It was just before midnight as we peered into the absolute bleak of darkness. We beheld the lights in layers of glory of shades of green and lavender north of the arctic skies and pinkish red, westerly.
Common Reykjavík, enchant me with a combination of white snow that decks this city with twinkling lights and northern lights.
What more could be so Christmas-sy!
It was the sole reason we came to Iceland and of course to experience the concept of the Blue Lagoon which I will not even bother to explain. It’s one of those ones for first-hand experience.
I mean who wants to be an Icelandic tourist in the middle of winter in -1 million temperatures?
It was now past midnight as we boarded the coach to leave for our hotel. I was yet again, grateful for the gift of the sights of the aurora borealis. I pinched myself as we drove away from Öskjuhlið, remotely surrounded by forest, bang in the middle of nowhere, my heart resigning (only physically) against this marvel of the greatest natural backdrop that has ever existed.
So, there, one thing off my bucket list ticked.
What an incredible way to end 2017 and with the man I love.
The take-off from London Heathrow was vivid in my memory. We headed north, as we made a sharp turn westerly avoiding Windsor Castle so as not to disturb her majesty the Queen.
Captain’s orders!!! He announced.
We smiled at each other.
It must feel great be a monarch.
We subsequently soar over Lewis the western coast of Scotland and through the North Atlantic to Keflavik.
We land, safely.
It wasn’t until 34 miles and £150 later that I realised I have made my first major tourist cock up. As google maps advised that it was just 3 miles away from the airport to the hotel, we resorted to taking a cab, going past all the shuttle buses at the airport that could have cost us £20 each or less to our destination.
Only it wasn’t. I was just lacking attention to detail as always.
Kefalik airport vs Reykjavik was the dumb move. Domestic vs international.
Anyway after feeling gutted at myself and Neil tutting every second per mile as the taxi meter read away, vainly looking for lights in the distance with no joy, I decided that I put my mistake to the side, deal with it when I self-depreciate and ensure I enjoy this holiday.
It was -10 degrees cold. Don’t judge me for what I wear. I am kind to animals and I love animals but in this case, I needed the protective fur gear in order not to end up in hospital, dead. I have sickle cell. Vegans, read about it before you judge me!
There was a lot of wandering as you will see from all my street photos. We began to realise that with each passing hour, we were spending a week’s expenses on a day's living.
I mean we visited this Salka Valka Fish restaurant because we were pressed to pee. But seeing as I was literally having a brain freeze, we settle for some coffee and Icelandic rhubarb cake and that was how I ended up with a record of being the most expensive coffee and cake I had ever paid for.
Reykjavik; the city of fantasy, colours, animation, lights and erupted volcanoes.
We spent time exploring the National Icelandic Museum. Glazing in awe at the spectacular Northern lights; God was kind to me. Imagine going to Iceland and not being able to see this. I mean spending around £700 on 2 tour trips (to the lagoon and the lights) and leaving back to England with no outcome because altitudes were lower than expected.
I would die. I am a lucky girl.
We swam in the thermal warmth of the Blue lagoon- it was beautiful. Its one memory I will have on my death bed and smile at how beautiful my life has been.
We walked the length of Reykjavik town- strolled through the winter woods at City Hall, the Christmas village, taking in its beauty and culture. Someone ate rotten shark! Eugh! We enjoyed the entire culture of Scandinavian hygee.
We wandered randomly in pretty colourful streets, spent time in the breath-taking Cathedral.
Went to Icelandic Pubs and spent £15 for a pint of beer each time. Ate local food and fruits, met locals and many American tourists, took night strolls in the freezing cold and woke up each morning to total darkness.
The sun rose between 10am and noon every morning and then by 3pm, it was dark again. It was the weirdest thing I had ever experienced. Watching the sunset at 2pm.
I found it captivating that the farther north you travelled in the winter, the less legs and ambition the sun has to rise.
It was a romantic trip of love, a discovery of a part of the world I never thought I would see and some fascinating indelible memories that did change my life forever.