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RetiredMustang

Dave’s Live from Zuiderdam Voyage of the Vikings, July 30 – Sept. 3, 2019

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Thank you so much for this!  My DH and I are hoping to do this cruise in a few years.  Maybe a retirement present!

 

Lesley

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Posted (edited)

Aug. 23, Reykjavik (Cont.)

 

We were docked and cleared about 11 a.m.  We had decided not to take the rain check on the whale-watching, since the company was in the old port and required pre-booking; an 11 a.m. arrival would have made that problematic.  So, we had discussed it and decided to try to do two things – get a hot dog at the famous stand, and see the church again, at leisure.

 

We went ashore about 11:15 or so and at the shop right by the pier we bought one-way shuttle tickets to town.  The cost was 1,000 Icelandic Kroner (ISK), or about U.S. $8.50.   I think a shuttle was supposed to arrive at 11:30, but was delayed.  One of the group waiting for it went inside to talk to the staff that had sold us tickets, and she said that the bus was delayed by heavy traffic.  The marathon is tomorrow, but there was no doubt a lot of preparations being made.  The bus arrived about 11:45, and we were off.  A short time later, we were let off at the Harpa, the convention center in the heart of downtown.

 

We walked past many tall buildings that had not been there six years ago when we last visited Reykjavik; the city seems to be in a boom, with a lot of building construction going on.  But, we found our way to Boejarins Beztu Pulsur (the best hot dogs in town).  On previous visits, we had seen the hot dog stand, but it was always before the 10 a.m. opening.  Today, we joined the line:

 

55572948_lineforadog.jpg.5c2b7238b87941648dea8c5154a958dd.jpg

 

 

It was not long, and moved pretty quickly.  Most of us in line were tourists – I wonder how the Icelanders who just wanted a quick lunch thought about all of us clogging the line.  Sooner than we thought, we ordered two dogs with everything (one minus onions) and two Cokes.  The total was about 1,500 Icelandic Kroner (ISK), or about U.S. $12, which is not bad considering how expensive everything is in Iceland.  We had heard that U.S. President Bill Clinton had eaten here once and had only the mustard, so the stand called a dog with mustard only the Bill Clinton.  I can’t verify this, because there was no menu posted; you just ordered and told the man what you wanted on your dog.  Here are shots of the stand, and of the one with everything I got (the brown sauce is brown mustard). 

 

51370609_bestdogintown.jpg.75990bccc69bc527435d5af680a734b4.jpg

 

72609750_dogwitheverything.thumb.jpg.c93ed76c3f4bb0a746f08633023cd887.jpg

 

 

My hot dog had what tasted like bacon bits, raw onions, ketchup, remoulade mayo and the brown mustard.  The sausage had a snap to it which was very nice, but what with all the toppings, I couldn’t tell if it was beef, lamb or pork, or a mixture, or something else (you don’t wanna know, city boy).  What I could tell is that it was delicious and a great light lunch.

 

 

More in the next post,

Dave

Edited by RetiredMustang

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Posted (edited)

Aug. 23, Reykjavik (Cont.)

 

Objective number one achieved, we strolled up Austurstaeti, which became Bankastreati, which at the corner with Skolavordustigur became Laugevegur (I didn’t really remember these names, but cheated – I kept my tourist map).  It was basically one long shopping street, and much more crowded than we remember, but we weren’t here on marathon weekend before, either.  At the corner, I took a photo uphill along Skolavordustigur to the famous Hallgrimskirkja, the magnificent Lutheran church that was our next objective. 

 

978664175_churchupstreet.thumb.jpg.24b4fed532a2ede2bfb8fe4b59f3c479.jpg

 

 

As you can see from the photo, the church is backlit.  I thought “it seems like that church is always backlit when we are here!”  Then it occurred to me – the church front faces north.  At 64+ degrees north latitude, probably the only time the front of the church has direct sunlight is a few days around June 21.  So, I turned around halfway up, and took a photo of the street in full sunlight:

 

180044032_sunnystreet.jpg.172d2ded50921e399a2c890a80273069.jpg

 

 

Yes, it was pretty much full sunlight by then, about 12:30.  I was happy that the captain’s weather forecast was a bust, but in a good way.  It was partly cloudy/mostly sunny in the early afternoon, and the temps climbed to about 59F/15C.  At the top of the street (I won’t inflict the name on you again), I took another backlit photo of the church and the statue in front (more about that later).

