York Fun Club has final adventure, in Iceland

YORK – The York Fun Club, after decades of travel and experiences for many locals, has had its final adventure.

And this adventure was one for the books – as those who made reservations long ago were finally able to go to Iceland.

It was a long wait but after more than two years and four postponements due to Covid-19, York Fun Club travelers were able to explore the country of Iceland this past October.

The travelers toured Reykjavik which is the largest city and capital of this island nation. They visited the Hallgrimskirkja National Church which, at 244 feet, is the highest building in Reykjavik and dominates its skyline. They also toured the National Museum and learned Iceland’s unique history.

The Fun Club explored the Golden Circle which is a 190 mile circular route which encompasses many of Iceland’s most famous landmarks. One of those landmarks was Gullfoss, which translates to “Golden Falls.” The waterfall travels down the Hvita River from the glacier Langjokull and cascades down 105 feet in two stages in a dramatic display of nature’s raw power.

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The group also experienced Seljalandsfoss which is one of four waterfalls in Iceland that you can walk behind. The cliffs behind the falls have a wide cavern and the pathway that stretches around it allows guests to fully encircle it.

Iceland is also famous for its geothermal activity. The group was impressed with Stokkur Geyser which erupts every few minutes spouting water 100 feet into the air. They also had the opportunity to eat freshly baked bread which had been placed in sealed pots and buried in the earth where it baked with geothermal heat.

In the Reykjanes Peninsula they experienced volcanic activity as they walked around the gurgling mud and endless lava fields where steam and boiling water is readily seen coming out of the ground.

A whale watching excursion provided the travelers with another exciting adventure. They cruised the coastal curve of Iceland and were fortunate to view both dolphins and whales that frolicked in the icy waters.

The group was introduced to Icelandic horses which are unique to the country. The horses are of small stature and are considered direct descendants of the Viking horses. They have a distinctive gait, resilience to harsh weather and a friendly nature. Icelandic law prevents other horses from being imported into the country and exported horses are not allowed to return.This keeps the breed pure.

The Viking Ship Museum in Keflavik was another interesting stop. The group explored five original Viking ships from the 11th century as well as “The Glendalough Sea Stallion,” a reconstruction of a war ship from the Viking age.

Perhaps one of the most fun and unique activities was a visit to the Blue Lagoon which sits in a geothermal pool and is Iceland’s most well-known attraction. The milky-blue water is surrounded by black lava. The travelers donned their swimsuits and, in 30 degree weather, raced out of the dressing rooms to plunge into the warm waters. They smeared the mineral-rich silica mud on their faces and in a brief 10 minutes, they agreed they all looked 10 years younger.

One of the interesting things the Fun Club noticed was that everyone they met spoke English. And, although Iceland has its own currency, it is rarely used. Credit cards, debit cards and even U.S. dollars are the norm. The Fun Club travelers were also happy they did not need to know how to spell or pronounce all those crazy Icelandic names.

The Fun Club has not been active this past year except to finish the overseas tours that had been postponed due to COVID-19. As before-mentioned, the Iceland trip was the Fun Club’s final tour.

York Fun Club travelers.....JPG

York Fun Club travelers posed at the “Sun Voyager” sculpture in Reykjavik, Iceland. Pictured left to right are Steve and Marilyn Vrana of Aurora; Denise (partially hidden) and Ben Benegas of Stromsburg; Diana Kretz of York; Jane and Ray Cronk of Geneva; Gail Maronde of York; Patti Vincent of Bennington; Diane and Mike Stewart of St. Peter, Minnesota; Monika Broughton, Mary Scott, Pat Nuss (in front) Adam Broughton, Gaylord Songster and Bernice Mettenbrink, all of York.

Diana Kretz, left,.....JPG

Diana Kretz, left, Gail Maronde, Icelandic tour guide Sophia, and Patti Vincent pose on the wooden pathway at one of Iceland’s active geothermal areas where the travelers viewed steaming hot springs and bubbling mudpots.

One of the highlights.....JPG

One of the highlights was the Fun Club’s visit to the Blue Lagoon where the travelers soaked in the steamy mineral-rich waters believed to have healing effects on the skin. The geothermal pool sits in the center of a large lava field. Enjoying the warmth and a choice of beverages are Mike and Diane Stewart, Pat Nuss, Steve and Marilyn Vrana, Gaylord Songster, Diana Kretz, Mary Scott, Gail Maronde, Ray and Jane Cronk, Monika Broughton, Patti Vincent and Bernice Mettenbrink.

Dave and Bernice.......JPG

Dave and Bernice Mettenbrink pose at one of the many beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. Travelers could walk on a pathway behind this waterfall for a unique perspective. The Icelandic tour was the final trip on the Fun Club schedule. It was postponed several times due to the COVID pandemic.

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