Friday, October 28, 2022

Around the top of the World, Day 19: Roaming SE Iceland

Iceland's major National Park, containing and named for Vatnajökull, the largest Glacier in Europe, is the subject of this video. It's more than just a lot of ice. There is a special south-facing mountainside where I had an almost magical experience walking a lush forest of stunted European whte birch trees. Then there was Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach, where remnants of icebergs from the glaciers glisten like jewels on the deep black sand. Everything shown here happened on the same day - the second of six on my Ring Road tour of the country.

A full report, complete with still photos is to be found at my new WordPress blog.  I'm gradually migrating there because WordPress offers more flexibility and features than Blogger.  Although I've yet to fully exploit most of those bells and whistles, I'm ever hopeful.  Check it out.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

The Water Features of Iceland

Waterfalls are my favorite thing.  Iceland has bunches of them, big, little, intimate and gimongous.  Then there are the places where water goes up.  

The video presents those highlights of my six-day Ring-Road tour that feature water in motion in some way.  At my sister blog site,, you can find a full report of the first of the six days, including more still photos.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Top of the World travels: Exploring Reykjavik, Iceland

Here are the highlights of two days exploring Reykjavik on foot, with strong emphasis on the wild, the natural, the peaceful, and the grand. Featured prominently is the iconic Hallgrims Lutheran Church.

How could it not be? Basically, it was the only landmark I knew about before coming here.

I spent two days exploring town, then another day holed up in my hotel waiting out a nasty storm, during which I learned about the volcanic eruption that was taking place just twenty miles south of the city.  Hiking access to it was closed this day because of the weather.  The previous two days, I could have taken the seven-mile round-trip hike, but I didn't know about it.  Missing the chance to see this eruption is the biggest regret I have from this two-month journey that took me halfway around the top of the world.

A full report of the days in Reykjavik, with more photos and a video clip of the eruption taken from a live web cam appears at my new blog site:  The Hiking Hermit.

Monday, October 10, 2022

The Epic Icebergs of Greenland

Most of these massive floating islands of ice were found in Scoresby Sund on the east coast of Greenland, and Ilulissat on the west.

I've published a full report on the Scoresby Sund visit, days 8-13 of the Arctic bucket list adventure on the Hiking Hermit blog.  Head there for a look at some of the still shots of the icebergs from the video, plus coverage of the scenery, flora and fauna, and the one community we visited there (the only one within hundreds of miles), called Ittoqqortoormiit - population 350.

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Humpback whale flip-flop!

Ever see a Humpback Whale do this?
This was late in Day 7 of my 'Around the Top of the World' adventure, offshore of southern Svalbard.
What's it doing? It repeatedly slapped the surface with one fin. Maybe that is a fishing tactic? Attracting attention? Just playing?
The video is a heavily zoomed-in edit of the original. Sorry for the fuzziness, but this whale was pretty darn far away from the ship. I first spotted it when it made a spectacular full-body leap out of the water. Sure wish I had that on video!

This is just an excerpt from the full 'Around the Top of the World, Days 6 and 7' blog post, which I've posted on my new Hiking Hermit blog. Head over there for more video clips and a bunch of still photos.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

The Hiking Hermit in Svalbard

Now back where I have high speed internet, I'm processing a big backlog of material gathered during the Arctic travels. Chronologically, the visit to Svalbard came first. Spent about six days there on the very remote and wild island of Spitzbergen, between 79 and 80 degrees north latitude, just 600 miles from the North Pole. I passed north of 80N on the ship, but my northernmost hike was just a few miles shy of that latitude. The flora and fauna of the island and surrounding waters, along with the glaciers, were the main attractions for me.

I had considered migrating my blogging to a new WordPress site at, so I posted more extensive reports there. I've changed my mind about paying for that hosting. That blog is going away early in 2024, so here are a few highlights from my hikes in still photos: