Iceland April 2013 by Verryl V Fosnight Jr
Verryl V Fosnight Jr's Gallery
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  1. Verryl V Fosnight Jr's Gallery
  2. Iceland April 2013Iceland April 2013
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These are some of our photos from our Iceland trip to see the aurora borealis on a "Sky and Telescope" magazine tour. This is Raykjavik [rey-kyuh-veek, -vik], Iceland main street next to hotel
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Raykjavik hotel, best in town
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Square across from hotel
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Shopping street walking only off square
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Continuation of main street down to harbor
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Old Parliment building with commons in front
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Church near downtown
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Lief Erickson from front and Hallgrímskirkja
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Raðhús : City Hall Reykjavik downtown 5 min walk from hotel
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Street bordering meeting hall
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park and mountains near city center. All trees planted this century, last natural trees cut down 1,000 years ago. Grass is early spring brown, 4/7/2013
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Hallgrímskirkja is a Lutheran parish church in Reykjavík, Iceland. At 74.5 metres, it is the largest church in Iceland and the sixth tallest architectural structure in Iceland after Longwave radio mast
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Lief Erickson statue gift to Iceland from US
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Pipe Organ inside Hallgrímskirkja
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Lierf Erickson Statue
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From the side.
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Iceland weird sculpture #1 "Hole in the Gut Boys." No faces too. Significance escaped us.
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This was a rotating restaurant built on top of 4 hot water towers high up on the outskirts of Reykjavik overlooking the Reykjavik city airport (not the international one, which is 20 miles or so west on a finger of land.) Hot water in Iceland's history was like water elsewhere--it a place had geothermal water, they settled there. Hot water is free throughout the country, being piped from geothermal locations miles and miles in vacuum lines. They even heat the streets with it. Then, evidently--no guide knew--they dump it in the sea.
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You can see this dome rising over the city in other pictures. It was really nice, because it was warm inside.
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Out on the deck for the 360 degree view of Reykjavik.
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A reasonably warm day. At least for the moment at mid day. Church in right center.
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Local airport in foreground.
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Should have put this first--had to walk away to get it after lunch.
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This is a recreated "pioneer" site from late 1800's to 1920's. They saved the few remaining buildings a few years ago and moved them to this hill on the outskirts of town. Note the sod covered root cellar. Every tree, as I said before, that you see has been planted in the last few years. They finally realized, I guess, that there should be trees. There is only one native species, I think, a small, spindly deciduous tree that probably was cut down for firewood and nearly disappeared about 1000 AD. Too small to build with, they use stone (all volcanic) to build with--and concrete and corrugated steel.
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How'd you like to be a kid and wake up groggy at midnight on a full moon night and go outside to pee and see these monster eyes staring at you?
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Looks like wood, and probably is, but must be imported. Lots of stone used.
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Note steep roofs. I wonder if it snows.
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This was the parson's house across the road from...
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...his church (across the road from parson's house last picture).
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Further down the road. They have lots of room to add to this historical site, but no money, I suspect, to continue development. It is a very poor country--the houses are generally small, hotels small, all buildings small, and all furnishing are Spartan--neat, clean, but plain and simple. Iceland only has two resources--nearly free electricity from the free hot water and lots of water (the hot water has a strong mineral smell, and no one drinks it, but showers are nice. their biggest industrial plant is an aluminum smelter, and they get the ore from Australia, so the electricity is cheap.
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Weird Iceland sculpture #2. An art museum in a park in Reykjavik. We did not go in.
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Weird Iceland sculpture #3. Go figure.
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This is the house on the harbor where Reagan and Gorbachev met Sept 11-12, 1986. It is the former French Consulate named in Icelandic Höfði. That's easy for you to say.
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Weird Icelandic sculpture #4. They are very proud of their concert hall.
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Volcanic crater. This is my best picture of the ice filled crater and surrounding countryside. It also has our assistant US guide who never wore a coat. He was from Michigan. Iceland intends to make a statue of him when they get the money. They are really broke now, and still talk about the "Great Financial Crisis" in awestruck tones. It really hit them hard, and like worldwide was started by a housing bubble that burst. They have not recovered yet, like a lot of European countries. Say what you want about Obama, we have pulled out of it very well by comparison to the rest of the world.
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Some of our tour group out in the country. We drove mainly along the coastal shelf with the low mountains, all volcanic, a few hundred yards, or a mile or so at most, away. The coast is all farming and horse raising.
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Taken from the bus. These are probably summer cottages of wealthy Reykjavik residents. Note the grass infested volcanic rock which was very common--both grass and rock, I mean. There were lots of fields with no rock, but I'll bet they cleared them for farming.
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One such field. Grass is all brown, but very long. When summer comes, it must be short and growth must be rapid, for what is left this day, April 9, 2013 is very long. Icelandic horses are short and squat so they don't blow over, and have long beautiful manes and tails. You don't know what they raise them for besides riding. Think France.
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Large geothermal region maybe a 1/4 square mile or slightly more. A mini-Yellowstone, said the boy from Wyoming.
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Same geothermal. There was a restaurant and gift shop across the highway, and the bus load of us stopped for lunch. I started to say the buss stopped for lunch, but as I recall, it did not eat anything. Good lunch so, and they had Chill, the XM/Sirius radio avante garde jazz station (the drummer's station, that Sharon and I listen to in our house a lot).
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More. Note the very long grass.
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There is the restaurant, about the largest we saw. Everything is small scale here.
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That is Sharon inside those wraps.
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We saw this geyser go off.
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The language is sometimes--not often--decipherable.
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Better picture of French steaks.
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Gulfoss Falls, which is two cascades totaling 31 meters (11 + 20). It was the windiest day and I did not get to a place where I could get the whole of the lower falls.
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Upper falls. The "snow" is frozen mist from the falls, common to all we saw. See those brave folks out in the mist. THEY saw the lower falls, but it was to wet and windy for me. the walk was over 1/2 mile and a lot in the mist.
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Iceland's biggest lake, and it has many branches and is truly very big. It is surrounded by glaciers and sits on the North American-European fault line, which causes all of Iceland's volcanoes.
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Part of the fault line. Here North America and Europe are pulling apart.
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