Another country, another town, and a place where a whole lot of my bucket list, that can be very specific, was ticked off!
- See the Northern Lights (Auroras Borealis)
- Ice Climbing
- Hike across a glacier
- Witness an active volcano
- Swim in the Blue Lagoon
So, the trip to Iceland, all I can say is YOU HAVE TO GO!! Many people seem to have on their bucket lists to see the northern lights but always put it off for excuses of “I may not see them” or “it’s so expensive to go to Iceland”. It’s not.
So whilst in my final year at university I stumbled across a deal online that gave me flights and a hotel for the weekend in November for a very good price! I was lazy with this one but make sure you always check around to create your own deals too! Some of you might be thinking it was silly to go in my final year but no! I made a memory to last a lifetime and in the true spirit of work hard play hard I travelled! A short weekend break was all it took to witness something to make others so envious it’s unreal!
So late on a Thursday evening, we catch a flight out of Gatwick destined towards Reykjavík (its ok we couldn’t pronounce it either). Unbeknown to what Iceland has to offer the excitement levels are high but rest is needed so it’s an early night in preparation for a long weekend ahead of us!
Friday is spent meandering around the city centre whilst eagerly awaiting our first opportunity to chase the famous northern lights! None the less Reykjavík is such a beautiful town, even being the capital, it is quaint with beautiful small bars and restaurants and a good range of shopping!
So it’s getting late and our trip is due to leave at around 7pm so we head back to the Reykjavík Lights Hotel and wrap up warm not knowing exactly what to expect at all. On the bus we go and the guide is hopeful! We drive around and around to some of the most remote places you could think of without having a clue where we are but sadly the lights are yet to appear! We had a silver lining in that the buses decided to stop at the geysers so we at least got to see some of what Iceland is famous for. Time went on and it was getting late when we were all told to get off of the bus and look up. Greenish clouds, no one was having it and the guide had tried so hard but it just wasn’t our night.
Off to bed we went as we had a glacier hiking tour the next day! Boots at the ready and after a trip towards the volcanoes we were up high and getting kit ready for our hike! We trekked through the grassy areas towards the glacier and that’s where the crampons and ice picks came out! We hiked across and saw some incredible natural sculptures the ice had made! The tour guides were great and allowed us to try ‘the Viking drinking method’ smashing the pick into the ground and assuming a press up position over a stream! What a taste! Fresh water about as fresh as possible!
After an incredible day we thought we were heading back when we arrive at a large flat face, the guides pull out ropes and it turns out we are able to try our hand at ice climbing! Such a fun activity that I may not be able to try again for a long while! Once all had tried it was back to the bus but again another treat as we stopped by a beautiful waterfall for pictures!
Tired and exhausted we head back to the hotel and realise what time it is! We ask the guides about the northern lights and they check the reports, there was a chance! They get us back to the hotel with minutes to spare and we are able to use our return voucher that day! Straight off of one bus and onto the next we go but after the previous night’s experience we choose to just enjoy the ride trying not to get our hopes too high. The bus pulls up to a place on the west coast and as most would after the previous night we have had we just lay on a rock talking about how long it would take until the put us back onto the bus and onto the next spot the BANG!
Suddenly the sky lights up! Colours shoot in waves across the sky from red to blue to green in all kinds of patterns and directions! I have never witnessed anything like it in my life and it’s so hard to describe! The sky was alive! This natural display of amazement continued on and on and seemed to move across the sky from left to right above our heads as we still lay on this rock and then boom! They were gone just as soon as they appeared and all that remained was a buzz of excitement from everyone there! Pictures were passed around and feelings describe. You ever just get that ’WOW’ feeling? Yeah that’s the one. Our trip had gone from special to incredible in the blink of an eye!
One of the best days of my life so far had just happened in terms of nature and what it can offer and I loved every minute but was in need of so much rest! Off to sleep we go and spend the next day relaxing in the beautiful blue lagoon! Enjoy a cold beer or a slushy like we did and you won’t be disappointed in this natural occurrence, so warm and relaxing with incredible natural scenery around it was the best way to spend our final day in this incredible country! Finally all we had to do was a sleep on the coach back, grab a flight and into university on Monday morning with the biggest grin on my face ever! Go and see this country and you will want to return immediately!
By the way, just to add. As we left Iceland on our flight home we were sat just about to put on a movie and zone out for the flight when an announcement comes on. “This is your captain speaking; if you look to the left of the plane you will see the currently erupting volcano.” Suddenly everyone is out of their seats and there it is bright orange and bubbling away. The perfect end to the perfect trip!