№ 18 – Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

We went to Seljalandsfoss before taking a ferry to Heimaey in the Westman Islands/Vestmannaeyjar in the morning. We got there before tour buses from Reykjavik started to arrive, which was a plus because we had the falls all to ourselves. The minus was we couldn’t spend a lot of time there because we had a ferry to catch. I also didn’t want my clothes to be all wet and my boots all muddy on the ferry ride so I didn’t do the walk behind the falls. My husband did, though. But then again, he’s always been more adventurous than me. Seljalandsfoss is lovely and all but it’s not really one of my favourites in Iceland.

I was unable to take pictures of so many Icelandic attractions in all their glory due to the lack of wide-angle lens (the widest I could get with my micro 4/3 camera was around 40mm) and it was quite frustrating for me at times. For those going to Iceland, if you own a wide-angle lens, don’t forget to pack it. If you don’t own one, buy or borrow one from someone! You won’t regret it. The next time we go there, I am so taking my DSLR with an ultra-wide angle lens. Sure it would be heavier to carry but it’s not like we’ll have to go on a long hike or anything. Most Iceland attractions are located right by the side of the road! Just one of the reasons I love Iceland, being a wimpy hiker and all. :-)

№ 17 – St. Lunaire-Griquet, Newfoundland, Canada

St. Lunaire-Griquet is a town near the northernmost tip of Newfoundland. I took a picture of this little iceberg when we were on our way up to L’Anse aux Meadows, an ancient Viking settlement. Though it might seem little, you’ll never know how big it is actualy underneath. Such is the thing with icebergs. This iceberg was not the only iceberg we saw while we were in Newfoundland’s Northern Peninsula. There were at least half a dozen more in different shapes and sizes. The Northern Peninsula is part of the so-called Iceberg Alley. It’s more fun than a tornado alley for sure.

On our way back from L’Anse aux Meadows, we went to have lunch here at the Daily Catch restaurant. They served the best fish and chips I’ve ever had. I could tell that the fish was fresh. St. Lunaire-Griquet is an old fishing community after all. The lady who served us brought us our drinks and mentioned that it was not just ice in our drinks but pieces of iceberg. We thought she was joking so we laughed, but then she went back to the kitchen and came back with a plastic bag containing a big chunk of iceberg for us to take a look. She said her husband just brought it back from the sea this morning. So it wasn’t a joke.

When I put a tiny piece of iceberg in my mouth to melt, it didn’t melt very quickly. I’m guessing it was because iceberg is much denser than regular ice. Come to think of it, I might have had some microbes from hundreds of years ago in my body, thanks to those pieces of iceberg in my iced tea!

№ 16 – London, England

I guess I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind when I was there. My mother just died. She and I used to daydream about going to London together someday so being there without her was kind of depressing. I went to London by myself one day (I was staying in Wimbledon with my aunt and uncle) and I was just walking around aimlessly, feeling sad. Sat in the rain while staring at the Thames, being all emo. So yeah, not a good memory.

The picture above was taken from the London Eye. I met up with my sister-in-law and her sister one day and we did the touristy stuff around the city, including a ride on the London Eye. We got to the London Eye site early so the line up queue wasn’t super long yet. The security had to check every passenger’s bag before the ride. When the security guy found my stuffed duck Quack in my bag, he held it up, smiled, and said “quack!” Made me laugh. The London Eye ride was enjoyable but way too short, especially for the price!

I was actually in London twice that year before and after my first visit to Canada but really didn’t get to see much. We’re planning on doing a road trip around Great Britain for my husband’s 40th birthday. Hopefully I’ll get to see more of London then, since I have heard it have many places to visit and restaurants and bars, and even other adult services you can get from sites like zoomescorts.co.uk for the people who is into adult entertainment.

Addendum: Poor quality photo courtesy of a Kodak 2MP digital camera a generous reader gave me just for the trip. It served me well. In 2004 when I took this trip, most digital cameras only had 2-3MP picture quality.

