Day 5 – Friday, May 15: Reykjavik, Iceland to Stavanger, Norway (845NM); on to Paris, France (805NM)

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Over taking on of our Pilatus comrades 1,000 ft below us.
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Iceland to Norway…track up. Atlantic crossing.
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Final approach to Stavanger, Norway.
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Looks very cold in the North Atlantic waters!
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Fueling in Norway.

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Paris…..time for wine!

Flew to Norway for a technical stop at Stavanger. Our flight then continued to Airport LeBourget, Paris. This is where Lindbergh landed, May 21, 1927. Upon arrival, transfer to our deluxe hotel located in the 8th District near the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysees.Hotel: Le Plaza Athenee Paris

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Day 4—Thursday, May 14: Reykjavik, Iceland

IMG_3730 A full day of private sightseeing part of our group made a visit to the famous Geyser hot spring area with numerous hot springs and geysers – one of them erupts every few minutes; take a look at the magnificent waterfall Gullfoss; visit the volcanic crater Kerid and the greenhouse village Hveragerdi; drive across Ljabakkavegur Pass to the Thingvellir National Park, a unique place of beauty, with its interesting geology and history; then across Mosfelsheildi Health to Reykjavik.

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The day started with the whole group going to the Blue Lagoon. Tom and I traveled with another couple to the western side of Iceland—up to the Langjokull Glacier (at top we experienced a total white-out). Next stop was Hraunfossar Barnafoss where the water actually filters through the lava rock cliffs and falls into the river. The Deildartunguhver Hot Springs (100 C) which sends heat to three towns…always hot water available!

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Langjokull Glacier…in a white-out.

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Driver took us to the Glacier….into a blizzard, little to see.

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Ready to taste the local brew!
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Puffin for dinner……by choice.

Day 3 — Wednesday, May 13: Kangerlussauq, Greenland to Reykjavik, Iceland (730 NM)

We completed our second water crossing first flying over ice-covered Greenland.

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Upon arrival, we transferred to the Hotel Borg where we enjoy luxury accommodations in the very center of Reykjavik. The Hotel Borg overlooks the beautiful square of Austurvollur, and is situated across from Althingi, the Icelandic parliament and the cathedral.

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Lower part of suite in Hotel Borg….bedroom.
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Upstairs living room with great view.

IMG_3933IMG_3741Hallgrimskirja church is Reykjavik’s main landmark and its tower is visible almost everywhere in the city. Construction began in 1945 and ended in 1986. The church features a gargantuan pipe organ.

Standing directly in front of church is a statue of Leif Eriksson–the first European to discover Ameria. (Landed 1,000 A.D.)

Day 2 Tuesday, May 12: Quebec City to Kuujjuaq; Canada to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. (690+725 NM)

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Airport Kuuljjuaq, Canada—technical stop, fuel.

We flew over the immense forests and numerous lakes of Labrador on our way to Kuujjuaq for a technical stop.

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A settlement in the middle of nowhere!
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Wearing survival suit.

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Spartan rooms for over night in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland.
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Art work pictural of Kangerlussuaq

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Then continued over southern Greenland’s beautiful scenery before landing at Kangerlussuaq. As we approach the Arctic Circle and the “land of the midnight sun”, we had an astonishing 20 hours of daylight!

Hotel Kangerlussuaq

Day 1—May 11: Quebec City. Pilot briefings for huge trip!

Enjoying the city we took a cab to the Musee des Beaux-Arts only to find it closed on Mondays!! Expected to view the Bryan Adams photo art exhibit. Next option was to “enjoy” our 50 minute walk in light rain: we walked the Battlefield ramparts, the Plains of Abraham which includes the Jardin of  Jeanne d’Arc (see impressive bronze statue) and finally  the Governors’ Promenade board walk along the St. Lawrence River back to the Hotel Frontenac.    For Trivial Pursuit fans: the Canadian Anthem “Oh Canada” was sung here on the Plains for the first time ever on St John Baptiste Day…June 24th in 1880.

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Jardin of Jeanne d’Arc
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Larger than life Sisters…in NotreDame de Quebec Church.
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Interior of Notre-Dame de Quebec Church
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First dinner together…..these individuals are now embarking on an amazing journey around the world.
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St Lawerence River.

As participants we met for introductions and attended an extensive briefing covering the general procedures of our journey.  Our meeting place is the historic Chateau Frontenac ideally located in the center of Quebec City, Canada.

Hotel Frontenac

Saturday, May 9: The Day before leaving Milwaukee

Aircraft, Dahrer-Socota TBM 850, passed a last minute check up, a new battery was installed and two seats removed to accommodate all our “stuff”.

Supplies: airplane oil, Prist (Jet A anti-ice fuel additive not routinely included outside North America) and aircraft cleaning solutions are ready loaded.IMG_0679 IMG_0680

We have cases of bottled water, snacks (to substitute for food we may not wish to eat); our emergency survival suits and life raft (required for over water crossing); and of course wardrobes for our 73-day adventure! All packed and ready to go!

Monday, May 4: Six-day countdown…

Yesterday we closed our Spruce Creek Fly-In, Florida home for season and flew home to Milwaukee. In the three and one-half hour flight we initiated our Spidertracks system and used the satellite phone as well. Canon and Go-Pro cameras are set up.  All new toys!

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Tom keeps his piloting skills sharpened with his experience and with two flight training programs each year.

My private pilot license and medical are current. I feel prepared and continue to be Tom’s co-pilot and able to take over, just in case!

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I am not certified to fly the TBM as pilot in command (PIC), however last Thursday I successfully completed seven TBM landings (with an instructor). Good to go!