Trip to Iceland - Reykjanes Peninsula
27 January 2012
Lucy and her mum spent three days in Iceland, hoping to see the aurora
but doing some great sightseeing during the day in any case. On the
first day they went on a trip to explore the Reykjanes Peninsula, near
Iceland of course has a very big fishing industry; here you can see the
drying process, in the perfect climate!
The motto is 'expect anything' when it comes to Icelandic weather - the
day we flew in, a very bad snowstorm had brought the area to a
standstill. Here you can see the road we have just driven along, cleared
by a snowplough...
... and this is where the snowplough had given up and turned round!
However, we took a different route towards the fishing village we were
supposed to have lunch at. Here you can see an industrial unit - the
lava block right next to it is one of many in the area. Both in
industrial and residential areas, the locals believe the lava blocks
have elves and they mustn't anger them by moving the blocks. So you find
buildings right next to them, blocks in peoples' gardens, and roads
making little diversions around them.
The ubiquitous Icelandic pony (though the Icelandic people call them
horses, they are apparently right on the borderline for size) which are
famous for their strength compared to their size, and the fifth gait
they have, known as the tolt.
In the fishing village, we had 2 options for lunch - cold bread with
shrimps and hard boiled eggs, or hot lobster soup. As it was below
freezing with an extremely strong and icy wind, Lucy chose the soup, and
was relieved to find it very tasty.
As we leave the village, the weather continues to worsen
We arrive at one of the region's geothermal areas. Iceland is pretty
much all volcanic rock, and here you can see how the activity under the
ground has melted the snow in patches.
The Hetta steam crater - very sulphurous!
Our next stop was a bridge between continental masses - Iceland spans
the Eurasian and American tectonic plates, and there are several places
where you can see or walk across the rift. It was quite a difficult walk
from the car in the distance, not so much from the temperature as from
the extremely strong wind.
Lucy and her Mum, who is very proud of having got across the bridge,
being very nervous about heights. Here we are standing on the American
plate, with Europe behind us!
Safely back at the car, we drive to the Viking museum, where we saw a
replica of a famous Viking boat, Islendingur.
The sign at the steps read 'staff only' but we were told we could walk
all over the boat - whether this was a prize for coming out in a
snowstorm to sightsee, or whether the staff were related to the tour
guide, we didn't know!
The final stop of the day was to the famous Blue Lagoon, created by
accident from geothermal works, and kept at a constant wonderfully
Mum & Lucy in the Blue Lagoon - the water was indeed very warm, but the
heavy rain and howling gale made it an interesting experience - one we
wouldn't have missed however! The Lagoon is conveniently 3 minutes drive
from our hotel, so we called for the shuttle bus and went back for a