock. The Parliament consists of 63 members and meets regularly with no security, anyone can walk into the building and watch them conducting business. They have a president and a premier. The president is a figurehead but does have veto power over bills. Only the present president has ever used this ability.
There is a great place called The Lemon that has really good coffee, although the fact that we were there at 9:30 in the morning and it was our first coffee may have had something to do with it. The two young people working there were very helpful andinformative about Reykjavik.
Our place "Grettisborg apartments" is very well situated, one block to the main shopping/eating street and everything else within easy walking distance. We walked several kilometers getting to and from Hallgrimskirkja then later discovered it was only 3 blocks away.
By 2:30 we were both exhauxted, with sore feet, so we headed back to the bunk and settled in. When we awoke the sky was clear and the forecast for the aurora borealis of 4, on a scale of 1 to10 where 1 is minimal and light. So we headed out to one of the "best" spots outside Reykjavik. We did see lots of lights but they were very pale and we could not take pictures.
We feel pretty lucky with the weather as there was a lot of sunshine and very little rain today.
I am posting this without pictures as I am having technical difficulties, I will add them as soon as I can.
14.10.2015 - 15.10.2015
Day 2, October 14
Woke up to cloud and sun. Feel lucky once again.
Drove down to the beach to take pictures of the Sun Voyageur sculpture, then went to Harpa, the large convention/music building. It is quite beautiful, all made of glass. They have a show you can watch which is a 360 surround show. A bit disorienting when they are moving forward. It shows many of the special sights in Iceland, so if you can't get far from Reykjavik it lets you see them, or gives you an idea of places you might like to go.
After we came out we decided to drive out to Reykjanes Peninsula as the sun was shining. The first place on the way out is Hafnorfjordur where they have a Viking Village with church and longhouse. There was also another lovely white church next door.
I needed batteries for my camera so went into a Subway to ask where a store was. There was a group of girls giggling and just outside the doors. They followed me in, and with much giggling and gasping from the others, one of the girls took her cup and took hot chocolate from the machine. I gathered she was snitching it as there was no employee around. They were very shocked when I said "You girls can help me!", but smiled when I asked about batteries. They told me we could go to Kronan's, a large grey house.
We got lost and turned around, but found the store and decided to buy food as well as the batteries. We saw a nice package of small round balls of cheese that was divided in two. Upon opening it at the apartment found out the round balls were cooked potatoes.Big haha on us.
The countryside driving to Krysuvik was through the Geopark, a large area of lichen and scrub covered lava fields. Some amazing colors! We passed by an open pit mine where they were taking out black lava. I assume it was for roads as most of the roads have a black lava base, that we could see.
Just before Krysuvik we saw a herd of Icelandic horses in a field. There were a couple of cyclists petting/feeding them. We decided to stop as well and the horses came right over to say hi. They were very friendly to us and you could see that there was definitely a top horse. Some of the horses had fairly violent squabbles. They would back up so their back ends were touching and start kicking, sometimes adding in a few bites.
We drove a bit farther and came to Settun, a small a geothermal crater. Years ago they drilled for power but in 1999 it plugged up and exploded, leaving a small crater with small pools and vents. The water coming out of the ground is over 100%. Above the crater, there is a large vent that has a pipe going to abandoned Krysuvik.
We drove into Krysuvik because it was our destination. A blue house with a cool totem pole and what looked like a bunkhouse, with a small generator fed by a pipe coming from the large vent above.
Looking over the land from this vantage point we could see Lake Keifarvatn, a lake in a crater with beautiful blue waters caused by warmth loving plankton. We also saw the cyclists, bedding down for the night in the middle of nowhere. We did not envy them as it was cold, and wondered if their tent would survive the night with the windy conditions.
We returned to Reykjavik as it was too late to go farther and decided to go out for dinner. The Thai restaurant was closed so we went to a Nepalese place, a block away. We were the last patrons because the owner said everyone was tired. They had just come back from holiday in Nepal. He had also gone to India where he buys all his spices. The food was good but 2 small dishes of curry (a cup each?) with a cup of rice each and 2 Chai tea was 7190ISK or almost 77.00 cad.
After that we ate scrambled eggs and veggies cooked at the apartment.