The beginning of this post should be from last night when Jenn and I went out for sunset photos of Dublin sights and the river Liffey. It was a fun night with more traditional Irish songs and food and of course more beer! The photos were spectacular with Jenn’s great techniques. We had a fun night and turned in early for a good nights sleep… or so we thought. The other roommates were out so late they didn’t sleep in the room, but grabbed their gear and ran to the airport for a 6am flight.
The following morning started with a wrong turn from our cabbie to Avis not Hertz. We finally got our car and Jenn drove on the left side of the road for the first time, on purpose. It was a nice drive up north to Northern Ireland. Yes it is a separate country, it is a providence of the UK. On our drive we went to Tolleymore Forest Park and then lunch in a small farming village. The big highlight was when we went to take photos of a fantastically beautiful road called The Dark Hedges. We and five other groups of people took photos, but only we had a tripod to get in the photos ourselves. Then we hurried over to the first B&B, Beulah Guest House, in Portrush along the Antrim coast. The inn keeper is a wonderful woman, Rachel. She gave us a great recommendation for dinner at 55 degrees north. Dinner hit the spot. After dinner, Jenn and I went to Giants Causeway to see the spectacular hexagonal rock formations found no where else in the world. Although there was no sunset to see, we did get some pretty shots, I think.
Back at the Inn now, it is so nice to feel at home while on vacation. Looking forward to a delicious home cooked breakfast. This is the first B & B we have ever stayed – and it’s a great one!
Beer count up to 14, go us! =)
Here are some photos:
Last night Jenn and I finished our packing and planning. We are trying not to take as much stuff as we did in Paris this year, and even less than the previous Paris 2010 trip. Flights begin in the morning with a stop off in Washington DC, then on to Dublin. We will spend a few nights in downtown Dublin before getting our rental car and zipping (HA! more like leasurly stroling) through the countryside. We have several B&Bs lined up for that country house feeling of the Irish farm. All in all two and a half weeks around the whole country from Northern Ireland to the southern most tip. From politically divided towns to devine crystal carings from Waterford it will be a trip to remember. Join us by following Jenn or myself on Facebook to get daily updates on the photos and the blog posts.
Iceland’s Blue Lagoon natural geothermal hot springs
The Blue Lagoon geothermal hot springs in Iceland are one of the most popular hot springs in the world. Rated by National Geographic as one of their bucket-list places to visit. The hot springs are fed by a near by geothermal power plant which takes super heated water from 6000 ft within the earth to create steam to power the turbine. The pools are the excess water pumped up from within the earth and are at a consistent 102°F. Your average spa is set to 103°F. In Iceland the summer months have mild day time temperatures to allow slowly dip into thw warm water, however in the winter the outside air temp can be hovering around 32°F… you will see just how fast can you jump into the water.
Recent films or shows shot in Iceland were Prometheus, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, James Bond: Die Another Day, Amazing Race, America’s Top Model & the Bachelorette.
We are going to the I-lands, Ireland and Iceland! We just booked our flight to Reykjavik this afternoon and are extremely excited about it. I am sure you are wondering why we want to go to a frozen land during the coldest month of the year? Two words… aurora borealis. In the longer days of winter, in the higher latitudes you get the best conditions for the auroras. Jenn and I are going to pack our warm clothes, grab our camera gear and hop a plane to Iceland. When we land there will be only 4 hours of “daylight” when the sun is in the sky, the remainder of the time will be twilight or night as the earth spins away from the sun.
From Wikipedia, the universal source for all known knowledge:
An aurora (plural: aurorae or auroras) is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere (thermosphere). The charged particles originate in the magnetosphere and solar wind and, on Earth, are directed by the Earth’s magnetic field into the atmosphere. Aurora is classified as diffuse or discrete aurora. Most aurorae occur in a band known as the auroral zone,which is typically 3° to 6° in latitudinal extent and at all local times or longitudes. The auroral zone is typically 10° to 20° from the magnetic pole defined by the axis of the Earth’s magnetic dipole. During a geomagnetic storm, the auroral zone will expand to lower latitudes. The diffuse aurora is a featureless glow in the sky which may not be visible to the naked eye even on a dark night and defines the extent of the auroral zone. The discrete aurora are sharply defined features within the diffuse aurora which vary in brightness from just barely visible to the naked eye to bright enough to read a newspaper at night. Discrete aurorae are usually observed only in the night sky because they are as bright as the sunlit sky. Aurorae occasionally occur poleward of the auroral zone as diffuse patches or arcs (polar cap arcs), which are generally invisible to the naked eye.
In northern latitudes, the effect is known as the aurora borealis (or the northern lights), named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas, by Pierre Gassendi in 1621. Auroras seen near the magnetic pole may be high overhead, but from farther away, they illuminate the northern horizon as a greenish glow or sometimes a faint red, as if the Sun were rising from an unusual direction. Discrete aurorae often display magnetic field lines or curtain-like structures, and can change within seconds or glow unchanging for hours, most often in fluorescent green.