 

928054539_backlitchurch.thumb.jpg.89a8a68fa99b6023d8498749b05d191e.jpg

 

 

Were we there just after the 12:45 bell rung, and found a note at the door that the church would close soon for a 1:30 funeral service.  We were glad we had gone to the church before browsing the tourist shops, of which there were many.  We were able to go inside, and I was struck by the contrast with the Catholic cathedral we had seen in Cobh – this was bare, austere even, by contrast, but the design and soaring architecture were as impressive as we had experienced before.  I was able to take a photo of the amazing organ rising at the north end:

 

:organ.thumb.jpg.2ede59c8dc44f5a48091e2de3626b8c1.jpg

 

 

I also took a photo of the altar at the south end – the sunlight shining on the altar was stunning, but it also made for a somewhat hazy photo:

 

altar.thumb.jpg.56ad11e00cd598eeea346d840750f9ff.jpg

 

 

Outside the church is an imposing statue of a Viking.  It is Leif (or Leifur) Ericsson.  Here are a photo from the side of the statue, as well as one of the inscription on the back:

 

1109137507_Ericssonstatue.thumb.jpg.d50c75578b65f41b5067000dfb8235f1.jpg

 

464225363_statueinscription.thumb.jpg.0c23a54502e2a7402defdbe7e7667203.jpg

 

 

 

More in the next post,

Dave

Edited by RetiredMustang

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Aug. 23, Reykjavik (Cont.)

 

The weather was so nice by the time we left the church that we decided to walk the 2.5-3 miles/4-5km along the seafront back to the ship instead of waiting for a shuttle.  We walked down a different street from the church, one that would lead us to the path closer to the ship than returning to the Harpa.  We had not reckoned for all the construction, and had to detour a block or so, but eventually got to a lighted crossing of the busy main waterfront road.

 

I backtracked about 100 yards/meters to take a photo of the famous Sun Voyager along the waterfront.  This is a metal stylized Viking longship that never fails to inspire; today, in direct sunlight, it was awesome:

 

537004256_SunVoyager.jpg.84151fb7994056a65c9875ceaa7e3591.jpg

 

 

Shortly thereafter, we passed the Hofdi House, site of the famous Reagan-Gorbachev summit:

 

35764483_HofdiHouse.jpg.1b377cfbbd7f30c9533c3fdf9638127f.jpg

 

 

Much later, we passed a bend in the path that struck me as why we decided to walk back along the seashore, with  mountains in the background on a beautiful day:

 

pathway.jpg.d1d418bb477b1a22a90d8e123d2c55f5.jpg

 

 

Then, after the long hike, we were happy for the sight of journey’s end:

 

1408066797_Journeysend.thumb.jpg.20a95192fdb9f775060f153d8e1996fe.jpg

 

 

We thoroughly enjoyed the day, the hot dog, the church and the walk, but especially the wonderful weather we had in which to enjoy it all.  What a special day.

 

More later,

Dave

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Aug. 23, Reykjavik (Cont.)

 

We went back on the ship and did our normal afternoon routine before dinner.  What with many long shore excursions and us staying overnight, the happy hour and early fixed seating dinner had fewer people than usual.

 

Here are the dinner and dessert menus:

 

247359194_dinner23Aug_1.thumb.jpg.e55be8749a5d56a4fbfeb4efabfef8f6.jpg526891043_dinner23Aug_2.thumb.jpg.37d353f5c0020570a67bc90b3bed67e2.jpg

 

1949888512_dessert23Aug.jpg.7c3e691a63d7a8258a9eb675a47f725c.jpg

 

Here is the Lido dinner menu:

 

1268400675_dinnerlido23Aug.thumb.jpg.6837726bd324a8961a62a1bdb5effc2f.jpg

 

 

More tomorrow,

Dave

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Count me as a fan, I'm looking forward to your reports. Did you have ISK to pay for the shuttle and hot dogs or did they take credit cards?

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3 hours ago, Dietemann said:

Count me as a fan, I'm looking forward to your reports. Did you have ISK to pay for the shuttle and hot dogs or did they take credit cards?

