Iceland

Iceland is a beautiful country. Very dramatic with steep mountains, volcanoes and then lakes and streams with waterfalls.

waterfall

 

 

 

 

Iceland is a geothermal country and is growing – slowly. Volcanoes are a big part of the landscape. We saw the volcano that erupted in 2010 (I can neither pronounce nor spell the name) and stopped air traffic over Europe. The lava formations do indeed look like trolls, which are huge in the mythology.

lava

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The scale of the image does not show how enormous this outcropping is.

Because of the this activity, all the energy is geothermal. And signs of the geothermal activity are everywhere.

geyser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one is at geysir – yes, folks, geyser is an Icelandic name. Another feature is the boiling water and mud that one can see everywhere

fumerole

 

 

 

 

Iceland was very green, with snow on the higher peaks. But it is too cold to grow many things so most of the produce – that is not imported – is grown in greenhouses. Here, even a degree or two can make a huge difference.

We bought more sweaters.

One interesting feature: the livestock. Almost feral horses that are thickly covered with hair. Cattle that are a very old breed (Iceland has strict laws on importing livestock since they want to keep their breeds pure). The cattle look very different from our modern cows. They are horned with long pointed horns, for one thing, and instead of a barrel shape their bodies hang from their prominent hips as though the flesh was on a coat hanger.

And there are more sheep than people: sheep everywhere.

I loved Iceland but I don’t think I could take the cold climate. And, in the north, we had almost 24 hours of day. I cannot imagine coping with 24 hours of night.

Copenhagen and random thoughts

I love Copenhagen as a city. I suppose its greatest claim to fame is Hans Christian Anderson, the author of such tales as “The Little Mermaid” and “The Ugly Ducking.” As any one who has read these stories will tell you, they are much darker than their Disney versions. There is a statue of the mermaid in the harbor and she is little.

little mermaid

I would have like seeing the museum but it was outside of Copenhagen and we didn’t have the time.

This is also a very green city- and by that I mean it is rapidly attaining full sustainable energy. There are not that many cars = probably because they are so highly taxed. In the harbor, on reclaimed land, there are wind turbines. Here is an idea I thought very cool as a form of tree irrigation.copenhagen irrigation

All the trees have these gigantic bags of water around them as a form of irrigation. They are also working on fresh fruits and veggies grown in the city. As someone who has a large garden every year, I found this fascinating. These igloos dot the city and when you get closer they are full of growing things. Plus, they play music to help the plants grow.

copenhagen greenhouse

So, there has to be something I didn’t like, right? It was cold! We stopped for lunch at a cafe. Note the blankets on the chairs, the jackets everyone was wearing. And there were heaters every few feet. I want to add, this is the beginning of JULY!

copenhage cafe

In all fairness, all of Scandinavia was cold. We’d brought jackets, long pants and sweaters and we still had to buy new sweaters. In Iceland, the tops of the mountains were covered with snow.

iceland snow

So, I loved everything about Scandinavia but the climate.

Scandinavia Cruise – Denmark

I haven’t blogged for awhile. My husband and I went for a cruise in Scandinavia. (Disney cruise – we are all about Disney!) First up: Copenhagen.

I loved this city. It is old, with a lot of medieval remnants.

copenhagen building

medieval carving

They all seemed very old to me – until we saw neolithic ruins later in the trip. But more about that later.

One weird sight: old buildings with new things like a Macdonalds and an electric billboard.

copenhagen old and new

There are bike lanes everywhere and man, are the riders aggressive. If a pedestrian strays into their space, they will curse and sometimes try to push you out of their way. One of our bus drivers called them anarchists on wheels and they are. They don’t stop for red lights or anything!

copenhagen bike lane

A tiny lane for cars and a tiny lane for pedestrians and a wide lane for bikes. There are more bikes than people in Copenhagen – which means some people have two or three.

Musings on car colors

My husband and I took a trip over the weekend to visit a friend (a friend that I have had for forty years!). When we drove down 95 I noticed that it was a sea of black, white and silver cars. There were a few burgundy SUVs but from a distance, just like the dark blue and dark green, they looked black. I love seeing the bright red cars. mostly Pickups, that look like bright red tomatoes riding down the road.

Finally, on 85 South, I saw a robin’s egg blue VW beetle and a copper colored KIA.

Where are the rest of the colors? My first car was a Chevy Malibu. It was a beautiful creamy yellow. (In 1973. Can you believe it?) If you go further back, to the time of the movie American Graffiti, the cars were all kinds of colors: Pink, light blue, yellow. I’d like to see royal blue and emerald green, bright red like the pickups, and taxicab yellow

I say, stand up for colorful cars!

Audiobooks and narrators

I am very excited and happy to announce I have selected a new audio book narrator for “Cradle to Grave” and “Death in Salem”. As any librarian will tell you, audiobooks are very very popular. A good narrator can really make a story shine. I am very glad to see both these titles become audiobooks for all my patrons.