It was a nice escape to Iceland in November. I had been thinking about going there for years, and now I finally did. I have to admit that I was in a rush to book this trip.
Without knowing what to see and to do in Iceland, I jumped on a plane and landed in Reykjavik after mid-night. First to start, none of my reservations actually confirmed. So
hotel didn't have my name, and I found out the next day all the tours that I booked didn't neither confirm me on the list.
Well, after 3 hours of calling here and there, I started my first day in Iceland with a horseback riding tour. The Icelandic Horse is a pure-breed. They have uniquely 5 gaits.
The good thing is that Iceland government prohibits imports of foreign horses to keep their horses pure. The tour was awesome in a sense that we, as tourist riders, were allowed
to go freely as long as we could be seen by the guide. Unlike the north american riding tours, single-lined and boring. I enjoyed a wonderful sunny afternoon riding and saw some
interesting volcanic terrain.
Weather started to turn bad, cloudy and rainy. I managed to walk around town at dusk, but the rain made me to go back to the hotel. Disappointingly, my night tour
of seeing northern lights was cancelled due to weather. In the next 2 days in Iceland, I saw more rain ever in my travel days. But I got some good sunny breaks when I needed
them during the "Golden Circle" tour with the big 4x4.
The meal box on Iceland Air ...
Lounge at Loftledir Hotel at Reykjavik.
My horsy ....
Nice braids ...
Ready to ride ...
The rare moment of blue sky (without knowing that it's just rain in the next few days)
Nice stroll across the volcanic terrain (4.9 MB file).
... This picture reminds me of going to school ...
I love this scene. "Sunset after a work day"
Usually we see this picture of camels across a desert, but I got Icelandic horses across a hay field.
I have to admit that it's quite difficult to ride them because of their small sizes.
"What are you looking at ?"
He was a bit moody when taking pictures.
Itchy ...itchy ...
Can someone please scratch my back ...please ?
FYI, $1 CAD = 60 ISK.
Reykjavik actually has the highest density of cars and road per population, average each person has 1.3 cars.
Hallgrimskirkaja Church, Reykjavik Iceland.
Chinese restaurants are everywhere ....
So are complaints about Bush.
National Bank of Iceland
I had East Indian food in Iceland ...
Inside Hallgrimskirkaja Church, look at the 3000 pipes piano
Facing the Church Altar.
Sculpture "Dance" in front of the Saga Museum ...
Hallgrimskirkaja Church agagin in B&W.
The Rain .....
Top of Saga Museum.
University of Reykjavik.
City Hall of Reykjavik.
That's the Indian Restaurant I had dinner the night before.
Entrance of the University of Reykjavik.
Some Icelandic architecture ...
... in colours ...
This is the oldest timber house still standing in Iceland, built in 1733.
... in B&W ...
You got mail ?
... It's red ...
I didnt go in as it wasn't open during the day..
149 ISk = $2.40 CAD for 500ml can of Coca Cola.
You can see these big modified 4x4 everywhere.
... This sign says it all. "Fuck off, don't come in, go somewhere else!"
Sculpture named "Solfar", which means Sun Voyager, sumbolising the Viking row boats
First time stepping on Volcanic ash ...
Lava flow fields just outside of Reykjavik.
I have to watch my shoes after wealking on the volcanic ashes (worse than mud).
Where was I ?
Blue Lagoon at night.
My first mud facial at Blue Lagoon.
It was cold and raining that night, but the water was warm.
I think everywhere should this kind of locker system.
Going out to the country side, where the continental plates meet.
Across this lake, it is the EuroAsia Plate. I was standing on the North American plate.
This is one of the big crack around the area where the plates meet.
Weather was so unpredictable.
A minute later, it was so gorgeous.
You don't want to be here 1 million years ago. Here it cracked and lava came out.
So much iron in this area, .. rusty volcanic rocks ...
LOGBERG, this was how it happened, if you can read Icelandic.
You can see how many layers of lava and eruptions.
Unpredictable terrain and weather.
This makes my 4Runner at home looks nothing.
Cracks are everywhere here, hiking will be really interesting.
See these big tires deflate. (3.4 MB file).
Gurfoss, the reowned waterfall in Iceland.
It is quite a scenery indeed.
Looks like boiling water ....
Hmm. This reminded me those old days when I ran whitewater kayaks.
Buddy, take it fast please, it is cold here !
Are you sure you don't want to go in with me ?.
Icelandic lamb soup tasted so good in a cold morning.
Hello, Blue sky, where have you been ?
Geysir area ...
This one goes really deep, like Morning Glory in Yellowstone.
If you step on it, it's gonna melt you down, hehehe !
Geysir temperature at the surface is about 70°C.
Just look, no touch please!
4 women waiting ....
5 women waiting for it to blow ...
Wow, .. 6 women now ... what if I stay here all day ? ...hoho !
Are you satisfied now, women ?
The one that just blew is called Strohkur.
This sign with that symbol means "tourist stop".
How romantic was that ! Too bad it's not me.
National Flag of Iceland.
We hiked up to one of the smaller craters.
Just don't fall, OK!
This volcano is about 100,000 years old.
Birds in blue sky!!
Where are we going next ?
Final goodbye to my Blue Sky.
Have you seen this before?
Lobster meal costs ...
A little Icelandic language lesson!
We rode this big modified Ford F350 Van to this Lobster restaurant.
We can walk behind the fall.
It is quite a scene to walk behind the waterfall.
Taking picture behind the waterfall.
Wet wet wet...
Another waterfall - Skogarfoss.
This is where the Saga of Njail began....
Skógasafn museum of transport !
These were whale bones.
A whale bladder used as a buoy.
Vertabates of whales were used as buckets, chopping block.
Saddle for women.
This is a washing machine.
They rebuilt the old icelandic dwellings in this museum.
Different houses at different times.
Bedroom upstairs got heated by ...
the animals quarters downstairs ..., smart ?
Icelandic mittens got 2 thumbs, why ?
The southernmost point of mainland Iceland
Reynisdrangar/Dyrhólaey rock formations .
Reynisdrangar/Dyrhólaey rock formations .
I just wanna get outta here ... so wet.
Going up to the glacier ... not really!
Sólheimajökull glacier .
All these newspaper and magazine are in Icelandic Language. It is quite a culture of only 300,000 population."
Like my new hairstyle ? It is just too windy. See the video.
Windy, that is all I am gonna say (1.2 MB file).
Blue Lagoon again on my last day.
Rain and hail are coming in ... see those black clouds.
I am going in ....
Ahh... the sun finally broke out of the storm.
How nice !.
Blue Lagoon. It is short, because it is so cold to shoot this video, forgive me. (1.5 MB file).
This was probably my best moment during this trip.
It is a sauna in that cave..
Man, I need to shave indeed.
Everyone was so happy here at Blue Lagoon.
This airport is well designed, both functionally and decoratively.