Lottie Carlton

Lottie Let Loose

Lottie Carlton

Lottie is let loose - come and see where is she heading this time?

Europe » Iceland » North » Akureyri April 6th 2015

Another sunny day. What can I say! I'm lucky with the weather on this trip. Today I am off on a long tour to have a look around the Myvatn area with SBA Norðurleið. Akureyri Tour I have a long walk to the meeting point from my new hostel which is on the other side of town. It's pretty early and there's virtually no-one about. I hope I'm not the only one on the trip. I picked this company because it specifically didn't penalise solo travellers by cancelling if no-one else booked; most other companies need at least two before they'll go ahead with a tour. I meet my tour guided Oskar and we have a bit of a chat. It turns out we are to be joined by a family who are flying in from ... read more
Views from above Akureyri
Akureyri ski slope

Europe » Iceland » North » Húsavík April 5th 2015

In the morning I pack up my stuff ready for my hostel switch - luckily I only have my small daysack. It's a different guy on reception and he's a bit bemused by my terse complaint about the room situation and tries to make out that I should have known that the hostel wouldn't be quiet as it's in a downtown location. Funny that, I'd just spent almost a week of peaceful bliss in Reykjavik DOWNTOWN hostel - Reykjavik - that's the capital city - maybe you've heard of it! The sarcasm was flowing thick and fast - not sure his English was up to my nuanced tirade of sleep deprived wit, but he eventually refunded my my stay - or at least that's what I thought he'd done - I found out later he'd only ... read more
Crossing the fjord at Akureyri on the way to Husavik
Tiger striped melted snow
North Sailing boat in Husavik harbour

Europe » Iceland » North » Akureyri April 4th 2015

I arrive at Reykjavik's domestic airport after a bit of a detour via a hotel restaurant - map reading blooper but I realise I'm actually really early and can afford to have some grub before I find the actual terminal building - only to find the flight is delayed by half an hour. I settle down to read my book and add a bit to my blog before finally my flight is ready to depart. We're in a fairly small aircraft, just two seats each side of the aisle and you have to walk up the steps into the plane from the tarmac. We are quickly airborne and as I'm in a window seat I can see all that's outside - which is mostly the tops of fluffy clouds! So much for seeing a bit of ... read more
The footpath alongside the fjord leading to Akureyri from the airport
Looking back towards Akureyri airport
Long tailed duck

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík April 4th 2015

Today is my last in Reykjavik for a few days as I'm flying up to the north of the country to a base in Akureyri, Iceland's second largest town. With bags sorted into 'to stay' and 'to go' I leave my large bag in the hands of Reykjavik Downtown Hostel's capable reception staff and head off for a few hours mooching on my way to the airport. I've decided to walk there via a few geocaches and hopefully a perusal of the Settlement Exhibition that's so far been closed for the duration of the religious holiday that is now known as annoyingly disruptive Easter! When I get to the exhibition entrance it's not looking too hopeful, but I push on the door and find that it IS open after all. I walk down the spiral staircase ... read more
The remains of a long house at the Settlement Exhibition
Ghostly figure capturing an auk or puffin at the Settlement Exhibition
Fantastic touch screen table at the Settlement Exhibition

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík April 3rd 2015

I have another free day before I fly off to Akureyri in the north of Iceland so I have a leisurely start to the day with a lovely porridge and raisin breakfast and a bit of a catch up on my blog. I realise I'm not going to be able to keep up with it all this holiday as there's just so much interesting stuff to do so I decide to do dribs and drabs and leave the rest until I get home. My trusty note book is always with me. I wonder if I sometimes make the tour guides nervous thinking I'm a 'mystery shopper'. On a coffee tour in Costa Rica someone actually asked me if I was a reporter because of my note book! No, I just have a really terrible memory and ... read more
Humpback whale and friends!
Humpback whale
Blue whale - biggest of them all!

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík April 2nd 2015

After two busy days touring punctuated by a very late night northern lights hunt I reward myself with a massive lie in! Well that's the plan but I find myself woken up early by a little ginger cat walking around my head! He's found his way into our dorm room via an open window - no wonder I'd been cold - open windows with minus temperatures outside - are you insane! He spends the next 10 minutes checking out everyone's luggage, playing with me and jumping up on all the beds. No-one else wakes up and I even get a couple of photos of him before he decides to head off outside again and try to find some food elsewhere. So back to sleep and my promised lie in. I let everyone else get up and ... read more
Solfar 'Sun Voyager' Sculpture
Sculpture park

Europe » Iceland » Northwest » Snæfellsnes April 1st 2015

Another day dawns with brilliant sunshine and I begin to doubt the 'take waterproofs and a bikini just in case' advice I'd been given regarding daily clothes preparation. It seems Iceland is ONLY sunny for me. The pick up from my hostel works this time and I'm at the BSI terminal in plenty time. I have a quick sneaky peek of the two tour guides on offer with the two waiting coaches and head for the coach with the white bearded guy who is joking with people as they get on. It turns out his name is Hers-something which happily shortens either to Hussie (he points out this isn't too good if you're from the UK) so the alternative is Hersie. As we set off we find out that Hersie is a BIG talker. Lots of ... read more
Tunnel under Hvalfjordur
Sunlit mountains across the fjord
Mountain views on the way to Snaefellsnes

Europe » Iceland » Southwest March 31st 2015

Having checked the Aurora forecast and finding a level 4 activity prediction (that's pretty good) and seeing that the cloud cover forecast is for clear skies I book a Northern Lights tour out from Reykjavik with a pick up at my hostel at 9.30pm. At 9.50 the guy turns up just as my hostel reception is phoning the company to see where my pick up has got to. Then follows a ridiculously circuitous route to find the other people waiting at their hotel. When we finally find them we again go round the houses trying to get on the right road out to the BSI terminal where we are now the last to arrive, holding everyone up! The guy from the other group picked up with me gets really arsey about seats on the coaches - ... read more
They didn't!

Europe » Iceland » Southwest March 30th 2015

Introduction to the Golden Circle Tour and journey to first stop I'm picked up from my hostel and get transferred to the BSI bus terminal where the tour company I'm going with is based (Reykjavik Excursions). Here we board one of three coaches all going on the famous Golden Circle Tour. We meet our guide Steina who sets out the planned stops for the day, which include a greenhouse farm, Strokkur geysir, Gullfoss waterfall and Thingfellir national park. On the drive out of the city Steina points out some large water tanks. Water from the surrounding valleys is stored in these tanks for use by the entire city. The water is extremely pure quality drinking water. Snow melts, seeps through the porous volcanic rock and then is pumped out and piped directly to homes. Almost all ... read more
Northern birch trees - native to Iceland but don't grow very high
Snowy roads on the Golden Circle Tour
Icelandic horses huddling together for warmth

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík March 30th 2015

I arrive at Austurvollur, a little park area complete with wooden benches and presided over by a large statue, to find the very friendly and welcoming Eric who is to be our guide on the walking tour. Eric is a history graduate who is happy to pass on his passion for his country's history to visitors from around the world. In our group I'm the only one from England (I'm always surprised how well known Norwich is world wide forgetting the football factor!), there's a few from Scotland, a girl from Slovenia, a Newzealander and a lady from Bulgaria, but who has been living in Reykjavik for over a year (she'd not had time to look around properly so busy was she with work!). The rest of the group are Americans. It turns out we are ... read more
John the President or Jon Sigurdson
Statue of Skuli Magnuson in the site of Reykjavik's old cemetery
Explaining the 17 Icelandic vowels!

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