Touring the Moon

After another great morning of yoga we loaded a big bus and headed Northeast into Lava land. 

Is this the waterfall capital of the world or what!?!

These craters are pseudo craters created by really hot lava puffing up and caving in. Our astronauts trained here in the 60’s.

I keep trying to tell you a lot of people simply do not understand the western toilet. Do not laugh. There way is much healthier.

Al and I straddled two continents at once. I went North America. He chose Europe!

On our way to more hot thermal baths the steam was not even struggling to release from far below and peweee did it stink. Sulphur. 

We love Iceland!

Northern most golf course in the universe. 

Alex is in! After another great morning of yoga and great lunch we headed for the golf course, of course. The terrain was a little like ATV, but who cares. Al didn’t play his best game, but that never matters. He l❤ved it! Mark loved the challenge as well.

Texas Bluebonnets!

We’re on on way back Sammy!

Eat, Drink and be poor

Everybody knows Scandinavia and Iceland are expensive. The high quality of life these countries boast comes with a price tag. This makes everyday goods and services quite dear indeed! 🤑

So, what can be done to enjoy a nice cold beer or any alcohol beverage? First of all, when you arrive and have collected your baggage, go directly to duty free. Never pass up a duty free. You might not partake in alcohol, but buy at least a couple of bottles of wine or fine chocolate anyway. People are going to be so accommodating you will be scratching your head for a gift. Wine is a wonderful thank you for the unbelievable hospitality you are guaranteed to experience.

What if you do partake?

We will use a beer for this example.

Let’s say a nice large beer is around $12.00. Happy hour helps getting it down to 7 or 8 bucks. An even better option is head to the youth hostel. Order up before happy hour ends and you can get that same brew for about $4.50 and enjoy the energy of beautiful young people. It’s a win win and you still have your own bar in your room.

Horsing around

Our Yoga retreat is continuing to be fabulous. Our instructor Sean is substituting for Donna and he is really good. He is based in Beijing. Most of the people are instructors, but we Texans are definitely holding our own and fitting in quite nicely. Thank you, Corine, for getting us ready.

Our instructor is teaching us many techniques. Here he is demonstrating “coiling from the core to the 5 limbs. I never thought of the head as a limb, but it is a fine way to think.

After a morning of Yoga we saddled up and went for a ride. I chose a moderate group and should have gone with the more advanced group. I still had a great time because the horses were gorgeous and our group is good. Icelanders adore their horses. They are a bit small, but NEVER call them a pony! The horses were brought over in Viking times and they have not nor do not accept any new foreign horses.

These horses work hard and have been the backbone of this country. They are treated like royalty. They remind me a bit of the Norwegian heste, but they really are their own breed.

During the filming of Game of Thrones, many horses were used and they were important “extras” in the production. For some of the close up scenes with taller actors like the Hound, computers were employed for a wee bit of photo alterations to make the horse and rider more proportioned. Requests to import foreign horses is absolutely denied for any reasons. Icelandic horses are healthy and suffer no maladies other horses have. In fact, if you bring your own well used riding clothes, you will be given outer wear to cover your clothes. These horses are loved and well protected!

I’ve been told they have a different gait, but my group was a bit timid and we never broke into a cantor or a run. The next group up did all of that and I hope to try again one day.

After a big day a few of us got take out fish and chips and had a grand picnic at my hotel, but not Jennifer. She chose to go ride some contraption pulled by the adorable dogs at our Yoga/spa center. She said it was a blast and she was amazed how much the dogs enjoy this off season dog sledding activity.

These dogs loved Jennifer as much as she loved them. Total puppy love!

Spending time in Akureyri, Iceland

Reykjavik was so much fun because it is a bustling city once the get started. Shops open around 10 or 11 and the young people were out all hours of the night. We travelled on to Akureyri for our Yoga workshop, but afternoons and evenings have been busy enjoying this Northern Jewel of nature and city.

The area reminds me so much of Scandinavia because it is absolutely pristine and every glance is incredible beauty. Here are a few shots of the area around our base before telling more about Sunday and Monday. We spent Sunday in North America and Monday in Europe without hardly traveling anywhere because of the fault line.

