Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Blue Lagoon

Iceland--Day 4

It started off cold and rainy and today was the day we had scheduled to go to the famous Blue Lagoon, which is a geothermal spa that opened in 1999. It was accidentally created when a large geothermal plant was constructed to power the nearby NATO base at Keflavik Airport. The plant works by pumping water almost a mile underground, where it is heated to boiling temperatures to create steam to power the turbines. The effluent from the plant originally was intended to just flow back into the soil, but the silica concentration in the water was so high that it sealed the volcanic rocks and created this man-made reservoir. The blue-green color of the water is due to a type of algae that flourishes in the heated water (and which is very good for the skin). It is quite a sight to see.

I have to admit at this point I wasn't too crazy about this plan as I hate to be cold!!! And boy was it cold and rainy that day!

The blue green water; outside the spa--it is very cold water!

The white silica on the basalt volcano rock that created the reserve.

Once inside the lagoon the water turned me into a geothermal spa fan. It was fabulous. The spa was huge and different parts of the spa had different temperatures so you move about. It was really wonderful to be in the hot water and have cold rain falling on your head.

While at the spa they have large containers filled with silica mud and you can put it on your face. I did question the wisdom of this since reading how the spa came about....but "when in Rome..."

My husband and I also had a full body massage while there. It was a fantastic day!!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Southern Coast of Iceland

Iceland Day 3

We took a 15 hour bus tour to the Southern Coast (normally we avoid tours preferring to explore on our own, but this time we didn't want to be driving a couple of hundred miles on our own). We weren't sure the trip was going to happen as we would eventually be about 20 miles away from the volcano Grimsvoltn. Although it was rainy the trip went ahead as scheduled and we were able to see first hand some of the destruction done by the volcanic ash on the Icelandic landscape.

Last year's volcano that
caused huge problems due to large fine ash cloud

Holding volcanic ash from last year's eruption of Eyafjalljokul Volcano.

Another waterfall one of many we have seen but here we caught a rainbow:)

Jokullsarlon (Glacier lagoon) the icebergs are covered in brown/black volcanic ash from the 21 May eruption.

The boat toured around the lagoon showing both sides of the iceberg, one side covered in ash and the other side shows the blue ice.

We stopped several times to see the destruction of the volcanic ash. This is one of the many outlets from the main Vatnajokull Glacier, covered in ash; underneath all that brown/black ash is a glacier! Notice the water is brown; the guide said normally this water is blue green.

We also saw brown waterfalls all due to the volcanic ash.

My foot print in the ash it is at least 2-3 inch deep!

A small plant covered in ash

Friday, 27 May 2011

The Golden Circle

Iceland --DAY 2

Mid Atlantic ridge

North America to the right and Europe is to the left

Geyser park

Icelandic Troll

Gullfoss (Golden Falls).

A main road in the more inhabited section of Iceland (really!).

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Welcome Mom and Dad!!!

My parents flew in to England from Pennsylvania and will be staying for a month!! We are so excited to have them here with us!

It is tradition when we all get together to have a cake and celebrate all the birthdays, anniversaries and special holidays that we have missed since being apart.

My parents

The kids are so excited to have Nana and Poppa here.

While my parents are here they have offered to watch the children so that my Husband and I may go on a couple's only trip. While we are away the kids will be spoiled and loved by my parents. The kids can't wait for us to leave so they can have Nana and Poppa to themselves. The kids are, right now as I type, planning all the activities that they will be doing with my Mom and Dad such as bike riding, making cookies, heading to a water park, visiting a hedgehog facility. Sounds like my husband and I won't be missed:)!

My husband and I are going to ICELAND!!! I will be posting about our adventures when we return.

Please join Tracy, Lynda and I at the NOBH

Friday, 20 May 2011

Watching our Garden grow Part 2

It is that time of the month again to see how our Garden is doing. If you wish to join in the HSV Garden Challenge go here to see the rules:).

This month I am going to show you what is and what is not growing in our garden. We will start with our failures:)

First I will mention that England is having a very dry month, so dry that our 5 rain barrels that surround our home are all empty. We have been here 3 summers and that has never happened to us before. I prefer to water my garden with rain water but I have recently had to use the house water. There is talk of water rationing but so far that hasn't happened in our area.

Do you see any mushrooms growing in there? I don't:( I have followed the directions but so far no fungus is growing.

Our trays of green beans, foxglove and pumpkins have yielded one plant each:( We are thinking of replanting using different seeds and see if we can get better results.

Our successes!!!

We are starting to see some progress with our vegetable garden.

Radishes are ripening:)

Potatoes are looking healthy and should be ready to harvest next month:)

Mix lettuce is growing and looking healthy. I have no idea why they have yellow flowers the seed packet doesn't show the flowers :)

Carrots are looking good with no signs of the dreaded carrot fly:) The kids and I are doing an experiment. We are trying to see what works best for keeping snails and slugs out of our raised beds. Here we are using egg shells on the ground, which is our organic method!

In with the Broccoli we are using a snail/slug garden pesticide. We are taking note which is working better. We will let you know next month if one side fared any better than the other.
Right now one plant from each side has been eaten by something and every morning I am finding at least one snail/slug in each bed. The ones found in the pesticide bed don't appear to be doing very well.

Raspberry bushes are full of green fruit. I can't take credit for these as the previous owner planted them, but we don't mind reaping the benefits of fresh raspberries:).