We were up early for our day trip the South Shore Adventure. The guide told us that modernity came late to Iceland. In 1940's the UK, then the US had a base there, when they left they left their vehicles and airports in Reykjavik and Keflavik. Gradually Iceland moved into the modern era. However it was only in 1956 that the last turf house was inhabited.
|Some of the Westman Islands|
Heimaey, the largest and the only populated Westman Island, also had a major volcanic eruption when Eldfell blew in 1973 destroying half of the town. At Volcano House we had watched a film about this, many of the residents had said that, although destructive, the eruption was also very beautiful. Once over the people just picked themselves up and started over again.
The Westmans are also home to eight million puffins. Puffins always next in the same site, and our guide, who
We had snow covered mountains to our left, the snow lay in crevasses, ledges, some areas free of snow, it looked like an amazing abstract work of art, Mother Natures creations are pretty awe-inspiring!
Our first stop was at Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall that is 200 feet high. At other times of the year you can walk behind the falls, but due to the ice that was impossible today. It was a lovely setting, any direction you turned to there was a fabulous view, no houses, just wild Iceland. The falls were not as dramatic as in the summer because some of it was frozen, it was still a wonderful sight. I noted that the Icelandic word for waterfall is foss, and here in Cumbria, where there was a strong Viking influence especially in place names, it is force.
The next stop was a short, but memorable one, Eyjafjallajokull (which means island mountain glacier), the volcano that stopped air travel when it decided to stir in 2010. Our guide joked that only Icelanders can pronounce the name and everyone else should all in E+15, which I think is a brilliant idea! Though Dianne bravely got the guide to teach her how to say the full name, she did very well too. It looked
Normally there would now have been a lunch break next but the guide said that because of the short days he had rearranged the stops so we could see places in the daylight. The next stop was the Solheimajokull glacier. We left Route 1 and travelled along an increasingly windy and bumpy road that turned into nothing more than a stony track until we arrived at a small car park. From there it was a ten minute walk to the foot of the glacier. You had to watch your footing as the ground was stony with patches of ice. To the left was a frozen lake containing huge lumps of layered ice that must have calved off the glacier at some time. There was a stillness in the air and I
|Solheimajokull Glacial Lake|
|Mr Tomasson at Skogar Folk Museum|
Skogar was our last stop and the rest of the trip was heading back to Reykjavik. What a fabulous day it had been, that trip was worth every penny.
We were booked in for a special last night meal at The Pearl Restaurant and once in Reykjavik had no time to go back to the apartment we just hopped into a taxi to the restaurant. It is a revolving restaurant so we had lovely views over the city. The seating was comfortable and the actual restaurant very nice. The food and wine was very good, but the service was not, which was disappointing especially as it was expensive. For me and my friends the service is as important as the food when in a restaurant. We wouldn't go back.
So that was it, our holiday in Iceland over. It exceeded expectations by a long way. Our accommodation was perfect, the weather was good, the people warm and friendly and the scenery stunning. Iceland is a place that captivates me as few places do, it keeps drawing me back - and we're already talking about visiting one summer!
|In the Pearl Restaurant|