Gˇdan dag (Hello) from ═SLAND
Welcome to a quick
travelpage about a trip to Iceland. I visited Iceland in late
April of 1997 lasting into the first week of May. Executive summary: genuinely friendly
people and a very beautiful country (yes there were some similarities to Alaska, and I love Alaska).
Iceland is an independent country
of around 250,000 inhabitants. They are located in the North Atlantic between
England and Greenland. It is a place of volcanos, lakes, glaciers, thundering waterfalls, and geysirs - as well as comfortable cities, farms, and the heated swimming pools.
In and around Reyjavik ...
This photo is of the "Tj÷rn" or pond around which the city of Reykjavik is built.
It is a beatiful lake which attracts quite a bit of recreational enthusiasts.
The Reykjavik City Hall is an intricate, beautiful, and at times controversial building
located in the heart of Reykjavik. It is located in and over the Tjorn, and is beautiful inside and out. During construction, contoversy
led even to bomb threats, but it now acts as the seat of the City Government in unique style (not quite as unique as shown here, some
artistic license taken).
HallgrÝmskirkja - a beautiful church located in downtown
Reykjavik, it is built of basalt and may have some detractors - but it is imposing and one of a number of churches found in Iceland of similar (monumental-looking) design.
This photo was taken at the waste discharge of a power plant. Sound bad? It isn't - it's wonderful!
The "waste" is merely hot, mineral rich water from the ground. It has collected to form a "lagoon" -
now called the "Blue Lagoon." It has turned into a major tourist (and local) attraction. In use even
in very cold weather, the water temperatures range from 25 to 40 degrees C.
Away from Reykjavik ...
Iceland is known for a specific breed of horse called the "Icelandic Pony".
It is in general chunkier, thick-set, and more muscular that the more familiar North American breed. They are known as "tharfasti thjˇnninn" - or "the most useful servant."
Nesjaviller - a power plant located a few miles outside of Reykjavik;
it provides electrical power from geothermal steam, as well as hot water for district heating purposes. 85% of Iceland's homes are heated with geothermal energy.
More power plant; would you have guessed that I am an engineer?
A view of the Nesjaviller Power Plant located not too far from Reykjavik. It is one of the prettiest, cleanest power plants
I have ever been to and was very welcoming to visitors.
I promise, the last power plant photo ...
Hidden away among ruptured earth in the Northwest,
near Mivatn, are two hot pools with roofs of rock. Our guide books describe the time when they were comfortable to swim in but have recently
heated up again to uncomfortable temperatures. They did provide a quiet and warm place to come in from a May snowstorm.
Some other references ...
Iceland Tourist Bureau (ITB)
Multi-lingual guide to Iceland
Eye on Iceland
Gˇa fer! (Good trip!)
For comments or questions,you can e-mail me at TimKaren@alaska.net