Blogs from Southwest, Iceland, Europe

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Europe » Iceland » Southwest April 2nd 2014

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík February 3rd 2014

That Iceland was going to be different was evident immediately that the airplane started its descent. Looking out of it’s think-rimmed window, all I could see was a flat, broken plain of black stretching out in every direction, interspersed occasionally with milky-blue-white pools. It looked like the Plain of Dagorlad. As we touched down I got the faintest glimpse of white-topped mountains in the distance, hazy in the cloud. An obnoxious woman in front of us in the customs queue berated her friend for bringing her to “what looked like the most boring place on earth”. I could have shaken her – it looked absolutely incredible. Iceland has tormented me for years. The amazing scenery, the isolation, the history, the legends, the adventure opportunities, the epic spectacle of the aurora… my ideal destination. This came with ... read more
View from our hotel
Sunrise in Iceland
Colourful Reykjavik rooftops

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík December 7th 2013

Monday 2nd Dec 2013 – Friday 6th Dec 2013 I think Iceland is one of the strangest places I have visited!! It is the worlds 18th largest island and has a total population of just 320,000 people! We happened to be there when an old 100 year old record was broken and a new record of ‘the coldest first 5 days of December’ was made! We were experiencing temperatures of -12C to -20C in the day time, and even with a slight breeze, it was uncomfortably cold! We stayed at the Ramada Plaza, Three Bridges on the Monday night for the bargain price of £55.28 which included 3 days parking at ACH Parking near Cobstone. It worked very well as we walked for 30mins into Crawley on Monday afternoon and found a lovely old pub (The ... read more
3. Our room!
14. Me
10. Hallgrimskirkja Church

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjanesbær October 17th 2013

The sun is becoming increasingly bashful as winter begins to take hold in the Arctic. Iceland's days are getting shorter at the alarming rate of eight minutes per day, and the shortest day of the year is fast approaching on 21 December, when there will be just four hours of daylight. At this time of year the sun begins to rise to a respectable level in the sky, and just as quickly decides it's time to duck back down under the horizon. This has led to an interesting dilemma when it comes to photography, as my shadow is always wanting to make an appearance, somewhat akin to an uninvited guest at a party. Normally the last thing I want to see in my photos is yours truly, but in Iceland my shadow has started to become ... read more
Blue lagoon
Reykjanes coastline
Icelandic horse

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík October 15th 2013

The idea for a last minute trip to Iceland came about because I saw an amazing deal on Travelzoo with Icelandair to see the Northern Lights. But because the package was for 2 people and I couldn't convince any of my peeps to join (I received many "why do you want to go there"). I decided to go solo and put my own trip together. They don't know what they are missing. I'll be there for 4 nights at the end of October and these are the things I want to do: Go to the Blue Lagoon and get a massage once I land See the Northern Lights Hike on a glacier Snorkel Go caving in a volcano I will be there during the Airwaves festival which is a famous music fest featuring artists from around ... read more

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Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík October 13th 2013

Don't mess with Iceland, as the locals are wont to say with a wry smile. We may not have cash, but we've got ash! And ash and more ash when it comes down to it. In fact the land of fire and ice has around 130 volcanic mountains, so it's perfectly understandable if the locals are prone to getting a little hot under the collar. But actually this isn't the case, and the welcome I've received from the Icelandic people has been wonderful. The term going off has more than one meaning, so leaving aside the extremely volatile volcanoes it proves to be an apt description of the nightlife in gorgeous Reykjavik. This city of 120,000 people has a legendary reputation as a party town on the weekends, and to be part of the Arctic after ... read more
Jokulsarlon Lagoon
Black sand beach with blocks of ice
Ice on black sand beach

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Grindavík October 2nd 2013

Oh Iceland Land Of Fire and Ice (Well, Rain, To Be Precise) Land Of Whale and Steam And Fish Like Carp and Bream Land Of Doughnut and Penis Geothermal In Extremis Land Of Geezer and Rift Fumes of Sulphur Sniffed Land Of Glacier and Skidoo Mark Skyr and Rotting Shark Land Of Testicle Cake and Necropant (Nothing Rhymes With Necropant) Land Of Moon and Lagoon We’d Like to Come Back Soon Land Of Fire and Ice Because You’re Very Nice.... read more

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Grindavík October 1st 2013

Oh. My. Gods. (I know, I know. It’s the same joke, but it’s worth doing again I think). We’re on one of the moons of Jupiter!! Europa I’d say by the look of it. Don’t quite know how it happened. We were just driving down the 1, when all of a sudden, we were on Europa. That’s the last time I trust SatNav! Strange alien rock formations. Pools of blue water (molten ice due to the tectonic forces as a result of Jupiter’s gravity). Thin oxygen atmosphere. We’re in Grindavik, about 12 miles from Keflavic airport (which is handy as we have to be there at 6:00 in the morning). Sky not looking too good at the moment, but the forecast is sunny for tomorrow and they say it’s going to start clearing around 2:00 in ... read more
Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon
Alien Life Form Bathing

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík September 27th 2013

Blimey – where to start. Let’s start with dinner last night. As we’re not coming back to Reykjavic, we thought it might be nice to eat out at a nice restaurant. We found the perfect place, tiny little restaurant, candlelit tables, Icelandic food (lobster, mussels etc). Just round the corner from the hotel. Perfect. Trouble was, when it actually came down to it, we weren’t that hungry. We stood outside the restaurant for a while going over the menu, and, although the food looked delicious, were we really hungry enough to splash out? No. So, instead, we had our romantic dinner for two at the wiener stall – two lovely hot dogs and a bottle of Chablis (actually, no Chablis, just hot dogs). Delicious. So then, this morning. Whale watching. Did we see anything? Yes we ... read more
Icelandic Coastline
Geothermal Vents by Side of Road
Australia!!

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík September 26th 2013

It was obvious if we'd thought about it. Obvious. We chose to come to Iceland in 2013 as its Solar Max (best chance of aurora). We chose to come as near to the autumnal equinox as possible (aurora best around equinox). We chose to come at this time as the Moon is waning and skies will be dark. However, the average temperature is around 6 degrees. And what is ice if it is > 0 degrees. Yes - we've come to WaterLand. Plane landed at Keflavik Airport (about an hours drive from Reykjavic) around 3:30 yesterday in fog. Couldn't see anything. Hired a car and drove through beautiful dramatic fog to the capital. We saw all sorts of grey. Dark grey. Light grey. Medium grey. Occasionally, there was a clear patch where we could make out ... read more
Downtown Reykjavic
Hallgrímskirkja Church
Downtown Reykjavic




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