ISSUE 13, April 2005

Editorial
The Campbells are coming: At speed!
Travel: Warming to Iceland
Royal Masonic Family: The Six Masonic Sons of George III, Part II
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and: Report of the Board of General Purposes
The flying eye hospital
Beamish Museum: The million pound project
  Wigan Grand Lodge: The Liverpool rebels
Chelsea Lodge: That's entertainment
Re-enactment: The way we were and: The Russian connection
Community Service: Weathering the storm
Faith and Freemasonry: God and the Craft
Education: Researching Freemasonry on the Internet and: Masonic events
Freemasons Hall: Masons at War
Grand Charity: Report and grant list and: Support for Asian tsunami
Masonic Charities: Reports from the Masonic charities
Obituaries, Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Blue Lagoon Limited

The snow-covered Blue Lagoon

    Everywhere you looked the landscape was white, even the lake – which was frozen over – with a backdrop of mountains. Because of the volcanic eruptions, there is a moonscape feel to the place with several pseudo-craters, and fields of lava. In the summer, apparently, this is one of the places to come to see wildlife, with 15 species of duck.
    We managed to see a few on the water where it wasn’t frozen over. At this time of the year the animals, except the horses, which are apparently great to go trekking on, are kept warm, under cover.
    Although there are roads, during the winter you are allowed to drive cross country. Our visit to reputedly the country’s most impressive waterfall, Dettifoss, which is 150ft high, was taken in this way.
    There is a marker indication to point you in the right direction, but unless you have navigation in your car, I am sure it would be impossible to find. The Icelandic people are very superstitious, and have many legends about the trolls. On the way, we passed 13 lava statues, and were told that these were trolls. Apparently, they only live at night, but these had partied into the dawn, and had therefore been turned into stone.
    There are lots of activities that can be organised. Several of our party went hiking and visited Víti, meaning hell, the volcanic crater near our hotel. I tried cross-country ski-ing, my first-time ever, which resulted in several falls as the ground was icy. However, as the hotel rents you all the equipment, it afforded me the opportunity of trying the sport.
    For proficient skiers, the area has not yet developed downhill ski-ing, although apparently there are slopes near Reykjavik and Akureyri. They have, however, recently opened their own geothermal baths. Different to the Blue Lagoon, the water doesn’t have salt in it, but rather has properties that leave your body lovely and silky.
    For me, the highlight of the trip was a snow scooter ride in the Krafla volcanic area, north of Lake Myvatn. We started our ride at the tiny airfield where, during the summer, you can take sightseeing flights in a light aircraft. I must admit that when I first saw the large scooter, I was too apprehensive to try it. Pétur, the owner of the hotel, who was also our lead scooter and guide on the trip, fortunately persuaded me to have a go.
    My only regret was not having a camera with me as the areas we drove through were just breathtaking, and although wearing a helmet, still the exhilaration of the wind on your face was just wonderful. We – there were a group of us – also had an experienced rider bringing up the rear.
    When we came to a particularly steep hill, he very kindly took me up on the back of his scooter, and then brought mine up for me so that I could continue on my own. For most of the time, you appear to be riding totally alone, with miles of snow-covered countryside around you and not a soul in sight, the others either being in front, around a corner or out of sight behind you.


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