A Travellerspoint blog

Wedding Day

rain 7 °C

This morning we woke up to cold wet cloudy day, our friends wedding day. Eventually the rain stopped and we got ready for our drive to the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is a world class medical spa, in which guests can book skin and spa treatments. Or just relax in the geothermal lagoon, which holds 6 million litres of geothermal sea water at a temperature of 37-39 C. The water in the lagoon is renewed every 40 hours.

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We arrived at our hotel, which is also called a Clinic, guests and visitors can book skin treatments and soak in the hotels own little blue lagoon. Its a much smaller pool, and actually a little warmer than the large one.

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Once we were checked in we could drive over to the lagoon or take the little path,

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Along the little volcanic rock path, there are several smaller pools of the sea water and the silica mud which is used in the spa treatments.

We had lunch at the lagoon's restaurant and had a quick look around, before heading back to the hotel for a quick soak. Once in the pool there are pails of the silica mud for you to slather all over yourself. The gift shop at the Blue Lagoon sells this stuff for $45.00 an ounce for you to take home. You better believe we all got our monies worth. In the changing rooms are all there shampoos, body washes, lotions, and creams for you to try.

The wedding ceremony took place outside on one of the paths winding through the lava rock. It was a little cold and windy but the bride braved the elements and the vows were said. The JP even blessed the union with an Icelandic poem, which he said in both Icelandic and English.

Back inside our little group of 11 did photos and had some pre dinner cocktails.

Dinner was at the Lava Restaurant, located at the Blue Lagoon. It was EXCELLENT! Everyone was given the restaurants menu and we all proceeded to order. But we had to save room for wedding cake.

As our wonderful dinner arrived, it was explained to us that we had one of the National Icelandic Chef's cooking for us tonight. He did come out and say hello so we could all congratulate him on a job well done.

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One of our group had the cheese plate as an appetizer, so in was wheeled the cheese cart for her to make her selections from.

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After a wonderful meal it was time to cut the cake.

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A coconut and chocolate affair it was every bit as good as the rest of our excellent dinner. We all headed back to the hotel for a quick dip in the pool and then off to bed. It was a great day, thank you to Craig & Charlene for inviting us to share this wonderful experience with you. We had a great time and very much enjoyed meeting your families, we both wish you all the best for the future.

Posted by MRCL72 13:50 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)

National/Independence Day

rain 7 °C

Today is Iceland's Independence or National day, even though it was rainy cold day lots of people were out celebrating. We decided to head out for for a drive around the Golden Circle which is a popular tourist route in South Iceland, covering about 300 km looping from Reykjavík into central Iceland and back. It was a easy drive, the roads in Iceland are in pretty good shape. We actually did the route in reserve along the way we did a few stops to take some pictures.

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Our first stop on the Circle was Geysir, eruptions at Geysir can hurl boiling water up to 70 metres in the air. However, eruptions may be infrequent, and have in the past stopped altogether for years at a time. It seemed to be erupting every 5 minutes while we were visiting. We were able to warm up standing in the steam that was going off the hot pools.

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We actually missed Gullfoss Falls, so I downloaded a photo to show you all.

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We had lunch in Laugarvatn, at the Fontana Spa & Wellness Centre beside a Geothermal Lake. The Spa had some hot pools and steam rooms along the lake, it was very quiet and relaxing area.

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Our last stop on the circle was Thingvellir (Þingvellir) National Park. Þingvellir is a site of historical, cultural, and geological importance and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. It is the site of a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It is also home to Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland. Parliament or Alþingi was established at Þingvellir in 930 and remained there until 1798. Þingvellir National Park was founded in 1930 to protect the remains of the parliament site and was later expanded to protect natural phenomena in the surrounding area. Þingvellir National Park was the first national park in Iceland and was decreed "a protected national shrine for all Icelanders".

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It is a beautiful area of the Island, we actually had a few minutes of blue sky and sunshine here in the park. After the park we head back to Reykjavik for dinner and a stroll around the city to see some of the festivities going on. Tomorrow we head up to the Blue Lagoon for our friends wedding and a soak in the lagoon.

Posted by MRCL72 14:27 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)

Geothermal Energy

overcast 10 °C

After a 12 hour sleep, we got up had breakfast and headed off to Hengill, where the Nesjavellier Geothermal power plant is located. The Hengill area is one of Iceland's largest geothermal area. As we were approaching the huge columns of steam going up into the air meant we were heading in the right direction. About 72% of Iceland's energy comes from renewable sources, 54% comes from geothermal and 18% is from hydroelectric sources.

