Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Iceland's Southern Coast

Today started like everyday here is going to start: pitch black. It's kind of cool though, I realized that with the 4 hour days I am going to see every sunrise and sunset for a whole week. We were on another epic bus tour which took us to some sights on the Southern coast of the country.

We got as far as Vik, a little town with good soup and fish sticks.

The buses all have wifi, which is really cool. One girl was able to use FaceTime to watch a loved one open their Christmas presents. I also really enjoyed using Google maps to check our progress on the road.

I enjoyed the part where our two buses of tourists descended like locusts on unsuspecting businesses.

We've been having skyr about twice a day since we arrived. It's a thicker, more sour sort of yogurt. It's not bad, plus they have cool flavors.

I don't have the time right now to get into what all of these places are, but we saw several waterfalls, lots of mountains, a black sand beach, a museum of sorts, and several volcanoes including  Eyjafjallaj√∂kull, the one that shut down Atlantic air travel in 2010 which I hereby declare unpronounceable. On that note, the place names are so dense here that it's hard to remember them, so it takes a lot more work to keep track of what is named what.

I got pretty excited about this waterfall.

The ground was noteworthy most of the places we went. Lydia likes chocolate a whole lot, so we worked on classifying the ground with that in mind. This was frozen chocolate doughnut glaze.

Next stop was a glacier. It was big, blue, and cold.

We had found a pretty cool place to take pictures until we were scolded by the tour guide for straying from the group. He had a couple of phrases that he repeated incessantly. One was that we had to stay with the group because we didn't have the equipment to withstand the glacial dangers. Pretty much anywhere Lydia went after that I screamed "No! You don't have the equipment!"

The ice withstood the scientific punch test.

This part was really cool. Our guide said that whenever a volcano erupts it shoots black ash everywhere, which is then trapped in the glacier's ice. This creates a tree ring effect where they can take core samples and find answers to questions and so forth.

The ground here was more of a chocolate cake mix.

They took us to this questionable museum of various Icelandic artifacts. I thought the most interesting part was the eccentric owner, seen here setting the mood before a rendition of "Silent Night" in Icelandic.

There aren't a whole lot of trees in Iceland, which I assume is why they rocked the old sod hut looking houses.

We are on a tour hot streak. Not two hours after the end of this one did we embark on our Northern Lights excursion. Long story short we drove around for 3 hours but not a light was seen. Luckily they will let us keep going on that particular tour until we see some lights. Whether we will want to is to be determined.

It was so bitterly cold and windy today, especially at night, that we spent most of this time sitting in the bus, watching other people see nothing. The trip was still a lot of fun despite the circumstances. Our tour guide was really funny and had lots of stories to keep us entertained. He told us his difficult Icelandic name but said that while we were on this sky watching tour we could call him "Stardust".

Iceland loves hot dogs, and so does this guy. They have fried crunchies and chili ketchup toppings for crying out loud!


  1. Anonymous5:13 PM

    What are the hot dogs made out of?

  2. Baby seals and horses I'm pretty sure.