06.18.2013 - 06.22.2013
I've spent the longest daylight hours of 2013 in Iceland. I think even the birds get confused. At 1 AM on June 22, they were tweeting as if it were 5 AM. I don't think they got any rest - just like the locals, who party all night and at 9 AM are no where to be found.
Iceland is wonderful and charming. Iceland Air has a direct route from Denver and then on to many other cities in Europe. I can imagine this as a layover spot for other journeys.
I had a suburban apartment - at first I was a little dismayed at the location, but I was provided with a bike and a bus that ran every 30 minutes. I had no trouble getting anywhere I wanted to go and managed to see all the scenery while I rode. It was also quite easy to load the bike on the bus to go even further and see more sights. I recommend getting a day pass for the city bus system and skipping the Hop On/Off bus.
I took a ferry ride across the bay to Videy Island. In the 1700s, the seat of the Danish Treasurer and around the turn of the 20th century a thriving village for producing salt fish. All went bottom up in 1941 and nothing remains except the restored Treasurer's home, the last school, and a few foundations. Also- this is the spot for Yoko Ono's Imagine Peace Tower.
While riding my bike, I stumbled on three people around my age. This man had been one of the final residents to leave the island with his family in 1941 when he was 11 years old. They were preparing for a reunion of residents to be held on June 22. He said not many people show up for the reunions any more. I can imagine that few former residents are still alive - my grandson has not been to the place where I was born, so I can understand that few grandchildren would be coming here for a reunion.
There are several museums and galleries in Reykjavik. The food is good. The people are friendly. Everything is very expensive.
I took a horse ride. I had hoped for the midnight ride in daylight, but it was fully booked. Instead, I took the morning ride. It was pleasant, but the psuedo craters we rode to were rather a disappointment. The land had been greatly excavated for many years to produce road surface material. Only recently, they realized they were damaging rare materials - supposedly, this is found only in Iceland and on Mars! Therefore, you ride through devastated terrain and a million strange flies.
Also, these rather small horses are an Iceland breed that have a special gait not found in other horse breeds. They were pleasant to ride and my first experience on English style.
EVERYONE goes to the Blue Lagoon. There is a very efficient bus system that can pick you up and deliver you to/from the airport for long layovers or when you are leaving Reykjavik.
This is a shot from my window on Iceland Air flight as we passed between Greenland and Canada.