Days 140 – 143 Hvergerdi to Reykjavik

We have just spent a wonderful four days with Thomas and Katy. It was lovely to see them again, particularly so since this was the first time we had seen them since they got engaged. They had told us the news by Facetime some weeks ago, whilst we were sitting in St. Marks Square in Venice. It had seemed a very apt place to find out – such a romantic setting, and it had given us a good excuse to celebrate. So to meet them off the plane from Glasgow was especially exciting for us, and to welcome Katy into the family, so to speak.

The first two days of their trip we based ourselves out in the countryside, near Hekla. We hit the tourist trail, and did part of the Golden Circle with them, visiting Gulfoss waterfall and Geysir.  We also returned to the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. This time there was no chickening out – Howard, Thomas and Katy decided that they would walk behind the waterfall. I was put on photographic duty. So, kitted out in waterproofs, they took the narrow path behind the roaring waterfall. By all accounts it was a very wet experience, but they seemed to enjoy themselves.

Yesterday we headed off to the Reykajanes Peninsula, to visit one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland, the Blue Lagoon. Not seeing the great appeal of sitting in the effluent from a power station, I opted to watch from the side, whilst the three of them plunged themselves into the milky blue waters and cover their faces in mud. It was a hilarious sight, but I must say they embraced it with gusto.

Driving back to Reykjavik later that day, they all claimed that their skin felt softer, so maybe I should have joined in too. However, having ‘people-watched’ at the side of the lagoon, I was of the distinct opinion that there were bodies in there that I did not want to share my bath-time with!

We have spent the last day and a half in Reykjavik, the capital. It has happened to coincide with the Reykjavik Festival, so there has been plenty going on in the city, including parades, live music and a cycle race. Yesterday was a gorgeous evening, and we definitely saw the city at it’s best. The city’s landmark buildings, the Cathedral and the glass covered Concert Hall looked wonderful in the evening light. Today was cloudier, but dry nonetheless, and we had a lovely day just exploring the sights. One of the highlights for me was a visit to the Museum of Photography, which was hosting a splendid exhibition by a German photographer on photographs of the icy landscapes of Iceland and Greenland.

The highlight for Howard and Thomas was undoubtedly the ‘Saga Museum’, where they got to dress up as Vikings – such kids! That was closely followed by a visit to one of Reykjavik’s Microbreweries for a tasting of their ale. I made the error of trying one of their small batch gins. I hadn’t realised that it was ‘Navy strength’ – it was so strong I had to buy more tonic to make it vaguely drinkable.

So all in all, we have had a lovely time with the ‘children’. They leave early tomorrow morning, and then we have a very long drive eastwards, to get back on course for our ferry. It is hard to think that it is likely the next time we see them, they will be in Australia. But that is many months away, and before that, we have many other places to visit on our trip around Europe.

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