After breakfast in Akureyri drive to Gošafoss (waterfall of the gods). Spent time walking around the waterfalls and enjoying the scenery. Site seeing and birding at Höfši Nature Park near Lake Mżvatn in northern Iceland. Stop at local farm to see sod covered buildings and talk with an Icelandic farmer. Lunch in Skśtustašir. Visit pseudocraters on southern shore of Lake Mżvatn in town of Skśtustašir. Visit the unusual lava field at Dimmuborgir on the east side of Mżvatn to see lava pillars and hear about Yule trolls. Visit Nįmafjall Hverfjall geothermal area to view fumaroles, mud pots, steam vents, and boreholes. Stop at a local farm on way back to Akureyri to view Icelandic horses. Dinner at Strikid across the street from the harbor (had my first taste of Skyr; pronounced ski--sweetened, thick sour milk--yum). Stay at Hotel Edda.
August 11, 2010 (Wednesday)After breakfast, group visited Akureyri Botanical Gardens and walked through "old town" Akureyri. Shopping in city center. Walk back to Edda to pack and board airport bus. Our departure delayed because of airplane brake problems. Drive back to Akureyri's city center for lunch and more shopping. Leave Akureyri airport for a late afternoon flight to Reykjavik. City tour (walking) in Reykjavik. Dinner on our own. Stay at Reykjavik Centrum.
August 12, 2010 (Thursday)Drove to Hveragerši, a town 45 km east of Reykjavik to visit the Eden Greenhouse. Surrounding area is geothermally active and located in the Hengill central volcano. Visited the spectacular volcanic crater, Kerid (Keriš). Walked around rim of crater. Stopped at Tungufljot River to view river, salmon ladder and geothermal area. Stopped at Gullfoss (Golden Falls) located in the canyon of the Hvķtį river. Walked trail to lower observation area. Climbed stairway to upper observation areas. This is a popular stop on the Golden Circle. Lunch at Geysir Verslun. Visit Geysir Park to look at geyser eruptions, steaming vents and colorful, mineral-rich mud formations, plus versions of "hobbit like" geysers (hot springs). Stopped at Pingevellir (Žingvellir) Rift Valley to look at Mid-Atlantic Ridge and how the movement of the North American and Eurasian Tetonic Plates are changing the landscape. Visit Žingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park to see early Icelandic parliament site. One last stop - Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik's main Lutheran Church with its statue of Leifr Eiricsson (a gift from the U. S. in 1930). Farewell dinner. Night at Reykjavik Centrum.
August 13, 2010 (Friday)Fly to Oslo. Spend night at Radisson Blu Airport Hotel.
August 14, 2010 (Saturday)Fly to Newark and on to Houston GWB International Airport and then drive home.