Sights from the North Sea

The world is so amazing! I love every minute of exploring it. Today I will take you on a mini-photo journey visiting intriguing lands I never dreamed I would see. A cruise ship is my favorite home away from home.

The photo from last week was taken on the Faroe Islands. They are self governing, but considered part of Denmark. Torshavn is the port. We drove north, crossed the Atlantic on a bridge to reach another island. We stopped in the small village of Gjagv (I have no idea how to pronounce this name). The guide informed us only about 60 people live in this village and there are no children there. We did see children, but they were there on vacation or visiting relatives. The pure innocence of their play was a joy to watch.

This could easily be a jigsaw puzzle picture. It was such a beautiful place.

This could easily be a jigsaw puzzle picture. It was such a beautiful place.

Reykjavik, Iceland was our next stop. We joined seven others on the Golden Circle tour by bike. The guide would drop us off so we could pedal to the sight. This tour would last eight hours. No need to worry about getting dark on us, as the sun doesn’t set until around 10:30. The first sight of this trip was the Gullfoss (Golden) Waterfall. The power of the water was incredible to witness!

Can you see the people on the flat rocks? This was huge!

Can you see the people on the flat rocks? This was huge!

Next stop was the Geysir geothermal area. This is actually were the term geyser originated.

The final sight of the Golden Circle tour was Thingvellir Parliament plains which is in a rift valley where the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia are separating. This area is of great historical relevance to the country of Iceland. It was a fascinating journey.

This looks back up the downhill road we traveled to reach Thingvellir National Park.

This looks back up the downhill road we traveled to reach Thingvellir National Park.

This is the place the first parliament of Iceland met 1,000 years ago. The rock wall is part of the continental rift.

This is the place the first parliament of Iceland met 1,000 years ago. The rock wall is part of the continental rift.

Our next stop was in northern Iceland, Akureyri, which is just below the Arctic Circle. Namafjall Mountain was our first stop. We drove over and around mountains full of snow to reach this desolate landscape. There were hissing fumaroles of steam and boiling mud pots gurgling a sulphuric odor. This land reminded me of Yellowstone.

Snow was deep on the mountains in the distance.

Snow was deep on the mountains in the distance.

A drastic change in the landscape as we entered a geothermal region.

A drastic change in the landscape as we entered a geothermal region.

We hiked around Dimmuborgir, a lava landscape with interesting formations of columns and arches.

The guide said this was part of the tectonic plates division.

The guide said this was part of the tectonic plates division.

Then it was on to Lake Myvtan and the pseudo-craters. The name means lake of the midges. Midges are like gnats. Fortunately we were not plagued with them at this lake, but we did see columns of them swarming in another area. Fortunately we were safely in the bus.

Lake Myvatn and the pseudo craters

Lake Myvatn and the pseudo craters

The final stop for this tour was Godafoss (Waterfall of the Gods). Another powerful waterfall cascading over the rocks and amazing all the tourists.

Legend has the chieftain threw his pagan god columns into this waterfall .

Legend has the chieftain threw his pagan god columns into this waterfall .

Our most northern location was actually the warmest day of the whole trip. It was eighty degrees. I did not bring clothes for that temperature. I was prepared for mid fifties. It was amusing to see sunset: 11:45 pm and sunrise 3:00 am. I don’t know if I could get used to that.

Now we leave Iceland and head for the fjords of Norway. Geiranger is our first stop. We were the first ship to use their new floating dock. This dock unfolded and came out to meet our ship. What a mechanical marvel that was! The other four ships had to tender their passengers into the port. It was a lot of fun walking past the long lines of passengers waiting for their ride back to their ship.

This waterfall is called The Seven Sisters. The captain spun the boat around so we had a 360 degree view of this waterfall.

This waterfall is called The Seven Sisters. The captain spun the boat around so we had a 360 degree view of this waterfall.