№ 15 – Stanley Park, British Columbia, Canada

Actually, I know exactly why. First of all, we always travel during the off season. Secondly, I always kind of wish for a little less than perfect weather because it makes for more interesting pictures, but more often than not, Mother Nature’s interpretation of a little less than perfect weather is a little off. The weather is usually worse than I’d like it to be. But eh, I always end up having fun anyway. When I’m grumpy while travelling, it’s never because of the weather. It’s always because of something else.

Anyway, Brockton Point Lighthouse (built in 1914) is the lighthouse in the foreground of the photo and in the background is the city of Vancouver. Brockton Point is the most easterly part of Stanley Park. At 1,001 acres, Stanley Park is quite large (as a comparison, Central Park in New York City is 843 acres in size) and has a long history. It has been designated a National Historic Site of Canada.

I didn’t get to see much of Stanley Park so I don’t really have much to say about it. It was just one of the quick stops we made while exploring Vancouver. The views from along the waterfront are quite amazing and I would have loved to stick around for a while and walk some of the trails but alas, there were still so many other places to see in our short time there. Maybe some other time.

№ 14 – The Tablelands, Newfoundland, Canada

We walked the Tablelands Trail on our last full day in Newfoundland. The weather wasn’t the greatest. It was overcast, windy, and drizzly. It was supposed to be an easy 4 km hike, but I was a wimpy hiker (still am!) and the gentle slope soon made my legs feel all crampy. I told my travel companions to walk ahead of me and not to worry about me. I might make it to the end of the trail, I might not. I’d just walk at my own pace (which is a snail’s pace, to be honest).

By the time I got to the boardwalk leading to the end of the trail, my travel companions were already on their way back. My husband happily walked back with me to the end of the trail where the view was glorious and the benches looked very inviting. The picture above was taken from the end of the trail.

I don’t know if it would be possible to explain the science of the Tablelands without using all sorts of fancy words that I’m not even sure the meaning of, so I’ll just copy the explanation from this page:

“The barren Tablelands, found between Trout River and Woody Point in Gros Morne National Park, look more like Arizona than forested Newfoundland. This is due to the ultramafic rock – peridotite – which makes up the Tablelands. It is thought to originate in the earth’s mantle and was forced up from the depths during a plate collision several hundred million years ago. Peridotite lacks the usual nutrients required to sustain most plant life, hence its barren appearance. The rock is very low in calcium, very high in magnesium, and has toxic amounts of heavy metals. Peridotite is also high in iron, which accounts for its brownish colour. Underneath this weathered zone, the rock is really a dark green colour.”

So now you know, and I think you should go there! It’s such a uniquely beautiful spot. In fact, the whole Gros Morne National Park is breathtakingly beautiful. It’s one of my most favourite places on earth. Definitely a must-see!

№ 13 – Hraunfossar, Iceland

Hraunfossar is a series of waterfalls in West Iceland where the water comes from springs in a lava field. I was unable to capture the whole thing due to the lack of a wide-angle lens. It’s a lot of waterfalls in one and really wide! We kind of stumbled upon it on the third to last day of our trip in Iceland. It was a nice pick-me-up since I was a bit bummed about the trip being almost over, even if we were already waterfalls-d out by then. Iceland just has sooo many waterfalls! There’s another waterfall nearby called Barnafoss but it’s probably my least favourite of all.

Hraunfossar pours into the river Hvítá. The river has a light sea-green colour because it’s glacier-fed. “Hvítá” itself means “white river” in Icelandic. The area around the falls is quite pretty. It’s close to a spot where Icelandic (Reykjavik?) people go for a vacation in the summer. We passed one area with a large number of cottages/summer homes, a few were quite fancy. I think that’s their cottage country.

Of all the waterfalls in Iceland, Hraunfossar is definitely one of my favourites.

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