Our first camping trip took us to Cowans Gap. It was a great trip. The grandkids had fun and so did the adults. I am not sure if the kids wore out the parents or if it was the other way around. While the parents were busy with the kids, Grandpa and Oma, had a nice relaxing time walking around the lake, reading, and take photos.
We took Maria camping for a few days at Pine Grove Furnace State Park. After missing our turn and going way out of our way we got turned around and found the entrance. We found our spot and set up camp.
We decided to take our friends, Christina and Maria, camping. Christina had been camping growing up, but Maria had never been.
Christina and I decided to go to Codorus State Park because Maria was doing “Go York” which is program the library has in the summer to get people to check out the local parks. Then you find the marker and get a rubbing. There were several in and near the park so we headed on over.
Alice got in her truck and was ready to go camping. The poor thing didn’t get to go into the Girdwood Forest Fair. That was okay though because all the people would have scared her.
Our plan for the first camping trip was to go to the Girdwood Forest Fair first. We got up in the morning and finished packing the camper. We didn’t want to get there too early because they close the road for the parade. We parked at Alyeska Resort Daylodge and took the shuttle to the fair. There were a lot more people than I had expected to be there. I guess since our summer is so short everyone goes to anything that is outside. It was a nice day yesterday, but even if it was raining they would have all been there.
There were stages all over with different things going on. Lots of vendors trying to sell their wares. Lots of food vendors doing the same thing. We went in the beer garden for a beer but when we found out we had to pay $8.00 for a cup and then $6.00 to fill it up, we thought that was too high and figured that would fill a growler up at the Girdwood Brewery.
I did think it was cool that they had a baby nursing place set up for the mothers and to change their little ones.
We caught the shuttle back to our truck and off we went to Girdwood Brewery. There Alice could come out with us in beer garden. We all had a beer and filled two growlers up with some of their nice brew.
After our beer it was off to find a good camping place.
We found a place on the old highway road to camp. It was between the railroad tracks and the highway. I know you are thinking that’s going to be loud, but it wasn’t bad at all. The highway was on the other side of this pond we camped by, so the traffic noise was not bad. The train was kind of cool except when they honked their horns when they went by.
Heather and Dan showed up with the girls. Katharine and Rebecca had never been camping before, so we were all excited to see how they liked it. They really did like it. Katharine loves the trees. Rebecca was going to check everything out. They thought the fire was pretty cool. There was another couple parked not far from us. They kind of just stayed to theirselves except when they came to see the girls and talk to the dogs. We were all at our own campsite and we had a fire going when all of a sudden a cop droves up, turned around and stopped. The cop got out of the car as we noticed the K-9 on his car. We were thinking he wasn’t there to tell us we couldn’t have a campfire, so we waited. He then let his dog out. We noticed he had something in his mouth, looked like a toy. Then the cop took the toy and threw it into the pond for the dog to fetch. The dog was having a blast. When he was done playing with his dog he put him back in the car, rolled his window down and told to have a good evening. We all thought that was a cool cop. Then it got to be bedtime and Mom and Dad got their beautiful little girls ready for bed. They took their bottles and decided it was full of caffeine or sugar because they decided it was party time. Well first Dusty drifted off to his tent. Grandma and Grandpa headed to their camper to play a little crib. Then Heather came in to fix the girls bottles again saying goodnight to us. We saw them out walking the girls as we fell asleep.
Then in the morning we woke up first and I made some coffee. Then Dan popped in for a cup and told us the girls didn’t go to bed until 12:30. Next Heather came in dragging. They went and fed the babies while I cooked breakfast of oatmeal and fruit Heather had brought. After everyone woke up things were fun.
After breakfast we decided to pack up because the wind was picking up and we felt a few drops. We all had a good time eating hot dogs cooked on the open fire while drinking a few good beers.
After one last look around our campsite, Alice got a couple more drinks from the pond and we left for home.
We had only gone a few miles when we could see that there was a line of cars backed way up the highway. It took us an hour to get 4 miles. When we stopped I called Heather because they had left before us. They didn’t make it through either and were a couple of miles ahead of us. They finally made it to Bird Creek Campground and told us there had been some kind of accident. When we finally got there it was all cleaned up and traffic was going back to normal. I sure hope no one was hurt.
Once again we are off on another road trip with our friends. We can’t wait to see where we go today.
Our first stop was at a lake.
Next we saw a lighthouse. Could we be going to the beach?
Yes it was the beach we were going to.
Then we started home and came across this amazing pipeline.
Of course we had to end the day with a couple of beers at the Micro Bar.
Then we went to the tapa bar where we just had a drink while our friends ate. We do have to watch our figure.
Brennivin is an Icelandic schnapps made from fermented potato pulp and flavoured with caraway seeds. The word brennivín literally translates into burning wine, and it certainly has a strong and distinct taste.
Well we called it a day then. Looking forward to tomorrow.
