Viking Travel Journal––Epilogue

Replica Viking longship at Reykjavik museum

On the plane on the way back home, I watched the movie,Tolkien.

I enjoyed the movie, and highly recommend it.

But the movie failed to demonstrate the influence of Christianity in Tolkien’s life and his writing.

It was a fitting end to our Viking Travel Journal.

It reminded me of the uniqueness of the perspective of the GSB blog in general and the GSB travel journals specifically.

Historians write to impress other secular historians.

The travel industry is motivated to entertain the general public.

Neither are interested in showing how King Jesus has transformed and is transforming the world into the place He originally intended.

So, historians delve into Norse mythology hoping to find some nuance others have missed. Tourist guides,seeking to entertain their guests, tell their silly folk legends about trolls and elves. And, as a result, people miss out on the evidence of the most important event that has been in process for the last 2,000 years––the redemption of the planet by Jesus of Nazareth.

Continue reading…

Viking Travel Journal––Day 15

Lava fields in Iceland

Reykjavik is a genuine city.

Unfortunately we only had one day here.

Our excursion was well-chosen.

So many had signed up for the Blue Lagoon excursion so early that it was booked before the cruise began. After we got on the ship we learned the hot water doesn’t come directly out of the ground into the lagoon but runs through the geothermal plant before being dumped into the lagoon. Then they mentioned repeatedly that one had to get fully naked and shower before getting in the lagoon. On top of that it was cold again today. Bottom line: people lined up to drop out of the Blue Lagoon excursion today. Continue reading…

Viking Travel Journal––Day 14

Our ship docked in Isafjordur

Paradise started in a garden (Genesis 1-3), but it end in a city (Revelation 21:2).

Maybe that’s why I am a city boy.

Because I am a city boy I keep hoping to find something interesting in the towns where we dock, and I keep coming up empty.

This is the primary difference between a European river or sea cruise and one to Iceland or Alaska. In Europe, each town has layers of history; Iceland and Alaska are about beautiful scenery.

Isafjordur was much like Flam, Geiranger, and Seydisfjordur, except it was 39 degrees Fahrenheit…yes, 39 degrees in the middle of summer. It’s hard to appreciate the scenery when your teeth are chattering. And did I mention it was windy?

I had prodded Ann at one of our earlier cold and windy towns to say to our tour guide who lived there, “No offense but why would anyone want to live here?” I stressed to Ann the importance of the “No offense” part (I had seen The Ballad of Ricky Bobby). Ann, who is normally game for a good dare declined. Continue reading…

Viking Travel Journal––Day 13

Godafoss, a fulcrum of history

Yesterday I wrote about the pagan chieftain who was instrumental in Iceland adopting Christianity.

His name is Thorgeir Ljosvetningagodi.

If you are wondering, his last name is spelled just like it sounds.

As I mentioned yesterday, after a a day and nights’ contemplation Thorgeir recommended to all the leaders at the assembly that Christianity be adopted and that those who wanted to could continue to practice paganism privately.

When Thorgeir returned to his village after the assembly, he gathered all his pagan idols, walked over to the waterfalls near his village, and threw the idols into the falls, hence the name Godafoss (“Waterfall of the gods”). Continue reading…

Viking Travel Journal––Day 12

Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Not every swing is a hit.

Some are strikes.

Seydisfjordur, Iceland was a complete whiff…at least for me.

The length of the offered excursions should have been a clue; they were mostly between 4 hours and 7 hours long by bus.

If you have to drive that far away to find something worth seeing or doing, that might be an indication that where you are is not exactly a destination.

I opted for the self-guided tour of the town, and besides the natural beauty of the surroundings there was nothing to see. Nada. The highlight for me was when I sat down when I was about to collapse from sheer boredom and was approached by a local cat—I assume he was local, I hadn’t seen him on the ship—who let me pet him. Continue reading…