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hillmanimp

Iceland

We went to Iceland in Feb to chase the Northern Lights.

Had a great but hectic time.  Great tour, fantastic guide and driver, very fortunate with the weather, and we saw the northern lights.

A few photos.

Northern Lights




Basalt columns on a beach near to Vik



Hotel Skaftafell




Looking westwards from hotel Skaftafell



Fjord cruise from Stykkishomur harbour



Stykkishomur harbour




Imp
Fireman

Fabulous photographs - love the Northern Lights, it must have been a trip of a lifetime.  

I would love to go there and drive their roads in a fast car as apparently once away from centres of population the roads are completely empty.
Hawick_1987

Lovely photos  
hillmanimp

Thanks both!

Holiday of a lifetime, yes.  Though we could go back it's not likely that we would be so lucky with the weather and the lights.  We wouln't have been able to do some of the things if it had been snowing, as it was a couple of weeks later, or pouring down.

The lights are addictive!  We would like to see them again

A couple more pictures.


Gullfoss (Golden falls)






Stranded icebergs



View from an extinct volacano, Grabrok




Imp
streapadair

So, another January, another birthday for Mrs s. Iceland this time, and not the shop (damn right, cybers, I do spoil that woman).
Only 3 days, so just Reykjavik and  a few tourist sights in easy reach of it. The weather wasn't great, though less rubbish than it's been here, and neither are the photos.

Hallgrímskirkja, by far the most prominent building in the town.



A freezer-trawler in Reykjavik harbour, as day breaks (this was 10.20am).


Tjörnin, a fresh water lagoon near the town centre. The church is the Reykjavik Free Church, a very different body from our own Wee Frees – they host rock concerts and conduct gay weddings.


The top end of Tjörnin seems to be kept ice-free (dunno how) for the birds, but the rest was frozen solid.


Most of the buildings in Reykjavik are of corrugated iron, heavily insulated and brightly painted. Tin shacks they are not. Scarcity of wood and the absence of decent building stone led to the importation of the iron from England from 1860 onwards. It has the incidental advantage of having a good degree of earthquake-resistance. These lakeside houses are all of corrugated iron.


As are all these – houses, apartment block, Free Church.
streapadair

This isn't crude graffiti, it's art. From an exhibition in the National Gallery of Iceland by Kristín Gunnlaugsdóttir.


A traditional Icelandic interior, reconstructed in the National Museum.


Mrs s on the warpath. Hey, I can explain . . .


A different museum, in the Laugavegur. Can you see what the theme is?


Yep, it's the Phallological Museum. A collection of boabies of all shapes and sizes, from sperm whale to pygmy shrew. This is from the former, with Mrs s for scale. And, yes, the lampshades are made from scrotums.
streapadair

At Ţingvellir, with Europe on the left and America on the right, sort of. Ţingvellir was the site of the Icelandic parliament from 930 to 1798 and stands right on the tectonic plate boundary, which is widening by a couple of centimetres a year. The site was chosen for the acoustics provided by gaping chasms.


Also at Ţingvellir, the Prime Minister's summer residence.


Some ropy basaltic lava, known to geologists as pahoehoe.


Gullfoss, one of the big showpieces but not at its best in winter. Much more impressive apparently in spring when the snow melts.


On to Geysir, not far away (this was the 'Golden Circle' tourist bus tour).



The Great Geysir, the big one, has been dormant the last few years, maybe some geological activity will set it off again, but its little brother Strokkur is still an impressive sight, erupting to around 100' every 8 minutes or so.


Skálholt, a modern church on the site of Iceland's first cathedral in the 11th century,
beside a replica timber and turf traditional longhouse.
streapadair

Back in Reykjavik, and looking up to Perlan (the Pearl), an exhibition space and restaurant built on top of some massive tanks which store the geothermal hot water that heats the town.




The Perlan revolving restaurant, almost empty, and almost as empty as my wallet after paying for the meal, which I must say was pretty good.


In typical poses, me with a camera and Mrs s with her iphone. To be fair, it was an incoming call.



Another pricey tourist trap, the Blue Lagoon, out towards Keflavik and the big airport. A weird experience (Iceland is all a bit weird, as are Icelanders), bathing in comfortably hot water with the air temperature sub-zero. Mrs s loved it, I put up with it.


Lava field with a rich carpet of moss.
cybers

Looks bloody awesome. Not my idea of a holiday destination but the lagoon has me curious   ... A bath in the freeze yir nadgers aff cauld ootside.

Sign me up  
Marblez

Cracking stuff as always Mr Streapadair sir
Doog Doog

Most enjoyable!
Fireman

Fabulous photographs - many thanks for posting.  
norrie

Just noticed this thread
Great photos from both of you
Strepadair, nice to put a face to Mrs S
hillmanimp

Hi streapadair

Lovely photos.

We didn't really see anything of Reykjavik, as the tour travelled around the countryside.   We would like to return and explore Iceland in more detail.

Imp
Hawick_1987

It's now on my list thanks to these smashing photos. Glad you enjoyed yourselves!  
streapadair

Thanks, everyone.

It's a strange island, bigger than Ireland, with a population smaller than Fife's. 60% live in and around Reykjavik, almost all the rest in other coastal towns and villages, the vast interior almost uninhabited and mostly uninhabitable - glacier, mountain, lava field.

Unlike you, Imp, we were based in Reykjavik and just took some bus trips. I'd love to go back some time and get off the tourist trail, not in winter though. Also unlike you, we drew a blank on the Northern Lights - that must have been a fantastic sight.
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