Hello everyone. I’ve been off the radar for the last few days as I was on a wintry adventure in Iceland. This is the second time I am writing this post. I wrote half in the airport in Iceland and then the second half in the air and then I managed to lose it all. If this post seems short, annoyed, frustrated or just really badly written then you know why!
On a more positive note, we had a great few days in cold Iceland. Eating loads of food and seeing all the sights of Reykjavik and more importantly the surrounding countryside. It is beautiful and otherworldly. The weather was pretty hideous which just added to the atmosphere. Although it was basically cold, cloudy, rainy, windy and snowy most of the time. We rented a car and the driving conditions were pretty scary at first but I soon got used to then.
Day one involved picking up the car and checking in at our hotel. Nothing special but good enough for what we need. Very large rooms. Not sure about the view though.
After dropping our luggage off we walked into Reykjavík centre and down the main strip looking for a restaurant. We plumped for one called Scandinavian which seemed like a good place to start. This turned out to be the first of 3 incredible dinners out. I had reindeer pate, a lobster feast and some delicious ice cream. After that it was back home to bed via Dillan’s whiskey bar for a tasty treat.
We awoke on day 2 to more rubbish weather and it was very dark. It doesn’t get light until gone 10am so it meant we had to wait for 2 hours before we saw the light of day. Even then it was still pretty dim.
After a hearty breakfast of meat and eggs we set off driving inland to do the golden circle tour. Luckily the tour operator on our satnav knew where to go. Not sure where he came from but conveniently he kept piping up with interesting information and telling us where and when to stop.
First up was Þingvellir or thingvellir using the English pronunciation. This was an area of natural beauty and had the largest lake in Iceland. Back in the day the whole of Iceland used to travel here for some sort of parliament type pilgrimage. It all looked a bit wicker man to me but it was still a great place for a cup of tea.
Next up and a little further down the road is Geysir and Stukkor. Unfortunately Geyser stopped exploding a while back so it is left to little old Stukkor to entertain the tourists. It was very cool to see a geyser up close. It made me really appreciate the power of mother nature. We also had cake and tea there so well done Iceland for sorting that out.
Finally on the golden circle tour is the Waterfall of Gullfoss. Not Guildford as my phone would suggest. This was the waterfall with the largest volume of water in Iceland. I think. Or the largest something at least. Either way it was monumental looking. By this time the wind and snow had picked up. It was very cold.
After that it was the long second half of the tour which didn’t have many sights but it was still nice to see more of Iceland. We did stop at a very large crater with a lake in it. Apparently bjork had played there in the 80s. All I know is that it was cold and offensively windy. After that the driving conditions got crazy. Dark, icy, snowy and extremely strong winds meant I had to do all I could to keep the little car on the road.
That evenings’ dinner was at a trendy, cosmopolitan eatery on the main strip in Reykjavík. I had camembert to start with followed by the Icelandic tradition of lamb. I finished it off with more ice cream. No pictures as I was too excited about eating. Another trip to Dillan’s for whiskey and beer this time.
I woke on Saturday with a bit of a fuzzy head. It was still dark and getting up was slightly more difficult than the day before due to the quantity of alcohol. We had a big day ahead though. We drove about 180km round the island stopping off at many waterfalls and even a glacier on the way. Something I hadn’t expected yet very much enjoyed. Finally we got to the most southerly point of Iceland which felt desolate and barren. It seem like there was no one there for miles. Just endless black beaches. Very awe inspiring.
After another very tricky drive back to Reykjavík where we had our last meal. And what a meal! It was in a very Icelandic looking restaurant and it was perfect. Great food and great service. We wanted to try puffin and cormorant but as it was out of season we weren’t able to do so and had to settle for horse and whale. Both of which were surprisingly delicious. The stand out for me was the desert. It is not often a desert wins but this one was incredible. A bit like a cheesecake only made using the Iceland yoghurt type thing called Skyr. Absolutely incredible and rounded off with a glass of Icelandic schnapps.
The final day was short as we needed to catch a plane home but we still managed to spend an hour or so at Blue lagoon. We later around in the geothermal pool, getting a couple of facials and drinking a very green drink. I came out with wonderful skin and a sense of calm… Well. Not really, but my face feels nice.
I would really recommend Iceland to anyone who can go there. It is expensive but well worth it. I think we went a bit crazy with the evening meals and could easily have done it cheaper had we so desired. We would love to go back in the summer when the days are long and the temperature is warm. A few days hiking over mountains and Volcanoes away from the tourists would be perfect. I didn’t get any running done but it was nice to take a break. Back on it his week though to try and burn off some of the bazillion calories I have consumed.