Akureyri is on the longest fjord in the country. It is Iceland’s second largest city, but it is in no way comparable to the city of Reykjavik. Sunday we visited an enchanting island for hiking, sightseeing and took a meditative walk through an area known for high energy and spiritual energy. The sun was out and the weather was perfect. The weather on this island is generally mild yet it is very close to the artic circle making it a wonderful place to explore. 

This is THE Big road! It can get very narrow in places and weather keeps drivers on their toes!

The mountains are volcanic and they are flat after much erosion since the ice age. This area does have a ski slope, but what is much more popular is to have a helicopter drop you off and just ski your way down. 😳

We took the ferry  to our island.  We walked and hiked around the entire island. Had we chosen to stay, there actually is a taxi service to get you and your luggage to your lodging. The taxis are tractors!


Beauty everywhere!

And Alex thinks Iceland has Texas Bluebonnets. They are a blue lupine, but they don’t call them blue bonnets. Can you find the elf in this bluebonnet photo? Hint. Bottom left corner. 

OK. I’ll enlarge the spot for you.

Akureyri, Iceland

We had a short flight north to Akureyri. We settled in our hotel, met other Yogis and have enjoyed a great city. Our Yoga retreat has begun and when I get time I will report on the amazing itinerary we’ve followed. 

The Yoga retreat is a purpose built studio remodeled from a tractor museum! They adore tractors here. We even hiked on an island where the only taxi service is tractors. The studio has a massage studio, spa and yoga space, but it also is base for a dog sledding business and that means we get to know some gorgeous dogs.

We haven’t used those hanging silks so ???

They provide everything we need including cold infused water. It is a wonderful place. I have even survived meditation and long poses. 😳

The scenery is gorgeous snow capped mountain scenes and the temps range between 45° and 57°. I kid you not, the sunshine makes it seem very nice and we have sunshine all day and night.

Here is just how light it is as after 11pm

Blue Lagoon Hot Thermal Baths in Reykjavik ✔️

We rolled out of bed into a van and headed to The Blue Lagoon with a few more Yogis. We enjoyed coffee, brekkie, the bath, facial salts and a wee bit of pampering. In about thirty minutes (noon) we will load up and head North to the other side of this island country. I imagine the pace in Akureyi to be slower and everything to be a bit more quaint as we wave bye bye to 2/3 of the population. We’ll see!

With over 200 volcanoes these mineral baths are a hit. The surrounds are rolling lava fields covered in moss. Don’t disturb the moss because it takes 99 years to grow a centimeter! 🙋

Constant construction everywhere we go. Tourist fueling this great playground. I’m glad to help!

Góðan daginn from Iceland! 🤗

Whoa! I will try to catch everyone up, but we are moving fast, enjoying everything and having the time of our lives! With 24 hours of daylight it is hard to end the day. Shops do not even open until 10 AM and most wait until 11. I don’t know when things shut down, but the happiest people in the world are energized!

Yesterday was packed with dramatic nature and Reykjavik site seeing. We enjoyed many sites on the Golden Circle with emphasis on the filming sites from Games of Thrones. Of course, they scouted out the best places for the production so all was fantastic.

Today we toured the south. Besides having the purest water in the world right out of the tap, Iceland boasts a bounty of geothermal energy. What does this mean? Iceland produces 4 times more energy than they need. The average bill for a family of five is about $95.00. This would include water, electric, sewage and trash collection. 

Iceland is a volcanic island that grows annually in two ways. The plate divide gives Iceland just about an inch a year. The island also has risen since the end of the ice age about an inch a year in perimeter. That ice was heavy! Still not convinced to be a fan? No snakes, poisonous plants, dangerous animals (drum roll) or cockroaches!

We don’t even need to add unemployment is less than 5% meaning they recruit foreign workers because with all these tourists they don’t have enough folks to fill the jobs. Crime? What crime? There are are only 300 policeman for less than 300,000 people. They have less that 80 people in the pokey. All levels of education are free. There is a 98% literacy level and sadly they figure some people just cannot do it. 

