The greenest and cleanest world capital is Iceland’s beautiful city by the sea. We spent two days at port and enjoyed every minute.
Day One found Randy, Melisa, Kathy and myself on a private 13 hour tour of some of Iceland’s most iconic natural wonders. We saw mighty geysers; boiling and spitting mud in the ground; roaring and rolling waterfalls; green moss-lined landscapes and mountains; glaciers; fields of steam rising from deep within the earth; and valleys formed by glaciers/earthquakes/volcanoes. We walked in a ravine (the only place on the earth where this is possible) with the Eurasian tectonic plate to our left and the American tectonic plate to our right (we could reach out and touch each), realizing that should there be an earthquake we would be “squashed like a Junebug at a summer evening cook out”. We weren’t. We viewed the Blue Lagoon, created by waste from the nearby hydroelectric plant. Beautiful. Our guide, however, encouraged us to swim in the Secret Lagoon, the oldest mineral swim lagoon in Iceland. Lined with volcanic rock and filled with 98*F rich and natural mineral water that came from the boiling 212*F water spouts all around us, we hoped that the cold glacier water that was combined with the super hot volcanic water would keep flowing. The ambiance was exceptional—steam rising from the hot earth, geysers shooting upwards and cavities filled with loud boiling water, and we were there, floating in a lagoon cavity in the earth in the middle of it all. Randy and I made up a story to tell the ladies—I had to be the teller—that the smooth rocks on the bottom of the lagoon were filled with minerals and if you rubbed your face and body with them they would healthfully be absorbed. It ‘twas quite a sight to behold as “they took the bait hook, line and sinker.”
We walked on volcanoes—“who knows when it will blow,” said the guide. Later, we saw a broad white steepled Lutheran Church in the rolling, green countryside. We asked the guide to drive to it. What a blessing! Not only was the church and setting wonderful, but inside a large choir was singing from the altar area, and we became the audience. How grand! The choir was made up of organ students from Iceland and Norway. At the conclusion, I introduced myself to the pastor of the church, and he introduced me to dignitaries from the Icelandic Church and to the Lutheran Bishop of Norway, who also happened to be the conductor of the choir. It was a taste of heaven in this majestic land!
Day Two was Reykjavik. Randy had a mid-morning dental appointment to replace a partial that had broken on our trip. Melisa said the experience was amazing—clean, modern, fast, efficient. Then, we all met up at Reykjavik’s majestic Lutheran Cathedral, the Hallgrimskirkja. Constructed of white concrete, and with a soaring broad steeple, it is the iconic symbol of the city. We enjoyed viewing the beautiful pipe organ, and a soloist sang from the altar so that those inside could appreciate the fine acoustics of a solid and huge concrete structure.
The Norwegian Jade left port early today, and now we sail further north along the Icelandic coast. This island is filled with rugged natural beauty. We are thankful for the blessing of experiencing it. WEG