Day 99 July 25

Countries 14    Hotels 44    Cars 76

Flights 28:flying time 81.24 hours

Rickshaw 4    Bus 13    Elephant 1    Boat 14

Cog-wheel train 2    Cable car 8    Subway 8    Ferry 2

Minibus 37    Coach 2    Catamaran 1    Funicular 3

Pick up truck 5    Land Cruiser 8    Hydrofoil 4

Llama 1    Cycle Taxi 1    Train 7    Motorised Canoe 9

Canoe 2    Sightseeing truck 1    Sightseeing bus 10

Golf cart taxi 2


This week is going to be very different from the rest of my trip, I’m here to spend time with friends, so I’m not doing any sightseeing, although just taking in the scenery here while being driven around could be considered as such.  This is a beautiful, tranquil part of the world and it’s good to get into the rhythm of the place by just chilling, in these surroundings.

Apart from a trip to the supermarket, I have spent most of today updating this as I didn’t have time to do it in Iceland, we packed so much into our days. The day ended with chatting, eating and drinking with friends, fabulous!

 

Day 98 July 24

Countries 14    Hotels 44    Cars 74

Flights 28:flying time 81.24 hours

Rickshaw 4    Bus 13    Elephant 1    Boat 14

Cog-wheel train 2    Cable car 8    Subway 8    Ferry 2

Minibus 37    Coach 2    Catamaran 1    Funicular 3

Pick up truck 5    Land Cruiser 8    Hydrofoil 4

Llama 1    Cycle Taxi 1    Train 7    Motorised Canoe 9

Canoe 2    Sightseeing truck 1    Sightseeing bus 10

Golf cart taxi 2


Early start to catch our train for our four hour journey to Brive  where Lucy was waiting to collect us for the drive to Saillac. We are staying in their gite for a few days.  They had friends over for dinner and we got rather tipsy, it was a lovely start to the week, sunshine, good company, great food,  lots of fizzy and this rather splendid view.

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Day 97 July 23

Countries 14    Hotels 44    Cars 73

Flights 28:flying time 81.24 hours

Rickshaw 4    Bus 13    Elephant 1    Boat 14

Cog-wheel train 2    Cable car 8    Subway 8    Ferry 2

Minibus 37    Coach 2    Catamaran 1    Funicular 3

Pick up truck 5    Land Cruiser 8    Hydrofoil 4

Llama 1    Cycle Taxi 1    Train 6    Motorised Canoe 9

Canoe 2    Sightseeing truck 1    Sightseeing bus 10

Golf cart taxi 2


After a late start this morning we spent the day mooching around Paris.  Even though we have both been here several times I still took some photos, Paris has beautiful buildings.

We interrupted our mooching with coffees, sorbet and lunch. We went into a department store, to get a gift for a friend, it provided great views over the city and this rather ornate domed ceiling.

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We had a stroll along the Seine where we managed to get a cooling breeze to give us some respite from the heat of the pavements.

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I took rather a lot of photos of Notre Dame,

then we had a late supper near the hotel. And that was Paris.

Day 96 July 22

Countries 14    Hotels 44    Cars 73

Flights 28:flying time 81.24 hours

Rickshaw 4    Bus 13    Elephant 1    Boat 14

Cog-wheel train 2    Cable car 8    Subway 8    Ferry 2

Minibus 37    Coach 2    Catamaran 1    Funicular 3

Pick up truck 5    Land Cruiser 8    Hydrofoil 4

Llama 1    Cycle Taxi 1    Train 6    Motorised Canoe 9

Canoe 2    Sightseeing truck 1    Sightseeing bus 10

Golf cart taxi 2


Our last day in Iceland, after breakfast we went to the Volcano Museum. It sounds really boring, however there were examples of volcanic rocks, photos of volcanos erupting  and we watched a film about volcanic activity on the island.  There was also some stunning aerial footage of Iceland. We drove to the airport for our afternoon flight to Paris. We arrived in Paris around 9 pm, caught the train to the hotel, freshened up and went out. We did some cultural research in the form of cocktail sampling, got quite tipsy and went dancing until 4am, welcome to Paris.

Day 95 July 21

Countries 13    Hotels 43    Cars 70

Flights 27:flying time 78.24 hours

Rickshaw 4    Bus 13    Elephant 1    Boat 14

Cog-wheel train 2    Cable car 8    Subway 8    Ferry 2

Minibus 37    Coach 2    Catamaran 1    Funicular 3

Pick up truck 5    Land Cruiser 8    Hydrofoil 4

Llama 1    Cycle Taxi 1    Train 5    Motorised Canoe 9

Canoe 2    Sightseeing truck 1    Sightseeing bus 10

Golf cart taxi 2


This morning after breakfast we set off for a five hour drive to see an iceberg lake, with stops on the way to break the journey up. The weather wasn’t that great and  we often drove through rain. Katla UNESCO Global Geopark covers nine percent of Iceland, 9542 square kilometres. Characterised by active ice-capped central volcanoes, black sand from glacial outbursts and lava fields, the diverse and frequent activity changes the landscape, and we certainly saw a diverse range of landscapes on our drive.  Our first stop, after about ninety minutes of driving, was Seljalandsfoss Waterfall.  Sixty meters high with a footpath leading behind it that we walked along.