 

Yes to both.  We had ISK, but a lot of the tourists in front of us in both places were using cards to pay.  

 

Dave

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Aug. 24, Reykjavik, Iceland day 2

 

This morning, we have a four-hour ship’s shore excursion called “Lunar Landscapes” which involves a drive to the relatively nearby Reykjanes Peninsula to look at several dormant volcanoes, lava fields and sulfuric mud pools.  We are also scheduled to visit the Viking World Museum.  The weather looks promising, partly to mostly cloudy right now, with no rain.  Hopefully, that holds through the morning.

 

Here is today’s When and Where:

 

24Aug_1.thumb.jpg.e547a84ad9a7d31636442ee16f30fbac.jpg24Aug_2.thumb.jpg.2bf69db258eb1beb92fdea3208d9a30b.jpg

 

 

24Aug_3.thumb.jpg.80eda62bec8e3c8737d9b8a6a1cee65e.jpg24Aug_4.thumb.jpg.8578b9ff519d2ce016738b3eb770a0ec.jpg

 

 

24Aug_5.thumb.jpg.25c4dbbafe316953a30e55d3c985867f.jpg24Aug_6.thumb.jpg.6c0ad0e327cd58b0f711d63a51cf7f1e.jpg

 

 

More later,

Dave

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Aug. 24, Reykjavik (Cont.)

 

Our bus left on time at 8:30 a.m.  On the way out of town, the bus had to take a roundabout way because of the many road closures for the marathon. We drove about 45 minutes to the town of Reykjanesbaer, near the Keflavik international airport (also the site of a former U.S. Navy base) to visit the Vikingaheima, or Viking Museum:

 

1688898610_VikingMuseum.jpg.92fb351f4b1dafec7bca3a0657a267dc.jpg

 

 

This was a small, but interesting place, featuring a replica Viking longship called the Islendingur, that a man built in the 1990s and actually sailed it to North America.

 

1366743308_longship1.jpg.b946557cd836bbe8cb9403eddd1bbb73.jpg

 

511219557_longship2.jpg.2843adeaaff081a5abbc629ac41f1f17.jpg

 

 

The museum also had several exhibits featuring Viking history, including this diorama of the settlement at L’Anse aux Meadow in northern Newfoundland.  We have booked a tour there for when we visit St. Anthony in a few days.

 

842473917_Vinlanddiorama.jpg.6596e12a330c121bd47627c9249898c0.jpg

 

More in the next post,

Dave

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Aug. 24, Reykjavik (Cont.)

 

We next drove south to the village of Grindavik, and turned east.  Along the way, we passed a great many lava fields, such as this:

 

1540403926_lavafield.jpg.bf5812e3c96d1868aab1c5db2aad0a2e.jpg

 

We went further, and then turned north, to visit an active geothermal area.  From the parking area, it was a short walk along a flat boardwalk to a viewing area.   You could get quite close to the mudpots there:

 

240203637_easyboardwalk.thumb.jpg.52bb9213d9de089b9248d8a116bbd3b3.jpg

 

1203049973_upclose.jpg.b6a9ad48302809ba1fd5547da58f6ef3.jpg

 

 

 

Those who wanted could also take another, longer path, with some steps, to see other but similar features.

 

624839763_longerpath.jpg.7dd407fed244d9a01f476ba1c42dca08.jpg

 

838066810_hardersteps.thumb.jpg.5d271c7ea02b4f5469d439d3ac638392.jpg

 

 

I went partway up, and took a photo back to the first platform, parking area and a lake in the distance.  There were restrooms available by the parking.

 

2036354225_viewtowardlake.jpg.24ee54bb21c626d1b8e56d286cec955f.jpg

 

 

More in the next post,

Dave

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Aug. 24, Reykjavik (Cont.)

 

We then drove a short way along the road until we came to a convenient place for the bus to pull over and stop so we could take photos of a lake named Kleifarvatn.  Our guide pointed out that we could see a different type of lava, in which we could see layers:

 

109721609_lavalayers.jpg.459eb793c65669d182af728e7ff73a79.jpg

 

 

But the main attraction was the lake itself:

 

350173752_lake1.jpg.49a904dcd59b33e1bce80b129c0dc6c3.jpg

 

75696324_lake2.jpg.18f1df12be55b61f63639ca3d81a1934.jpg

 

123903871_lake3.jpg.e1238774f0cc94c78ad3bf23365821b9.jpg

 

 

We then went a few more miles to complete the loop back at the main highway to Reykjavik.  The bus had to take the same roundabout way back to the ship.

