Tag Archives: Reykjavik

4-5 September 2019:
Reykjavik, Iceland to the New World:
Crossing the Atlantic, Part 2

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We arrived 4 September in Reykjavik, the capital of the island nation of Iceland.

Strokkur geyser near Reykjavik. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved

To those guests leaving us here, safe travels. And welcome aboard to new friends.

We went this morning to visit the country’s newest man-made attraction, FlyOver Iceland, which opened last week near downtown. It is a spectacular simulation of a helicopter (or hang glider) tour of Iceland.

Although I have been to Iceland many times, there are still many, many truly amazing places that are all-but-inaccessible. Hanging waterfalls, sulfur-dusted volcanoes, hidden valleys, glaciers, and snowfields. Oh, and puffins.

Visitors to the attraction sit in theater-like seats–with a seat belt–that move into the 20-meter (66-foot) spherical screen and then rise, descend, twist, turn, and tilt with the scenery.

This is state-of-the-art entertainment in every sense. We are still soaring…

FlyOver Iceland
A scene from FlyOver Iceland

Onward to Canada (with a Detour to France)

The previous cruise began in London, and we leave from Iceland to complete our transatlantic crossing. Ahead of us, after three days at sea, our first landfall will be in St. John’s, Newfoundland which is often cited as the nearest part of North America to Europe. It’s close enough.

From there–and stay with me here–we make a brief visit to France. That is, we are scheduled to stop at the remote island St-Pierre in the St-Pierre and Miquelon islands. These rocky places are all that remains of New France in what is now Canada. France has held on to them through some very thin years; today there is a bit of tourism to see a bit of history and for some guests a way to check off another place on their bucket list.

From New France we head into French Canada, with stops in the Province of Quebec at Havre-St.-Pierre, Sept-Îles, Saguenay, and then resplendent Quebec City and cosmopolitan Montreal.

Here’s our plan:

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

31 July 2019:
Reykjavik, Iceland:
Back on the Island

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Welcome aboard.

We are back on Silver Wind for a series of loops that will begin in Iceland, which is an anglicized version of the Icelandic name, Island.

There is ice in Iceland, up in the glaciers and snowfields year-round and most everywhere in winter. But in summer, it is a very green, very large island, the second largest island of Europe after Great Britain.

It is also a hot place, in places. At the place called Geysir–the source of the word geyser–people come from around the world to wait for eruption of a plume of water. Elsewhere on the island of Iceland, people wait for or watch for or hope to avoid the fairly regular eruptions of the many significant volcanoes.

A bit less dramatic, but an easy close-up thrill, is a visit to Geysir to see the geysers. They burst forth every few minutes, starting with a little burp and then rising to a hot fountain. Each time is slightly different from the one before, and so we all stand there for a few dozen episodes.

We leave the capital city of Reykjavik tonight and make three stops along the coast of Iceland before heading east on our tour of islands to visit Torshavn in the Faroe Islands, then Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, and then to the United Kingdom to visit Edinburgh, Scotland.

The last scheduled port of call on this cruise is London, and we are due to arrive late at night at the capital city and sail through the Tower Bridge.

I hope you’ll join me here. Here’s our plan:

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

4-5 July 2018:
Reykjavik, Iceland:
A Hot Place with a Cold Name

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We have made it to the always surprising city of Reykjavik, the capital of the island nation of Iceland.

Iceland is a hot place with what seems like a cold name.

To those guests leaving us here in the middle of the North Atlantic, I wish you safe travels until we meet again. To those joining us, welcome aboard.

We’re going to make a circle of the Ring Road, by ship, and then onward to the Shetland and Orkney islands, then eventually back to London.

Here’s our plan for the next voyage:

When we arrived, I went on a tour with guests on the Golden Circle, a tour that includes samples of much of the wonders of Iceland. The sun broke through as we arrived at Geysir, the source of the word geyser.

Here is some of what we saw:

All photos by Corey Sandler, 2018. All rights reserved.

Let’s get something out of the way right at the start: Iceland in the English sense is a misunderstanding of the Icelandic name of the country.

The proper name of the place is Ísland, which does not mean a land covered with ice. It simply means “Island.”

I said Iceland is hot. There are hot springs and geysers, many active volcanoes, and lava fields cover much of the land.

And when it does get cold, the majority of the nation’s heating comes from geothermal sources, piped hot water that directly or indirectly heats homes and buildings.

Why is Iceland hot?

In Geologic terms, it sits directly on the rift between the Eurasian and North American plates. Half the country is heading east and the other wants to go west.

