We're in Iceland...The Artic Ocean.. Iceland facts...Today's exciting 4X4 adventure in Iceland...

A first glance as we approached Iceland at noon on Sunday.
Few of us think about visiting Iceland.  With its cold weather and long distance from most major cities, one may not make it the first choice when considering a vacation/holiday.  We haven't been this cold in almost two years.

Dense fog and cloud impeded the view upon entry into the port.
Reykjavik, located in the southwestern part of Iceland, is the capital and, is the largest city in Iceland making it the world's northern most capital of a sovereign state.  Reykjavik's population is roughly 200,000 with only 320,000 in the entire country.

Currently, we are at the port of Reykjavik.  The city was founded in 1786 as an official trading town and grew steadily over the next decades as it transformed into a regional and later, national center of commerce. 

The Videyjarstofa house, where a restaurant is now located, was built in 1755 and is thus the first construction made of stone and cement in the country. The church was consecrated in 1774 and is the second oldest one still standing. The island became the seat of the first Icelandic treasurer and later the first Icelandic sub-governor. In the beginning of the 20th century, the country's first harbor for ocean going vessels was built on the eastern past of the island from which a hamlet developed.
As we've all heard on the news of late, Iceland has the most active volcano in the world, the largest waterfall and glacier in Europe, the northern most botanical garden and golf course in the world.  It is amongst the cleanest, greenest and safest cities in the world.

Most often, the view from the pier of any city isn't as appealing as when touring inland.
Its population has the longest life expectancy in the world.  Also Iceland had the first democratically elected female president in the world, Mrs. Vigdis Finnbogadottir. 

Yesterday, when we docked in Reykjavik, we noted that the sunrise is at 9:26 am with sunset at 11:22 pm.  The temperature has been a cool rainy 50F, 10C, degrees. Over a half million tourists visit Iceland each year and numerous cruise ships such as ours visit the port of Reykjavik. Our layover has been for  29 hours until back out to sea at 5:00 pm.

We walked to an upper deck to take these few photos from the ship.  Tomorrow, we'll post photos from our 4x4 adventure, rain or shine.
Originally, Tom had booked a tour for us in Iceland, the private 9:30 pm Northern Lights tour with a small group of eight.  Unfortunately, with the rain, dense fog and clouds yesterday, the tour was cancelled.  There was no point in driving around in the dark and the rain until the scheduled 2:30 am return to ship.

Our preplanned tour of the Northern Lights was cancelled when the cloud stayed clouded and dense fog hung in the air.
In addition, we'd planned to catch a cab or shuttle to take us around the city and surrounding area.  As it turned out, we didn't choose to do so when Saturday night we booked a 10 passenger 4X4 photo "safari" tour to see many of the wonders of Iceland. The cost for the tour for both of us is US $379.50.

In our travels, we've learned that missing an opportunity for a particular event is no cause for frustration or disappointment.  There are many magical unexpected treasures that surely make up for the loss of any other. 

Another view from the ship to awaiting transportation for ambitious cruise passengers who wanted to tour the city of Reykjavik.
We missed the Great Migration in Kenya by one week seeing only the tail end but, we had the best possible safari in the Masai Mara in Kenya, seeing the Big 5 in the first 10 hours. Our lives of travel is a matter of trade offs which we've come to expect and accept.

Today's adventure on rough terrain, is not for everyone.  For us, after months of bumpy roads all over the world, we have no concern for the rugged nature of this outing.  Hopefully, we'll return to post tomorrow with many exciting photos and stories to share.

Fishing is huge industry in Iceland.  Below is various fishing equipment.
Yesterday, we remained on the ship attempting to get caught up with some of our posts from my many days without connection to the Internet.  The MiFi is working well and our signal is reasonably strong as I fast and furiously attempt to prepare many upcoming posts anticipating five full days at sea, beginning tonight at 5 pm with no working WiFi for my laptop.  By using Tom's laptop I'll be able to continue to post over those five days.

The capital city of Reykjavik commonly known as a city where President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev met for talks at the former French Consulate in  October 1986.
We'll be departing soon for the 4X4 tour excitedly anticipating a great day, rain or shine.  Please check back tomorrow for our new photos of the city of Reykjavik as we make our way to the countryside and supposedly rough terrain of Iceland.

No pier is particularly attractive from what we've seen on the past nine cruises.
In the interim, we're having a fabulous time on this cruise.  We've had one stunning moment after another meeting people, dining, watching live entertainment in the theatre and roaming about the ship checking out every nook and cranny. 

Please check back tomorrow for more on Iceland and perhaps a few unexpected surprises we hadn't anticipated after all.


Photo from one year ago, September 8, 2013:

This is the vegetable stand we visited a few times each week to purchase produce.  The motorcycle in the photo is the means of transportation used by the farmer to deliver the produce daily.  Organic and cheap, we enjoyed making purchased here although walking on the road from our house had its risks.  For details of the story from this date, please click here.


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