 

This would be a good tour for most people – if you could get on and off the bus, and walk short distances, you could see everything.  The museum had an elevator so you could see the longship from both floors.  It was about 6 steps to actually enter the longship.  At the geothermal area, you could go as far as you wanted, but it was only about 100 yards/meters on the boardwalk to the viewing area.

 

This tour was different from the ones we had done from Reykjavik before, and it was an enjoyable morning. 

 

More later,

Dave

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Aug. 24, Reykjavik (Cont.)

 

The captain announced this afternoon that there would be fireworks behind us at 11 p.m., as we left port.  He hopes to leave a bit early, I think, to be able to turn south and so avoid as much as possible a storm brewing off eastern Greenland and due to head northeast, with 45+ knot winds and 7 meter seas.  He hopes by turning south, the most we will see is 5.5 meter seas (about 20 feet) starting about 3 p.m. tomorrow.  He also said again, basically, to rig for heavy seas (stow your stuff, hang on to rails, etc.).  Should be an interesting sea day tomorrow.  Ah, life in the North Atlantic!  One good bit of news: we set the clocks back an hour tonight, so will be 3 hours ahead of EDT.

 

Here are tonight’s dinner and dessert menus:

 

1604247223_dinner24Aug_1.thumb.jpg.7d506625b19f59eb6823c8114454dda1.jpg1570341317_dinner24Aug_2.thumb.jpg.cf53a08feade2672544a2845322a9370.jpg

 

215031448_dessert24Aug.jpg.c8572f759861fa246072faa1ed7af653.jpg

 

Here is tonight’s Lido dinner menu:

 

1936104324_dinnerlido24Aug.thumb.jpg.388b67c0c6f1e10d4b72634e830d0591.jpg

 

 

More tomorrow,

Dave

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25 Aug., at sea

 

We are heading west from Iceland toward Greenland.  The skies are mostly cloudy and the seas are pretty calm right now.  Looking at a weather map I saw, I think it looks like we will skirt the storm, and hopefully will not hit the full force.  There are a lot of activities planned onboard today.  Here is today’s When and Where:

 

25Aug_1.thumb.jpg.16b321319bc923cd6f60d87d4a570863.jpg25Aug_2.thumb.jpg.ca7e6dac27b7f4f5cc03293db0be0dcb.jpg

 

 

25Aug_3.thumb.jpg.a49aed06f77a1cead996fdd86ac25dd2.jpg25Aug_4.thumb.jpg.6d4f234be8bbc69569d17e496a1ac961.jpg

 

 

25Aug_5.thumb.jpg.0f4ee0c2f91ea67cf6297521f58fbdf2.jpg25Aug_6.thumb.jpg.6879b7eea1fb4e1f4736a64f92ea9e01.jpg

 

 

More later,

Dave

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25 Aug., at sea (Cont.)

 

This morning, the captain announced that the storm was moving northeast, and we were going southwest so as to avoid the full brunt, but that we could expect the conditions to deteriorate especially after 3 p.m.  and said he expected seas up to 5-1/2 meters/18 feet.

 

In his noon report, he said that we were already seeing 3-meter seas.  It has been raining and is windy, and the outer decks are closed.  The captain also said that he expected to approach Prins Christian Sund at about 9:30 a.m., and enter the Sund about 10, weather and ice conditions permitting.  He said he expected a clear day for sightseeing, but cold is moving in behind the front, and the temps will be barely above freezing.

 

Tonight is another Gala dinner.  So, I thought I would post some photos of the Main Dining Room.

 

Here are a photo of the elevator landing just outside the MDR deck 3 entry, and a close-up of the wooden carvings:

 

91621578_outsideMDRdeck3.jpg.6b30f9d2df08a9625e1c5d2067a79a20.jpg

 

828074634_artoutsideMDRdeck3.jpg.4d15dd899a2c3b878edb790324b1885d.jpg

 

 

Here are some shots of the upper MDR.  The ceiling does not have Chihuly glass like other HAL ships do, but has some art that looks like gilded flowers.