The Mid-Atlantic Ridge moves about 2.5 centimeters or 1 inch per year; that doesn’t sound like much but we’re talking about a huge amount of rock pushing and grinding almost constantly.

The hotspot in that plume funnels hot stuff from the interior of the planet, which formed the island about 16 to 18 million years ago.

Iceland has 30 active volcanic systems, of which 13 have erupted since the settlement of Iceland in 874.

The combination of the plume and the moving plates brings volcanos, hot springs, geysers…and tourists.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

19 September 2013 Reykjavik, Iceland

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND: A WILD RIDE TO THE MOON

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We arrived in Reykjavik on Wednesday night, more than 12 hours late. It wasn’t a traffic jam that held us up, but rather a pretty fierce ocean storm between the northern reaches of the United Kingdom and Iceland.

While we were in Belfast, with plans to move out the next night to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, our very capable and cautious captain Angelo Corsaro wore a ridge in his worry beads. There was a storm, with huge swells and high winds, heading our way.

The decision was to stay overnight in Belfast and delay our departure before heading west toward Iceland. Doing that would give us the chance to come below the heart of the storm and miss its worst effects. It also meant we would have to skip our call at Stornoway, which was a shame: I had planned on shopping for a replacement for my 20-year-old Harris Tweed jacket at the looms there.

The plan worked, but we can only imagine how bad it would have been if we had attempted to stay on schedule. We traveled for two days in an extra-tropical hurricane—the remnants of Humberto—that spread in a spiral more than a thousand miles across.

Barometic pressure dropped below 960 hectopascals; that’s way low. And that low pressure engendered high winds of as much as 95 kilometers or 55 miles per hours. Wave heights were as much as 30 to 35 feet.

That said, Silver Whisper acquitted herself very well. The stabilizers stabilized most of the roll and our navigational plan reduced much of the pitch from bow to stern. But it was a noisy, somewhat bumpy ride.

Throw things at me if you will, but I am one of the horrible people who actually enjoys the feeling of motion on a ship.  Excuse me while I duck the plate someone just threw at me.

Most of our guests managed quite well, and I gave three lectures during the storm. The guests in the theatre were nicely seated; I was the one sliding to and fro on the stage.

ARRIVAL IN REYKJAVIK

What do you do if you get lost in a forest in Iceland? Stand up.

That’s a local joke in and around Reykjavik, which—to be charitable—is not the most green place on the planet. Green as in trees, that is. When it comes to sustainable energy, they’re way beyond Green.

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Hot springs and fumaroles just outside of the capital city of Reykjavik on the Erykjanes Peninsula. Photos by Corey Sandler

We’ve been to Reykjavik many times. It is one of our favorite places because of the spectacular landscape. In and around the capital city is mostly a lunar landscape, but the rest of the island includes green meadows, huge icefields and glaciers, waterfalls, and rocky coasts.

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A hot spring and a hot geothermal plant. Photos by Corey Sandler

The weather, though, is always challenging.

When we arrived Wednesday night we were heartened by the fact that the sky was clear. There was a hunt of the Northern Lights, obscured by the artificial lights of the city.

But when we awoke Thursday, we were back in the rain. A cold rain. In places just a few degrees above the point where we would have been in a snowstorm.

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Climbing a (small) volcano for a peek within. Photos by Corey Sandler

Before I met guests on our tour, I spoke with a local, asking for the forecast. What a shame, she said, it has only rained here twice this summer. She took a beat, and then continued: once for 20 days, and the next time for 40.

So we dealt with the rain but still had a glorious time at hot springs, hot geysers, and lava all around.

At the hot springs there is a distinct odor of sulphur in the air. The Icelanders, of course, have an explanation: the hot water they use to heat their homes and fill their tubs comes second-hand, they say. The trolls have already bathed in it, which accounts for the odor.

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Iceland is split down the middle by a fissure, one side moving toward Europe the other toward the United States. Insert your own political commentary here. At this bridge, we walked from one continent to the other, at least as defined by geographers. Photos by Corey Sandler

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Love Locks again, on the bridge between the continents. Photo by Corey Sandler

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Inside the Pearl, a huge storage tank for geothermal water in Reykjavik. There’s a gift shop, too. Photos by Corey Sandler

The solution, I learned, is to hire ourselves a magician to clear the skies ahead of us as we head out tonight for Greenland. When Icelanders refer to a magician or a wizard, they speak of someone who “knows beyond his nose.”

Presumably that means brimstone and sulphur is not involved.

All photos copyright 2013, Corey Sandler. If you would like a copy please contact me through the Order a Print tab on this blog.