What an amazing day in the world’s largest national park. We sailed deep into Franz Joseph Fjord, beginning with an incredible sunrise (at a very civilized hour now that it’s fall) over the giant icebergs in the fjord. The mountains were lit up pink as we sailed into our anchorage for the morning, and it was a quick Zodiac ride to shore for one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve done in Greenland. After an elevation gain, we finished at a red lake with perfect views of the snowcapped mountains in the background. We spotted muskoxen as we sailed even deeper into the fjord to find the source of all the icebergs: Waltershausen Glacier. Six miles wide and seventy miles long, she was incredible to behold. Surrounded by harp and ringed seals, ivory gulls, and giant icebergs, it was a glorious day.
National Geographic Endurance
An overcast sky greeted us as National Geographic Endurance entered the old harbour of Reykjavik. With a slight change in the itinerary due to weather, we were given the opportunity to explore in and around Reykjavik today. The Ring of Fire, a 4x4 tour, and a spa visit were on the menu. The Ring of Fire tour took us to one of the geothermal power plants outside the city. Icelanders make it look easy to sequester carbon dioxide. They have come up with a system where they add carbon dioxide to water and push it down into the Earth. Eventually, the bubbly water turns into rock as it reacts with the basalt. The plant supplies Reykjavik with hot water and electricity. So, all you need is geothermal activity, lots of water, and porous basalt…then you can store carbon dioxide. It’s as easy as that! Fittingly, lunch was cooked with geothermal heat, including bread and pastries baked with steam and eggs boiled in the naturally hot water. Just brilliant. Thingvellir was our last stop. We stood with one foot on the Eurasian Plate and one on the American. Well, not quite, but you can walk from one continental plate to another. Iceland is such a unique place in many ways. As the plates slowly move away from each other, the rift created is almost splitting the country in half. After the guest slideshow and farewell dinner, the day ended with a concert in the ice lounge. Hafdís Huld, a local singer-songwriter with incredible talent and charm, brought this beautiful trip to a close.