Friday, October 2, 2009

Ahhhh...Sea Days! Sept. 9-12

We headed to the casino as the ship made its way to the Faroe Islands. We sat down at a 2¢ machine and hit the reel to spin. Lots of spinning and noise!! It went into some kind of bonus spin which we didn't have to touch because the machine was doing it all for us. We ended up with over 35,000 credits. Whoa! I didn't even know what that worked out to. I looked at Jim and he shrugged and said “$60?” So we decided to cash out to see what we had won. $748!! OMG…I’m in shock. That was crazy...and fun, even if we don't know what we did!

We arrived in Torshavn in the Faroe Islands. There are 18 islands and 17 of them are inhabited. The islands are about equal distances from Scotland, Norway and Iceland, and it is believed that the first inhabitants may have been Irish monks seeking solitude for their prayers. Vikings followed and settled here to farm.

Passengers are being tendered in to Torshavn and it is a bit of a gray, bleak day.

As we were in Torshavn two years ago and did a tour of the island, museum and leper colony at that time, we opted to stay on board and do laundry. This photo really shows the landscape. There are very few trees.

It takes a hardy soul to live here! We headed out for a sea day on our way to Iceland.

This is the eastern coast of Iceland on our way through the Arctic Circle to get to Akureyri, our first stop in Iceland.

We wake up to a beautiful, sunny day in Akureyri. This is the landscape on one side of the ship. One third of the world’s volcanoes are in Iceland, but fortunately most of them are the friendly type! Each of these is a separate volcano.

This is the view from the other side of the ship. Lovely and green…

It’s hard to believe you are just a short distance from the Arctic Circle. Our tour today was going to include a visit to Lake Myvatn, known for its bizarre rock formations. We would be visiting the nature baths for a dip in the spa’s naturally heated waters. From there we would see Godafoss Falls…all of this sounded lovely! We were up early for breakfast and were ready to head out for our tour, when the captain made an announcement that due to high winds and inadequate docking facilities, we would be unable to dock. It was hard to believe on this lovely, sunny day that we weren’t going to be able to set foot on land, but such is cruising. Some people were very unhappy, but you can be sure there is nothing the captain would like better than to see us all off the ship on tours! He waited until 10:00 a.m. to make another attempt, hoping the wind would have died down, but you could see how windy it was.

Lots of tractor eggs! Sure does look pretty…

So what do you do? You go and have another late breakfast!!

So it’s goodbye to Akureyri. The captain is saying there is another storm coming. He is going to try to leave Reykjavik early to beat the storm on our way to Greenland. The water was quite choppy. This is from our balcony on deck 11, so at sea level with the tenders it would have been a bumpy ride.

We are following the coast of Iceland as we head to Reykjavik. It is beautiful, barren landscape. It’s hard to believe, but these mountains, other than having a bit more snow in the winter, look like this year round due to the influence of the Gulf Stream, keeping the temperature warm.

Look at this for evidence of a volcano…stunning scenery!

Rugged landscape…

Here’s hoping we make it into Reykjavik!!

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