Monday, December 10, 2012

A Visit to Iceland

After Thanksgiving, I visited Iceland for the first time. I went with a friend that I used to work with. We had shared and office for a couple of years and she had always talked about how much she wanted to visit Iceland. We found a good deal that included air fare, hotel, and a day tour and booked our passage.

Iceland is a beautiful country! It is the "youngest" landmass on the Earth made from the lava flow of volcanoes. It straddles the European and the North American continental plate.

We could have gone in the summer time when most other people decide to visit but we also wanted to see the Northern Lights so we had to go when it was cold.

We left DC Sunday evening and arrived bright and early Monday morning around 7:30. Well, it wasn't really bright, it was pitch black and we were exhausted. So we took a quick nap at the hotel first before wandering out to Reykjavik. We grabbed some food and then headed for the Hallgrimskirkja church. Their church is the highest point in the city.

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The second day was our pre-arranged tour to go on a glacier hike, see a couple of waterfalls, learn about their volcanoes, and maybe hunt for some Northern Lights. The glacier hike was amazing. We had crampons to help dig into the ice. It wasn't very cold, especially since we were moving. By the time we got out to the first water fall, it was dark (only 5 hours of daylight!) so we couldn't really see anything. After dinner, we visited another waterfall. This one was lit up so that we could see it.

Unfortunately, the conditions were not optimal to see any lights. We were there during a full moon and there were too many clouds

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The third day found us touring the "Golden Circle".

This involved seeing Geysir

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The Gulfoss waterfalls, stacked one right on top of the other

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And ├×ingvellir National Park. It was too dark by the time we got here so we couldn't really see anything.

The fourth and final day was spent at the Blue Lagoon before heading to the air port. It was 32F outside and my bare feet were near frozen after a couple of minutes but the pool was a good 80-90F and felt really good!

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Iceland, known from their sheep and yarn, did you think I could get out of the country without buying any? The day in Reykjavik, we stopped into the Handknitting Association of Iceland's shop and I bought 29 skeins of worsted weight Lopi. I had originally thought to buy an Icelandic sweater as a souvenir but being a knitter, I decided to buy the yarn to make my own. I did pack light with the intention of filling half of my suitcase with yarn for the trip back.

29 skeins of Lett Lopi
The full flickr set can be found here.

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