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Reykjavik isn't like any other European capital. I calls 'em as I sees 'em. )
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On our last day in Greenland we had enough time to go for a final hike, to properly bid it farewell. Much as I love Greenland, I cannot honestly conceive of a scenario in which I would visit again, I mean, without becoming some kind of obsessive weirdo. Read more... )
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Today we spent on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, which is capped by a glacier, however we never got to see it as the weather was uncooperative, and in fact at one point the clouds were openly mocking us by descending to practically sea level to prevent our attempts. We saw five glaciers in one day last week so we didn't care. I only had one thing I wanted to see today, but we saved it for the end. Read more... )
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There aren't many Viking-era ruins in Iceland. Well...none. Because they A) became farmers and settlers when they got here and B) they made houses out of turf, there not being much wood in Iceland. (but plenty of lava rock, yet they didn't use it to build anything...hmmm)

So any Viking-era building we see is a reconstruction, based on stone foundations found here and there. Today we visited the place where Eirik the Red (father of Leif Eirikson, discoverer of the New World) lived for a while. Now, he only lived there for 10 or so years, because he was a massive dick and couldn't get along with his neighbors and was banished, after a time, from Iceland for 3 years, at which point he sailed west and discovered Greenland. That's another story.

So we visited the site where he lived for a while in Iceland, and they've built a reconstructed turf house as they imagine his might have been: Read more... )
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Seems like too many consonants in a cluster, but what you gonna do? Me, I just get by on not trying to say it out loud. Read more... )
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Akureyri is the 2nd-largest city in Iceland, with a population of 17,000. Which means it's actually a pretty small town by most standards. We rolled in around 10am and immediately did the obvious thing one does upon reaching civilization after a week in the fjords: Got some laundry done at the hostel. Yeah, it's crazy times here!

Heh. We actually found some friendly natives! But first... )
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The day I've been waiting for: Volcanic Wonderland!

Our lodgings for the night were at a hotel for which the reception was located at the Cowshed Cafe - it was a working dairy farm for which they'd glassed off half the barn and turned it into a cafe from which you could watch the cows being milked at 7:30 am and 5:30pm (or some such, we never quite made it at the right time, usually just as the cows were heading out for the day to stand around peering ominously at tourists). Read more... )
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Today was a long day with a lot of driving. We had to get out of the East fjords and into Northern Iceland, and the only thing standing in our way was a barren wasteland. One of the barren wastelands that NASA used to practice the moon landings, for Geology Field Trips. Regardless, it was definitely a long, boring, barren wasteland. Broken up occasionally by the most powerful waterfall in Europe - Dettifoss: Of Waterfalls, Dinosaurs, Trucks, and Whales )
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Cathyn hatched me a puffins!

Finally tracked down the wily and elusive puffin nesting grounds! We're out on the far Eastern edge of the East Iceland fjords.

1Puffins

MOAR PUFFINS!! )
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This morning when we hit the road we noticed that there was very little on the itinerary. Leaving glacier country, entering fjord territory. )
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How many glaciers can you see in one day in Iceland? FIVE. Five glaciers in a day. Ah Ah AHHHHHHH! )
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In the morning we headed out for some waterfalls, glaciers, and good old fashioned Icelandic hospitality. Read more... )
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Today, after a lovely breakfast and directions from our innkeeper (Just one :-( for her, she almost smiled!) we got up and hit the Golden Circle - the big tourist route. If you only spend a couple of days in Iceland, you will invariably do the Golden Circle. We got it out of the way early in the trip because we hate tourists. Oh, no, wait, because that's what our itinerary said to do. That's the ticket!

Ok, first up, Thingvellir, which is actually spelled Þingvellir, as if a P had dropped it's bump a bit. (funny little letter called a thorn, pronounced like the "th" in thought, which they use, along with several other custom letters, ALL THE TIME, as if it were a real letter! It's quite endearing! And hard to pronounce - and while we're on the subject, the words here have entirely too many letters! It's like they're descended from Germanic tribes or something!).

All kinds of Þings! )
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Before [livejournal.com profile] cathyn and I even touched down in Iceland, we flew over Greenland (kind of hard to get there without flying over Greenland). I snapped a shot of some breathtakingly beautiful glaciers you can see from over Greenland. Since we will be there in a mere 2 weeks, I simply stared intensely at Greenland, templed my fingers together, and menacingly muttered, "Soon."

GreenlandGlaciers

Hot mineral baths! Steaming mud! Etc! )
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