Dinner last night after a wee pub crawl landed us at the Icelandic bar. We had a fish dish, lamb stew and whale steak. Delicious!

This morning we picked up Marl Altgelt and toured the south. Our tour included great people, heaps of waterfalls, black sandy beaches and a glacier. It was a full day!

This is the cast of characters. L -> R Mark Altgelt, Big Al, me and Jennifer Lord. All Yogis from The Yoga Space in Kerrville, TX.

I will spare you the scientific reasons these awesome pillars are so rectangular.

And check this photo bomber out in flip flops! Really?

Dinner tonight was traditional Icelandic fare. We are sneaking in a few burger & fries type fare when you are not watching.

I can’t wait to go on our wonderful Yoga adventure! We plan to hit the Blue Lagoon George thermal mud baths tomorrow on the way to the airport. Al has not waited. He practices yoga everywhere he goes.

And here those kids go twirling about faithful to their Tibetan rites! 🙏🏼 what is not to like? It is 10:00 PM, broad daylight and we have a plane to catch tomorrow. Pick-up is 6:45Am! Good news is we’re cleaning up and enjoying brekkie on the way at the famous Blue Lagoon.

Good-bye is “Bless,” but because we love you so much, we’re closing with, “Bless Bless!”

These are a few snaps of our time at this beautiful black beach. The stones are small round smoothed stones. They skip well.

First Day Touring

Hallgrímskirk is one of Reykjavik’s most iconic structures and it does not disappoint. It is absolutely gorgeous with unbelievable pipe organs and a tower with complete panoramic views for miles and miles and miles. 

We also had to stop in to the renown Penis Museum because “That’s unusual.” Whales are huge, but bulls are not far behind. The pewter replica of the national sports team was intimidating because of the eruption of questions and immature quips it illicited.

I loved this plate-tectonic split in the earth between North America and Eurasia Still widening and pulling apart. There was a huge waterfall at the end and that was dessert for me! This split was used in a few different GOT scenes.

The guide needed to show how to stab someone so we insisted he use Jennifer. Her laughter in the photo shows she needs to improve if she chooses to become a method actor or extra.

Al was fantastic all day long except he was not willing to jog ahead and be my muse in so many photos.

Below is a beautiful waterfall and the next phot shows a screen shot from Game Of Thrones. It was the scene where the Queen comes flying over the mountain on her fire breathing flying dragon.

We are having a blast and there is way too much to see and do. We are off to dinner now. It is 8:00 pm, but you lose track of time when daylight refuses to rest!

Game of Thrones Mania

Yesterday was great. We arrived at 6:am and kept busy all day long. Flying east is always hard work. I’m not tired, need to sleep and arrive worn out. Next chore is stay busy, don’t rest. We made it just fine.

Our air B&B is just what we’ve come to expect. It is nothing fancy, but location location location. We were walking, shopping, touring, meeting up with friends and ended the day with a happy hour followed by a great dinner. Icelanders are extremely friendly and go an extra mile to accommodate any requests.

This is an Entire city of 7 degrees from Kevin Bacon! The shop girl is from the same town as the band Kaleo and traveled to Austin for their concert. Our GOThrones tour guide was led by a man who was an extra in the production and pointed out several pictures of local celebs in the production.

Our tour today was very similar to the Golden Circle tour with many sites thrown in that were used in the TV production. We met Icelandic horses, but will not be riding them until later. Some of the horses here are decendents  of Fjordhester from Norway and Denmark I thought they looked familiar.

One word about that Norge association. Icelanders we’ve talked to do not feel they are of Norwegian heritage. I have had three different people explain why. Since we have been here less than 48 hours ??? You have to wonder. One of those DNA shows on TV proved to the people here they are much broader in their gene pool. We’ve made no mention that they are largely white and Christian faith based.

Plus, plus plus. The money is kroner! The history is very Viking related. Prices are sky high. Everyone we meet is well educated, friendly and they all adore nature, free time and family. I’m guilty of comparison only because Jeg Elster deg Norge and I already like this place for many similar reasons. Yes, they are very good looking. Last comparison. Promise.