Thirty minutes later and we were at Skogafoss Waterfall, just as good as Seljalandsfoss but because we could walk behind the first waterfall we liked that one more.

Next Solheimajokull Glacier which flows south of Myrdalsjokull glacier in a u shaped valley. It is about eight kilometres long and between one and two kilometres wide. The glacier advanced about 900 meters during the last few centuries, however it has retreated significantly during the period  1930 to 1964. It was quite odd as the ice was full of volcanic ash, so was black and white, I thought it looked like a pencil drawing.

Dyrholaey is where a sheer headland rises 120 meters out of the sea, it overlooks a beautiful, black, sandy beach. Here we saw puffins nesting on the rocks, it was difficult to get a shot of the puffins with my little camera, however you can make them out on these photos. The beach was stunning.

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We then drove through Vatnajokull National Park,  which covers fourteen percent of Iceland. Few places in the world exhibit such a wide range of natural phenomena, and the park contains the worlds largest  glacier, outside of the artic regions. The scenery  does constantly change: from pastures where sheep and horses graze; to cliffs dotted with waterfalls; to smoke like steam, rising from geothermal areas; to swathes of barren, black gravel; areas of lava rocks; and glaciers. We also drove through residential areas too.

In 1783 a huge lava flow streamed from Lakagigar, in what is believed to be one of the greatest lava flows, in a single eruption, in history. We drove through Eldraun, moss covered lava fields, where thick woolly finger moss, green in the rain, grey when dry, covers the lava field and looks like green velvet. It has taken two hundred years to grow and one human step on this delicate moss could take a decade to grow back.  There wasn’t anywhere suitable to stop and take photos.

Our final stop was due to be  Jokulsarion, however we stopped off at another iceberg lake called Fjallsarlon, when we saw the sign. Fjallsarlon is a glacier lagoon complex just west of Jokulsarion. Fjallsarlon has no direct access to the ocean and the lagoon extends a short way to the glacier shelf. It also provided great views of the glacier.

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We got to our last stop, Jokulsarion, just before 6pm, and although the glacier was quite far away and so difficult to get a good photo, the lagoon was full of icebergs. This same area was covered in ice in 1932. The lagoon, about twenty square kilometres in size, flows into the sea, and so the icebergs get grounded in the shallows and sit there until they melt and are small enough to float away under the bridge and out to sea. We walked along the black sand of the waters edge, around the lagoon.

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We saw a seal, seals come into the lagoon hunting for fish, as there are many species of fish here, and to sleep on the ice. In winter there can be hundreds of seals here, we only saw one today. We left the lagoon around 6.30 and stopped on the way back to the hotel, for supper, we got back to the hotel at midnight, very tired. A brilliant last full day in Iceland.

 

 

 

Day 94 July 20

Countries 13    Hotels 43    Cars 67

Flights 27:flying time 78.24 hours

Rickshaw 4    Bus 13    Elephant 1    Boat 14

Cog-wheel train 2    Cable car 8    Subway 8    Ferry 2

Minibus 37    Coach 2    Catamaran 1    Funicular 3

Pick up truck 5    Land Cruiser 8    Hydrofoil 4

Llama 1    Cycle Taxi 1    Train 5    Motorised Canoe 9

Canoe 2    Sightseeing truck 1    Sightseeing bus 10

Golf cart taxi 2


Today we went to the Blue Lagoon. We spent about an hour in the water, covered ourselves in goo, had a drink at the bar and that was it really.  It was a bit disappointing, very touristy, lots of people in the changing rooms which was very stressful, we think we would have had a better experience at one of the local, public, thermal pools, than here.

We drove back to the city centre for dinner, had a walk around the harbour, popped into Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre, the outside of the building is designed to look like fish scales,  and then we went whale watching.

This was another very touristy thing for us, with lots of people on the boat, however the weather was good, the sea was calm and we did see whales. We saw a couple of humpback whales, one seemed to be showing off and did lots of fin flapping and diving.  They were difficult to photograph with my little camera phone, however I did mange to get a couple of shots of fins, and the tail as the whale dived.

There was a beautiful sunset as the boat headed back to the port at around midnight. Reykjavik means smoky creek or town.

Day 93 July 19

Countries 13    Hotels 43    Cars 64

Flights 27:flying time 78.24 hours

Rickshaw 4    Bus 13    Elephant 1    Boat 14

Cog-wheel train 2    Cable car 8    Subway 8    Ferry 2

Minibus 37    Coach 2    Catamaran 1    Funicular 3

Pick up truck 5    Land Cruiser 8    Hydrofoil 4

Llama 1    Cycle Taxi 1    Train 5    Motorised Canoe 9

Canoe 2    Sightseeing truck 1    Sightseeing bus 10

Golf cart taxi 2


We went on what is called the Golden Circle tour today.  Erol is doing all the driving, I am the navigator, my map reading skills are non existent, so I do a lot of pointing and saying ‘straight on’, or ‘isn’t that a lovely view’, or ‘it says road 33’ and then Erol  says, ‘are you sure’ and I say ‘yes that’s what it states here’, and this is how we got to all the places on our itinerary today, such fun. On the way to our first stop, we stopped here to admire the view.

