Last night (of the 5th day) was the Trefoil Guild group’s last evening in Iceland so, after the evening meal, the 7th floor Conference Room in Hotel Cabin was used from 21.00 – 22.00 for a gathering of the ladies to have a little social time and some singing. At the start of the meeting a poem was read out by Angela O (who composed it too); she had chronicled the tour in verse; it was funny, whimsical, emotional and poignant, a wonderful summation of a quite wonderful tour; many thanks (and I hope it will be typed up and circulated to all).
Now on Day 6, an action packed morning was enjoyed in Reykjavik. The sun was out, the sky was blue and the city and surroundings looked very fresh and colourful. Mind you, it was still . BRACING! That wind still persisted. First stop was the Perlan, a high vantage point over the city and from which a 360 degree panorama was gained over the city as well as the landscapes beyond (to the Mid Atlantic Ridge, the Western Fiords and also to the ReykjanesPeninsula, where the tour started many months ago…or so it seems!). The Perlan is a set of massive hot water tanks, located on a city centre hilltop, that store hot water for space heating in the city’s buildings; no wonder the air is so clear (the only air pollution is from vehicular traffic – mind you, even that might go if Iceland achieves its goal of a fossil fuel free nation by 2050; much research is being done for alternative fuels e.g. hydrogen, battery, methane, bio-fuels). Then it was off to view Hallgrimskirkja, its exterior architecture mimicking the columnar basalt of Iceland’s volcanic rocks. . Most ascended the bell tower by lift, well worth the 600 ISK, and gained views over colourful “Legoland” downtown Reykjavik 101 (the address to have). The church interior was much admired too – grand in scale, simple in its architecture, impressive in its ambiance And, oh yes, the Gift Shop had “big hits” too; postcards seemed to be the most popular items!
The group then transferred to the Volcano House, down by the harbor area, to view a film about Iceland’s volcanic landscapes, some areas of which have been visited on this tour (leaving many more to explore on a return visit!); the eruption on Heimaey (1973) was well illustrated in the film, with this year being its 40th anniversary. Then the more recent Eyjafjallajokull and Grimsvotn eruptions were seen – well, at least by those who stayed awake! For some, 6 days on-the-road amidst staggeringly wonderful scenery, a comfy seat, in a warm room, in the dark, was conducive to a little light slumber! Volcano House also has a fine rock display that is very much “hands-on” but, once again, so too was the gift shop!
The remaining hours were spent out-and-about downtown, some seeking gifts, some seeking coffee and cake; such priorities had been to the fore throughout the week! A couple of hours later, rendezvousing at City Hall, everyone had their stories to tell and their shopping successes to show. Before heading away for the Airport, a lovely vote of thanks was given by Mandy to both Jon Ragnar and myself in the coach; this was most heartening. It is always excellent to get everyone back safely to the airport after a tour, but if all are happy then this is additionally most rewarding. The signed cards we received expressed messages of great pleasure and appreciation; it seems like the tour was a bit of a mega hit for all participants; excellent!
So, where is it to be for the next Trefoil Guild Tour? Morocco is now a hot favourite; having described Marrakech, the High Atlas, the Dades Valley with its oases settlements and a thousand kasbahs and the Sahara, perhaps the clincher was the thought of a camel ride to view the sunset from atop a desert dune! Having been with such a super group of ladies this week, how well do I now know that they would all be totally “up for it, nothing daunted”! And just think of the shopping opportunities in the souks! So, something for Colette, Charlotte and the VA team to mull over.
En route to the airport I read out the entries to the Icelandic number plate competition; the winner was Angea O (our Poet in Residence) – her spotted plate was Hi Saeti i.e. Hello Sweetie! We said our final goodbyes (for this trip) at the airport with many hugs and kisses. It had been a great tour, much enjoyed and many positive memories created. But, for myself, it was time to return back in to Iceland, to get back home, to unpack and unwind; it had been a great adventure for us all.
FOOTNOTE: Should I say that the night skies were clear this night, with frosty weather too? As a result, so sorry, the Northern Lights were like stage footlights, beaming rays skywards behind the volcano Thrihirningur, close to Eyjafjallajokull. I think they were offering a farewell wave to the TGTtI3 members and proffering an enticement to return. Iceland?
It is simply awesome…and some!