The trip kicked off in a big way this morning as our Icelandic guide Haukur (Hawk) arrived with a giant van and we all piled in for the trip north to Hellnar (pronounced “Hitnar”, obviously). The highway passed by green fields filled with tiny Viking horses, through old lava flows (including one containing a golf course), around the capital Reykjavik, through a four mile long tunnel, past waterfalls, and eventually to the base of the Snaefellsjokull glacier, setting for the Jules Verne book Journey to the Center of the Earth. Hawk provided color commentary during the journey, Rod told many stories including one that I’d completely forgotten in which I showed up to dinner in Antarctica wearing only long underwear and a t-shirt, and a tasty lunch was eaten in a building with a grass roof.
After checking in to a lodge for the evening we set out along the cliffs to photograph the birds, and I spent several hours taking blurry photos of kittiwakes in flight while catching up with Rod on the news from the past couple of years. The Skipper was out and about as well and came away with some pretty good gull photos. Dinner featured delicious lamb (which Skip picked) and OK fish (which I chose), both of which were vastly better than the pickled herring I expected we would be eating. Tomorrow the weather is forecast to be a bit worse, so Hawk is leading us off in search of waterfalls and other lovely subjects that should keep cameras clicking and feet hiking.