Tuesday 27th February - Day Trip

Well the day started off like any other day. We all had breakfast then met in the lobby. Then we all got into the cars/vans. We took off to go to the parliament. It took a good one hour of driving and some small detours then we stopped on a hill to get some photos of the beautiful mountains. Then after that we took off down the really icy and scenic road to get to the Parliament.

The drive there was really nice to see the different mountains and the lake that was frozen. We then got to the really windy Þingvellir. The Þingvellir is old Viking parliament in the early 930AD. We started taking pictures of the amazing sights we saw. We then after about 30 minutes of walking around got back into the busses and cars to have a really interesting lunch. We went to the sight of the Geysir for lunch.


Frozen Waterfall


After lunch we headed up the hill to take a look at the geysers. Any thoughts that these were just a story made up by the locals to make tourists stand around like idiots pointing cameras at waterholes were quickly dispelled with a series of impressive eruptions. After about half an hour of 'ooohhh'ing and 'aahhh'ing we returned to the gift shop, where we narrowly avoided buying tins of 'fresh Icelandic mountain air'. Most were put off primarily by the lack of nutritious content.

We then proceeded to Gullfoss, a large, icy water fall. It was generally agreed that this was one the the most spectacular and beautiful things that anyone had seen in recent history, with the biting wind possibly only adding to the experience.

  After everyone was suitably chilled we headed to Skalholt -- one of the oldest church sites on the Island (the acutal church has been destroyed and rebuilt fairly frequently over the years). Here we were given an interesting history lesson by Haraldur, taking in the history of the building, its Bishops and a tour of a small museum downstairs.

By this point everyone was feeling a little hungry, so we all once again piled into the cars and headed towards the cabin and the impending barbeque.

Old Church

The Cabin


As the sun started its descent we arrived at Nina’s parents cabin, in the middle of the countryside in view of Hekla, the most active volcano on the island.  Various opinions had been offered during the day of the likelihood of seeing the famed Aurora Borealis that night.  With much anticipation we relaxed in front of the fire in the comfort of the cabin, filling the hours until total darkness drinking and eating the lamb barbecued to perfection by our hosts.  

Bob was the first to spot the whitish glow in the sky, that to the untrained eye resembled some wispy cloud.  Wrapped up against the chill of the Icelandic winter night, we stood and watched this strange phenomena.  For those who managed to fight off their tiredness on the journey home, for the aurora was visible for most of the journey, but as the lights of habitation came ever closer, the aurora appeared fainter and fainter until it could no longer be seen.  A perfect end to the day. 

Many thanks are given to our Icelandic friends Nina, Haraldur and Jon Egill for being tour guides for a day and to Nina’s parents for welcoming us into their little home from home.  We only wish we could have stayed longer…. 

Northern Lights