Iceland / Island
Iceland
Walter and Susan's 40th anniversary trip
to Iceland, Sweden and Denmark
Last Updated November 6, 2011

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Rosanne, Susan and Walter and the Superjeep
Rosanne, Susan and Walter 2 and the Superjeep,
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Walter 3, Susan and Walter and the Superjeep
Walter 3, Susan and Walter 2 and the Superjeep,
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Welcome, CLICK for bigger PIC! Welcome to Reykjavik!
(and watch that spelling!)

IcelandWhen you fly to Reykjavik, you ACTUALLY fly to Keflavik (KEF), which used to be a cold war military airbase, now highly modernized, and you have to drive through about a half hour of lava fields to reach the city proper. The Main airlines are Iceland Air (which we used) and Iceland Express. We rented a small apartment for a few days while we stayed there. Interestingly, though not so easily visible, most buildings and roofs are built of painted corrugated iron sheets, as there is so little local wood in Iceland. Our apartment was not, but you can see the blue building next to it and those across the street have the corrugated sheets.

There is a very famous and popular outdoor wear company in Iceland called 66 Degrees North, but sadly nothing fit me well enough to buy, the sizes are all quite small across the shoulders. As you might imagine, good outerwear is a full time obsession of Icelanders, and equally famous are the hand knitted Icelandic Wool Sweaters.




Our Apartment View
Our Vew
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Our Apartment
Our Apartment
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Our Street
Our Street
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Downtown, early AM
Downtown, early in the morning
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Downtown, early AM
Downtown early in the morning
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Walking to the Harbor
Walking to the harbor, the new Harpa Music Center in front
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The Harbor
The Harbor
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Graffiti Wall
The Graffiti wall
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Icelandic Sushi
Icelandic Sushi, it was pretty good.
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Harbor Cruises
Lots of cruise ships and tours in the harbor
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The Harpa Music Hall
The Music Hall from the water side
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Reykjavik Skyline
The Reykjavik skyline from the sea
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In The Harbor
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Tasty Whale Steak
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Toy Shop
Very cool toy shop
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Cleverly Named Street
Wow, talk about a lucky place for a burger joint...
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Most Famous Restaurant
The incredibly popular pylser stand...
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Most Famous Meal
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Hallgrķmskirkja
The main church overlooking the city
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Hallgrķmskirkja
The main church overlooking the city
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Inside Hallgrķmskirkja
The massive pipe organ
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View from the Church Tower
City view from the tower
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View from the Church Tower
City view from the tower
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View from the Church Tower
City view from the tower
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The Domed Water Plant
City view from the tower
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The Domed Water Plant
City view from the tower
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More City
Checking out the Iceland Fashion goodies
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View from the Church Tower
City view from the tower
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View from the Church Tower
City view from the tower
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Walter 3, Fashion Icon
Checking out the Iceland Fashion goodies
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Waterfalls, CLICK for bigger PIC! Waterfalls Everywhere
Foss

IcelandThe landscape of Iceland is full of melting snowpacks, glaciers and ice, the runoff from these creates huge waterfalls of every type. The icelandic word for waterfall is Foss. It is difficult to appreciate the size of some of these falls from the pictures, but most of them are huge in size.



Falls
Huge falls area
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Falls
Huge falls area
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Falls
Huge falls area
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Falls
Huge falls area
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Falls
Huge falls area
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Falls
Huge falls area
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Falls
Huge falls area
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Falls
Huge falls area
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Falls
Huge falls area
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Falls
Huge falls area
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Falls
Huge falls area
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Falls
Huge falls area
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Falls
Huge falls area
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Falls
Huge falls area
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Falls
Huge falls area
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Waterfalls, CLICK for bigger PIC! Geysers
Primal Geothermal Energy

IcelandGeothermal energy is everywhere in Iceland. natural geysers have been used for centuries here to mine sulphur, and making gunpowder was a major industry around them. Geysers in this area were very regular, erupting every five minutes. The smell is ghastly, like deeply rotten eggs from the sulphur and other residues. The pools actually contain sulphuric acid, which eats the rock channels away. Surface water is around 80C. Most hot water in the cities is directly from geothermal wells.