The power plant building is a very modern looking structure with lots of glass and black rock.

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We took the guided tour around the plant and learned that all the hot water used by Icelander's is from geothermal sources, this heats their homes is used for their showers and in some area's to keep the snow off the sidewalks and roads. The entire parking lot at the power plant was heated so they don't have to clear it during the winter months. This provides Icelander's with cheap electricity and hot water, which according to our guide is the only cheap thing in Iceland.

The power plants output is 120 mega watt's of electricity and 1800 litres per second of hot water. They use cold fresh water from nearby wells and extract the heat from the hot water to make the usable hot water for Icelander's. The water does have a faint sulphur smell, this we learnt keeps the pipes from corroding. The cooled water left over at the end of the energy generation process is returned to the ground to be used again when its been naturally heated back up.

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The University of Iceland has a Energy Graduate program where people from many countries come to learn all about Geothermal energy generation and take the knowledge back to heir home countries.

After our little trip to the Hengill area we headed back to Reykjavik had a little lunch and wandered back down to the tourist info centre to get a map of the Golden Circle drive.

We walked through Iceland's #1 flea market, which was quite busy with lots of stuff for sale. On our way back to the apartment we stopped in at the Music Hall for a peak inside. Its a very cool building especially at night when they light it all up. Unfortunately it really only gets dark at night during the winter months here.

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Walking along the sea wall was a very cool sculpture of a viking boat.

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Back at our apartment, we had received an email from our friends, they had arrived and wanted to do dinner. We met them at Fiskmarkadurinn - The Fish Market. The restaurant was very nice, great service and wonderful food. Miguel and I shared a ceviche appetizer and a sushi platter, both were excellent. I would recommend it if you are in Reykjavik.

Tomorrow is going to be a full day we are going to do the Golden Circle.

Posted by MRCL72 14:03 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)

Welcome to Iceland

overcast 14 °C

We made it. We arrived at 6:30 am local time, which is six hours ahead of Calgary. Our flight over on Icelandair was great , but what is not to love about flying first class. Awaiting us at our seat was a pillow, a blanket, a bottle of Iceland spring water, our own personal flight kit and shortly after being seated a glass of sparkling wine to welcome us on board.

Our flight kit contained a pair of socks, blackout blindfold, ear pugs, toothbrush and toothpaste. As well as several L'occitane goodies, hand cream, body lotion and lip balm to help make our flight wonderful. We also got to use a great set of noise cancelling headphones.

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The service didn't stop either, our wonderful dinner started with a blackened cod and wakame ginger salad. Both Miguel and I had the catch of the day, which came with a corn and barley risotto, grilled asparagus and a garlic aioli sauce. Topping it all off was some creme carmel for dessert.

Well done Icelandair we look forward to flying with you to Spain and back home again.

Our first day in Iceland has been a little cool and overcast, we found a grocery store to get a few food staples. Driving here is relatively simple with less than 350,000 people on the island we didn't expect anything to bad.

We got to our rental apartment which is right across the street from the ocean, we had a short snooze and head out to have a walk around the town. Lots of people were out today walking around, shopping and enjoying the fresh air. We stopped at the tourist info centre to get some guide books.

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We headed down to see the Coast Guard ships and saw the new music hall that was recently finished here in Reykjavik.

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We realized as we were walking around and smelling food that it was our new dinner time, and that we were hungry. There are lots of restaurant's to choose from everything from Sushi to Hot Dogs. We decided to try an Italian place and were not disappointed, great service and wonderful food.

On our way back to our apartment to plan tomorrows activities, we saw a playground area with murals painted on the surrounding buildings.

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There are quite a few murals like this painted in different areas. Its going to be an early night, to get ourselves onto Iceland time.

Take Care,

R&M

Posted by MRCL72 12:13 Archived in Iceland Tagged reykjavik Comments (0)

The Countdown

sunny 22 °C

Well the countdown is on, only 2 days until we leave for our trip. Everything is booked, reserved and waiting for us to get on our way. We are very excited for this trip, I am especially excited for my dive. I did a drysuit refresher course a couple weekends ago so I can feel comfortable doing the dive.

Be sure and check back for future entires, and hopefully better pictures as I experiment with our new DSLR

Posted by MRCL72 19:22 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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