Monthly Archives: June 2016

Iceland tour – Reykjavik and waterfalls

Friday, June 10: Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon
Today we explore the town of Reykjavik. We start at the Pearl where the viewing platform provides excellent views of the entire city, then continue to the Hallgrimskirkja Church, the beautiful new Harpa concert hall by the old harbor, the Parliament and Cathedral on the main square and other main landmarks. In the afternoon we drove to the famous Blue Lagoon spa. Enjoy the aqua-blue, warm waters famous for their healing powers. We return to Reykjavik in the late afternoon and celebrate with a farewell dinner this evening.

iceland 167 Iceland June 10 013 Iceland June 10 018 Iceland June 10 024 Iceland June 10 031 Iceland June 10 037 Iceland June 10 036 Iceland June 10 041 Iceland June 10 043 Iceland June 10 038 Iceland June 10 034 iceland 091 iceland 023 iceland 028 iceland 084 iceland 044

Iceland tour Westman Islands

Thursday, June 9: Westman Islands

This morning we take car ferry to Heimaey, one of the Westman Islands just off the south coast of Iceland. Heimaey was the site of a massive volcanic eruption in 1973 that buried almost a third of the town under lava and the rest under ash and pumice. It has since recovered and is now one of Iceland’s most successful fishing ports. Heimaey is also one of the largest nesting grounds of the North-Atlantic puffin. We’ll explore the beautiful island including going on an easy hike up to the top of Mt Eldfjall (Fire mountain): the mountain that was born after volcanic eruption of 1973. The lava rocks at the top are still steaming. We return to the mainland in the late afternoon and arrive in Reykjavik at the end of the day.  We wanted to stay longer  in fact overnight, it was a great place to visit. iceland 143 iceland 113 iceland 115 iceland 118 iceland 127 iceland 137 iceland 156


Iceland day 5 Glacier Hike

Wednesday, June 8: South Coast and Glacier Hike
After breakfast, we start our adventure along the south coast of Iceland. Enjoy the dramatic landscape with glacier-tipped volcanoes and cascading waterfalls on one side and the black-sand beaches on the other. First we stop at beautiful Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where we can walk behind the waterfall. Then it’s on to Sólheimajökull glacier where we go on a glacier hike adventure. We don crampons and other glacier gear and set off on a hike with an experienced glacier guide. On the ice we can see some amazing terrain with crevasse, sink holes and ice ridges.
Photo credit: Cathy MorleyIceland day 5 6 Iceland day 5 7 Iceland day 5 2 Iceland day 5 3 Iceland day 5 5 Iceland day 5 1 Iceland day 5 4

Overnight: Hotel Stracta


Iceland Day 4 Thingvellir National Park

018 064 078 086 032 083Thingvellir National Park, Geysir, Gullfoss

Today we make our way to the south coast of Iceland. On the way we visit Thingvellir National Park, located in the dramatic rift valley where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates pull apart, clearly visible at the great Almannagjá or Everyman’s Gorge. We saw where they film Games of Thrones. Exciting.

A scenic drive through classic Icelandic farmland. Lots of sheep with their babies and Iceland horses.

Gullfoss, or Gold Falls, Iceland’s most famous waterfall. Hey I thought that Niagara Fall was amazing

Our next stop was at Geysir, the place giving its name to the phenomenon worldwide.

Mt Hekla, one of Iceland’s most famous volcanoes.

Iceland Day 3 Snæfellsnes Peninsula South Shore

Monday, June 6: Snæfellsnes Peninsula South Shore

Today we explore the south side of the peninsula and the area south

of Snæfellsjokull volcano. We walk the scenic trail from Hellnar, the

home of Bardur the guardian spirit of Snaefellsnes, to Arnarstapi

and see a variety of geological formations. Here the beaches are

golden, black or pebbled and many are favored by seals. We

visit Vatnshellir cave, a very large lavatube located underneath

Snæfellsjokull glacier our  own journey into the earth.

We hiked along the shore and the landscape was breathtaking.

