The ingredients in the recipe for today were calm seas, no wind, cold water and warm air. The result: a large bowl of fog. Cloaked in the mystery of this fog, we continued with our landing at Skálanes Nature Reserve. The landscape and stories of the people who have lived here in the past were brought to life as we walked with the archeologist who has excavated in this berry covered heath.
National Geographic Explorer
This morning, we woke up to find National Geographic Explorer cruising the Westman Islands off the southeast coast of Iceland proper. These islands rise straight out of the ocean with towering, vertical cliffs that offer amazing views. With thousands of birds and interesting geology, this archipelago was fun for everyone to explore and photograph. In the afternoon, we went ashore for hiking and panoramic tours of Heimaey. This fishing community was the site of an intense volcanic rift eruption in 1973 that forced residents onto boats, not knowing if their homes would be there when they returned. After five months, residents returned to what was left of the village and began to rebuild. Guests were able to explore this dynamic place by hiking up the volcanic rim or viewing the surroundings via private coach, all affording excellent views and photographic opportunities. Our evening was spent cruising the newest island in the area, Surtsey. This island rose out of the ocean in 1963 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. As the sun slowly made its way toward the horizon, we all began to reflect on an amazing expedition around Iceland. Sharing stories with new friends was a great way to spend our last night on board.