After breakfast and lots of complaining by the women about lack of hairdryers at Hotel Hella, we were off again in the rain. Our first stop was at an overlook for some fantastic waterfalls on the longest river in Iceland. The energy once again of the water was wonderful and helped to wake us up and refresh us. Neither Larry nor I got a good night's sleep.
The drive between stops was long on our way back to Reykjavik. Next we enjoyed a very interesting visit to the ON Geothermal Power Plant. Iceland uses 90% geothermal to heat its homes, businesses and water. We took a look at the turbines and the engine room. Then we watched two very informative and interesting videos about geothermal energy in Iceland and new projects by the company to reinject unused gases back into the basalt rock. A young woman lectured us about the history of geothermal energy in Iceland and it was very informative. The souvenir shopping was also very successful. I bought herbs, jams and silica for my osteo issues.
|Marco and Eythor
|Model of a turbine
We then visited a Lutheran church on the highest point in Reykjavik. The architecture was very interesting and unique. Inside the church had beautiful artwork and a huge sanctuary. It was just lovely with very large organ pipes on the back wall.
Our FossHotel Reykjavik was another nice and contemporary hotel. We had a very comfortable room and got two hours twenty minutes to shower, rest and get ready for the best meal experience of the trip.
|Our last supper.
The next morning we were on our own after breakfast. Larry and I went for a walk along the water. Our goal was to go to the Viking museum, but my foot was really bothering me. Along the way, we met Teresa and Harry Cavanaugh from Mayo, Ireland. Teresa was taking a picture and Larry thought she was taking a selfie. He offered to take it for her, but she told us she was fine. We chatted, and shared our stories. I told her of going to Ireland a month before and my experience. She said her husband, a Dublin man, did the same thing recently. We chatted like old friends. She introduced us to Harry who took a picture of me and Larry in front of a sculpture that looked like a Viking ship. When we parted, we kissed and hugged like we'd know each other all our lives. She said to me, "You really have a lot of Irish in you. You are so friendly!"
Later, Larry and I were in the Music Hall which Hellman said had the best souvenir shop in the city. The building was huge uneven cubes of glass panels that lit up at night. It was pink for breast cancer awareness while we were there. While we browsed the shop, I looked up to see Teresa and Harry waving like maniacs through the window with huge wide grins on their faces. They were so cute!
|A yard in the city.
|Music Hall at night
All in all, we had a marvelous trip and would highly recommend it to anyone. We learned a lot about Iceland and its history. We learned that people mostly are Lutherans, but don't go to church much anymore. There is no Santa Claus, but a tale about thirteen trolls. If a child has been good (s)he leaves a shoe on the window sill and gets a gift. If they have been bad, they get a potato. The government owns all the power plants and public lands. There is universal healthcare but fees are paid for emergency room care, for example. Day care for children is free. The income tax is from 36%-42% and property taxes are about 28%.
A geothermal hot tub was first used in the year 1200. It was considered evil before that. It was brought indoors for the first time in 1930. Now 95% of homes and businesses use it. There is a 3,000km pipeline under Reykjavik to bring geothermal power to the city. Many city streets and sidewalks are heated. The tap water is delicious. There is no military and they have a three-ship Navy. Their language is the same as the Vikings. Advanced education is received in Denmark or the United States. The arctic fox is the only wild animal. We saw an earthworm and a regular worm in the wild. There are birds, sheep, cows and horses. We saw five dogs and two cats in six days. Hydroelectric power is also used. Renewable energy abounds. Recycling is rampant. Everywhere we went was clean and the people were friendly. Reykjavik is the only city on the island. It is quaint, yet sophisticated. The rest of the island is comprised of open space and remote farms. It is a beautiful place and we are glad we went. We never saw Northern Lights.
Thanks for reading.