Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I is for Iceland - Part II

Maribel is way too nice to you people, she gave up the goods right away. Not me, I'm gonna leave you sweating. No seeing what's in the bags until my travelogue is complete. Suffer, suffer...

There are cool things to see in Iceland that are not natural phenomenon. This is Perlan or The Pearl:

It was constructed in 1988. There is a revolving restaurant inside the dome and a more casual cafe type restaurant on the second floor. We had coffee there. There are of course souvenirs to be had there as well but one of the best things about it is the view from the observation deck:

That's Reykjavik. It's amazing how far you can see. Particularly without skyscrapers blocking the view. Don't you just love the mountains looming in the backdrop? Absolutely gorgeous.

There is also a museum inside The Pearl. The Saga Museum. It depicts the history of Iceland in wax and animatronic figures:

We rented the audio tours that accompany each scene. This was the leader of Iceland's clans when he was trying to decide if it should become a Christian nation. He took to his bed, covered himself with furs and thought about it for a few days. Then he came out and said that yes they would take Christianity as the national religion but the old ways could still be practiced in private. Check it out, no bloodshed, nice right?

I loved the tour, I was totally enthralled. I suspect Maribel was not as enthralled since she started after me but finished way before and I know for a fact it was a bit too much history for Avery but he found his own fun:

Go in an American kid, come out Viking warrior!

Just outside they have a manufactured version of Strokkur:

It was hysterical because right after it went off this little old guy who was sitting on the rocks, suddenly stood up and said, "done", locked a small panel and walked away. Well, that was it then, huh? Too funny.

We went into the city to do something special on Tuesday morning:

Jealous much? Not yet? Well check this out then:

Whales baby! Ok, not a phenomenal shot but those suckers are amazingly fast. Of the dozens of times they surfaced at least half if not two thirds of the pictures are just lovely shots of the water, but we saw them and that's what matters.

After the whales we visited the City Center and saw the Parliment Building:

We also visited a lovely little plaza that has a small pond:
I particularly liked the swans even though my cousin said they are very nasty. I told her all the prettiest girls in school usually are, of course Maribel said it was because they are picked on when they are the ugly ducklings...

Next up - Family time.