Sunday 18th March 2001

Friday Saturday Sunday Monday

Arise for a 9.00am breakfast. 

Jenny switched to European time as she is to fly directly to Copenhagen: we all get an early morning wake up call from Jenny wondering why nobody is about.

The weather is brighter than yesterday - so it's a day to be outside. Today we attack the south west of Iceland.

Blue Lagoon

Blue LagoonJennyThis is a popular tourist attraction. The bathing pools are supplied by the nearby geothermal power station. 

"Bathing pool" sounds a bit frumpy, by they're not swimming pools. The lagoon is about 4ft deep, with a curious black sand at the bottom. The water is amazingly salty, warm, if fact almost too hot!

A path is being constructed with 3/4" plastic pipe running underneath. This will be heated with the readily available hot water to keep the path clear of ice.

 

BathersBathersClever electronic tags operate lockers and allow access to the changing rooms. 

In Nordic style, everybody changes together, one room for girls, one for boys. 

Tip: Bring shampoo with you! Otherwise your hair will be really matted when you leave!

South West Iceland - Reykjanes Peninsula

GrindavikBay on south coastWe take the main road running along the south coast.  The road soon degrades to a gravel track as it follows the coast. 

Rick is driving today - this is the first time he has driven on the right.  He's soon totally as ease and Mr Rally Man enjoys hacking along the gravel roads. Yes sad, I know. A 1.4 litre car weighed down with 4 adults isn't fast - but it was fun.

 
MountainsWe see distant mountains from the car. They are so similar to the strange volcanic lumps I saw in South India, except there's more snow here.

Reykjavik

We shop at a local store in outskirts of the capital. Souvenirs and gifts are bought. Dried fish for me.

Bernie is bitterly disappointed in the range of high efficiency electronic ballast lamps.

Jenny's car now has a healthy encrustation of mud. We used those cars!

We drive on, snacking on a mixture of dates, dried fish, and banana.

Telecom Museum

This no longer exists. We find the building. Its assets have been stripped.  Empty, deserted. Jenny remarked "They called in the receivers!" We groan.

Pearl

PearlReykjavikThe Pearl or Perlan  is a geothermal heat store. 

70 bore holes keep Reykjavik supplied with hot water. The deepest one is 3km. Some of the water extracted at the bore holes is in excess of 200C. The tanks store 4 million litres at 85 C.

Water storage tanks are 61 m A.S.L. 

There is a restaurant complete with revolving floor, and a meeting hall for 200 guests.  

The panorama from the top splendidly clear. Why is Reykjavik so clean? No coal fires - all heating is from geothermal energy.

Evening Swim

Jenny Jennifer Jack and I take a swim at a pool 5 minutes from the hotel. The main pool is a Olympic sized, with lounging and play pools along side. There's no chlorine! The water's clear and eyes don't sting!

Getting into the pool is an experience. You walk outside, 4C, near naked. That's cold! However, the water is really warm. 

The open air swimming reminded me of Key West,  but the air here is colder and no one is serving drinks.

Evening Meal

We all regroup and have a Mexican meal at Amigo's in Reykjavik. Over nachos and enchilada we plan this evening's Aurora hunt. Jennifer and Jack will rest early to leave the rest of us to explore. We decide on a place 10 km south of Reykjavik, clear of mountains and lights.

Rick kindly pays, two nights on the trot!  He says he's happy to - and we're happy that he's happy to!

We plan to head out at 23:00 so any twilight would have disappeared, so once more to the Hotel bar...

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