Monday, March 29, 2010

3 new words: Fimmvörduháls, Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull

I'm taking Tom to Iceland for 5 days from April 1-5, 2010. Not sure if we’ll be able to see the eruption. Tom sure wants to though. I'm not sure I want to hike 6 hours each way in the cold to where you can see it. The weather forecast calls for snow this Easter weekend. Fimmvörduháls is a passage between two glaciers, Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. This is where the eruption is taking place.

Here's our itinerary.
04/01/2010 depart Seattle to Keflavik on FI 680 4:30 PM - 6:45 AM
The FlyBus waits for each incoming flight at the curb outside the Arrivals Hall.
3 nights at Icelandair Hótel Loftleiðir in Reykjavik
Icelandair Hotel Loftleiðir guarantees early checkin from 9am, plus you’ll enjoy a breakfast upon arrival.

Icelandair Hotel Loftleidir is centrally located at the domestic airport in a peaceful seacoast area in Reykjavik just west of restaurant Perlan, on the beautiful Oskjuhlid Hill.
The Icelandair Hotel Loftleiðir offers four-star accommodation in beautifully renovated surroundings. The hotel features 220 rooms and a Presidential suite. The rooms all encompass warm and inviting décors with rich colours and fine linens. The hotel has five different room types including Standard, Superior, Poet, Deluxe and Gimli Suite. All rooms are equipped with a phone, TV and refrigerator. On the ground floor there is an excellent restaurant and bar. The Loftleiðir also has a large indoor swimming pool, Chinese foot massage parlour (discount for guests), hairdresser, souvenir shop and a bank. A free shuttle bus takes visitors to the Old Town Reykjavík area five times a day. For those who like to walk, an easy path can bring you to the Old Town area in about 20 -25 minutes. Hotel Loftleiðir is found near one of Reykjavík's main beauty spots, at Öskjuhlíð Hill, with striking landscapes carved by the last ice age. The Pearl, located on the hill, offers stunning views of the city. Wooded pathways are an ideal way to enjoy the scenery or a morning walk or jog.

12:00 pm Depart Hotel for Golden Circle Express Tour for 5,5 hours
A motorcoach picks you up directly from the hotel and departs for the Golden Circle Tour which presents some of Iceland’s “must see” sights such as the world-famous Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss. In one afternoon you encounter a spectacular cross-section of Iceland's natural wonders and geological phenomena. The Geysir geothermal area has spouting springs, bubbling pools of mud, hot water and exploding geysers with the famous Strokkur shooting water 100 feet into the air every ten minutes.
Gullfoss (The Golden Waterfall) queen of Icelandic waterfalls is Iceland's most famous waterfall, and one of the natural wonders of the world. On a sunlit day, the mist clouds surrounding the hammering falls are filled with dozens of rainbows, providing an unparalleled spectacle of colour and motion.

Saturday April 3rd - is Pamper Day at a five star health & spa resort in Reykjavík
The health & spa resort opened January 2004 is situated in a valley known as Laugardalur, “Hot Spring Valley”, a beautiful leisure area blessed with hot springs, complete with botanical gardens, a family zoo and an activity park. Laugar, an 18,000-square-metre health and swimming resort, has a full-sized outdoor pool and an Olympic-sized indoor pool, seven Jacuzzis and a big thermal pool for family fun. Other facilities at Laugar include a gym, spa, beauty- and a massage salon, restaurant, hairdressing salon and a sports shop. In the spa you enter an aquatic heaven where you can indulge both body and soul. Indulge yourself in six different saunas and steam rooms, each with its own aromatherapy experience. Enjoy the Jacuzzis with hot and cold subterranean sea water and the massage jet showers. End your stay in the relaxation room equipped with comfortable chairs and a cozy fireplace.

This evening we'll embark on the Northern Lights & Lobster - Jeep Tour: We head for the south coast into the dark night away from the lights of the city. Once we are outside of the city, we'll begin our hunt for the beautiful Aurora Borealis, while the guide tells us stories about this striking phenomenon, often seen dancing around in fantastic colors across the Arctic sky. The Northern lights originate from the sun, where large explosions and electronic storms throw flares and solar particles deep into space. These clouds of solar particles are caught by the Earth's magnetic field on the south and north poles. The solar particles collide with the atmospheric gases and create this wonderful light effect, known as the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights. Next we will visit the black sand beaches of the south coast for a little taste of Icelandic delicacies! As we continue our quest for the northern lights we drive to one of Iceland's most renowned seafood restaurants for an unforgettable lobster feast. And, after this delicious dinner we drive into the night and look out for the mysterious lights once again as we head back to Reykjavík.
• Guided Super truck tour
• Lobster feast and Icelandic schnapps
Please note that the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and sightings, therefore, cannot be guaranteed. Please wear warm clothing as winter nights in Iceland can get quite cold.

Sunday April 4th - is a full day tour: 8:30am Depart for the South Shore Adventure Guided Tour for 10 hours. The coach picks you up directly from the hotel and departs for the South Shore Adventure which is ideal for nature lovers of all kinds. There are over 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland and during this excursion you will experience up close and personal two of the country’s most stunning falls: Seljalandsfoss where visitors can walk behind the waterfall, and the thundering Skógarfoss where you can walk up to the falls and feel the refreshing spray of water on your face. From there the route follows along the South Coast of Iceland as far east as Vík in Mýrdal, a charming village surrounded by striking bird cliffs. Highlights of the day are stunning views of glaciers, black sand beaches and bizarre lava formations.

Monday April 5th - Departure for Seattle, but with a Blue Lagoon Twist

11AM:Morning departure by motorcoach to the amazing Blue Lagoon - renowned for its restorative and healing powers. Get pampered with a relaxing massage in the lagoon itself, using treatments made from the unique, active Blue Lagoon silica salts. Your confirmation information will show you the time reserved for your 10 minute massage. After your swim, you might opt for a light lunch at the excellent Lava Restaurant offering a view over the lagoon and its spectacular surroundings.
Afternoon transfer via coach to Keflavík International Airport for your departure flight (Blue Lagoon is 15 minutes from airport.)
04/05/2010 Depart Keflavik to Seattle on FI 681 5:00 PM - 5:45 PM