21st – 24th November 2013
Myself and Gilly flew off to Iceland for a 3 night break, we stayed at the Hilton Nordica which was about a 5 minute bus ride from the centre of Reykjavik.
The first night we had a Northern Lights boat trip booked, but this was cancelled due to the cloudy conditions, instead we got the bus into town, had a quick browse and stopped off for a bite to eat in a cosy French restaurant.
On the Friday morning we popped into Reykjavik, we both had a chuckle when we went to the bank to draw out some local currency, we thought we had been into 2 banks to get a comparison but soon realised that it was the same one, we had just used different entrances! Lunchtime we set off for the Golden Circle tour which covers about 300 km looping from Reykjavik into central Iceland and back.
“The three primary stops on the route are the national park Pingvellir, the geothermally active valley of Haukadalu, which contains the geysers Geysir and Strokkur. Though Geysir has been inactive for a long time, Strokkur, on the other hand, continues to erupt at 5-10 minutes intervals. The final stop was the waterfall Gullfoss (meaning “golden falls”).” – wikipedia..
The tour was a whirlwind one, what with the lack of daylight hours, but really impressive with falling snow adding to its appeal. We got back to the hotel to find that the cancelled Northern Lights tour was back on for this evening, time for a sandwich and some more warm clothes and back on the transfer bus to the harbour.
When we arrived at the harbour we had a choice of two boats, a small ferry style boat or a luxury cruiser. We chose the luxury cruiser and put on our optional winter onesie. The cruise set off on a clear moonlit evening, now I thought that this would be a romantic cruise on calm waters but the sea was very choppy and it wasn’t long before people started to change colour and many were sick over the side! The Northern Lights made only a very brief appearance, but the rough seas made it impossible to get a decent photo. After a very long 2.5 hours we pulled back into the harbour, glad that we hadn’t had time to grab a big meal before setting sail!
Saturday we set off for the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa where the water temperature averages 37–39 °C (98–102 °F). Once there we upgraded our standard package to the premier package which included robes, flip-flops, spa treatments, drink and lunch in the Lava Restaurant. To say the Blue Lagoon was excellent is an understatement and goes down as a “wow moment”. Right from word go, the high-tech lockers, changing facilities, the extremely warm blue water even though outside it was cold and the amazing food in the Lava Restaurant made it a very special day. (Unbelievably we even bumped into an old friend of mine, Graham Wilkins with his wife Sarah, small world!)
That evening we got the bus back into the city and had a very nice meal in the restaurant Kopar, right in the harbour.
Sunday was our last day and we popped back into town for a quick look around.
A very enjoyable and memorable short break.