Tuesday, November 06, 2007
DAY 1: Reykjanes Lighthouse
That's right, a hydropower plant! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to figure out which one it is (will fix this post later). Helga had heard that the museum section of the plant was to have been finished in June and so wanted to see when it was really opening up. And of course, we were game.
It wasn't close to being finished. The mannequins were still wrapped up with bubble wrap looking like victims in one of the more twisted CSI episodes. We heard some noise upstairs and found artists working on creating planets. They were nice enough to give us a tour of the place, and dug that we were familiar with the "artistic process" and could really appreciate all the problems they had to deal with, etc. The artists were imported from England since working on creating scenery was their specialty. About 10% of the people living in Iceland are foreigners. They either do jobs that require specific skills but also just general construction (jobs that require lots of workers such as creating dams).
After leaving the soon-to-be museum/energy plant, we followed a path that led us to the ocean. The gravel path was occasionally spotted with grills so we could see the sulfuric water rushing underneath our feet (although knowing that it was boiling hot, I walked on the side when I started thinking to much about it). The water let out into the sea, making a bit of a sizzling noise when the hot thermal aqua hit the cold of the Atlantic Ocean. The steam was incredible and you could feel the heat. Definitely one of those "Not in Kansas anymore" moments.
We drove past the Reykjanes Lighthouse (or "viti" in Icelandic) on the way to yet another Icelandic landmark. Built in 1908, it's Iceland's oldest, and is the landfall light for Keflavik and Reykjavik. The original lighthouse stood only eight years before being destroyed by an earthquake in 1887. The area is pretty thermally active (you can see the steam in my photo) but it doesn't seem to bother the Icelandic horses.
:: End of Part 1A of 2 ::
fully admitting to lengthening the posts about our trip so I don't run out of things to say :)