With a long layover in Santiago, Chile, (established by Spanish Conquistadors in 1541), my traveling mate had booked a private walking city tour with Larisa who is listed with Tours by Locals. Larisa was such a pleasure, making sure we were comfortable on a bit of a warm day and answered all our questions! She is very knowledgeable on the history of this city of 7 million which spreads as far as the eye can see from the top of Cerro San Cristobal. Our 5 hour bespoke and private tour just right.
Driven back to our Holiday Inn right at the airport by expert driver, Christopher, i ended up sleeping right through supper after a shower. Trying to get onto the new time. Chile is 3 hours earlier than central time. So while it is only 8p at home, it’s now 11p here. Early morning flight is aided by simply walking across the street to the airport.
After June’s 100th birthday party, we realized that ragweed allergies were just going to get worse (hot weather and lots of rain just kept the plant flowering and pollinating). Monday afternoon, i booked flights for Dallas and me to leave Tuesday afternoon for Iceland. We had actually wanted to visit Greenland, but it was too late in the season, snow and ice already moving in and tourist boats being pulled out of the water, so we spent 2 weeks in Iceland instead.
Iceland population: 339,661 Reykjavik population: 120,000 (200,000 in the Capital region) Iceland has a surface area of 39,770 square miles and it is the 108th largest in this respect. However, that harsh geographical landscape is one of the reasons why its population remains so low. Iceland has the lowest population density of all European countries at just 8 people per square mile.
We flew United Airlines, and as usual had stellar service. They have implemented a new strategy wherein they can know if passengers are arriving late for a connection and hold the next flight if it is reasonable to do so. We sat on the plane in Newark nearly an hour waiting for 15 passengers who would have missed the flight to Reykjavik since their flight was delayed by thunderstorms out of Houston. So, while the record for on time departure may look wonky, the record for getting passengers where they need to be will soar!
The first week was spent entirely in the capital city, Reykjavik. I was concerned that we’d be twiddling our thumbs for want of activities, but i was unduly so. To our surprise, there are oodles of things to do and see at a leisurely rate – even without booking day tours (which are numerous!) outside the city.
“Domkirkjan is Reykjavik’s Lutheran Cathedral, or the Reykjavik Dome and the bishop’s place in Iceland. It is located downtown in the capital right next to the Alþingi, house of parliament and together they form a unity of law and order in the country. The altarpiece and artwork inside the church are definitely worth the visit!”
We were walking around town and saw the announcement of a performance offered free of charge at this lovely cathedral. Of course, we made special effort to attend. Just lovely.
To begin our escape from annual ragweed allergies, Dallas and I headed to Alaska on 20 August 2019, the day after i mustered in my bulls and hauled them away from the cows. All according to plan. We got away just in time, however, this was a short trip because we needed to be back in time to celebrate Allen’s Aunt June’s 100th birthday party on the 7th of September. Monday, we had appointments to adjust our backs, hips, heads, shoulders, ribs, etc and since allergies were extremely bad with no trend down, we came home from our afternoon appointments and i started booking Iceland. We left for Iceland on the 10th. Another blog entry for that later.
In an October 2016 referendum, city voters narrowly approved to change its name from Barrow to its traditional Iñupiaq name, Utqiaġvik. The governor had 45 days to rule on the name change and it was officially adopted on December 1, 2016.
For Americans, Vasco de Gama (1460-1524), Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), and perhaps to a lesser extint, Bartolomeu Dias (1451-1500), all come to mind as famous Portuguese exploeres, all sailing the world during the Portuguese Golden Age of Exploration. (Although Christopher Columbus married a Portuguese lady and had a son with her, and even lived and traveled out of Lisbon for a while, he was Italian.) And indeed these men accomplished a great deal for the world and their country!
However, what struck me as a defining point of history was far more recent; the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. This natural disaster occurred on 1 November, so you can imagine all the religious leaders and believers thinking indeed it was the end of the world. Although, as massive as the quake was, anyone caught up in it would believe that.
With a population of about 200,000, estimates of death loss in Lisboa alone are up to 100,000. However, this seems to be a lot of debate. Who was killed by the earthquake? or the fires that consumed a good portion of the city? or was it those who rushed to areas near the water and were swept away by tsunami 40 minutes later? Whatever the numbers, the loss of life and destruction of almost the entire city is one of the greatest natural disasters in recorded history (barring Noah’s flood, of course).
The effects of this earthquake were felt in Scandinavia and maybe in Iceland. Recently (2015), documentation was found that indicates high waves were experienced as far away as Brazil! The time after the Great Earthquake was the birth of modern seismology.
We think that disasters are worse now, but i suspect that may not be the case, however, they do occur and are ‘rumoured’ (reported) more frequently and immediately due to modern communications. And these will continue until the end.