 

709740375_upperMDR1.jpg.d28c522dd1872d8325eac1f41276ba84.jpg

 

287012767_upperMDR2.jpg.8de90a4ecdad8c0dd5da6fc899d8097b.jpg

 

899094614_upperMDR3.jpg.a99d30c985965eb1a322805776455a26.jpg

 

 

Here is a photo of a beautiful bonsai outside the deck 2 entrance:

 

1653152640_bonsaioutsideMDR2nddeck.thumb.jpg.c632d2b524674ce5f6e617aea128dbe9.jpg

 

 

And, here are some shots of the lower MDR, which has fewer two-tops and more large tables than the upper level:

 

1999831363_lowerMDR1.jpg.6b794b9f658c0477a68ffc763f2766b5.jpg

 

1009635456_lowerMDR2.jpg.b0a79695ce6a2d963e9d95fc2cf8b28b.jpg

 

1127156734_lowerMDR3.jpg.29d998fe3cfcf0602183d196bbac2c78.jpg

 

 

More later,

Dave

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Posted (edited)

25 Aug., at sea (Cont.)

 

About 4:15 this afternoon, as we were in the Ocean Bar at happy hour, Captain Bart came on the announcing system and said that we had passed north of the center of the storm, and were turning southwest to head to the entrance to Prins Christian Sund.  I had apparently misunderstood just when he intended to turn to the southwest.  Apparently, he skirted to the north of the storm, and we are now in the northwest quadrant of the storm, which is (really, truly) better.

 

He said we were experiencing 45-knot winds and seas of 5 meters/16 feet at that time, but he expected that it would not get much worse and then slacken as time went by.  About two minutes after he finished, the God of Ironic Hubris struck, and we took some huge rolls that had all of us in the Ocean Bar clutching our glasses so that our drinks would not toss over.  He did say to have a couple of drinks and a nice dinner to make the evening more enjoyable.  Well, we always follow the orders of the captain. 😁

 

As time went on, I noticed the wave caps were a bit lower.  We have a wind from the aft, which means a following sea --one coming for our aft, which I always thought was a very good thing.  The captain said that makes the stabilizers less efficient, hence more rolling.  In fact, during early fixed seating, we heard a compound crash and learned what happened as a chef came out to apologize to a table that their dinners had met the deck and it would take a few minutes to bring up another version.  Apparently, so had a wine bucket toppled, as we saw a steward sweeping up ice cubes.  I just hoped no spilled wine (alcohol abuse) had occurred.

 

There is a difference between swell and wave height, and I think the wave height is less now, at about 7 p.m., but the swell is still causing some major rolling.  Hopefully, the swell will decrease overnight.  For me, it just means a good night, as I get rocked to sleep.  We set our clocks back another hour tonight to match Greenland time, which means we will be two hours ahead of EDT tomorrow morning.

 

Here is tonight’s Gala dinner and dessert menu:

 

 

889944407_dinner25Aug_1.thumb.jpg.daa086c4378c49a46bcb5bf53e49741b.jpg1792249987_dinner25Aug_2.jpg.a06ec9969f64add54c3bfdae33cfee29.jpg

 

 

Here is tonight’s Lido dinner menu:

 

296371029_dinnerlido25Aug_1.jpg.d1eeb4177c106d565cf2fa1a9b93bf64.jpg1294642458_dinnerlido25Aug_2.jpg.1c66911274a8e47a05d7a7e1dc71db34.jpg

 

 

More tomorrow,

Dave

Edited by RetiredMustang

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The Captain is right on!!!  Many years ago on my first cruise (before pre-paid tips) our last evening we had very rough seas and I was feeling a bit nauseated.  Yet, we had to go tip our bartender (who was amazing!)  Of course he started making our favorite drinks and I sad no..  i am not feeling well.  He promised me if I had one drink I would feel better.  It worked!!  I think being a bit tipsy soothed the nausea.  I am with the Captain on this one!!  Who needs dramamine??   

  Thanks again Dave for sharing your experiences and all your hard work posting.  It is so fun to order my imaginary dinner!!    Sounds like you are having a lovely trip!!  Can't wait until my next sail!!

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