Erupting Geyser
Erupting Geyser
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Geysers
Idle Geyser
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Geysers
Idle Geyser
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Geysers
Erupting Geyser
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Geysers
Idle Geyser
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Geysers
Idle Geyser
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Lots of Puffins Puffins
The most elusive of birds!

IcelandFrankly, we figured Puffins were a total hoax, as in Newfoundland, where everybody has Puffin Boat Tours, but nobody ever sees any. We actually ate some smoked Puffin in Iceland, and YES, we saw them for real, so they are really out there...but honestly, there are way more toy ones in shop windows than live ones out in the sea! They are every bit as goofy and un-aerodynamic as they appear, and Puffin Island actually is covered in Seagulls.

Puffin Island (only Seagulls)
Only Seagulls visible, however
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Actual Puffins
Lounging on the Ocean, doing Puffin Stuff
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Three Puffins!
Idle Geyser
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Three Puffins!
Three Puffins!
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Puffin by the Island
Puffin actualy going to Puffin Island
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In Search of the Puffin!
In Search of the Elusive Puffin!
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Click for bigger PIC! Snowmobiling on a glacier on top of a volcano
Pretty much everything in Iceland is an adventure

IcelandChristian, our guide, arranged for us to travel up on top of a currently dormant volcano to snowmobile on top of the glacier that had formed there. There is a lodge built there to equip those that want to travel out onto the glacier, and we arrived there in the middle of a snowstorm with near white-out conditions. The local guide used GPS to take us out over the glacier, which was quite a hoot, but our visibility was often no farther than two snowmobiles away. At the end of the trip, he sketched out the appearance of the glacier in the snowpack, since we couldn't see it through the falling snow.

Christian and one of our local guides
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Getting geared up
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Susan in the whiteout
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Off we go...
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Halfway Point
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Glacier Lessons
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CLICK for bigger PIC! The Blue Lagoon
One of Iceland's Cultural Icons

IcelandThe Blue Lagoon is a natually geothermal heated mineral pond about 50km from Reykjavik, famous for it's color, and health-giving properties. An entire industry and health spa has grown up around this natural lagoon, and it has been dramatically built up and tourist-ized to make it convenient to take a dip in the hot pools. Fortunately it's NOT filled with sulphuric acid, like the geysers.

The Main Pools
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The outlflow areas
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The Hype
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CLICK for bigger PIC! Outside the City
An amazingly beautiful country

IcelandThe landscape outside the city is almost prehistoric. It's volcanic, often barren, but filled with many sudden surprises you just don't expect. The lack of trees, and often even grass is a constant surprise. Lichen and moss are the most often seen growing things, because there is so little topsoil. Birch trees are native to iceland, but were cut almost to extinction by early settlers. They are slowly re-growing, but are rarely over 5 feet tall. Pines are being introduced to help create wind breaks and re-establish forests, but they are not native.

The Rugged Coastline
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Jagged Rocks
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Lava Beaches
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Lava Flows Still Visible
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Very Tough Plants
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Beautiful Blue Ocean
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Turn of the Century Electrical
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Old Earthen House
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Early House
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Early House
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Icelandic Horses
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Susan, Icelandic Cowgirl
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Out for a Ride
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Horses Just Want To Have Fun
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Geothermal Power Wellhead
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CLICK for bigger PIC! Thingvellir
At Žingvellir, the Alžing or general assembly
started in 930AD

IcelandNow one of Iceland's three main National Parks, Thingvellir is the heart of all Icelandic history, the meeting place of the country. The Allthing (Alžing in Icelandic) met here from 930 until 1798, and set the course of Iceland's history. In icelandic the character Ž is pronounced as our 'th'.




View of Lake Žingvallavatn
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The New Pine Forest
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Over the Meeting Valley
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Hiking Down To The Bottom
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Balancing Rocks
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The Valley Floor
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Valley Streams
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Old Church
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The Valley Side
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Typical Icelandic 'Forest'
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Overgrown Lava
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Blue Streams
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Coins In the Stream
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The Stream's Start
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How We Got Here (Superjeep)
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Iceland / Island
Iceland, CLICK to See!
Iceland, CLICK to See!
Iceland's new Music Hall
Sweden / Sverige
Sweden, CLICK to See!
Sweden, CLICK to See!

Halmstad's Nissan River
Denmark / Danmark
Denmark, CLICK to See!
Denmark, CLICK to See!

Copenhagen's Elephant Walk

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