Holland America Lines Cruise - Norse Legends & Northern Isles - 2018
August 10 - 12 - At Sea and Reykjavik
August 10 - At Sea
Because I did not take daily notes, I can't remember all of the things we did during sea days. I suspect that Ann went swimming and I played Rummy Tile with the Bensons and Matutes. We ate regular meals with dinner in the main dining room. We also went to the evening show on the World Stage. The entertainer was Naomi Edemariam who played the piano and interspersed her pieces with stories told in a pleasant soft-spoken voice.
August 11 - Reykjavik
It was a long drive to Reykjavik. It took us a day and a half sailing past oil platforms on the North Sea from Scotland into the North Atlantic Ocean to Iceland. We arrived at the port at 2:00. Iceland has been on our bucket list for a long time, so we signed up for as many excursions as we could fit in. Our first one was "Best Of The Golden Circle: Thingvellir, Gullfoss & Geysir". This was a Holland America EXC tour. The eight-hour bus tour took us on a whirlwind tour of the primary attractions in this sector near Reykjavik. We visited a geothermal plant which gave us an appreciation of how Iceland uses its geothermal resources to generate electricity and distribute heat to its population. We next visited the Geysir Geothermal Area with its hot spring and geyser that erupts every few minutes. It was not as spectacular as Old Faithful but fun to watch. We had a meal in the hotel near the area. We were missing dinner on the ship because of the length of this excursion.
The spectacular Gullfoss Waterfalls was our next stop. We got out of the bus and walked around the viewing area to see and hear the roaring river.
Our most historic stop was at Thingvellir where we walked through a massive geological fault to the place where Europe's oldest national legislative assembly, the Icelandic Althing, was established in AD 930. Astonishingly, it convened here in grandiose surroundings every summer for nearly eight centuries.
We arrived at the Koningsdam very late, but it was still fairly light outside because of our northern latitude.
August 12 - The Blue Lagoon
I lost Ann in the Blue Lagoon! I didn't lose her for good, just temporarily. Here is what happened. We had to catch our "Bathing in the Blue Lagoon" excursion at 7:30. This meant getting up very early after going to bed very late the night before. We saved time by having our breakfast delivered to out stateroom. When our bus arrived, we were not sure of the procedure and had no idea where to meet after changing into our bathing suits. Of course we split up and went to our gender-defined changing room with a vague idea that we would find each other when we got out.
In the changing room we were required to take a shower before putting our bathing suits. The locals try to protect the lagoon from dirty bodies. When I tried to put on my suit I discovered that I had grown since the last time I wore it a short time ago in Ft Lauderdale. So it took me longer than I expected. When I left the changing room I entered a roughly defined lobby where towels are hung and doors to the lagoon are opened. I waited for Ann while shivering each time the doors opened. She didn't show up, so I slinked into the lagoon through a ramp that took me gradually into the water.
Quoting the description of out excursion "The Blue Lagoon is located southeast of Reykjavík, near the fishing village of Grindavík, on the Reykjanes peninsula. A high-temperature geothermal field supplies the Reykjanes district with hot water and steam to run a power plant, and it is the mineral-rich overflow water from this operation that fills the bathing lagoon. The geothermal water is pumped up from 6,000 feet below the earth's surface. High levels of silica, minerals and algae give the Blue Lagoon its rich, blue color and also form a light natural sediment on the bottom".
The hot water combined with the cool temperature caused fog on the surface of the water. This meant that I had no chance of finding Ann. So I wading around the immense pool trying to find her while watching people wearing their silicone masks and drinking their cool drinks.
After my two hours were up, I went back to the changing room, took another shower and put on my clothes. Going back to the main lobby, I still didn't see Ann. I walked back to our bus and there she was waiting for me. She had the same relaxing experience as I did.
I didn't take any photos in the lagoon because I didn't want to risk ruining my iPhone. Click on the link above to see what it looks like.
We had an excellent dinner again in the Tamarind Restaurant. Here are some photos of our food.