The first stop was Pingvellir National Park, we got attacked by flies when we got out of the car, quite horrid, had a sort walk up to a small waterfall admired the view and then went back to the car for our next stop.

Sixty kilometres away from the Park is a geothermal area where two famous geysers are, Geysir and Strokkur.  Strokkur didn’t do anything but Geysir shot water about 100 meters into the air every few minutes.

 

Gullfosss waterfall was our next destination, we got a bit damp walking up to see the falls and take photos.

We walked down to the bottom of this extinct volcano,  we hadn’t been inside a volcano before.

On our travels today we got held up by a herd of horses being rounded up and guided into a pen, and saw what we thought could be a glacier but as it was so far away we couldn’t be sure.  When we got back to the city centre we checked with the tourist information person and she confirmed it was Langjokull glacier. These photos aren’t great because it was so far away, but it gives an idea of how huge the glacial area is.

Day 92 18 July

Countries 13    Hotels 43    Cars 60

Flights 27:flying time 78.24 hours

Rickshaw 4    Bus 13    Elephant 1    Boat 14

Cog-wheel train 2    Cable car 8    Subway 8    Ferry 2

Minibus 37    Coach 2    Catamaran 1    Funicular 3

Pick up truck 5    Land Cruiser 8    Hydrofoil 4

Llama 1    Cycle Taxi 1    Train 5    Motorised Canoe 9

Canoe 2    Sightseeing truck 1    Sightseeing bus 10

Golf cart taxi 2


I landed at Reykjavik at 6.30 this morning and then waited for Erol, he arrived just after 9 then we had to wait for our car hire person to arrive.  Once we’d gone through all the form filling for our hire car  we got to the hotel around 11.30, too early to check in. We found somewhere near the hotel for an early lunch and then walked into the centre of the city for a guided walking tour.

The tour guide was interesting and quite funny and we picked up some facts about the country and it’s people.  All school children, both genders, from the age of 12 have to learn to knit and learn Danish, English is taught from age 6.  University education is free, the crime rate is very low, water and heating costs are minimal as the country makes the most of its geothermal location, and the population is just three hundred and fifty thousand. These are photos of what we saw on the tour.

We walked back to the hotel checked in freshened up and drove into the city centre, to go to the concrete cathedral.

we took the lift to the top for some great views of the city.

After the cathedral we found a good fish restaurant and had a lovely supper, we like Iceland.

Day 91 July 17

Countries 12    Hotels 42    Cars 56

Flights 27:flying time 83.14 hours

Rickshaw 4    Bus 13    Elephant 1    Boat 14

Cog-wheel train 2    Cable cars 8    Subway 8    Ferry 2

Minibus 37    Coach 2    Catamaran 1    Funicular 3

Pick up truck 5    Land Cruiser 8    Hydrofoil 4

Llama 1    Cycle Taxi 1    Train 5    Motorised Canoe 9

Canoe 2    Sightseeing truck 1    Sightseeing bus 10

Golf cart taxi 2


Had a late start today as didn’t get to bed until late last night.  Had a lovely place recommended for brunch, I forgot how big the portions are here, it was delicious. Being back in America reminds me of how much I like this country.

After brunch I walked to the esplanade along the Charles River, then decide to go to the Public gardens and park, where Bostonians were out enjoying the great weather. Boston is beautiful.

On the way back I took a couple of photos of the lovely residential streets here,

and some buildings,

then visited the public library.

Sadly that was it for Boston, beautiful, I love the vibe here, I’d like to come back.

Day 90 July 16

Countries 12    Hotels 42    Cars 56

Flights 26:flying time 73.24 hours

Rickshaws 4    Buses 12    Elephant 1    Boat 14

Cog-wheel train 2    Cable cars 8    Subway 8    Ferry 2

Minibus 37    Coach 2    Catamaran 1    Funicular 3

Pick up truck 5    Land Cruiser 8    Hydrofoil 4

Llama 1    Cycle Taxi 1    Train 5    Motorised Canoe 9

Canoe 2    Sightseeing truck 1    Sightseeing bus 10

Golf cart taxi 2


I spent most of today at airports. While I was wandering around the airport at Mexico City I noticed all the alcohol and perfume shops were shut.  When I asked about it  at the information booth the chap said it was because the owner had been money laundering through them, so they were all shut down.  The flight landed on time but it took nearly 90 minutes to get through immigration control, which seems to have had a makeover, the staff are usually quite abrupt and rude but they were very nice.  Can’t say the same for the chap checking to see if I had bought prohibited items with me, vile, quite vile.

My cab driver didn’t have any change so he only charged me twenty dollars for the cab, never had a cabbie let me off money in any country before! Hotel is a delight, right in the middle of Back Bay, very nice.  Even though it was quite late after I checked in, I went for supper, most of the restaurants serve until 11.30 here, I found a great Asian place with seating outside, and had prawn and mango salad, followed by lobster, and cocktails, which are the only photos I have of today so here they are.