Iceland: Best Climb Up a Lighthouse!
August 6, 2014 5 Comments
One of our favorite experiences of our trip was visiting the pair of Gardskagaviti lighthouses on the Reykjanes Peninsula (near Reykjavik). The taller lighthouse of the pair (known as “the twin brothers”) was built by U.S. servicemen who were rescued from a sinking Coast Guard ship. It was presented as a gift to the Icelandic people for saving their lives. At the museum next to the lighthouses we were given a key to climb up to the top of the tower (the tallest in Iceland). As instructed, we unlocked the door, went in, and then relocked the door behind us. We had the entire place to ourselves! The acoustics were incredible – the tower is essentially a giant tube that acts like an echo chamber. I remember reading once that lighthouse keepers often sang inside their towers because the sound was so amazing.
As we climbed up we enjoyed art displays on the walls and a display of saved thermometers. The top of the tower was especially unique. Richard had to unscrew a bolt to unlock the trap door leading to the balcony surrounding the Fresnel lens. What a view!
Afterward we locked everything back up and turned in the key. The smaller and older red and white striped lighthouse beside the tower was once used for bird migration studies. Birds commonly seen at rocky Gardskaga Point include eiders, turnstones, gannets, red shank, and sanderlings. This lighthouse experience was one-of-a-kind and great fun!