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Touring Iceland with Good Friends

Carol and Brad Carter, Melissa and Matt Lieberman, Steve Arsenault, and Shelly and Ken Murray vacationed in Iceland in March of 2013.  We snorkeled in the Continental Divide in 35 degree water, walked a glacier, saw the Northern Lights, and bathed in the Blue Lagoon.  

Our first excursion was snorkeling in the Continental Divide in Silfra, outside Reykjavik,.  The water temperature was 35 degrees, and it was crystal clear.  We all donned our wet suits and snorkel gear and jumped in.  We swam for maybe 30 minutes.  Ken tried to get some underwater pictures, but the gloves we had to wear made it impossible.  

Our next stop was hiking on a glacier.  We first stopped at Seljalandsfoss waterfall and took some pictures.  Then we arrived at Mýrdalsjökull glacier, the 4th largest in Iceland.  We hiked for maybe 30 minutes and saw saw many moulins (A moulin or glacier mill is a roughly circular, vertical to nearly vertical well-like shaft within a glacier through which water enters from the surface).  You don’t want to fall in a moulin, otherwise you get a wild tube ride to the sea.  After the glacier hike, we saw Skógafoss waterfall, which was pretty cool.  We then ate lunch at Anna’s, a quaint little restaurant that served us lamb and tomato soup.

By 10PM, we were hunting the country-side for a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. When we stopped, all we could see with the naked eye was a spot of an orange glow slightly brighter than the night sky. However, when we took pictures, the camera picked up the full beauty of the show.

We scheduled a private tour of southern Iceland for the next day.  We left at 9AM in a Ford Excursion, and headed for the Nesjavellir Geothermal power plant and the Hengill Volcano.  We toured the volcanic ridge and saw amazing views.  Our next stop was the Fridheimatorg greenhouse where acres of tomatoes a grown.  We then stopped and saw the beautiful Gullfoss waterfall with tiered waterfalls and ice capped sides due to the freezing mist.

We then saw Strtokkur Geyser, which is one of Iceland’s most active, erupting every 6 to 7 minutes. The geyser shot steam 60 to 70 feet in the air.  We then headed to Kerið, a volcanic implosion crater. Kerið was a cone volcano which erupted and emptied its magma reserve.

Our next stop was the Black Sand Beach at þorlákshöfn on the Golden Circle, and it is clean and beautiful.  The North Atlantic crashes in, and leaves driftwood from Siberia.  We then headed for dinner nearby at Fjorubordid, a quaint and casual place made famous for their fresh lobster dishes.  The last stop on the tour was to a lava tube. This tube is a pathway that lava once used to flow from
a volcano to the sea.

We had a few hours to kill before our plane departed, so we took a dip in the Blue Lagoon.  The Blue Lagoon is a famous destination containing geothermal waters in a beautiful water play-land setting.  It’s a very warm to hot pool where you smear white cream on your face (silica) to create a healthy mud mask.  It’s also a great place to hang out with good friends and have a beer.

Ken put together a newsletter providing the highlights of our trip.  We each took Icelandic names for the trip, so that's how we're referenced in the newsletter.  You can read it below.

Here are some photos of our trip!

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