Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We're home! Well, almost...






We arrived in New York City yesterday which means that we are back in our home country after being away for 5 months. It was very hard to get on the airplane in Iceland knowing that our trip was coming to an end. Both Shawn and I agree that it could have been longer. My Aunt Boogie and her husband Charles were here in New York to greet us though and we have had a lovely time with them. We even had a bed full of goodies when we got to their apartment: cupcakes, M&M's, jelly beans, and cheetos...all of the things that I missed while we were away. Then we got to eat Mexican food which we haven't had since Nepal and I have been craving! We have been eating the whole time which is great because we didn't get to eat much in Iceland. Tomorrow we leave for Colorado and our honeymoon trip around the world will be offically over. It's time to start planning for the next one!

Highland Games Iceland

videoShawn and I decided to be silly on our hike to the Arctic Circle so we pretended that we were in the Iceland Highland Games tree throwing competition. That is MUCH harder than I thought it would be. When Shawn was throwing and making it look easy, I thought he was using driftwood which is a bit lighter than regular wood. I was wrong. It is the heaviest wood ever. I think that he beat me! video

66 degrees North






video66 degrees North is the coordinate of the Arctic Circle. Before now, I had never been to the Arctic Circle or the Arctic Ocean. So, Shawn and I drove as far north as we could then we hiked the rest of the way to the northern
most part of Iceland which just touches the Arctic Circle. The water was freezing (although I was disappointed that we didn't see any icebergs) but we still went out there and touched it and threw rocks into it...Shawn made his skip, mine just fell in with a big kerplunk. Afterwards, at a hotel, they gave us certificates for hiking the the Arctic Circle! And, to top it off, Shawn got me a fun necklace as a good job present. I love presents!

Whale Watching






videoIn Husavik, Iceland, the thing to do is to go whale watching. So, Shawn and I bundled up and boarded a boat to cruise the Arctic Ocean looking for whales and dolphins. The name of the bay that we were in is called Shaky Bay because earthquakes happen there everyday. This bay sits between 2 continental plates...the North American plate and the European plate and when they rub together, earthquakes happen. We saw lots of dolphins and we even saw a mother with her baby. Dolphins have to come to the surface to breathe so the mom dolphin was teaching her baby dolphin how to do that. She would nudge him when it was time to come up and breathe. We also saw minke whales which have a dorsal fin like a dolphin but are much, much bigger! We got very cold out there on the Arctic Ocean so we got to wear these nice warm suits and drink hot chocolate and eat kleiner (Icelandic donuts!)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Glaciers










videoIceland has 3 main glaciers and then a few smaller ones. One is huge and takes up about a fourth of the island. It is called the Vatnajokull (jokull means glacier in Icelandic). Glaciers are made of ice and stay around all year long (even in the summer). We got to walk out on some of the glaciers with our regular shoes. Other glaciers require special equipment so that you do not get hurt. One of the glaciers in Western Iceland is said to have healing power and they thing it is a spot where aliens meet. What do you think? The glaciers on the south side of the island were pretty black when we were there though. This is because a volcano just erupted in Iceland a couple of months ago and there is ash everywhere. We also got to see the new lava fields and pick up some volcanic rocks that blew out!


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Friday, June 25, 2010

Icebergs










videoMy new favorite thing in Iceland is the icebergs. Parts of the galcier fall off into the lagoons in front of the mountains and they are beautiful! If you listen hard, you can hear the ice chunks breaking off and falling into the water. Some of the lagoons here flow right out into the ocean so boats beware!

Waterfalls















videoThere are waterfalls all over Iceland. These are caused by the melting of the many glaciers. If you own a TV you probably heard a lot about the volcano that went off in Iceland a couple of months ago. This has also caused lots of glaciers to melt which means we are seeing LOTS of waterfalls. While we drive we see them everwhere and since it is always light out, we can stop at whatever time we want to hike to the top of them!