The Golden Circle

The “Golden Circle” is drive through a National Park and the surrounding countryside that contains geysers, amazing big waterfalls and a place where tectonic plates are separating. This is also where the Icelanders held their assembly of chieftains that acted as a court for their people.  Drove to the small town of Vik

on the coast and our new place and checked out the black sand beach after being caught in a rainstorm. We saw fabulous skies and clouds, waterfalls and rainbows everywhere. Wildflowers are blooming everywhere. I am so happy to be out of the city and into nature.

Photos left to right: The Geyser, Black Sand Beach and the Sea Stacks, Gullfoss Falls

A Day on the Town

We walked all over Reykjavik today (not sure how many miles) starting out by checking out of the condo and grabbing croissants and morning buns at a great little place where they were making the pastries before our eyes. We wandered around and visited the National Gallery and National Museum, city hall, fashion and shopping district.
We got the history of Iceland  down but we are butchering the language. It’s really hard to pronounce Icelandic. Most people we have met speak English so far it’s been easy to communicate. After a free jazz concert at the Harpa Concert Hall, dinner at a small place that served soup in bread bowl then back to our hotel. I’m exhausted.

Tomorrow out to the country

Photos left to right. Broud & Co., Typical architecture, Andy meets a local,  What to watch for out in the mountains!

A Travel Day to Reykjavik

The sunset was taken at 10.30 pm.  Sunset 12.30am, sunrise 2.30am.

Today was a Travel day. By the time we got out of the airport and to the condo, it was nearly five o’clock.  We went out and walked around and had an Icelandic dinner. Lots of fish!  And delish! It’s a quaint city old and new. Lots of things king on here including Gay Pride Week and a jazz festival . Tomorrow we will explore the museums, including the phallological Museum, (maybe) and shops. Its pretty cold here for mid summer. Everybody is dressed in coats and boots.

Iceland Here We Come

What with school starting soon and Andre getting a new geology job,(the one he wanted) we decided to celebrate with a trip that encompassed both art and Geology. So here we are, in the airport waiting for our plane. We have a great itinerary planned for the week. I will keep you posted with pics and info.

Thursday June 16 Cuba

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Today was a free day for us. Bonnie Marsha and I took a tourist sight-seeing bus in the morningand saw Havana neighborhoods from a different view on top of an open-air bus. We stopped at the cathedral plaza and had a cool one. I got my fortune told by a Santoria woman. she used Tarot cards and shells. It was a GOOD one. I got a sacred rock for health. I hope it protects me from all the sick people on the trip. We walked around Old Havana and shopped in a great old Cuban department store turned into a market place. We went back to the plaza and took a ride home in ’59 pepto-bismol pink Pontiac Skyhawk with Continental kit. Now THAT was fun.

If it’s Tuesday it must be Cuba

imageimageimageThe agriculture farms were a result of the special period when people had no food. We visited one large farm that now has 25 acres. Mostly vegetables and fruits. Everything is organic. No pesticides or fertilizers were available at that time due to the embargo. They use good bugs to eat the bad ones, 8 wells for water. Flowers are grown and animals were brought in for the compost. There are now 163 workers who are trained and well paid. The community comes to buy the products at a store run by the coop. 20% goes to restaurants
Guiar is a plant that is used to make maracas and medicine, sour sop, fruta bomba. Sugar apple, cheese fruit, beans, peppers.
For lunch we landed at Cojima a small fishing town where Hemmingway was inspired to write “Old Man an the Sea” here. They had his favorite table dedicated to him.
Guanacos is a town dedicated to the Santoria religion. This is African/Yoruba melded with Catholicism. Dancing, Congo and Rumba. We got an intro to this. No tourists here!
We are now on our way to dinner at a jazz club. This was real jazz with a singer and incredible musicians. A relief from the restaurant BuenaVista Social Club style musicians
I cannot count the times I have gotten on and off the bus during the trip.

Back to Havana

imageimageimageOur last night in Cienfuegos was a dinner at a restaurant on the water with the breezes blowing through the windows. We departed at 9 and drov to Santa Clara, the town where Che Guevara is laid to rest. Big statue, museum and his interment along with the freedom fighters he was with. To the Cuban people, he is an icon. Many of his ideas are still in use today and serve the people well. There are still restrictions in nbusiness. The Cubans do not have much due to the embargo. Plus they are still recovering from the crash when the Soviets withdrew their help. We have learned a tremendous amount about Cuban culture. It’s an amazing country. One has to visit and experience the flavor of the culture.
Speaking of flavor, the food is all the same everywhere we go. Of course we get the tourist buffets but the Cubans do not have a variety of food available. They now grow many of their vegetables in coop gardens and farms. This gives the locals fresh veggies. After the Soviets pulled out the people nearly starved until they got the gardens going. There was no oil to run cars and machines. This is why time stood still for Cuba. They are predicting 4,000,000 Americans coming when the flights to Cuba begin. I hope that this doesn’t turn this clean, pure place into another Hawaii.
It’s green and lush and tropical here.

Tonigh we drive to a restaurant in a 55 Chevy. The driver pulled up and showed us the engine. He pulled a flask put of the engine and said This is my engine oil. And started drinking it.

we had a great dinner with everybody.