With Icelandair starting service out of Dulles tomorrow night, and having just returned from Iceland, I thought it would be a good excuse to show off some of my photos and convince you that you should book a nice long weekend in Reykjavik.
It’s really not the hard to convince people, especially after telling them it isn’t that cold. It is beautiful though, and has kept me entertained and coming back for over ten years now. It doesn’t hurt that because of their economic problems, Iceland has become much more affordable than a few years ago.
The lighthouse above is over a hundred years old, and disused, but oh, so photogenic.
This is one of the spots where the earth is splitting apart. The North American and Eurasian plates are growing apart, and these walls are the edges. At any moment, the earth could have rumbled and swallowed us up, despite my friendly geologist insisting the odds were “slim.”
Iceland gets much of its power from geothermal. They drill into the crust of the earth until they hit super heated water, and use that to drive steam turbines and generate electricity. This site is part of the Iceland Deep Drilling Project.
The darkest sands and cliffs to the bluest skies and the most intense crashing waves of the North Atlantic.
The Blue Lagoon started off life as a waste water pool for a geothermal power plant. They dumped the still hot but not hot enough water into this pool hoping it would eventually filter through the lava rocks and back into the water table. But the silica and other minerals clogged up the holes in the rocks and created a hot pool like no other. There’s just about nothing more relaxing than spending five hours soaking in it while it snows.
Hallgrímskirkja is the largest cathedral on the island, and another example of the great architecture here.
And this is the view from the clock tower.
This is the site of Iceland’s original parliament, started here in the year 930. People came from across the country for two weeks in the summer and would meet here to listen to the lawspeaker.
Iceland’s Geysir gave us the word “geyser”, and while it still goes off about once a day, it’s neighbor Strokkur goes off every few minutes. It is spectacular.
Gullfoss is a spectacular waterfall, and you can get right up to the edge of it.
Gullfoss, from above.
Mount Esja, looking a bit threatening.
And less threatening here.
A pop-up snow storm in the middle of Reykjavik’s harbor.
There’s a pond in Reykjavik that’s kept warm by a small stream of hot water. Birds from all over the world stop off here to rest on their migration.
And this is how I feel every time I leave Iceland.