Iceland: Northern Lights, Fairy Tales and Prime Journey Ideas

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There are such a lot of journeys I’m nonetheless dreaming of, however this one I do know, will at all times be one of the crucial significant ones to me.

My ardour about Iceland has grown over time. It began with a factor for fairies.

I learn quite a lot of books about them and I realized, that Iceland even has an elf minister.

Each time there’s a constructing to be erected, this minister has to verify first, if any fairies stay on the bottom.

If that’s the case, there cannot something be constructed. There occurs to be a street for instance that winds round an enormous rock. You could not transfer the rock, as a result of it is a fairy assembly place.

Later, Björk grew to become certainly one of my favorite artists. Once I hearken to her music, I dream concerning the huge landscapes, the superb nationwide parks and naturally of Northern Lights.

 

I’m at all times excited to go on a brand new journey, however this time it is much more thrilling.

Arriving at Reykjavik airport, it seems like time somebody pushed the “winter quick ahead” button. There may be snow and icy pavements, a Christmasy feeling arises. It is about 17:00 and it’s fully darkish exterior. We clearly missed the few hours of daylight right this moment. As of late the solar rises at about 10:15 and units at about 16:15.

Be aware to ourselves: days have to be deliberate properly.

Our first tour day begins with a stroll through Reykjavik. Irrespective of the place the wind comes from, I need to faux it comes from the North Pole. It’s sooooo chilly. We stroll alongside the boardwalk Sæbraut and go by Sólfar.

The subsequent constructing alongside the way in which is the spectacular Harpa, a gorgeous constructing with many glowing little home windows and a unbelievable view onto the harbour. Harpa is a really younger live performance corridor and convention centre. The opening live performance was held on Could four, 2011.

It’s designed by the Danish agency Henning Larsen Architects in co-operation with Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, who’s certainly one of my completely favourites. The construction consists of a metal framework clad with irregularly-shaped glass panels of various colors.

 

Up on a hill within the metropolis centre you discover the most likely principally mentioned constructing of the Iceland – the Hallgrímskirkja. Whereas they had been sure concerning the place and even the title of the church from the start on, it took a very long time and quite a lot of arguing till its completion.

In 1937 architect Guðjón Samúelsson obtained the order to construct the church. Along with his home of God he needed to create a singular constructing that symbolically combines Iceland’s landscapes and fashionable structure. The fassade is meant to indicate the well-known basalt columns. The very excessive neo-Gothic corridor ought to underline the barren vastness. The white inside needs to be a logo for Iceland’s many glaciers. One might anticipate that this intend had as many opponents as proponents.

In the course of the development (till 1974), church companies had been held within the basement. Afterwards they occurred in a worthier room, nevertheless it took one other 12 years to finalise the  construcion in 1986. Unbelievable however true, the church nonetheless wasn’t fairly completed. The font and home windows had been solely provisional and wanted to get replaced. Lastly in 1990 the organ was constructed.

Right now the church will not be solely used as a church, however likewise for exhibitions or performances. The tower is open for public from 9:00-18:00, every day. We predict with this story it’s okay to speculate 600 ISK to benefit from the view over town from up right here.

 

The day attracts to an in depth, so it is time to hop into the automobile to drive to the Blue Lagoon. We need to be there for the sundown. Let me let you know, even if you’re not a spa lover, you don’t want to go away this place once more, when you dive into the blue milky water.

The facility plant Svartsengi carries water with a temperature of 240°C  from a depth of two km. This water is used to warmth the encircling villages and the close by airport. Moreover, electrical energy is produced with its steam.

The remaining water (nonetheless with a temperature of 70°C) is gathered within the Blue Lagoon. It’s naturally enriched with silica, salt and algea. Mixed, they type the lagoon’s typical blue-grey water color. The bottom of this lake consists partly of shelly and blue sand. Individuals with pores and skin ailments, particularly folks affected by psoriases understand a therapeutic affect of the water. The Bláa lónið right this moment is Iceland’s hottest pure tub.

As a result of enlargement of the ability plant, the unique bathing lake needed to vanish. In a minor distance, the brand new Blue Lagoon was constructed. To this refurbished and enlarged “Tremendous-Spa” folks from all around the world come to loosen up and make use of the therapeutic earth. 

