Thursday, 29 April 2010

How to Eat Like a Child

In conjunction with the Scottish school, Ardvreck, the choirs of both schools rehearsed in 2 separate countries, then came together to perform a concert called "How to Eat like a Child".
Thanks to Olga for the great photo!

It was a great concert and Alexander had a terrific time. We were very proud parents expecially during the final song, where Alexander and 3 others sang the Highland Cathedral song, along with the Scottish bagpipers.

It was a lovely evening!

The following evening the choirs performed at the British Embassy. They performed on the Ambassador's Private Balcony (which Alexander thought was very posh), and then inside. They also had a tour of the embassy which they all enjoyed!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The 2nd eruption of Eyjafjallajokull.

5 days after we returned to Berlin, Eyjafjallajokull erupted again, and stopped all flights in Europe. Phil was in Australia at the time. He was supposed to be home on the Thursday, but his flight was cancelled. 5 days later, he arrived back in Berlin.
In celebration of him finally making it back to Berlin, we made a special dessert for dinner!

After nights of planning, we came up with "Pavlova Eyjafjallajokull"

A pavlova in the shape of a volcano.
The lava was melted white chocolate with red colouring.
Lava rocks of strawberries and raspberries.
Ash made of chocolate shavings.
With sparklers at the top.
A delicious dessert.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Jana and Chris come to visit

Jana and Chris visited from Hamburg to see us. Phil was stuck in Australia with the 2nd eruption of the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajokull.

We had a lovely visit, and it was great to see them again. Cameron took this photo as we were talking over coffee.

Friday, 9 April 2010

City of Reykjavík

We had 4 hours in Reykjavík before we needed to get to the airport to head back to Berlin. The sky was grey, and the rain fell a little bit, but I think the grey skies made our photos look great! :)

Our first stop was the Hallgrímskirkju . The Lutheran church is 74.5 metres tall, and is the largest church in Iceland. The church is named after the Icelandic poet and minister Hallgrímur Pétursson, (1614-1674). It's an impressive structure that towers over every other building in Reykjavík.

The organ is spectacular. It was built by Johannes Klais, a German organ builder. The organ consists of 5275 pipes, is 15 metres tall. It took 6 months to put together. We were really fortunate and as we went into the church, the organist was practising. We sat in the pews and listened to the organs.

Then Alexander and Cameron went to watch the organist play. Once he had finished, he took 10 minutes to talk to the kids about the organ. He played them the highest note, the lowest note, the softest note and the loudest note (which scared some other people who had entered the church!), and some of the different sounds that could be made. He was a lovely guy, and the kids asked some great questions about the organ.

There is an observation tower where we could overlook all of Reykjavík. We caught the lift up 8 floors to the observation tower. The colours of the buildings were great, even in the grey cloudy weather.

At the front of the church is a statue of Leif Ericson (c. 970 – c. 1020). He was an explorer who is regarded as the first European to land in North America. This statue was donated by America on the 1000th anniversary of Iceland's parliament at Þingvellir in 930 AD.
We toured around the city, and had a great walk near the harbour. We found this great sculpture called "Sun-Craft". It was built by an Icelandic artist, Jón Gunnar Árnason.

The kids enjoyed climbing all over it!

After a coffee stop, we sadly made our way to the airport, and headed back to Berlin. We had a fantastic holiday, and Iceland is rated as one of our favourite holidays so far!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Towards Reykjavík, Blue Lagoon and bird feeding.

We headed to Reykjavík, and decided to spend the afternoon at The Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is just outside of Reykjavík.

The Blue Lagoon sits in a lava field in a geothermal area. The lagoon is filled with algae, mineral salts and silica mud. The water temperature is around 38 degrees, and was fantastic to laze around in. The air temperature was about 4 degrees. Around the side of the lagoon were large tubs of white silica mud that you could cover your face and body with. The 4 of us slathered the mud all over our faces, bodies and hands. Once it was dry, you just washed it off in the lagoon, where is sinks to the bottom, and feels great between your toes. Our skin felt so smooth afterwards.
There was a waterfall that you could stand under and get a powerful cascade of water that as the Lonely Planet Guide says it feels like you are being "pummelled by a troll"

After 2 hours and now totally wrinkly, we headed to the showers to rinse off, and put lots of conditioner on our hair.

Back to Reykjavík, and checked into the Iceland Air Hotel. We were told that they had started a new program on a Thursday night of Icelandic Bedtime Stories, that started at 9pm.

We went into town for a quick dinner, stopping at the Tjörnin lake near the City Council Building. We had some left over bread rolls again, and these ducks, swans and geese were happy to eat the bread.

After a tasty Thai meal, we rushed back to the hotel in time to get a delicious mug of hot chocolate and cookies, and sit in the auditiorium of the hotel and listen to some Icelandic Bedtime Stories. (photo below taken from the icelandairhotel website, see link highlighted)

Our host for the evening was Felix Bergsson, an Icelandic actor/writer. He read us a fantastic story about trolls, a chapter from a book by Halldór Laxness, Iceland's only Nobel Prize in Literature winner, and the first chapter of a crime novel by Arnaldur Indriðason. It was a fantastic evening, and it was a great way to spend our last evening in Iceland.

Searching for Seals and Trolls

We stayed at a great farmhouse, called Dæli. Our hosts recommended a small waterfall only a few kilomteres away. It was small, but really lovely. We loved the way all the water freezes all around the waterfall, leaving pools of crystal blue pools of water.

We headed up to tour around the Eastern Bay of Húnaflói, in the search of seals. Sadly, it wasn't the right time of the year, and all the seals were out fishing for their next meal.

Nevertheless, the landscape was gorgeous.

We enjoyed getting knee deep in snow....again! (a recurring theme)

In the search for seals we stopped at Hvítserkur. No seals, but we did find this troll. Legend has it that this rock formation was a troll who was trying to destroy the monastery at Þingeyrar. Sadly, the troll got caught in the sunrise and he turned to stone. This view is of his back!

Poor Old Troll!!!!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


We stopped at Sauðárkrókur to stretch our legs and have a coffee break. The harbour was lovely to walk around, and once again we managed to get knee deep in snow!

We had some left over bread rolls, so we took them down to the harbour. We could not get one seagull interested in our bread. They must be spoilt with fish from the fishing boats!

We had a great time, jumping on rocks, walking along the black sand, and getting stuck in the snow again!

North West Coast of Iceland

We drove up the coast towards Siglufjörður.

Between Dalvík and Ólafsfjörður is a 3.5 kilometre one way tunnel. It's a good idea to drive slowly, and watch ahead for the headlights of other cars. One way has the the right of way the entire length of the tunnel. The other direction has many side pockets to park in, while the traffic comes the other way. It was an interesting drive!

When we got to Ólafsfjörður, we found out we couldn't get through to Siglufjörður. An 11 kilometre tunnel is currently being constructed.
So we turned around and drove back down the coast. We had right of way through the tunnel this time.
It wasn't a wasted trip, the peninsula and mountains scenery was stunning!

On the road to Sauðárkrókur