Voyage of the Vikings

July - August, 2013

Reykjavík, Iceland

August 8 - Weather: Rain, wind, high temp near mid 50s but wind chill was a factor! (turned clocks back 1 hour last night)

Human history in Iceland began in about 871 with the arrival of Ingólfur Arnason.  Reykjavík translates as "Smokey Bay" which is a reference to the columns of steam Arnason discovered in the area where he built his farmstead.  The town is home to 130,000 of Iceland's 320,000 people.

Weather conditions made us a little late into Reykjavík and we left the ship about 9:00 for our excursion.  We went by bus to the Blue Lagoon, about a 45 minute drive, for our swim.  The water is very warm, but strong winds and driving rain prevented us from really enjoying it (Jay joked that it's called the Blue Lagoon because that's the color you turn).  Our trivia friend Judy loved it, and smeared the white stuff all over her face and stood under the waterfall.  We got back to the ship about 1:00 and met Ilan and Dahlis in the Lido.  We went out and took a cab to the largest church in Iceland--a Lutheran one called Hallorimskirkja Church.  There's a statue of Leif Ericksson in front of the church.  The building is a simple design but beautiful.  An interesting feature inside is that the seats can easily be switched to face the alter for a service or toward the pipe organ with 5,275 pipes for a concert.  From the church we walked to the Harpa Concert Hall and Convention Centre (pronounced Haspa).  The hall is an unusual design with hexagonal pieces of glass making up its walls.  We took a 45 minute tour and saw the 4 halls within the building.  The hall was being decorated for the Gay Pride celebration scheduled for the weekend.  We returned by cab to the ship about 5:00 and walked through the rain (Jay saw ice crystals) that was hitting us in the face.  A hot shower never felt so good.  The captain reminded us that we had lovely weather for 5 of our 6 stops in Iceland.  Unfortunately we had a change of luck in Reykjavík, where they're having one of the worst summers in 60 years.

The Blue Lagoon

Leif Eriksson and Hallgrimskirkja Church

Pipe organ in Hallgrimskirkja Church

Harpa Concert Hall

Harpa Concert Hall - Kaldalon chamber hall

Harpa Concert Hall - Eldborg main hall

Harpa Concert Hall


At Sea

August 9 - Weather:  Foggy, high temp in low 50s (turned clocks back 1 hour last night)

The ship didn't leave Reykjavik last night at 11:00 as scheduled because of strong winds, but left this morning around 6:00.  We had a few paperwork items (disembarkation, Canadian customs) but otherwise it was a day with little to do, which is nice.  We won at Name That Tune in the piano bar with Rod and Noel from Melbourne and Lyn from Chicago.  It's run differently from the Crow's Next version where you hear a little bit of a recording.  At the piano bar the host plays a little bit of the song.  We won the first round with 10 of 12 right and then won the second round over 2 other teams with 4 of 5 right.  It was a team effort, so a nice win.  We skipped the comedian, who we heard later wasn't funny, and also skipped the Ice Ball.  There was a lot of movement on the ship today as it is still windy.

© Jay 2020