Reykjavik, Iceland June 13-19th, 2003

(all pictures are low res, for high res click here)

After a marathon flight where we sat next to Bill Nye the Science Guy (Seattle to Washington DC) and Public Enemy (Frankfurt to Copenhagen), Ellen, our bags and I finally made it to Reykjavik, Iceland.  One the way from the Keflavik International Airport (home of the US Naval Base) to our guest house, we began to notice the interesting landscape that awaited us . Finally, we got to our guest house. We had room 602, on the 6th floor overlooking the city and the bay. The guest house was located in the prime area of town where all the shopping and partying happens! Our room was basically a condo , with a magnificent view (big picture!) - here's a smaller picture . Across the street was a trendy spot that was a cafe during the day and a happening club at night. As we discovered the first night, the sun will briefly dip below the horizon for about an hour, but you can't really tell. However, we were given this spectacular sunset around midnight

During the day, we walked around the city and found some of the oddest things . Icelanders aren't too fond of America (they like Americans, just dislike the country) , their graffiti is weird (this next picture is the side of our guesthouse!) , have interesting museums ,  and have a funny sense of (rated "R" picture) humor .  We found some really cool art , a cool photography exhibit called "Earth From Above" by Yann Arthus Bertrand ,  and a beautiful city hall . The port is very cool too -  . Don't miss this cute video of the baby ducks running across the port. (All videos take a long time to load, regardless of connection speed - Be Patient!) Lastly, in our day time travels we found the Hallgrimskirkja
church
that includes a statue of Leif Eriksson (the statue was a gift from the US) as well as the German embassy .

Arguably, the best time to be had in Reykjavik is at night - or at least during night time hours. This next picture was taken at 4:30 am . At the end of each night, Elle and I were usually drunk so it made for some very funny videos. In this first video, I adamantly deny that I have hiccups. Then we unknowingly took turns doing our late night Reykjavik documentaries. I did the first docu-video, though it is not as funny as Ellen's drunken 4 part mini series. Here's my video.  Ellen's is a lot funnier - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4

When we weren't out visiting the town, we took some excursions outside of town. First we went to the Blue Lagoon in Keflavik.  Geothermal activity is common in Iceland, and thus it is used by the electric companies to create energy. The Blue Lagoon was created as a by product to one of these geo-thermal power plants (check out the power plant in the background) , the run off created a hot springs filled with silica which is supposed to have healing powers when applied to the skin . The Blue Lagoon is very commercialized though it is in the middle of nowhere . Here's a panoramic shot of the entire lagoon.

Probably, the most fun we had in Iceland was on the Golden Circle Excursion . We hired a Super Jeep which are rigged to go over any type of terrain. As we began our day long trek we came to a location that was on the major North Atlantic fault (notice the big crack) . Also on this site was one of the oldest churches in Iceland, which doubled as the first Icelandic parliament. The water around the church was so clear, this money is about 60 feet below the surface. Next on our travels around the island was a stop at Geysir where we witnessed 1 of the 2 geysers spray whereas the other one remained dormant  . After the fire, it was time for ice - we headed to one of their major glaciers . Now it was time to see what this Super Jeep could really do - ever heard of a glacier dune buggy? . Notice all the jeep tracks in this picture. Finally it was time to leave the glacier and head to one of the larger waterfalls on the island, Gullfoss (video). While we were there they let you walk right up to the water (video). Right next to the water were some Icelandic horses . Our next stop was Kerio volcanic crater . The last stop on the excursion was special since no other groups really go there.  It was an experimental power plant site. When were we standing next to this pipe , I could feel the ground vibrate. It shook the super jeep. (video)

Overall, Elle and I LOVED Iceland. We would visit there again in a heartbeat (as long as it was summer!).