Gleðileg Jól (Merry Christmas) from Iceland
Happy New Year Readers!
Dan and I traveled to Reykjavik for Christmas and to London and Winchester for New Years. It was an amazing trip and we are so grateful we were able to enjoy such a fun adventure together.
Icelanders are very into the Christmas spirit and have 13 Yule Lads that are goblins who come down from the Mountains in the 13 days preceding Christmas and leave presents in the children's shoes (if they're good or rotten potatoes if they're not). The Yule Lads themselves are a bit mischievous and have funny names such as: sausage-stealer, window-peeper and the one who arrived the same day as us:
|Ketrokur or Meat-Hook who steals meat with his hook|
|Can you find the hiding Yule Lad?|
|Dan in front of the Blue Lagoon|
We stayed at a cozy apartment in downtown Reykjavik that was on the main street and walking distance to museums, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and shopping. On Christmas Eve we took a Golden Circle Bus tour through the beautiful countryside. Our first stop was to see the original Geysir where the word "geyser" comes from. This particular geysir has been dormant for a while but when it goes off it shoots about 300 feet in the air. There is a nearby smaller geyser that goes off every 5-7 minutes. Dan shot a video of it here:
It was beautiful while we were at the geysers as the sun was just coming up for the day.
|Sunrise around 11:00 am in wintry Iceland|
|The Original Geysir|
We capped off our Golden Circle tour with a trip to Thingvellir National Park to see the Mid-Atlantic Ridge where you can see where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are drifting apart. We did a nice bit of exploring there and enjoyed the beautiful wintry scenery
|Hiking along the Tectonic Plates|
As we headed back into the city our lovely tour guide led the bus in a carol of Silent Night as Christmas Eve is the very special night in Iceland. Their tradition is they all eat dinner at 6 pm when the church bells toll and then open presents after their feasts. We exchanged our stocking stuffers after we ate our meal that night too.