Saturday, September 3, 2011

Iceland is calling

Ah! Iceland is calling me. I can hear it. Iceland is a great place to travel, and it is full of incredible things to see, exciting things to do, beautiful exotic landscapes, and is full of a sense of mystery. The first time I went to Iceland I went on some incredible day tours. When I return to Iceland I want to get more involved and kick it up a notch. I want to go hiking in Iceland, do a glacier walk in iceland, go backpacking in Iceland, and maybe even go rock climbing in Iceland.

Whenever I get the urge to be breathing the Icelandic air, I visit Iceland Tours website and start browsing the tours that they offer. This site is full of tours all over Iceland, featuring whatever activity you are interested in. If you are planning to visit Iceland, this is the site you should plan your trip around.

Iceland Day Tours allow you to explore whichever terrain type Iceland has to offer. I would love to go on another horse riding tour over the volcanic terrain. Super Jeep tours look extremely exciting also. Mountain climbing and ice climbing would be a fantastic way for the athletic traveler to take advantage of all the challenging mountains to climb. It is just a bonus that everything is beautiful there. Iceland is also romantic. Did I mention my trip to Iceland was basically a long weekend getaway with my girlfriend at the time? Yeah. It was magical.

Now, one thing I really wish we would have experienced was a Glacier Tour. You need to click the link to see photos and get an idea of what I am talking about. The idea of putting on a jacket and going hiking in these exotic glacier landscapes with giant 20 foot tunnels of ice, huge icebergs, and searching for puffin sound amazing.

Incredible Iceland has so much to offer.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Icelandic Travel Market

Iceland is a phenomenal place to travel. Vacationing in Iceland is exotic, adventurous, unusual, romantic, and filled with beauty. However, without experience and knowledge Iceland can be a challenging place to navigate. This is why, when you visit Iceland, it is critical to find tours to guide your visit. When you are looking for a tour in Iceland, that is when you need the Icelandic Travel Market.

With the Icelandic Travel Market you can purchase tours from all of the major tour operators in Iceland. The Icelandic Travel Market is infinitely helpful because you can search for exactly what you activity you might want. You can select Iceland day tours and select categories like; glacier walks, 4X4 tours, whale watching, hiking, iceland from above, ice climbing, horse riding and skiing. With the Icelandic Travel Market you have the ability to refine your day tours to the exact activities you enjoy and at the same time will allow you to pool all the different varieties of each activity you might want to do, which will help you select the best possible tour from your visit.

There are also a great list of Iceland excursions and sightseeing like the Golden Circle Tour, Salty Blue Lagoon Tour, and many more. There are overnight tours, bus tours, and express tours that can take you right to the Geysers, or places like Reykjavik. You can browse, compare prices, plan your vacation, and budget your trip from one simple site.

Taking advantage of the travel market will keep you from sitting in an Icelandic bus station flipping through dozens of pamphlets. Trying to find the tour that fits your interests, your time frame, and your budget is always a challenge. Having a great organizational tool like the Icelandic Travel Market can eliminate all the stress of planning the trip to a great vacation spot. With the Icelandic Travel Market all you really need to do is decide what it is you want to experience in Iceland, and then figure out which tours fit into your trip. For me, because often times I am not sure what exactly I want to experience on a trip, I love browsing all of the categories and picking out my favorites and building a trip around the Iceland excursions and tours that are the most appealing.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Fish jerky in iceland

That is right. One of the first thing we were offered in Iceland was fish jerky. It smelled terrible, tasted worse, and was supposedly good with beer. The texture was dry and flaky, and very unappealing. I did buy some to bring home to my dad (who loves beef jerky) and show everyone else. My family was equally disgusted by the entire product, most notably the taste and therefore it became an exotic kitty treat for our chubby cat, who loved the stuff.

Iceland often served a number of very odd fish dishes, none of which we tried. I had food poisoning on my way to Ireland, and wanted to avoid anything I did not trust. It was also well out of our limited budget to splurge on a meal 4 times what we were planning to spend. We opted to buy Icelandic hot dogs from an outdoor stand... and those were amazingly good and cheap. We also tried pizza, which was as you'd expect, and ate a lot of yogurt, fruit, and sandwiches made from items at the store.

I would steer clear from the fish jerky unless you want to try something new, or think you'd maybe enjoy the product. If i did have more money and time, I would have tried the interesting fish dishes, maybe even the rare shark delicacy that is offered. I bet the fish and chips is extremely good as well. Again, on a tight budget, food is one of the first things that you have to skimp on. I remember the orange juice being the most amazing thing to drink while hiking, and the candy shops we walked into were like right out of Willy Wonka, floor to ceiling with a million different things.

Traveling to iceland now might be a bad idea, with the economic problems. If you get the chance, take it, Iceland is like a dream world with a fantasy like quality. I felt often times like I was in Wonderland.

Have you ever tried fish jerky?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Is Iceland doomed?

I am very horrified to read about the downfall of iceland's economy. I feel it may make Iceland a hard place to travel, if it cannot afford to take in tourists. I loved my visit, and plan to update my thoughts and worried about the situation in Iceland.

Is traveling to Iceland still a good option for your vacation? Will Iceland even exist in the next decade?

I truly hope so.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Blue Lagoon

One of the most popular tourist attraction is the blue lagoon naturally heated pools. The waters is bright blue, surrounded by lava rocks. At the bottom is this blue mud, which is good for exfoliation, and sold all over the world. Since the temperature is typically very chilly, it is especially unique to be in a very hot sulfur bath while any part of your body that is above the water is extremely cold.

