W1610 – Reykjavik too

In my last post, W1610 – ‘ice driving, I described my first amazing day in the port of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, where I was driven up on to a glacier in a 4×4 super truck.

After such a long and tiring tour on the first day, I elected for a much shorter and more sedate tour on the second and final day in Reykjavik. It was an afternoon tour to visit some more geothermal activity, and also a Viking museum. This left the morning free for me to view Reykjavik on my own.

On my last visit to Reykjavik some eight years ago I did the long ‘Golden Circle’ tour which is a must when visiting Iceland, so didn’t have time to go into Reykjavik as well. The thing that I most wanted to do in Reykjavik was to visit and photograph the Hallgrímskirkja, the large Lutheran Parish Church which dominates the town. As it turns out I also had a second mission in town, also photographic related, and I will post about this later in the cruise when I have caught up with port visits.

I took the shuttle bus from the ship to the town centre, and it dropped me near the Harpa Concert Hall, it’s unique glazed design was useful for my mysterious second mission. Passing this statue I made my way up the hill to the Hallgrímskirkja:

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Outside the church is a large statue to Leif Erikson, the first European to have discovered North America:

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Inside, I was very taken by the light airy design of the church, and by some artwork around the inside:

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I decided I had time to pay to take the lift and stairs up the tower, where an observation level offered great panoramic views of the town:

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Returning to the ground, I walked around the church before making my way back to the shuttle bus, photographing things that caught my eye on the way:

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Back on board ship there was time for a very early lunch before it was time to check in for the afternoon shore tour. The weather while I was ashore in Reykjavik in the morning was the lovely sunshine we had grown so used to on this cruise, so it was a bit of a shock that not long after boarding our coach the heavens opened and the rain poured down. We had a bit of a scenic drive through Hafnarfjörđur town, and then on to Kleifarvatn Lake, where we stopped for a short photo stop. The rain was easing off by then, but the skies were still very dark and atmospheric:

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We then drove on to the geothermal fields at Krýsuvík, where we stopped for a while so we could view the multicoloured pools of boiling mud and the steam being vented. It was all on a much smaller scale than I had seen on the long tour from from Akureyri (see W1610 – Springs and Falls). I took time out to cross the road and take pictures of the scenery and of the Icelandic horses grazing in the flower meadows:

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Reboarding our coach, we then drove through the fishing village of Grindavik, where I spotted this house with a whole host of things outside on display:

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Our final stop was at the Viking Museum on the outskirts of the small town of Njarđvik. The main exhibit here is a fully seaworthy replica of an average sized Viking ship. It is 23m long, and 5.25m wide. It would have carried a crew of around 70 people. Gunnar Eggertsson, who built the replica, sailed it to America and back in the year 2000, to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of his countrymen discovering North America

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It was rather crowded inside the small museum, so I wandered outside, and found some livestock to photograph:

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I then crossed over to the shoreline, and was busy photographing the wildlife there when another heavy shower sent me hurrying back to the shelter of the coach

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On returning to our waiting ship, it wasn’t long before we set sail for our third country on this cruise, Greenland. As we slipped out of the harbour I could see Hallgrímskirkja clearly on the skyline:

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Postscript As I complete this post, we are currently sailing away from Greenland after four wonderful days there. I have some catching up to do with my posts, so I will be busy writing during the next three days at sea as we sail back towards the UK.

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