We got up and said goodbye to Vik, Iceland’s southernmost village and its surrounding valleys, beaches, coastal cliffs, and mountains. We found our stay here to be peaceful, still, and serene. They told us to pack a small bag with our swimsuits.
This was rural Iceland and was supposed to be a prime place to search for the elusive northern lights. Of course, we missed them here as the weather did not cooperate, but we have one more chance tonight in Reykjavík.
I also forgot to mention that in Vik is an IceWear outlet. Unfortunately for Chuck, our bus made a stop there. I love IceWear’s woolens though some are too scratchy for Florida wear.
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If you remember, our first night was not a good night as we had 90 mile an hour winds. What I didn’t mention before, though, was that the next morning we Floridians in particular looked for the devastation and was surprised that we found none. Iceland hardly has any trees, and it is our trees that seem to cause the most inland damage in Florida after hurricanes. They also had underground utilities.
On our way back to Reykjavík, we visited Seljalandsfoss, one of Iceland‘s most famous and picturesque waterfalls.
It has a walkway behind it but it was freezing, and the walkway was hazardous. This wiki picture shows what we missed.
Just offshore were a cluster of islands. Near that cluster was Surtsey, an island that did not exist until between 1963 and 1967. It was formed in a volcanic eruption which began over 425 feet below sea level. It finally reached the surface in 1963 whereby the eruption continued until 1967. We learned more about it at the Lava Center.
This is what Surtsey looks like today.
We stopped at the Lava Center, an interactive museum about the science of geology and the volcanic systems that formed Iceland. With its high tech interactive displays, we were able to feel the forces of nature. For example, we experienced different types of earthquakes. It described the types of plate slips and then you felt what it feels like. In another room we walked down a hall during an earthquake, all made possible by special effects.
We also saw the Fiery Heart of Iceland, a 12 meter high structure simulating the mantle plume and the magma flow underneath Iceland.
We sat in a cinema auditorium to watch volcanic eruptions in HD 4K. I’ve been to a lot of science museums but this may be the best one I’ve ever seen. I’ve always been extremely interested in plate tectonics, and this place explains it better than anyone or anywhere else.
This was our last afternoon in Iceland. We drove along the south shore toward the Reykjanes Peninsular with its rugged landscape, lava fields, and numerous Hot Springs. This is also the home of the Blue Lagoon.
I had heard about the Blue Lagoon before and also heard that the mineral-rich seawater of its geothermal pool is good for you. What I didn’t know is that it is the outtake of a generating plant.
Its waters provide not only a lagoon, but also its patented, active ingredients in Blue Lagoon skin care: silica, algae, and minerals.
Our group stopped to take a dip, and the water was hot and wonderfully relaxing. Just what all of us travel-weary people needed.
The pool sits in the middle of a dramatic 800-year-old lava field. We walked through the lava to get to the spa.
We both got a mud mask, free with admission. I’d give anything if I had gotten a picture of Chuck with his mud mask.
We didn’t think their lifeguards needed to worry about sunblock.
We swam up to the swim-in-bar for refreshments,
and the water was truly relaxing.
After our dip in the Blue Lagoon we drove on to Reykjavík for a farewell dinner and overnight stay. After dinner, we took another cruise out into the bay to try to see the northern lights once again. Walking to the ship, we saw their city employees putting up their Christmas decorations.
This time we were hugely successful. We watched the Northern Lights reach all the way across the sky from the right to the left.
This one you could see with the naked eye, but I still took pictures.
We flew out the next day back to the states with a connection in SeaTac. I know! It was a lousy connection, but that’s what happens when so many planes are grounded thanks to Boeing.