Sunlight: In Short Supply or Neverending!
Here is one website's listings for average sunrise and sunset times during the months of the year:
January 11:19am 3:44pm
February 10:09am 5:14pm
March 8:37am 6:45pm
April 6:47am 8:18pm
May 5:01am 9:51pm
June 3:24am 11:29pm
July 3:04am 11:57pm
August 4:32 am 10:33pm
September 6:08am 8:45pm
October 7:35am 6:59pm
November 9:09am 5:13pm
December 10:44 am 3:49pm
As you can see, 4 hours of daylight in January to 4 hours of dark in July!! I wonder if Iceland has a booming tanning industry...
The Interior Of Hallsgrimskirkja...
These photos were taken by me inside Hallsgrimskirkja Church.
It is open daily :
9 am to 6 pm;
Winter, 10 am to 4 pm.
The interiors depict more gothic-feel atmosphere...
This was the first photo; It was closed by a glass door with nice decorations on it.
The same photo but now looking through the glass door...
The wasp and Icelanders.
Before 1973 we did not have any wasp here in Iceland. They came here uninvited with imported bananas in 1973 and the first wasp's nest was found in Reykjavík in 1977. And now there are 4 species here!!
Life was easier here without the wasp, which we call "geitungur". We don't mix well at all and this Icelandic wasp is now very tough after 37 years here in Iceland - and very grumpy. If an Icelander sees a wasp he will jump and if you visit Iceland during the summer time you will see a lot of jumping people ;) I am amongst the worst jumpers here, seeing that I am allergic to wasps - I hate them with a vengeance.
There is a stand-up comic here who made a joke about this which sums this up. An old man and a young man were talking, and the old man was telling the young man how difficult life was when he was young, and that the younger generation should count their blessings as life nowadays is so easy. The young man asks the old man if there were wasps when the old man was young. The old man says there weren't any wasps in Iceland back then. The young man says to the old man that then they had nothing to complain about in the olden days. This anecdote explains the relationship we Icelanders have with this darn wasp.
Of course I have no photo of wasps to add to this tip, I am an Icelander and run away in panic from the wasps.
And now (Desember 2010) I am reading that cock-roaches have settled down in Iceland! They are also uninvited intruders, which have come here with imported goods. Darn.
The Festival of the Sea- The National Seamen's day
Fishing industry is the biggest industry in Iceland and The National Seamen's day (Sjómannadagur) is part of our annual Festival of the Sea. It is held on the first Sunday in June in honour of the big part fishermen and their families have played and play in the life of the Icelandic nation.
This year (2010) it was held for the 72nd time and there were a lot of activities in the main harbour area down-town, speeches and honoring of sailors, the coast guard’s helicopter demonstrated rescue operations at sea with one of the search and rescue organizations, and as on the day before there was a guided tour aboard one of the ships of the coast guard. There was a rowing competition, pillow fights and airobatics and a family sightseeing cruise on The Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue’s schoolship, Sæbjörg. The activities of Harbour day continued throughout The National Fishermen's day focused on the sea.
Don't miss this day if you are ever in Reykjavík on the first weekend of June.
30 minutes to amazing Blue Lagoon!
Yes, it's expensive and about 30 minutes from the capital (Reykjavik)...but if you can, go to this great place for relaxation!
I arrived at 630 AM in Iceland and I already booked with Reykjavik excursions to have me taken immediately to the Blue Lagoon which is near the airport anyway. And then, the bus would be available again at 1115AM for my hotel drop-off. This really saves time - instead of just waiting and walking around for the hotel room to be ready. I paid $77 for this whole gig...
As the bus approached the lagoon, you will see white clouds of thick steam coming off from some kind of factory...then you will be dropped off at the Blue Lagoon entrance which has a big white wall saying simply but elegantly, "Blue Lagoon".
Then you notice the lava rocks covered with moss - you've seen so many of them coming out of the airport. Now you can inspect it closer as you walk to the pathway leading to the entrance (but remember, do not step on the moss - says the sign).
I did not have a towl with me and I think I paid ISK680 (about $5?) for it. They also give you a writband key which you can use to store big luggage on the first floor, and for your clothes in the locker room. Iceland has strict rules about showering without your swimwear first before stepping into the lagoon, and there are private showers with doors for the shy type.
Then, you step outside and it is summer but kinda cold - so I rushed into the water and wow, it was warm and looked so clean!!! The warm water apparently comes from 6,200 ft below the ground and tit has so many minerals, primarily silica. They suggest covering your face with it for a few minutes - and then wash it off for a healthy moisturizing effect. I did it but my face still looks the same though, hehehe (I think you have to do it regularly--- well, you can buy some of the Blue Lagoon stuff which are a bit pricey but probably effective. So, why not buy some?).
Blue Lagoon stores are all over and if you don't buy it here, you can buy it some other place. The waters of Blue Lagoon also has some unique species of algae, and it has been shown that some pathological bacteria do not grow in these warm waters --- making it very pure and good for those with skin ailments.
But the beauty of the pools cannot be denied --- they give an eerie feeling with the steam and the bluish waters --- it is about 3-4 feet all throughout so don't be scared of drowning (there is somebody watching over the lagoon as well).
there is a nice lava rock sauna (nice circular cave - very warm) and other steam facilities by the pool - plus a fountain where you can have your back massaged so nicely. I suggest just using the arm floats and float and close your eyes and just relax....it is amazingly smoothing to the soul...
And if you want to go the extra mile and splurge, visit the Blue Lagoon Spa for unmatched pampering...