Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Reflections from Iceland (part 3)

You'll want to go to part one - they're out of order - sorry. I'm too lazy to fix the problem!

And the waterfall wasn’t far away. On the way from Reykholt to our next stop we, of course, stopped at a waterfall. This day it was Barnafoss, the Children’s falls. These falls are so named because of the legend of the death of two children in the glacial water of the falls.
This pattern was repeated all over Iceland: Educational institution; (we visited the following universities – either singly or as a group: Reykjavik, Keilir, Akurerie, Bifrost, Hvanneri, Iceland) high tech display or high tech manufacturing (DeCode, SET, Marel); thermal pools and power plants (Blue Lagoon, Heilsheidi, Orkuveita Reykjavik); visited lots of historical sites (Thingvellir, Viking Days, Culture house, Egil’s Saga); churches (Hallgrimmskirkja, Skalholt, Frikirkja). Of course, we also visited nearly a waterfall a day. The queen of the falls was Gullfoss, a part of the so called “golden circle” of tourist attractions.
Since we were not there as tourists you might assume we missed the tourist attractions of the “golden circle,” (Thingvellir, Geysir, Gullfoss) as well as other touristy sites. You’d be wrong. We went whale watching, saw the beauty, bathed in the Blue Lagoon, one of us even flew over Eyafjalljokull and has pictures to prove it. We didn’t avoid the tourist spots; we simply added them to the educational and professional contacts.
That was Iceland: history, museums, hot pots and high tech. Oh yeah, and waterfalls.
None of this mentions the other reason to go to Iceland – the food and the people. Food, wonderful! Great fish dishes, stupendous lamb. The people – truly gracious Rotarians everywhere we went. But those things are just givens. Rotarians are always gracious hosts, and always serve their guests the very best food.

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