At the beginning of December we took the trip of a lifetime, a trip that had been on our cards for a long time. This place has been on my bucket list since I don’t know when. My husband’s 30th birthday seemed liked the perfect time to cross it off! 6 of us boarded a plane from Gatwick headed to the capital Reykjavik for 4 days of exploring and celebrations.
Iceland is just dreamy, we landed and snow covered almost everything. As you can see by these shots that went viral after local photographer Óli Haukur Mýrdal took them with a drone.
Although you’d think Iceland would be a snowy place all winter, we later found out it is not a given. The weather is so changeable in Iceland that they cannot guarantee snow and as such a ski season, hence why this tourism gold mine hasn’t been exploited there.
Our trip comprised of a series of pre booked tours, with some time in between to explore, eat and drink in the culture. We had 3 tours, each with their own merits and none disappointed.
The northern lights are a spectacle you just have to try and see. It was freezing and I mean super cold, but looking up at the sky on our first night to see the dancing light made that cold disappear. There are no guarantees of seeing the lights and well we just lucked out I guess. Here are a few shots taken by our tour operator Reykjavik Excursions. Iphones don’t really do the lights justice and quite frankly I didn’t want to miss any of this by staring through a lens. This was one of those memories I wanted etched in to my brain not in to my phones memory. I can’t tell you how good it felt to see them, and just how beautiful they are.
The Blue Lagoon is beautiful, and oh so warm. We went the morning of a pretty serious and soon to be approaching hurricane. The wind was fierce and icy, but the water was perfect. To me this made it all the more dramatic; the snow covered black rocks, howling winds, and us floating in utter bliss, a perfect contradiction. We floated for what could have been an eternity sipping on beer from the bar (that you swim up to). I could have stayed in the water forever, and if the bus hadn’t been leaving due to immanent storm induced road closures then I may still be there now.
The GOT Tour is a must do for any fan, but to be honest it was just a really nice way to get out in to other areas of Iceland. We walked some pretty treacherous routes around national parks, past waterfalls, over icy rocks and even saw where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet. The landscapes of Iceland are just unbelievably breathtaking, and this tour really gave us an up close and personal introduction to its majesty. Being shown where the Game of Thrones cast stood and filmed was just an added bonus.
Reykjavik stands alone though without these tourism draws. The tiny city has so much to explore on its own; from the beautiful Hallgrímskirkja Church and Harpa to fantastic bars and restaurants with food that is to die for.
The shops have a truly Scandinavian influence; everything is beautifully designed and would make your home/wardrobe/office look instantly magazine worthy, oozing with simplistic style. I am happy to report that my two favourite things, coffee and beer, were equally excellent.
Arriving amidst heavy snow and hurricanes made me super glad that we had tours arranged and a central hotel. However we will be returning in the summer time with a car to get a little off the tourism track and really explore what this truly magical place has to offer.
If it’s not already part of your ‘must go’ list then add it, you won’t regret it.