My husband and I went in different directions this day. I went up and over the mountain to visit a summer mountain farm. They walk the animals (goat, cattle, and sheep) up the mountain to pasture for the summer. It is illegal to keep your livestock down the mountain in the summer. It was incredibly beautiful.

The summer farm in the mountains, that is grass growing on the roofs of the houses.

The summer farm in the mountains, that is grass growing on the roofs of the houses.

Here is my view above the port. Our boat is the one farthest in the bay. Notice the road on the left we traveled down.

Here is my view above the port. Our boat is the one farthest in the bay. Notice the road on the left we traveled down.

My husband went to the other side of the mountain. They were driven to the top and given bikes to ride down the mountain. No pedaling was required on that trip. Fortunately it was a bright sunny day. We were both happy with our tours and we were able to get pictures from two different perspectives.

Here is the view from my husband's side of the bay. This time our boat is the closest one to the front. If you look closely you can see the road I came down.

Here is the view from my husband’s side of the bay. This time our boat is the closest one to the front. If you look closely you can see the road I came down.

Our last stop was Bergen, Norway. We made our way into town and found the funicular that takes you up Mt. Floibanen, 1,000 feet above the town. We wandered/hiked for a bit, but once again it turned into another warm day. The woods were full of ferns and pine trees. It was amazing to see a huge pine tree growing out of a rock.

This was attached to a tree in the woods. Do you suppose they have a problem?

This was attached to a tree in the woods. Do you suppose they have a problem?

The world is amazing and I am so thankful I can get out and explore some of these unique places.

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18 thoughts on “Sights from the North Sea

  1. Elsie, you captured my mother’s homeland Iceland so beautifully where nature is so big and we are so small. You make me long to rediscover my Nordic roots–it’s been 17 years.

  2. Terje says:

    Our World has many beautiful places. You have been lucky to see/feel some of them. Whenever you look at the pics, you will also remember the sounds, smells and weather. Norway is a country I have been to once, and would like to go back again.

  3. Thanks for allowing me to take my first journey to this part of the world – I felt as though I were right there! Your descriptions and stories were filled with perfectly chosen phrases that told so much in just the right amount of words. And the pictures were beautiful! What a trip!

  4. Wow – just gorgeous! You are absolutely so blessed to travel around the world! Thank you for sharing the photographs. I was sharing the pictures with my girls and their one question, “Where’s Elsie?” I guess they wanted to see you in a picture! 🙂

  5. Thanks for the trip, Elsie. I did a middle school report on Iceland when I was a kid. I’ve heard those European cruises are great. You’re fortunate to be able to ride a bike, so you can really see the country. Travel on.

  6. Lovely and refreshing. There is nothing like being out in the natural world and seeing what people do with their lives there. I especially like how you and Mike explored different sides of the mountain. The “no witch” sign makes me wonder. Will you weave a story?

  7. Elsie, thanks for sharing your journey with us. The pictures are absolutely beautiful and I loved the commentary too. Somehow when I think of Iceland, I don’t picture the beauty that it truly beholds,but you have changed my thinking of cold, snow and ice.

  8. Fabulous…such interesting terrain. I felt I was along for the ride, Elsie, through the power of your writing. And I loved that you and your husband explored the opposite sides of the mountain!

  9. I love that you share your travels with us! I enjoy seeing and learning about the world through your eyes. Travel on…I have more to learn!

  10. Jaana says:

    Amazing views! You bring so much joy to us by sharing your trips and photos with us. I wonder what it would be like to travel with you??

  11. Wow and wow and wow. I can’t believe the little body of water with the big boats. Such an adventure. I like that you and your husband had different adventures one day. The freedom to share and explore different sides of the mountain.

  12. Oh Elsie-such a beautiful trip you had. The photos are amazing! We have friends who are immigrants from Norway & heard so much about it from them. They spoke of a grandmother who lived in the mountains with her goats! I love especially the water pictures-just gorgeous! And that geothermal spot-wow! Thanks for so much information too-love the no-witch pic!

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