The waterfall of therapeutic water is used as a pure therapeutic massage together with pores and skin peeling. You possibly can loosen up in a steam tub constructed right into a synthetic lava cave and naturally, you need to use a number of saunas as effectively. Greater than 120.000 folks come annually to spend a number of enjoyable hours within the Blue Lagoon.

As we stroll from the automobile in the direction of the lagoon with our thick winter coats, hats and scarfs, we can’t think about to solely put on a swim swimsuit in a couple of minutes and take an outdoor swim. The second we go away the nice and cozy constructing is hard, however the second if you dive into the new water is unimaginable. For hours we simply float by means of the water, seek for the most popular streams and have a drink from the bar (Sure, within the water!).

After this extraordinary spa occasion, you truly don’t desire something, however cuddle into snug garments and go to mattress.

 

Nevertheless, our day will not be over but. At 20:30 we get picked up at our lodge for a Northern Lights tour. Oh, I ponder for a way lengthy I’ve desperately wished to see these lights. I’ve at all times been unsure, if it would ever occur, as a result of it means travelling north within the winter (too chilly, too chilly).

Right here we’re (with 12 absolutely packed busses, yay), prepared to go for one of the crucial thrilling excursions in my life. The omens are beneficial, the tour information says. A lot completely different from the times earlier than, after they couldn’t spot any lights or the excursions even needed to be cancelled as a consequence of unhealthy climate circumstances.

We drive out into the darkish. We’re advised fairy tales and information concerning the Aurora Borealis and Icelandic myths.

Northern Lights scientificly is are pure lights that show within the sky notably within the excessive latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) areas, attributable to the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms within the excessive altitude environment (thermosphere). The charged particles originate within the magnetosphere and photo voltaic winds are directed by the Earth’s magnetic area into the environment.

It feels a bit like being in an American storm chaser film, or in a type of supernatural TV exhibits. “We have now noticed a magnetic area”, the information says and we cease on a area. All of the sudden the information screams “it’s taking place, get out, it’s taking place”.

And there it’s!

It begins with a bit glow and evolves to be a inexperienced glimmering strap drawing itself over the evening sky.

I cease respiration!

I’m so grateful for this dream coming true. The sunshine will get larger, disappears and comes again once more. I’ve no phrases for it, however I attempt to seize this second. After all, the pictures are far-off from actuality, however see for yourself.

 

On Sunday, it’s our “backside left nook tour day”.

We drive alongside the so known as Golden Circle and begin with the Þingvellir Nationwide Park. The park is situated about 50km north east of Reykjavik on a plateau. The nationwide park of Þingvellir encompasses 27km² and was declared in 1928. Right now it’s the oldest certainly one of Iceland. The continental drift between the North American and Eurasian plates might be clearly seen within the cracks or faults which traverse the area. The largest one is Almannagjá, a veritable canyon. This additionally causes the often-measurable earthquakes within the space.

Þingvellir is a former place the place in historic occasions moots the place held. The Alþingi (meeting) at Þingvellir was Iceland’s supreme legislative and judicial authority from its institution in 930 till 1271. The Lögberg (Regulation Rock) was the focus of the Alþingi and a pure platform for holding speeches. The Lawspeaker, elected for 3 years at a time, presided over the meeting and recited the legislation of the land.

Earlier than the legislation was written down, he was anticipated to recite it from reminiscence (what number of legal guidelines might there have been?) on the Lögberg over the course of three summers together with the whole meeting procedures each summer time.

Inauguration and dissolution of the meeting passed off on the Lögberg, the place rulings made by the Regulation Council had been introduced, the calendar was confirmed, authorized actions had been introduced and different bulletins made which involved your complete nation. Anybody attending the meeting was entitled to current his case on necessary points from the Lögberg.

 

Subsequent en route, after driving by means of beautiful lovely sceneries with lakes and even a bit forest (they’re laborious to seek out) is Geysir. The Nice Geysir, or Stori-Geysir, has been dormant since 1916 when it all of the sudden ceased to spout. It got here to life solely as soon as in 1935, and as shortly went again to sleep.  

