the excitment never ceases

by vivek

a good night’s sleep and i was ready to hit Reykjavik city. This time my focus was to get a more in depth feel of the city. First on the list of places to visit was the photography museum. hosting a collection of photographs taken from flickr by Icelandic photographers, the collection was just as contrasting and vibrant as the country itself. but i was still left a little disappointed, because it still was missing some of photographers i had seen in flickr and whose photos had given me a fair idea of what i could expect in Iceland.

thingvellir national park crystallizing sea

next up was some history of the settlement in Iceland. 30 minutes of a multimedia/interactive session on the way settlement started, the ways the settlers managed to live in Iceland and i was off to the pond. the number of swans present in the pond was a key leverage to getting me there. a beautiful sunset, swans, ducks, geese all in a feeding frenzy had me clicking.

in search of the famous hákarl( 6 months fermented putrefied shark cubes), i entered the flee market. After some refreshments, the serious searching for hákarl started. After a taste and relative disappointment – i had seen the lonely planet Iceland guide and seeing the reactions of Ian Wright i was expecting something more terrible than i had experienced. after all this i bought 250 grams of it for the guys back in the room to taste. i spent sometime roaming around the market and then headed out to the dock and then on to the seafront road. while taking a few panorama shots of the mountain, i realized how under dressed i was for the day. staying outdoors for 6 hours in some -5 degree without proper protection made sure i got a sour throat and as a late consolation i headed into a bakery and had some hot chocolate just to warm up. i got the bus back to the hostel to hopefully stop the damage from taking full effect.

after bread and cheese dinner, i heard the northern lights tour was on. even though i had at least one sighting of the northern lights to boast, it was not enough for me. so on a clear yet nearly full moon day i decided i will take the northern lights tour again and hopefully get better photographs. this time i had to pay half the price because what i had seen yesterday was faint and the tour considered it being equal to having seen nothing. this time we were heading to the Thingvellir national park along with the usual on bus audio guide. when the bus was in the outskirts of Reykjavik, the guide pointed to the northern lights that had started. this time i seemed a little brighter than my previous viewings. but then, we had the street lights that was not helping and by time we came into a light free stretch of the highway the northern lights had to vanish. that was basically the only second sighting i had on that day. but then we waited in the national park for some time, and then headed to the south shores – i guess more as compensation for not having seen the northern lights.

at the south shores a bright moon, a sea thats half way up to crystallizing and the noise of the half crystallized sea blocks washing ashore was amazing. as i pointed out earlier we had no sightings there also and the tour headed back to Reykjavik through some amazing landscape.

self and a crystallizing sea in the background