Antarctic telemedicine meeting and Iceland‏

Tromso, Norway and the Church of the Arctic

Tromso, Norway and the Church of the Arctic

Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik, Iceland

Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik, Iceland

Inside one of Harpa’s corridors

Inside one of Harpa’s corridors

Reykjavik’s famous concrete church is the tallest building in the city

Reykjavik’s famous concrete church is the tallest building in the city

Pat at Pingvellir National Park, where the Earth’s tectonic plates  are pulling away from each other about 9mm a year

Pat at Pingvellir National Park, where the Earth’s tectonic plates
are pulling away from each other about 9mm a year

Gullfoss staggering waterfall with about a dozen people standing on the rocks in the middle left

Gullfoss staggering waterfall with about a dozen people standing on the rocks in the middle left

Sitting next to a river of glacial melt in a lava pot formed by a bubble in cooling lava 8700 years ago

Sitting next to a river of glacial melt in a lava pot formed by a bubble in cooling lava 8700 years ago

Falls at Skogar with a long trail to hike up and behind the falls

Falls at Skogar with a long trail to hike up and behind the falls

Seals swimming among icebergs from a glacier in Jokulsarlon lagoon

Seals swimming among icebergs from a glacier in Jokulsarlon lagoon

Photo op among the icebergs

Photo op among the icebergs

Boiling an egg for a snack at the geothermal park

Boiling an egg for a snack at the geothermal park

Basalt columns from ancient volcanoes at the beach in Iceland

Basalt columns from ancient volcanoes at the beach in Iceland

Standing by 6 inch thick moss covered lava from the 1783 eruption  that covered over 500 square kilometers

Standing by 6 inch thick moss covered lava from the 1783 eruption
that covered over 500 square kilometers

Hi ice chasers,

       In an effort to combine a few cold weather destinations into one trip, I signed up for a telemedicine meeting of countries that have bases in  Antarctica held in Tromso, Norway, which is 200 miles north of the arctic circle, and continued afterwards to meet Pat, my mom and my brother in Iceland. Tromso turned out to be a beautiful setting at the gateway to the fiords of Norway and I got to meet all sorts of interesting folks from the UK, Australia, China, France, and Japan that deal with medical and dental issues when folks in Antarctica need to communicate with their home countries. My buddy, Jim, who now is head honcho of the medical side of the US program based in Texas flew in a day early to prep for his presentation. He discovered that renting a car with a GPS had limitations when he drove into a long tunnel, but figured he’d pick up the signal on the other end and continue on his merry way. Imagine his surprise when he encountered not one, but two roundabouts inside the tunnel, which resulted in a few misdirected choices and had him reentering the tunnel a couple of times before he got it right. After a few days there, I bid adieu to Jim and flew to Reykjavik, Iceland for the R and R part of my trip.

            Pat, my brother, Larry and my mom had arrived earlier in the day and found the first apartment I had booked on Airbnb, which turned out to be a great way to stay together in apartments and houses in new places for less than half of what a hotel would cost. We had a rental car and spent a week touring Iceland, which is chock full of incredible trails of waterfalls, glaciers, icebergs, volcanoes, and geysers, not to mention restaurants with delicious fish, lobster and lamb choices. We passed on the entrées of whale and puffin but stopped at most of the bakeries along the way to sample cakes and pastries. One of the more interesting snacks was an egg we boiled at the end of a wooden fishing pole in the 200 degree water of a geothermal park in one of the small towns along the road. It was good family time with lots of laughs and minimal discord so that no one had to be restrained and thrown into the volcano.

            Now it’s back to work, and Pat starts a new job tomorrow with Philips that might bring her out to Colorado more often, which would be a bonus. Hope your Labor Day weekend was a long, relaxing one and enjoy what is left of the summer.

Cheers,

      Arctic circling Bob