We decided to go look at the south coast of Iceland. Of course, we didn’t get to do the whole thing because of time. We headed out on this beautiful sunny day, our first, to find a nice sandy beach to walk on. We didn’t find any sandy beaches but we found volcanic beaches which were still just as amazing.
First stop before we even got into the car I wanted to get photos of these pretty flowers. I had been looking at them and today I took the time to smell the flowers.
Then off we went on our next road trip. If you haven’t notice we try to take all the back roads.
Our first stop was a nice lake. I had to take photos of some the hills that surrounded us because lines in the rocks are amazing.
We went looking for a lighthouse which meant driving down this old dirt road and never found it. What we did find though was well worth the trip because I had never seen so many sea birds nesting in the cliffs before. Iceland claim to have more birds nesting in their cliffs than anywhere else.
Off we went to find another lighthouse. This one we did find and a church, which are all over this country. Most of them seem to be built pretty much the same and a lot are on people’s farms. Also, I just could not get over how such tiny flowers can grow in all the lava rocks.
Our next stop was at the end point of the greatest lava flow on earth since the end of the last Ice Age.
Then we found another lighthouse and a road to the beach.
We saw all these white birds in a field, which we think are some kind of goose due to all the honking. I also finally got a couple photos of the Icelandic horses, which are the size of a pony.
We decided we should probably start heading back. So we stopped to take a picture of one last river flowing into the ocean and off we went home.
We of course found a road we had not been on yet. We were following along the bottom of Lake Pringvallavatn.
Before we hit the main road we found a dirt road we had not taken. As we rounded a bend we saw in the distance steam coming up from a valley. As we got closer we noticed it was a geothermal plant. It was pumping hot water down to the cities and towns. The pipeline was quite interesting compared to the one in Alaska that we are used to. We followed the pipeline most of the way back to town.
Road in Iceland
On our way back to town the traffic was the worst we had seen. Everyone must have had our idea and left town for the day or the weekend and were going home.
We decided to leave the car at the apartment and walk downtown to find something to eat. We came upon a huge screen showing the world cup and people were sitting or standing watching it. I guess they are really into soccer over here.
We then headed to the Micro Bar because we had met the manager at one of the breweries we visited. It was well worth the stop. They have 14 taps and had about 5 pages of fine print bottle beers.
We also made a new friend there named Tobias from Sweden. Hopefully, he will bring his family to Alaska some time. He did say it was on his bucket list.
Then off to dinner. I wanted to eat something truly Icelandic, Tobias recommended a tapa bar right by us. They had Icelandic food tapas, puffin, whale, lamb, lobster, blue ling, and char. Some of the food looked so good when it came to the table we started eating before I got a photo. Sorry about that. I do think that the food was probably a little more fancy than the normal Icelander would cook it but it was delicious.
After we ate we started our walk home. I took a photo of this building across the street because I just thought it was cute. Then along came a mother and her two kids crossing the street. They walked with us a way.
We stopped at a store because I still had not had any dried fish. I am wondering how it compares to our squaw candy. I will let you know when I have tried it.
There was this interesting van we kept walking by, so we decided to take some photos of it.
Another wonderful day in Iceland has come to an end now. Wonder what our adventures will bring tomorrow.
We had our final lunch together at the Great Hotel Bristol. It was just an amazing place.
The Grand Hotel Bristol enjoys a magnificent location on the lakeshore of Stresa, a true pearl of Lake Maggiore, famous all over the world for the extraordinary way the beautiful landscape merges with the sumptuous dwellings scattered throughout it. Hotel guests can enjoy a privileged view of Isola Bella and the Borromeo Gulf. The prestigious building that is now the Grand Hotel in Stresa was originally a noble residence, and careful renovation work has allowed it to retain its elegance while enhancing it with modern conveniences. The Zacchera family’s traditional dedication to hospitality at the highest level completes the features that make the Grand Hotel Bristol an ideal place for relaxing and discovering the beauty of Lake Maggiore.
We had the most amazing meal.
The meal was served by finely dressed waiters and waitresses. Of course, this was the best meal we had the whole trip. We were all very impressed. There was wine and water on the table.
After the meal was served and eaten we were served champagne. Grant toasted and thanked everyone. Sean and Roland stood up and said something. We then drank our champagne. Our table noticed that there was open bottles of champagne that the waiters were seeming to take away. We all told them we will drink that so you don’t have to through it away. So we made the sacrifice and drank some of the open bottles for them.
We then all thanked our guides Liz and Luigi. Classical Movements furnished our dessert. This cake was carried out by two waiters and about 4 feet in diameter. It was really fabulous.
After enjoying our dessert we walked back to our bus to head back to Milan.
Our last trip the day before we left Italy we went to Stresa where we caught a private boat on Lake Maggiore to Pescatori Island. We got free time to explore the most picturesque island on Lake Maggoire. Pescatori is one of the oldest fishing villages. It is also celebrated for its well-preserved architecture and old-fashioned charm.