Well here I am in Iceland— said good-bye to our new friends on the ship and met our Iceland guide, Gunnar who seems really kind and thoughtful. He took us for a tour of Reykjavik city, which is quite small (pop. 150,000), but looks neat, and clean, with interesting and unusual buildings. When I send this we are going back to the CBD to look around ourselves. Tomorrow we head east towards national parks, including volcanoes and waterfalls. We’ve just got off the ship in Iceland after the most amazing trip. We had a great cabin, on the same deck as the lounge, so we didn’t have to climb the stairs all the time, though we were constantly going out on the deck to watch for icebergs, or whales, or birds, or even ONCE a Polar Bear.
After we left Longyearbyen we sailed a bit further north on the Island of Spitsbergen to the Ifjord. We had to be fitted with rubber boots to go ashore, that took a bit of time, but eventually we made our first landing. It was quite an effort to get ready for landings, we had to get our boots on, and our waterproof pants, and our life jackets, as well as rug up well and have gloves and hats, etc because we came and went in the zodiacs, 10 passengers at a time. The first landing was at a place called Aukhornet, where heaps of sea birds nest, and the tundra was very interesting with lots of flowers. We saw some reindeer there and my group got very close to an Arctic Fox in their summer coat of lovely white fur. Later that afternoon we visited a spit of land where we saw some walrus.
The next day, still in Svalbard, we saw our first glacier up close and were lucky enough to see a bearded seal just floating along on a piece of ice, poor thing was surrounded by boats, but he didn’t seem too worried. I just did the leisurely walk along the beach but Pat’s group walked up on the glacier and actually saw a hunk of the glacier break off.
Blog courtesy of Pat & Val from Sydney, Australia. Avid Adventure World Travellers Pat & Val are currently travelling through the Arctic. Sit back, relax and enjoy their journey.