A Travellerspoint blog

Glacier lagoon and the crystal ice cave

Tour day 2

snow 0 °C
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Day 2 of our 6-day tour and pumped about seeing the northern lights last night. It’s was overcast and snowy all day today, so no repeat of that tonight, but we had a good day with a stop at glacier lagoon to see the small calved bits from the glacier - mini ice bergs.

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At our gas station lunch stop (good lobster bisque) we bought some typical Icelandic chocolate with licorice. We thought it would be flavoured, but no. It’s a bar of milk chocolate with a stick of licorice embedded into it. Can’t say it was a favourite. Steve had plain licorice chocolate and mind said “pepper”, but we couldn’t really tell the difference. It took hours to get rid of the licorice flavour from our mouths.

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Views from the road on the way to the ice cave in trucks with 46” tires, which they deflated down to 9psi from 30psi to navigate the sharp lava rock road.
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It was a 30 min hike to the cave and it was awesome.

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We drank from the glacier stream and found small signs of vegetation (mother of thyme)
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Just finished a great meal with some of our tour mates. Great chatting with couple/singles from Ireland, Brazil, Columbia, Australia, China, The Netherlands, Germany, US (San Diego and Colorado) and a fellow Canadian from Alberta. Plus, of course, the guide from Iceland.. A truly international group. Lots of beer, laughter and great conversation.

Posted by Deb Godley 22:27 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)

Golden Horseshoe, counter clockwise on the Ring Road

Reykjavik to Vik & Northern lights!

semi-overcast 9 °C
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To finish off with April 2, we laughed at the silly antics while learning to become an Icelander in 60 minutes, a one-man comedy show that’s been running for 10 years at the Harpa.
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And our hotel in Reykjavik and troll.
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After an 8am-ish pickup (We’re told Icelanders don’t count time in minutes) we started off on our circumnavigation of Iceland with adventures.com. Geysers and waterfalls and views from the bus. We stopped every hour or so and split the 10-hour day pretty evenly between the bus and the stops.
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Also hung out at the Black Sand Beach, which occasionally loses a tourist in the cheater waves. The life preserver seems a bit far to be much use.
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A great lunch of lamb soup and baguette, with beer of course. Expensive country. The lunch bill translated to about $62 CAD
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Views from the bus
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We we’re happy to have a view of the northern lights
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Posted by Deb Godley 11:40 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)

Reykjavik, Iceland

Arrival and quick look at the church

overcast 7 °C
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Arrived early this morning in Reykjavik after an overnight business class (Saga Premium) flight from Toronto. We’d successfully bid on the upgrade after buying our economy tickets. We’ve also bid on the return flight, but won’t hear if that one’s successful until a couple of days before.

Nice dinner meal on the flight, but would actually have preferred a breakfast since we’d spent several hours eating and drinking in the Toronto airport lounge courtesy of Icelandair. The after dinner Grand Marnier was a nice treat for me Steve opted for Bailey’s.

We took the Flybus + transfer option to Reykjavik from the KEF airport. Fast and easy. The transfer dropped us at the #4 bus stop, basically across the street from our Exeter Hotel.

Arriving before 9 am, we didn’t expect our room to be ready, but we were very lucky and were given the keys immediately. After buying SIM cards for both our phones (and we had both already accidentally roamed, damn it), we tried to take a walk to the waterfront, but it was pretty cold and windy and it turned out there was filming going on so the area was not available anyway.

Steve took a nap and I took advantage of the dry morning to take a walk and then used the hotel gym when the rain started.

Pics of the Hallgrimskirkja church and walk up to it.
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Posted by Deb Godley 16:27 Archived in Iceland Comments (2)

Last day - prohibito, spa bliss and a belated birthday

sunny 31 °C

Last full day and I was determined to walk to that abandoned hotel. I set off before dawn. It was almost a 2 hour walk, with pauses to watch the birds playing / preying in the surf ...A wonderful bird is the pelican. His bill will hold more than his belican. He can take in his beak food enough for a week. But I’m damned if I see how the helican. (D. L. Merritt, 1913, from the NY Times archives). I’ve always liked that limerick.
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I was able to take a few pictures in some unfinished out-buildings before security guards showed up to tell me “prohibito” and ensure I was not going to try to enter the hotel on the cliff. I did walk to the base of the cliff, but then had to turn around and walk back. But here are the stolen pics.
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After my long morning walk and a bit of poolside reading, I headed to the spa for the third time this week. While the massage was great, what I really enjoyed at these spa afternoons were the saunas and pools. The steps in order were:
Aroma therapy:
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Bucket shower
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Dry sauna
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Shower, Turkish bath
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Shower, plunge pool
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Calm pool, jacuzzi
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Heated sitting area (for waiting for the masseuse)
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After my massage, I went back redid some the sauna-plunge pool. By the time I was done, there were no clients left, which allowed me to take the above pictures.

The spa was very relaxing. I love the hot-to-cold and back again. Wish I had a Turkish bath at home.

Finally, the belated birthday. It was Steve’s birthday on the 8th, but much to my disappointment, the staff rekally dropped the ball. They’d promised special ‘events’ and even went so far as ask us to be out of the room so they could decorate and then didn’t show. So, I expressed my disappointment to the Butler (yes, our room came with a butler), who was off work but had asked a coworker to look after us. Anyway, this day (a day late), they were in our room while we were at dinner.
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Better late than never.

Yesterday, we returned home on a business class flight via Montreal.
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Great trip. Already missing the warm weather and looking forward to the next trip (Hawaii).

Posted by Deb Godley 23:27 Archived in Dominican Republic Comments (0)

Ghost hotel

sunny 31 °C

While I still haven’t walked the beach all the way to that hotel in the distance...
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...I have discovered that it’s one of several abandoned hotel complexes in Punta Cana.

There’s a video here about this one. It does make me want to check it out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVYGtFrTFX4

Meanwhile, the vacation in paradise continues. Nice sunrise this morning.
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And some pics around the resort, a couple of them from Halloween.
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Meanwhile, we know our time is limited and that they’d already set up the outdoor skating rink structure in our nearby park before we left, meaning going back to the cold temps. I’m going to miss 31 degrees!
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Posted by Deb Godley 18:11 Archived in Dominican Republic Comments (0)

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