It was highly suggested that you visit this site on your way to the airport, because it is so relaxing that you basically melt on the plan ride home. Our plan was ruined by the fact we had the worst flight back into America that we have ever had. The very back seat, next to the bathroom, with a violently ill child, creating a line that lasted the entire trip. Not to mention 50 million other problems.

However, this post is about the Blue Lagoon, which was amazing. It rivaled the horseback riding Lava Tour as the best experience of the entire trip. We have approximately two hours to enjoy the pools, and even though we thought it was not going to be enough, it was just about a perfect amount of time. You can indulge yourself in massage services or saunas which we skipped due to time, and did not browse the food or the shop, due to time.

The one thing that I really enjoyed about this natural pool, was the uneven lava surface, which if you move too quickly can be very sharp and dangerous. I hit my shin a few times trying to wade through water too quickly. The space is hidden among the vast lava landscape, and absolutely beautiful to behold. The water varies in heat depending where you stand, and how much thermal heat happens to be omitted at that particular time. Sometimes you will wade into almost unbearable hot locations, and other times the water is absolutely perfect. It is always fluxuating which creates a very calming sensation on the body. The hot steam that pours out of some man made ventilation tubes allows for you to keep warm in the cold wind provided you pick the right spot to swim. The blue lagoon waters are supposed to help the skin, respiratory system, arthritis, nervous system and emotional stress. I think anyone the visits should enjoy this tourist attraction, as even the locals come here often to bask in the natural resource. It is rumored to be a fountain of youth.

Now enjoy some pictures of the blue lagoon and pictures of us in the blue lagoon:

Kelsey and myself, with blue mud on our faces. We found out during the preperation for this picture, that the mud on the ground, which feels great on the face, is also completely filthy with human hair from the thousands of people the visit each week. blue mud and human hair! Keep in mind they do have blue exfoliation mud (without the hair) available on the other side of the lagoon.
Before the  mud. Surrounded by the natural steam. Which smells slightly like eggs, which I actually began to really enjoy by the time we left. 

Now we are holding the hairy mud up for you to see. Keep in mind our heads, shoulders and hands were FREEZING cold in the brisk wind, while nipples down we were steaming hot!
A picture of the blue water, surround by the black lava rocks. This was the other lagoons surrounding the main attraction. You were not allowed on those lagoons. I imagine it has to do with temperature control.
The water is also allowed to run into the building. The water is connected to the lagoon. This indoor portion is for people with hadicaps, small kids, walkers or other immobilities. Or people extremely sensitive to the cold air. 
This is the view from the Men's changing room window. If you notice the steam on the upper left, that is where we were taking the pictures with mud above. You start at the bottom right of this picture and wade under the bridge and out into the rest of the lagoon. There is a snake like maze of water, and free blue mud for your skin off to the left (which you cannot see).

Make sure to see my other posts to learn more about our 4 day Iceland weekend.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Flushing in Iceland is weird

How to Flush
The very last day, only an hour before we got on the plane to return to Minnesota I snapped this picture while at the Blue Lagoon resort (which was awesome by the way). All the bathrooms in Iceland are odd, simply because of the toilets flushing system.
In the picture above, do you see the shiny rectangle? That is the flusher. You press in the panel and it flushes. While this one only has one panel, most have two. One for going number 1, and one for going number 2. This is not labeled, and the first time both Kelsey and myself ran across this in the guesthouse we were both slightly baffled. We could not find a flusher level anywhere.

Less Water
I stood there and checked all over before realizing i needed to press the rectangle. The toilets also consume a lot less water and therefore there is no american swooshing noise. Simply some trickling of water and that is the end of it. I would compare the toilets to a better designed airplane toilet as far as how it opperates. Personally, I began to relaly enjoy the system and think America should use less water in their toilets as well.

Egg Water

One other IMPORTANT note is the hot water. DO NOT DRINK IT. I made this mistake in the bathroom of the first bus stop, and my water tasted like eggs. All the hot water in iceland is heated by geothermal energy from lava flows under the surface, therefore sulfer is in the hot water. The sulfer tastes exactly like eggs, this is also how the geysers smell both in Iceland and in Yellowstone National Park in America. Geothermal heating is how almost all water is heated in Iceland. The hot water tastes terrible and smells bad too. It works great for washing your hands though, becuase the smell does not linger and saved the country tons of energy. If you want hot tea or anything using hot water, use cold and microwave it.

My other websites

I currently run a number of blogs and websites:

William Hessian Art
The artworks, art projects and art videos of Minneapolis artist William Hessian. Featuring miniature art treasure hunts, bearded bunnies, creature illustrations and short art videos.

Bearded Bunny Art Blog
An art blog featuring art & artists based in Minneapolis. Featuring art battles, miniature art hunts, art videos, and features brand new bearded bunny illustrations.

Zombie Robot Frosting
Immortality, health and technology. Reviewing health products, natural energy drinks, root beer, researching immortality, life extension, solar panels, green energy, anti corporations and politics.

Blog Blog Cherry
A blog written to chronicle my blogging experiences. Listing blog strategies, what works and doesn't work and shows actual figures of how much money I make blogging each month.

Billy and the Old Man
Custom automotive airbrushing in Minnetonka, Minnesota. We turn your ideas into a reality. Motorcycles, helmets and more.