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Monday, November 6, 2017

Outer Banks visit

We were last on the Outer Banks for a long visit about 13 years ago. Yikes, how it has changed. And I don’t mean just shifting sands from hurricanes. Thousands of new homes are now here. Along with restaurants, shops, and all that goes along with new housing, and lots of new people. A nice warm day yesterday for a challenging round of golf at Nags Head Golf Links. Most golf balls I ever lost!

But the beach is beautiful in Kill Devil Hills.

We drove to Roanoke Island today to see a mini-Jamestown Settlement (Roanoke Island Festival Park) and the Elizabeth II, the closest thing to our Godspeed. Learned a lot at their museum about Manteo and Wanchese, the two native Americans who interacted with the first English settlers there in 1585.

After lunch, we drove down to see the Bodie Lighthouse and the new Hatteras bridge construction across Oregon Inlet. The sand dunes along the roadside are so cool.

Got back to our timeshare in time for Pete to fish. Fishing only, no catching.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Spent Pete's birthday on South Coast Tour

Today we had booked a VERY long day-tour along the south coast of Iceland, first passing their huge geothermal plant just outside Reykjavik--numerous plumes of hot steam rising from the surrounding area.

A glacier, the Skogafoss waterfall, a cool rocky beach with puffins and another magical Seljalandsfoss waterfall, and  ++.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Hot Golden Circle Tour day

We had booked a super day-long tour today that included Bingvellir (an impressive chasm where the tectonic plates of Europe and North America split and where the first Icelandic parliament met in 930 A.D.), Gullfoss waterfall, the original Geysir area of Iceland and a relaxing soak in Secret Lagoon, where geysers within a few yards warm the natural lagoon nearby.

The shower required before entering the lagoon was the most traumatic event of the day for me--European women are used to showering au naturel with other women.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

An interesting museum to visit

Never thought I'd visit a museum devoted to THIS. Nor did I think that one would exist. But this one included some interesting exhibits.

Only in Iceland.

But then again . . . we did visit the Museum of Sex in Paris years ago.

Another free walking tour in Reykjavik

Our free three-hour walking tour of Reykjavik was perfect, other than the constant mist/drizzle. Our young guide was once again a history major.

We saw the old part of town where a few colorful homes remain, paid homage to the city's founder Magnusson, visited the towering Hallgrimskirkja church (built in recent times) and learned LOTS of Iceland's history.

Old town homes

Good ole Magnussen

Iceland is a definitely unique country

Our small apartment for the next four nights at the Reykjavik Residence Hotel is near the center of hopping Reykjavik. This town is party city with the locals going out at 11 pm or later for a night on the town--until 4 or 5 am. This is NOT synonymous with our lifestyle. So we were happy that our hotel was not on the main drag of town. And it was within walking distance of everything we needed to see.

It was chilly (as in the 50s) and misted or rained lightly every day of our visit here. So were were happy that our foul weather jackets were with us.

We tried a local brewpub for dinner last night and crashed early. Food and drink are VERY expensive here. The beer may be local but almost everything else needs to be imported. Iceland is rich in volcanoes, geothermal energy, minimal sunlight, frequent rain and lost baggage, but short on much else. The early Vikings depleted the trees, ate the whales and puffins and lived a rather simple life--when they were not out raping and pillaging.

And Vikings did NOT wear helmets like there. Horns would have made contact sports with enemies very dangerous and given them handholds.

But tourists need to take at least one photo with the fake horned helmet.