Epic Summer Vacation Part 1 – Iceland

 

 

Last December I planned this summers\;s vacation…. It started out as a 12 day Norway cruise beginning and ending in Hamburg, Germany – Norwegian Cruise Line on the NCL Jade cruise ship. Awesome…

When I checked airfare to and from Hamburg I found it way more expensive that it had been to England a couple of years ago. I noted that our ship just happened to be sailing from Southampton  England on a 2 day cruise to Hamburg immediately prior to the 12 day cruise, so…. we made it a 14 day cruise beginning in Southampton and ending in Hamburg.

Of course if you are going to England to get on a cruise ship you have to spend a few days there, so I added 3 days to include a trail Half Marathon! And if you are ending in Hamburg you need to spend a few days there as well…. Also, it turns out if you finagle things just right you can fly on WOW and/or Icelandic Airlines and stay in Iceland for about the same price as flying straight to London.  SO….. our trip ended up being 3 nights in Iceland, 3 nights in England, 14 nights on a cruise and 3 nights in Hamburg. We will be gone about 3 1/2 weeks.

We flew from LAX overnight to Iceland Tuesday/Wednesday. Tonight is our last night in Iceland.

We arrived around mid day – sleepy from having not slept at all Tuesday night. I have found that it is best NOT to sleep when flying to Europe, just make a long night of it and hang on when you get there. You will be good and tired and ready to sleep in your new time zone when you get there. So, we flew, we rented a car, we drove and found our apartment. The apartment did not look like much from the outside, but it was somewhat affordable, it is nice inside, and it does have a nice view if you look sideways from the balcony.

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Then we drove into the downtown touristy area of Reykjavik, Iceland. We parked and had a good long walk exploring things.

Thursday, we got up early and drove on our own Golden Circle tour. The Golden circle consists of 3 main attractions – Þingvellir National Park, Geyser, and Gullfoss waterfall. The drive was nice, the park was nice, the Geysers were awesome and Gullfoss leaves you amazed. The main Geyser was awesome, it went off every 10 minutes or so..

The waterfall’s size will be hard to imagine from the video and the pictures… but give it a try….

In it’s two parts it falls more that 50 meters in height….

and the pics of the day:

This morning I got up and headed out for a run. I found a nice route down to the waterfront and found a nice bike path there. I went a total of 5 miles.

Afterwards we got in the car and headed down the coast to what is called the South Coast tour. The main features here are two more waterfalls, and the black sand beach of Vik.

Here is the first waterfall –

It was raining a bit when we got there, so we were getting a little wet. But then as you got close you got wetter. Then I noticed that the path goes all the way behind the waterfall:

I was pretty wet by the time I got out from behind there…

The second waterfall – Skogfoss Waterfall was huge. They had a trail with 384 steps to the top. Cheryl and I climbed and then went up the trail even farther. Here is a little video of a small fall above the big one.

and here is the waterfall itself

And the rest of the pictures of the day – the horses were causing traffic delays. The cowboys were herding them down the road but they kept running up on to the highway blocking traffic…. I am not sure if they were supposed to be there..

tomorrow – on to England…

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