The first trip was one of Reykjavík's most popular tours: whale watching. Departing mid-morning from Ægisgarður pier, we headed into the bay and portions of the the North Atlantic. During the +3 hour ride we managed sighting of four cetacean-species: some Minke whales, a shy Humpback whale, a few of the famously elusive porpoises, and a big group of very playful white-beaked Arctic dolphins who chased our boat's wake for quite a bit. Among the school of dolphins was a very small calf. To say that our Swedish guide was excited about the calf is an understatement and he guessed that the dolphin was only a day or two old based on its size and close proximity to the mother. Beyond his contagious enthusiasm for baby dolphins, our guide was spectacular for his encyclopedic knowledge of the area's geography, flora, and fauna. Plus, he could say the names of all the mammals and birds we encountered in at least six different languages. Based on the international composition of visitors on the boat, he was spot on with all of his phrases and pronunciations.
After watching no less than three drones hover quite closely over the crowd gathered in town last night to celebrate the Icelandic team's soccer victory over England, I think I'll be taking Spectre* out to play much more frequently!
*Every piece of personal transportation or ridiculous toy needs a name. My DJI Phantom 4 is named Spectre after its first real flight over the ruins of the fictional town of Spectre from Big Fish (2003), located on the surreal Jackson Lake Island outside of Montgomery, AL.
The world is a small, small place. Monday night, at Reykjavik's only microbrewery, I ran into a co-worker from a stint in 2010 with Duke TIP Summer Studies at Trinity University in San Antonio. Tuesday afternoon, while watching people gather in the city center to cheer on their team in the UEFA EURO Group stage we ran into someone from UVA. There were other little bits of serendipity throughout the day and I hope that is an indication of amazing things to come on this trip.
Taking advantage of the clear weather on the summer solstice, I went to the western edge of the harbor to capture the sunset, officially registered at 12:03am. There was constant twilight until the sunrise at 2:55am.
In my attempt to get this blog going, here is a quick first post about travels to Iceland:
From my first jet lagged impressions, Iceland is amazing:
About the H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship
The H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship was established in 2010 by a bequest from noted scholar and architectural historian H. Allen Brooks. It is intended to provide emerging scholars the opportunity to study by travel and contemplation while observing, photographing, writing and sketching, and to acquire knowledge that will contribute to one’s profession and to society. Brooks was an active member and past president of SAH.
SAH Brooks Travelling Fellowship