A Travellerspoint blog

The South-East of Iceland

A symphony in Blue, Turquoise and Green

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We left Reykjavik in our hire-car, which is pale green and has five doors, two nights ago, to visit the Blue Lagoon. ITs a hot, salty, silty, muddy and surreal place, the by-prouct of geothermal power. The water is milky blue and one cannot see through it, and there are spa treatments including a faceful of mud and sitting in a hot sauna. It was really great.

From there we drove on an interminably long short-cut, unpaved road, full of gravel. This took hours. Eventually we got back on the main road, route 1, the circle, and headed to Vik. It was dark when we arrived and we went almost immediately to sleep. The following day it was snowy. We waded down to the beach and looked at the sea stacks, then asked advice on the road ahead. "No problem". True enough, we drove through a white, alien landscape for many hours, until we came to the flood plains at the glacial feet of Vatnajokul. Saw glaciers galore. Then continued to Jokusarlon, where a glacier touches a lagoon and myriad turquoise icebergs float sleepily around. The shore is covered in ice cubes and there are, as Laura will tell you, seals. COntinued to Hofn where we ate burgers and saw the Aurora Borealis - it was subtle, a glowing green curtain that gently shifted shape and size, arcing across the sky. We had to run tot he beach to see it properly.

Today we drove to Egilstadir, where we used the internet. Reaching here required use of a high snowy mountain dirt track - or the circle, route one, as they call it round here. Now I must go.

Posted by urchinjoe 08:53 Archived in Iceland Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

North East Iceland and Northern Lights

Heading up country has never been so nerve-wracking

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View The Icelandic Saga on snowboot's travel map.

We are now in Egilstadir, a small town on the east coast, and are heading to Husey for the night, where apparently many seals reside. Yesterday we saw a lake with loads of icebergs (Joe will no doubt be more exact about where, how and why) and there were seals there. I saw them with their small seal heads. Awesome.

Last night was spent in Hofn, where we had a meal in a cabin restaurant and saw NORTHERN LIGHTS! It consisted of a long green strip across the sky, with some less bright ones accompanying it. It was so cold that my nose was numb though. Yesterday morning it had snowed heavily when we woke up in Vik, so driving from Vik to Hofn was hard-going for a while.

We have also seen waterfalls with and without rainbows, glaciers, ice-caps, big waves (sea), black sandy beaches, fjords, drove through a mountain tunnel and today I drove over a fallen piece of rock which has buggered a hub cap.

Posted by snowboot 08:43 Archived in Iceland Tagged automotive Comments (0)

Sweaters

The outerwear of the Icelanders

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View The Icelandic Saga on snowboot's travel map.

In this internet cafe one may drink Rooibosch, yay. Plus it's warmer than effing freezing in here and a flamingo hangs from a light fitting with tinsel round its jolly pink neck.

In Reykjavik thick hand knitted sweaters with a diamond pattern encircling the neck are all the rage, and I realise I have always wanted one.

At Heathrow, I saw Robert Kilroy Silk.

We have got a car from tomorrow and are going to drive around the island.

The snow boots are working out beautifully, despite presently there being no snow.

Also, it is beautiful and unspoilt here, and Reykjavik feels a little provincial (this is not bad though). It has the feeling of being a remote outpost in the Atlantic ocean. Wonder why that could be?

Posted by snowboot 10:31 Archived in Iceland Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Arriving in Reykjavik

Freezing cold weather, a small town and an Opel Corsa

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I got my dissertation finished, drove to Essex, met Laura's parents and flew to Reykjavik in the last couple of days. We arrived here yesterday, checked into Baldursbra guest-house, and slept immediately. Then explored Reykjavik. Its a very small capital city - understandable in a country with fewer inhabitants than Newcastle - and we got to see quite a lot of it. The church is huge, concrete, and closed, but the sun voyager sculpture is very good. Then we ate - our target restaurant was closed, so ate in cafe Paris. Lamb soup for me, trout salad for Laura. Waffles and Crepes to follow. Went home, and again slept.

Awoke and broke fast, ate fantastic paprika cheese and strange pancakes. Planned a day of galleries and museums. Saw a video installation critiquing Islamic society in Iran... very disturbing. Then a viking history exhibition, which was great fun, full of recreated vikings and gory stories. Ate a ham salad sandwich, and a cake. Then we wandered into town and looked around, and found this here internet cafe, which sells nice cakes and tea and is very atmospherically pleasant, and snug. It is insanely cold here, so much more than expected. So tonight we intend saunas and hot-tubs to rule the day.

Tomorrow we collect a hire car, which we will use to drive around 'the circle', Iceland's famous ring-road. This will take a while, and there's lots to see on the way. I really like it here.

Posted by urchinjoe 10:13 Archived in Iceland Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Snow boots

The footwear of the gods

Our recent sustained two month stretch of dissertation-ness precipitated in Joe and I the strong desire to leave the country and rejuvenate, ideally in a place with one or more of: hot springs, geysers, steam, Icelandics (Icelanders?), snow, icebergs.

We deduced that Iceland fulfilled some of these criteria.

I have accordingly bought sensible warm clothing with hoods and waterproof soles (different items) and a return flight to Reykjavik.

A blog about Iceland should include the mention of Bjork and Magnus Magnusson. Luckily, this one does. So read on soon!

Posted by snowboot 11:53 Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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