Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel
View over harbor and city of Reykjavik from Hallgrimskirkja Church

Click on title to view photo in large format: While visiting Iceland, I saw a spectacular photo of Reykjavik, shot from a high position. I knew I had to figure out how to take a similar photo. Fortunately, the solution was just a block away from my rental apartment. On a clear, sunny day, I was able to capture this view of Reykjavik from Hallgrimskirkja Church spire, the tallest building in the capital city. One of the surprising things about Iceland Read More

Strokkur Geyser at Geysir Hot Springs in Iceland

Click on title to view photo in large format: Strokkur Geyser at Geysir Hot Springs in Iceland is the most active geyser in the park, erupting every few minutes. Occasionally it reaches heights of 120 feet, but on average the height of the spout ranges from 30-60 feet. It was bitterly cold on the day I visited, with high winds ragind down from the north, where a North Atlantic storm was raging. Without mittens, I could only stay out long enough to capture one shot of it erupting. For 15 minutes I watched the bluish water being sucked in and out of the mouth of the geyser as it bubbled and rumbled. I wasn’t prepared for the eruption, which came with a giant roar, throwing the boiling hot water into the air in a cascade that sent me running for safety. I counted myself lucky for having the presence of mind to snap this sole photo, then fled for the warmth of the visitor center.

Bronze man enjoys view across the Pond in Reykjavik, Iceland

Click on title to view photo in large format: The Pond in Reykjavik (Tjörnin to Icelanders) is a shallow lagoon that provides a lovely view toward the city. It is also a perfect setting for numerous sculptures that line its shores, like this bronze man on a bench. The development of Reykjavik began on the land between the lake and the North Atlantic coastline, eventually surrounding the lake. Today, many of Reykjavik’s most notable buildings rise along its shoreline, including the Reykjavik Art Museum, National Museum, Living Art Museum, Reykjavik City Library, National Theatre, and the Parliament building. Perhaps the most notable Read More

The pilot announced the weather as we landed in Reykjavik, Iceland: grey, rainy, and 38 degrees Fahrenheit. I grimaced briefly, then zipped my sweatshirt jacket up to my chin and headed for the bus that would drop me off at the Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon…to go swimming!

Never a fan of cold weather, I was more than a little apprehensive about peeling down to a swimsuit in the chilly morning air. Fortunately, the Blue Lagoon had invited me to experience their Luxury Package, which included use of the Exclusive Lounge, with its fireplace, reclining chairs, snack bar, and direct access to the lagoon. I glanced longingly at the fireplace, then gingerly walked down the interior steps into the water. By the time I had parted the plastic strips hanging over the doorway leading to the lagoon, I was cocooned in thermal water up to my chin.

Thermal pools at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Thermal pools at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

The Blue Lagoon was created when Iceland Power drilled into deep underground reservoirs of water that is heated to 464 degrees Fahrenheit (240 degrees Celsius) by underlying volcanic activity. After using the super heated water to generate geothermal power, they dumped it into lava fields next to the plant. Rather than seeping into the ground as expected, the water stayed on top and created the lagoon. Initially, a few people started sneaking into the site at night but when word got out, they realized its potential for a tourist attraction. Today Read More

Blesi and Fata geysers at Geysir Hot Springs in Iceland

Click on title to view photo in large format: Blesi and Fata geysers at Geysir Hot Springs in Iceland. Blesi, the deep azure blue hot springs at the left is the cooler of the two. It rarely erupts these days. Fata (right), the hotter of the two, still erupts occasionally, producing a diagonal spout that continues for an extraordinarily long period of time. The two are among a collection of geysers and hot springs that lie in a lower temperature geothermal field on the Read More

Sun Voyager Sculpture in Reykjavik, Iceland

Click on title to view photo in large format: Located on the seafront in Reykjavik, Iceland, The Sun Voyager sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason is an ode to the sun and undiscovered territory. It was created by the artist to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Reykjavik and unveiled on the city’s birthday in 1990. The aluminum ship seems to float on air as it reaches out to the sea. Many observers mistake the piece as a representation of a Viking ship, however the artist made it very clear before he died that this impression is Read More