Thursday, June 9, 2016

Icelandic Arrival

It's called "the Sun Voyager"
The day started in 100-plus degree Las Vegas and ended in Reykjavik, Iceland, where it was cold, wet and windy.  How cold?  Forecasted highs in the low 50's.  That's Fahrenheit, not Celsius.  But it felt more like Kelvin on the coast.

It actually wasn't that long of a day.  A five-hour flight from LAS to JFK, followed by another five-hour-ish flight from JFK to Reykjavik Keflavik.  I got no sleep on the airplane because, well, I was on an airplane.  So I coffeed up before getting the rental car and immediately drove a little south of the airport to my #1 destination in all of Iceland:


The Bridge Across Two Continents.

To the left, Eurasia.  On the right, North America.  Or, more specifically for you aficionados of plate tectonics, the "Eurasian Plate" is on the left and the "North American Plate" is to the right.  It was helpfully explained here, in this diagram welcoming me to Eurasian landmass.


What is particularly interesting about this location is the fact that you can see the visible effects of the ground cleaving as the Eurasian and North American plates pull apart, as you can see from this view from the bridge:



A long long time ago, there was no gap in those rocks.  But the plates are pulling apart here.  You can see from this shot of the bridge.


And this is why there are earthquakes in California and Japan.  Seriously.  The plates are pulling apart in the Atlantic, as North America moves away from Europe.  (There's a political metaphor there if you want.  But I don't want.)  Meanwhile, on the other side of North America, the plate that is moving away from Eurasia is bumping up against the Pacific Plate, causing earthquakes in California and Alaska.  The Pacific Plate, in turn, is getting it from both sides, as it is getting bumped into by Eurasia as Eurasia moves away from Eastern North America.  The result of that is earthquakes and Japan and, basically, that whole ring of fire thing.


Over-simplified, yes, but as you can see from the dumb-founded look on my face above, that's all the complexity I can handle.  With only 20 minutes of sleep that night, I can handle the fact that there's a bridge.  But where are the two continents at?


I think the ground is black because all the rock is volcanic.

This picture actually does make me look like I'm having a good time.  Which I was.


It was an awesome site.  I kept stopping at parking areas because I was warned that it was not very well-marked.  I stopped the rental car (some sort of Ford) here to see if there were any bridges or continents.


The was only a lunar landscape and this weird pedestal.


It appeared to be marked to track the planet Uranus.

The sleeplessness was starting to take its toll so I decided to head into Reykjavik to find my hotel.


Which I did.  The Hotel Skuggi, which translates from Icelandic to English as "the Skuggi Hotel."

My room is "European" sized, very clean and comfortable, but strangely lacking a chest of drawers.


It's located on the quiet street bearing the Icelandic name of Hverfisgata.


Speaking of bears:


One of the souvenir shops had these giant plush polar bears in front.  This most definitely is where I will go to buy my picture postcards.


And, of course, on the walk about town, I saw the Sun Voyager.  Is it a ship?  Is it a whale carcass?  Or is it just a little of both?

3 comments:

  1. Fabulous pictures & I think it's a viking ship. Can't wait to see the rest of your trip. Travel safely.

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  2. Entertaining as always, Bob. Keep the blogs coming

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