Iceland – The Beginning (Part One)

 

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, to roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live.” Hans Christian Anderson

Iceland is one of those places that called to me. After watching movies like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,  hearing about it from friends and looking at pictures on many travel instagrammers accounts I just could not get enough. I knew I had to go.

 After much research we finally made the jump and decided to book the Intrepid 8 day Northern Lights Tour. This turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life and hopefully the beginning of many more adventures.

We booked the trip nearly a year in advance, which gave us plenty of time to organise what we would take and stock up on warm weather gear! When February finally came you can imagine how excited I was!

We both finished work a day before our flight so we packed all our gear together, dropped the puppy off at her holiday home for the week and headed to the hotel we booked in Heathrow for that evening just so we could relax before flying out the next day. I was so glad we chose to do this as it made the trip so much more relaxing and less stressful!

It only takes 3 hours to get to Iceland from the UK and the time zone is the same (flying anything over an hour makes me feel like I should change time) so we arrived by late afternoon. In the airport we met our coach driver and some of our group. From here he took us from Keflavik to Reykjavik. I could not believe (and still can’t) how beautiful this country was. Snow covered mountains in the distance called to me and I just could not get enough of looking at them. It was really happening, I was really there!

We were staying the first two nights of our trip in Hotel Fron right in the middle of the main centre of the city. The hotel rooms were lovely and we were more than comfortable. I would definitely go here again if I went back. After checking in, dropping everything off and getting changed we were to meet our group for dinner at 7. At the recommendation of our guide we grabbed our swimsuits in haste (along with 2 other women in our group) as the local baths were open till midnight for that evening only for the Icelandic Winter Lights Festival.

Our first meal in this wonderful country was at Geyser Bistro and was a great way to start. We met some more of our lovely group and ate some wonderful fish (when in iceland).

{Salted Cod and Local Fresh Caught Ling}

After the meal we took a snowy, fresh walk to the local baths to enjoy a relaxing evening in   hot geothermal water with two of our new travel companions. The baths were amazing and even though you have to follow some local customs (no shoes, naked showering and ensuring you are dry before re-entering the changing rooms) it was actually really liberating to just not care (don’t get me wrong it took a lot to build up to it). Plus the baths and changing rooms were spotless, which compared to many of the swimming places in Britain this was amazing.

After some relaxing we ambled slowly back to the hotel with some night views on the way.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The next day we got up early for breakfast, a nice continental, and met the group ready for a city tour.

We learnt about the cities history, passed sites such as the Harpa Concert Hall, the frozen lake and the harbour.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

IMG_9835

Our first proper stop on the tour was at the Perlan, which had a 360 view of the area. Truly beautiful. Also if you go up there in winter time make sure to be careful of the ice, I can attest that it truly hurts if you misjudge it (I had the bruise to prove it).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our next stop was to view a snowy village outside of the city.

IMG_9843

IMG_9854

IMG_9865

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We stopped by the national museum but only for a brief time as we wanted to reach the final stop of Hallgrímskirkja. This well photographed and popular church was still amazing to see in real life.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A group of us broke off from some of the others to head down the harbour and scout out lunch. We were in the mood for some lobster and the restaurant we choose provided exactly this (If you can’t tell from the title).

IMG_9882

We ate good food, chatted, drank cider and just enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere of being in this fantastic place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once our stomachs were satisfied we made our way round the city by foot.After some souvenir shopping the boy and I broke off from the group to take a wander along the seafront.

We walked up to the sun voyager , a sculpture of a dream boat (often mistaken as a viking boat) in ode to the sun. It inspires thoughts of travel, hope, progress and freedom. All ideals that perfectly encompass the adventure we were on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After taking in this wonderful view we took a slow walk down to the Harpa Concert Hall where we watched the sun set over Reykjavik.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was a truly wonderful day and only the beginning of what would prove to be an awe inspiring trip. Already I was in love with Iceland.

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Iceland – The Beginning (Part One)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s