Since then its repose has sporadically been disturbed by the dumping of tonnes of carbolic cleaning soap powder into its seething orifice so as to tickle it to spout.

It isn’t precisely recognized when Geysir was created. It’s believed that it got here into existence across the finish of the 13th century when a sequence of sturdy earthquakes, accompanied by a devastating eruption of Mt. Hekla, hit Haukadalur, the geothermal valley the place Geysir is situated.

What is thought is that it spouted repeatedly each third hour or so as much as the start of the 19th century and thereafter progressively at for much longer intervals till it fully stopped in 1916. Whether or not its silence is everlasting or non permanent, nobody is aware of. When it was alive and capturing, it might thunderously blast a spectacular jet of superheated water and steam into the air as excessive as 60 to 80 metres in keeping with completely different sources. Its opening is 18 metres large and its chamber 20 metres deep.

 

The attraction of the world is now Strokkur (The Churn), one other geyser 100 metres south of the Nice Geysir, which erupts at common intervals each 6-10 minutes and its white column of boiling water can attain as excessive as 20-30 metres.

The entire space is a geothermal park sitting on high of an enormous boiling cauldron. Belching sulphurous mud pots of surprising colors, hissing steam vents, cold and hot springs, heat streams, and primitive crops can all be discovered right here. Do not be afraid, you’ll get used to the scent of sulphur.

Now, throughout winter it’s fascinating how the new water freezes seconds after it erupts from the bottom. The outcomes are bushes and branches lined with an icy coat.

Yet one more and ultimate spotlight of this journey is already ready in line: Gullfoss. In the event you seek for footage on the web, you might be already overwhelmed by its magnificence and it all of the sudden hops onto the “Prime three to do” in Iceland.

After we arrive on the close by car parking zone, we will already hear the water, however with out this sound you wouldn’t guess it’s there.

Gullfoss is within the river Hvítá, which has its origin within the glacier lake Hvítávatn at Lángjökull glacier about 40km north of Gullfoss. The glacial water is brownish, because it carries a number of sediments that the glacial ice has carved off the earth.

A couple of kilometer above the falls it turns sharply to the left and flows down into a large curved three-step staircase after which abruptly plunges in two levels (11m and 21m) right into a crevice 32m deep. The crevice, about 20m large, and a pair of.5 km in size, is at proper angles to the circulation of the river. The typical quantity of water working over this waterfall is 140 m³/s within the summertime and 80 m³/s within the wintertime.

Gullfoss is named the “Golden Falls”, since on a sunny day the water plunging down the staircase actually appears golden. To face at Gullfoss and wallow within the magnificence and the marvel of nature is an uplifting expertise.

Sigríður Tómasdóttir, the daughter of Tómas Tómasson who owned the waterfall within the first half of the 20th century will need to have felt the identical. She lived at a farm close by and beloved Gullfoss as nobody else. At this time period a lot hypothesis about utilizing Gullfoss to harness electrical energy was happening. Overseas traders who rented Gullfoss not directly from the house owners needed to construct a hydroelectric powerplant, which might have modified and destroyed Gullfoss without end.

Because the story goes, we will be thankfull to Sigríður Tómasdóttir that we will nonetheless take pleasure in the fantastic thing about this waterfall, as a result of she was the one which protested so intensly in opposition to these plans by going as far to risk that she would throw herself into Gullfoss and therby kill herself. To make her risk believeable she went barefoot on a protest march from Gullfoss to Reykjavik. In these days the roads weren’t paved and when she arrived after 120 kilometers her ft had been bleeding and he or she was in very unhealthy form. The folks believed her and listened and the powerplant at Gullfoss was by no means constructed.

See, you simply have to like Iceland for its fantastic fairy tales.

 

Throughout our final dinner we recall the previous (solely 2) days.

It’s unbelievable, what number of superb issues we’ve got seen!

Sights of which some may assume they are going to by no means see in life.

Oh beautiful world of travelling, you’re the greatest medication and make every thing really feel so proper, that there’s just one feeling left:

Happiness!

 

Journey Diary shared by Landmeedchen
www.landmeedchen.com

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