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Iceland Road Trip – Day 6

Posted on March 26th, 2015 by Blaine Zuver

Today was a relatively light day with only 200 km on the road. First above the beautiful Arctic City of Akeryuri to Hliarfjall Ski . Though there is only 600m ( 1900 ft ) of vertical it looks delightful – fresh powder, no line ( there were only about 8 people on the whole mountain) . All for about $ 30 a day – far less than US ski prices – now over $ 100 a Day !

We then headed west to Hvanneyri, on the way to Westfjords. Once again we encountered wind and snow, though not the blizzard conditions of yesterday.

Typical house of Akeryuri.

An early Prime Minister of Modern Iceland immortalized in Akeryuri’s Lutheran Cathedral.

Oceanic Ice ! Not quite the Arctic Ocean, but the Greenland Sea, which leads from the Atlantic to the Arctic Ocean.

Evening snowfall in Hvanneyri.

Iceland Road Trip – Day 5

Posted on March 26th, 2015 by Blaine Zuver

Crossing North Iceland from Egilsstaðir to Akureyri was slow going as a blizzard struck in the mountains. The landscape was literally torn apart by volcanoes and earthquakes over many millennia. We also crossed from Europe to North America, as this is where the Eurasian and North American plates meet on the MId Atlantic Ridge.

Courtesy BBC.

Cold beyond imagination.

Icy.

Country Church.

Whiteout.

City Church. Akureyri 65.68 North.

Iceland Road Trip Day 4

Posted on March 25th, 2015 by Blaine Zuver

After 48 hours in the Vatnajökull region , ArcticTropic traversed Route 1 into Northeast Iceland – now less than 100 miles from the Arctic Circle. Though days are getting longer by over 7 minutes each day – the weather is very wintry.

Black Tower Beach

Sturdy Viking Horses. Direct descendants from the Year 900.

High atop the cliffs.

Sea Harvest.

Snow 12 Months A Year.

Reindeer – It’s What’s For Dinner !

Iceland Glacier Climb

Posted on March 24th, 2015 by Blaine Zuver

Today ArcticTropic climbed Vatnajökull Glacier – the largest in Europe. Winds gusted as high as 65 mph ( 110 kph) but we held steady thanks to icepicks and crampons supplied by our guide.

Ice Cave.

Looking up into Springtime Arctic skies.

Corn surface – good for climbing.

In 1900 , when the current warming period began . the mountain behind us was covered in the glacier, it was not even visible The very elderly of the community remember that time. . While it snows more on the mountain tops, the weight pushes the ice faster down the moraines where it melts into the ocean. When the Vikings came in 900 to 1000 AD , it was a warm period and there was almost no ice. 1600 – 1900 was a mini Ice Age with rapid ice accumulation. Yesterday’s report on growing glaciers in the area was incorrect.

At day’s end -caviar – $ 3 per jar.

Sunset in Höfn,where we are spending the night.

Iceland Road Trip Day 2

Posted on March 22nd, 2015 by Blaine Zuver

ArcticTropic drove East along Iceland Route 1 for about 200 km today. While only about 125 miles, it was long day because of the incredible amount of nature to experience.

Glaciers flow directly into the Atlantic Ocean.

Black Lava Sand Beach At Vik.

River of Ice. Recent winters have gotten colder and the glaciers are expanding.

Icy Iceland Beach.

On The Moon ?

During the 2 hour sunset.

Iceland Road Trip Day 1

Posted on March 22nd, 2015 by Blaine Zuver

An amazing waterfall coming off the Glacier this afternoon in South Iceland.Today was the first day – actually only a half day – on the Ring Road around Iceland.

A boiling caldera.

1000 Year Old Viking house.

The Geysir Erupts !

Volcanic rock formations , recently formed.

Icy River !

Iceland Eclipse

Posted on March 20th, 2015 by Blaine Zuver

Courtesy Verne Global Data Centre Iceland.

ArcticTropic arrived to a long sub-Arctic sunrise this morning in Reykjavik. By 9:30 the sun had risen enough to project some warmth and melt ice. But by 10:30 it was dark and cold again, with the sun blocked out by 98%. Special filters are needed to photograph the eclipse, but we had the opportunity to view through safe lenses provided by townspeople.

Across Reykjavik Harbour during latter part of the eclipse. The temperature had dropped and the streets became icy again.

Proper viewing attire.

A seabird unsure whether it is time to go back to sleep.

Iceland Bound

Posted on March 19th, 2015 by Blaine Zuver

Early this morning ( March 19 ) ArcticTropic departs Miami for Boston, spending the day there. At 2135 we depart Logan for Keflavik – arriving just in time for the Total Eclipse on the Equinox !

Echidna – Kangaroo Island, Australia

Posted on February 20th, 2015 by Blaine Zuver

To travelers from the Northern Hemisphere , the Echidna is a strange little animal. It is an egg laying mammal , one of only two members of the monotreme family, the other being the duck billed platypus. It’s snout is perfect for eating ants and the porcupine-like quills frighten away predators, though it likes to be pet by humans

Great Ocean Highway – Victoria, Australia

Posted on February 18th, 2015 by Blaine Zuver

ArcticTropic traveled along the Southern Ocean today, along the Great Ocean Highway. Cold summer weather between 15 and 19 C. The coastline is 2000 miles from Antarctica.

Some of the Twelve Apostles.

A Koala munching on Eucalyptus leaves.

Strange local birds.

The Apostles.

London Bridge. Until 1990 there was a second arch that connected to the mainland but it collapsed. All of these natural structures consist of very soft sandstone and regularly collapse.

Video upload is very limited at this time. Rural Australia does have some wifi, but at dialup speeds. The above 7 second video took 40 minutes to upload.