Climbed waterfalls. 484 516 524 540 509 553 559


Iceland Day 2 Snæfellsnes Peninsula Sailing Tour

Iceland 2979

Rhonda's birthday dinner

Rhonda’s birthday dinner

Iceland 3049Iceland 3033 Iceland 3071 Iceland 3007 Iceland 3088 Iceland 3084 Iceland 3105

Sunday, June 5: Snæfellsnes Peninsula Sailing Tour

This morning we set off on a sailing tour out on Breidafjordur Bay.

The beautiful bay has numerous skerries with varied bird life and

whales. Our crew scoops up fresh scallops, sea urchins, crabs,

starfish and sea cucumbers for us to taste. This afternoon we explore

the north side of Snæfellsnes peninsula including an easy climb to

the top of Mt. Helgafell which gives us breathtaking views of the

surroundings and three wishes if we think good thoughts and don’t

look back on our way up. We visited a small fishing villages on the

north side and the Bjarnarhofn shark farm – the most famous shark

farm in Iceland. We learned how Icelandic fermented shark is prepared

and have a taste if you dare!   We did and it was awful.


Saturday, June 4: Arrive Reykjavik

We arrive to Reykjavik early this morning – and enjoy a traditional Icelandic breakfast before heading out to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The enchanting landscape has beautiful mountain ranges, numerous beaches, lava caves, waterfalls and mineral hot springs and at the end of the peninsula is the majestic Snæfellsjokull volcano made famous in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of Earth. We’re staying in Stykkisholmur town (pop.1,100) on the north side of the Snæfellsnes peninsula; this is one ofIceland’s most picturesque fishing villages with beautiful 19th century architecture. We’ll enjoy a short sightseeing tour of the town. There are also museums, cafes and small boutiques in the center of the town.

It was Rhonda’s birthday and we celebrated it in style. Red and white wine along with some bubblies and good wishes.

Our guide is amazing.

iceland june 4


Spain in May, Day 9 Seville

We traveled to Seville by coach this morning. This historical city is one of the largest in Spain  with 700,000 people and was once a very important port on a river leading to the Atlantic Ocean.  Our morning started with a visit of the Plaza de Spagna in the pouring rain. I’m sure this Plaza would have been more enjoyable if the sun was shining. It was a very quick stop then back on the bus for our transfer to the historical city.

P1120798 P1120801


Thankfully the rain let up shortly after our arrival in the historic city. Our guide introduced Seville’s flamboyant, charismatic personality in a walking tour taking in Seville’s striking Cathedral.

P1120805 P1120806 P1120808 P1120810

The cathedral is one of the largest in the world, second only to St Peters in Rome.  The main chapel took 45 years to create, this masterpiece is covered with tons of gold.


P1120841 P1120824


P1120830The Cathedral houses the impressive tomb of Christopher Columbus. Columbus died in Vaidolid and later his body was moved to Seville, then to Dominican Republic and in 1795 they moved his remains back to Spain.  The tomb was finished in 1902.  There;s also a carpet covered tomb which is the son of Columbus.

P1120832 P1120834 P1120835P1120842Those who dared hiked up to the top of the belfry of the Giralda Tower to enjoy the stunning view of the city. It was only 13,719 steps. But who was counting.

P1120849 P1120851 P1120852 P1120855 P1120856 P1120860 P1120862

We worked up an appetite hiking up the tower. Our lunch stop was at the Catedral Restaurant. Perfect timing for our lunch break, the rain started again so we took our time and enjoyed a leisurely lunch of Tapas and wine. Afterwards the sun was shining so we took advantage of the nice weather and explored the tiny squares of the Santa Cruz quarter and the surrounding area.

P1120868 P1120872 P1120877 P1120883 P1120890 P1120898 P1120899


The drive back to Cordoba is a scenic one, rolling hills, colourful fields and we saw a beautiful rainbow.  Hopefully this is a sign that the weather is going to improve.

P1120903 P1120904 P1120908

Dinner this evening was at Taberna Las Espumita Restaurant.