At the end of June we went for a long weekend to Iceland as we missed it for H’s 4oth . It was her number one must do thing on this long trip. The flights were very reasonable at about 160 quid return each through Icelandic air. We arrived and immediately bought two bottles of wine , absolute vodka and a Captain morgans rum from the duty free before you exit the airport. If bought outside the airport the drinks are 300% more. We had hired an apartment right in the centre of Reykjavik called Kalli’s apartment we had room number 5 A.K.A the ” Rock Star” room because the shower is opposite the bed and you can see right in. A funky apartment with everything you need right in the centre , but no rowdy noise.
We had booked a trip inside the Thrihnukagigur Volcano where you are lowered down 400ft inside a dormant magma chamber, the only place this is done in the world. It was a 2mile hike across the lava field at the top of a mountain. There was still snow and the wind was biting hard ..good job we had our goose down jackets. Crazily they were having a heat wave and it was the middle of summer, anything over 10 Celsius is regarded as a heat wave .. how lucky were we :) . We were on the peasant tour at 200 quid each , the Quaffer tour landed by Helicopter for 400 quid. We arrived at the Volcano and were split into small groups of 4 to be lowered down in a cage by winch which took 6 minutes into the inky black hole. At the bottom it was flood lit and you could walk about ..it was great and much better than I anticipated ,well worth the money.
People always say that Iceland is expensive but we found it very similar to English prices . We drank heavily water and booze :) , and ate great food .. most notably a fabulous steak at the swanky Grillmarket and also ..and it pains me to say it …The BEST fish and chips EVER ..even better than Papa’s and that’s saying something. What is expensive are the trips and tours . But you can do the GOLDEN CIRCLE tour quite cheaply for about 50 quid each. We chose the Night tour as the sun doesn’t set and it wouldn’t have any kids on it. We were not disappointed we went first to the where two continental plates meet , which is the reason for all the volcanic activity on Iceland . We then where whisked off to the hot springs which border a lake and spent 2 hours in the different pools ranging from 30 degrees to 42 . There was no rotten egg smell and it was very peaceful looking over a large lake .. every now and again there were bubbles coming from underneath H but she assures me they were naturally occurring :) . Next we went to the Gilfoss waterfall, the power of the water is amazing comparable to Niagara falls , whilst we were walking back to the bus we came across a woman holding her face , she had been walking with her hand in her pockets (it was cold …we took gloves) and tripped falling on her face. I checked her over and patched her up with the first aid kit we always carry , trying out the iodine powder spray I’d just bought ( note to self it makes your face orange) she was bruised bloodied and banged up but she survived ..I told her she looked like a ROCKY extra that made her smile ..she was a tough Yorkshire lass … who now has a great party story.
Next we visited Geysir the hot springs park just down the road and where the number 5 tallest geyser in the world erupts every 5 – 8 minutes. A rope keeps you just far enough to be safe , but two young boys were scolded by steam when the wind suddenly changed a couple of months earlier.
At the weekend Reykjavik kicks into full swing and the main street is full of bars which get busy around 1am , very strange walking around with sunglasses on in the middle of the night / day . It’s a friendly place and everyone speaks English. It’s so close to England can’t believe we never went before ..so if you are thinking about it … F@£& it , book it .. you won’t be disappointed.