Ok, we are on the plane to Reykjavik and my first Icelandic beer. This is named after the biscuit baron, Sæmundur. This one has mango for those hot summer 66° North nights. How cool to have a beer bear your name! Think they will name on after the tax genius?
I remember this brewery from our last visit. They have a beer called 14/2. I thought it was the European version of Valentine’s Day but nope. It was to commemorate a soccer game score between Iceland and Denmark. I was quite enthused that my guys whooped the Danes by such a lopsided score. I was corrected though – the visiting Danish team beat Iceland baaadly. It seems the owner of the brewery is Danish too. Nice nose rubbing, Lars! (At least it is a good beer).
Iceland Air is taking delivery of new 737 Max jets and the same brewery has come up with a 737 brew full of PNW hops. An IPA no less.
Ok, that was the getting to Iceland part of the adventure.
Now it is Wednesday and we have had our hiking boots on the ground for three days. What a beautiful country – we are very happy to be back.
Last visit here was September ’15 and boy has the place changed. We think it is a combination of the following three provisions – the time of year, the part of the country where we be and it is 3 years of more advertising and marketing to get people here. It has worked.
There are a lot more tourists, hotels, restaurants and outfitters for excursions. Rick Steves has written an Iceland book now & holy moly, there is even a Costco here!
On Monday we had a zodiac tour of a glacier lagoon called Jökulsárlón. It was pretty darn cool to be on the water (very cold, I might add) with ice bergs all around us.
As you can see, we had a great weather day, too.
Right by our hotel was our own private waterfall (Grófarlækjarfoss – foss means falls).
It was a great first day but the fun continued for us on Tuesday- this time we hiked ON A GLACIER! Now, we have been close to these things in boats and boots before but never actually treading on thousand year old ice and drinking from the river created by the melt. Our guide, Simeon, said, “…yesterday this was glacier, now it is river.” We were a group of 12 and it was a very long but fun 5+ hours. We hiked up about 1000 feet elevation gain and about 6 miles on Falljökull Glacier.
We strapped on crampons, a helmet and carried an ice ax. Plus cameras, food and freshly glacier filled water bottles.
Just when you thought we couldn’t have anymore adventures, today we kayaked in another glacier lagoon – Heinbergslòn.
Another small group of eager adventurous tourists and two guides, Svanna and Arnie spent a couple hours on this amazingly calm and picturesque body of coooooold water. About 1°C or 34°F. We were in dry suits and life vests. Nancy and I shared a kayak with me in the back directing the paddler up front. Boy is that tough work watching her do all the paddling but how else could I take photos?
Being right at water level in such a location is awe inspiring. We even were able to get onto a berg! How bloody cool is that?
In between these adventures we have visited a couple black sand beaches,
wandered small towns,
and bird and lamb watched.
Good food of course is part of the appeal of Iceland
Nancy also found some of her favorite giant marshmallows here!
So far, we have been very lucky w the weather. Beautiful sunshine Monday, overcast yesterday and today with most likely more of the same the next couple days. How is that lucky, you ask. It could be cold, windy and raining, that’s how. We will take overcast (good shooting light) and mid 50s anytime over being rained out of our mini adventures.
Speaking of light, the ‘sunset’ is funny. Even though we are not at the solstice yet, we have 20 hours of daylight now! Sunset at 11 and sunrise at 3. Since the ‘set’sun is never far below the horizon, it has not been dark for even a minute since we arrived. We are next going into higher latitudes and June is coming…with even more daylight to come. It is hard to sleep when I could be snapping away with my Nikon.
In case you are wondering what part of Iceland we have been through so far, take out a map and trace the south coast from Reykjavík headed east all the way to Höfn (hoepn).
Tomorrow, we head up the east coast. We will have more to report soon we hope.
Until next time,
Bless í Bili
Nancy & Chris