22 October 2015

Therapeutic stops on my way back to Kenya: Reykjavik, Iceland and Buxton, England

My bags, Union Station, Washington DC

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.”
    ~ Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Traveling across eight time zones is not easy and takes a toll on ones body. Jet lag occurs when people travel rapidly from east to west, or west to east on a jet plane. It is a physiological condition which upsets our body's circadian rhythms.

Just getting out of airports is wonderful and getting exposed to the sunshine helps to reset internal body clocks. I made two stops during my trip from the US back to Kenya; it was good for my body and brain.

First stop - Reykjavik, Iceland
I enjoyed a fun 8-hour excursion seeing some sights in this fascinating land. Iceland is full of volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, the rifting of tectonic plates, and occasional earthquakes. I toured on a small bus with a dozen other folks from various parts of the world and our fabulous guide, Asgeir.

The temperature was only in the mid-40's, the wind was gusty at times, and it rained off and on throughout the day. I was quite bundled up with a stocking cap and scarf under the hood, plus mittens! However, these conditions did not interfere with my enjoyment of the tour.

In quite a contradiction to the weather, at this stop our guide showed us bread being baked in the dirt. Icelandic rye bread is baked just under the surface of the ground using geothermal energy, where the magma and lava keep the soil warm enough (up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit). Taking up to 12 hours to bake, I can confirm that it's quite delicious as we got to have a taste.

Gullfoss, Golden Falls

Beautiful scenery everywhere.

We saw many rainbows, including a full one and a double.

The ground percolated and bubbled with activity in this area. 

Second stop - Buxton, England
I was privileged to spend a week with some friends I know from Nairobi, who are now living back in the UK. Besides some good times with their family, I also did a bit of exploring.

Solomon's Temple, also known as Grinlow Tower, is near the spa town of Buxton in the Derbyshire Peak District. It is said to have been built by Solomon Mycock in the 1890s, paid for by public donations to provide work for the locally unemployed with assistance of the seventh Duke of Devonshire. The tower was restored in 1998, also with public donations.

The 20-foot-high, two-story tower on top of a hill, contains nothing other than the staircase to the top. From the open top there are good views over the town and surrounding countryside.

Beautiful countryside, with sheep grazing on the hills.

I enjoyed the nooks and crannies in a quite fascinating used book store.

I drank a lot of tea, the British variety (not Kenyan chai).

I thoroughly enjoyed photographing flowers at Pavilion Garden. 

Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
    ~ Eddie Cantor (1892-1964) American comedian, singer, dancer, and songwriter


Naomi Hattaway @ naomihattaway.com said...

Such a beautiful trip! the bread info is fascinating!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, Deb. Loved the rainbow!
Sharon R.

Anonymous said...

Great update, Deb. Was wondering how your trip back turned out – great idea to break it up as you did. Sharon B.

Anonymous said...

Glad you chose a different way to travel back. Iceland sounds so fascinating!
Nancy S.

Anonymous said...

Believe me, I understand well that catching up with time zones. I always have more trouble going backward then going forward. Glad you've transitioned back into the eight-hour time difference between Omaha and Nairobi. Ben W.

caryjo said...

Wow!! Happy for you and would have loved to have seen much of the same things! Made me smile as I was looking through it. Blessings...

Anonymous said...

Your stops on the way back to Kenya must have been exhilarating for you.
from your friend, Peggy