Hiking & Northern Lights – Day 2

Some of you eagled eye readers may have noticed this post is long overdue. It has now been over 2 years since I last posted and visited Iceland. Its been a long time since then and I have been on so many adventures since so why not kick off right where we left it? The Iceland Adventures.

If you haven’t already read about the first day in Iceland then find out about it right here.

Day Two – 14th April 2016

After a well rested night its time to wake up early as we have had our first hike planned and also a golden circle tour booked with Artic Adventures . Now before I continue, this trip was mostly guided tours and was worth it for our time in Iceland and for the best views and hidden gems as you’re about to find out.

Getting picked up at 8am and driven about 45 minutes out of Reykjavic to a car park near a local town, Hveragerdi. We suited and booted up for this adventure already before leaving but as soon as we got out the van we found ourselves in the heart of a grand landscape with hills, caves, fields and more for as far as the eye could see. The hike took us through a beautiful valley and hills called the Rekjadalur Valley which is a geothermal area located in the Mt Hengill volcanic range. The start of the hike had a little bridge running over a stream, I couldn’t help but stop and grab a shot on my go pro. As we climbed higher into the range the grass changed to stone and in turn the stone became snow. It was at this point I truly found myself in love with the landscape each step offering a new view of the unravelling land around us. Geothermal features such as the gurgling hot pools and rivers rushing down the hillsides followed by the sounds of warm steam seeping through the cracks in the stone. Not to mention the smells as you gained altitude closer to the geothermal areas; this was all proof of the Hengill volcanic range’s activity being alive below ground.

 

If you thought that was it on this hike then you are mistaken; as we reached the “top” we ventured on to find small waterfalls and colourful pools of water before taking a dip in – one of the most peaceful times on this trip. As I write this I sit thinking back on my trip and realise how amazing it all was. Incredibly scenic and stunning areas that makes the whole trip worth it. This was a highlight of my trip and in my opinion is better than the Blue Lagoon.

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Later that afternoon we ventured around the city is self, which is a must do if you find yourself in Reykjavik, there is a whole host of quirky things to see from little murals of graffiti to quaint houses full of colour and if you really venture in you can find yourself looking out into the Atlantic Ocean with amazing views of mountain ranges. The city itself has some interesting architecture which I will go into more in the next post.

To round this blog post of I have saved something amazing in its own right, and one reason you must visit Iceland, it is of course The Aurora Borealis more commonly known as The Northern Lights. One thing people don’t tell you about when seeing the northern lights is how they actually come into view. Imagine a wisp of smoke streaking in the sky then vanishing. Then again another, white as anything, just dancing way up high above you. Before you know it you’ve spent 30 minutes looking into the sky to see this amazing natural beauty. Then all of a sudden GREENS, BLUES, PURPLES AND REDS the sky lights up glowing in colour. Cameras at the ready you try your best to take the right shot, I know I did, but I also stood back and just watched. Its entrancing to view the dancing patterns fade in and out. A night sky full of life all around you. Then as quick as it came it vanishes to no more. The sky fades to black and the phenomenon that you have witnessed returns to a tranquil state of calm. This was incredible and I’d do it all again.

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If there is one thing you should do it is this and I have a top tip for you right here is to book your northern lights tour early on in the trip as there is no guarantee that you will see them but many companies do offer you a second chance if thats the case.

Thats it, part two is done and as they say better late than never. I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this post and welcome any comments or questions. There will be more to follow as there are still a few days left and many exciting adventures more. So check back soon as in the next post we take a dip in freezing water between two tectonic plates.

Next stop: Reykjavik, Iceland.

Good evening curious readers long time no posts. I return and have exciting news as you may have guessed. The second trip of the year is here already. Reykjavik, Iceland! I am more than excited to head to Iceland as its a landscape I’ve never experienced before. So this week I will be away leaving early hours of the morning on Wednesday and returning on Monday! ADVENTURE.

Accommodation – Hlemmur Square

Ell, my travel companion, booked the accommodation and found the Hlemmur Square. As put on the website the concept is combining the luxury of a hotel and up scaling the hostel accommodation all under one roof. There’s not much to say on this accommodation for now as I can only go from reviews online.

Planning

I have to say this is a highly planned trip and the first of it I’ve ever done to this extent. Using Viator.com we looked for excursions to do whilst out in Iceland and we found them. There are things to do then things + things and all combinations you can think of for many locations. Where this originally looked great it came to our attention that some of the excursions were unavailable at different dates of the year whereas another combination of the same trip would be available.
After what felt like hours of searching and four booked trips later it was without a doubt exciting but the website NEEDS a way to type in the dates and see what’s available during that time. And if they already have it and I couldn’t find it then that’s my own fault.

The Itinerary

Day One:
Flying to Iceland & Blue Lagoon

Flight departure at 7:30am and arrival image5ahours later the first thing that, as I mentioned before in a previous post, that we felt was easiest to do right off the bat was The Blue Lagoon. SPA TIME. Simple as that jumping off the flight then into the oasis of relaxation. You’ve seen the pictures so I don’t need to go any further with that. It spe
aks for itself.
After the session at The Blue Lagoon we will head to the hostel and check out the accommodation and local area.

Over the past couple weeks I have kept an eye on the Aurora Borealis also known as the Northern Lights and we MAY fingers crossed have hopes of witnessing it during this evening! Fingers crossed.

Day Two:
Day Trip from  Reykjavik: Hiking and Hot Springs Adventure in Reykjadalur and Hveragerdi.

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So day two brings us on our first day trip. This is a 7 hour trip of some leisurely hiking and the hot springs. Lets just take a moment to appreciate that these are natural geothermal pools from the volcanic fields. SO MUCH SCENERY TO TAKE IN.

Guided through this area learning about the Reykjadalur Valley in the Mt Hengill volcanic range. I mean come on… volcanoes. The guide will teach us about Iceland’s past and underground volcanic systems during the hike and then also allow us the opportunity to dip into the hot springs.

Day Three:
Snorkelling between tectonic plates North Atlantic and European in Thingvellir National park.snorkeling-in-thingvellir-national-park-from-reykjavik-in-reykjavik-175469

Over the past few weeks I’ve become slightly obsessed with water related activities and you’ll see why in a future post. After researching the trip to Iceland this is an activity that stuck out and I felt like needed to be done. Although here’s the thing… I’ve never snorkelled before. Or at least not what I can remember from childhood holidays so this is definitely an experience to be had now! and of course who can say they have snorkelled between the continents of North America and Europe!
This will be a four hour overall experience but the snorkelling session itself only lasts approximately 40 minutes. The crystal clear waters allowing visibility of about 82 feet. Fear not I aim to get some footage on my GoPro Session and stills to show you after the trip.

Day Four:
South Island tour Waterfalls, Volcanoes and Glaciers. 

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Lets just take a moment to appreciate the fact that Iceland offers an incredible landscape that has Waterfalls, Volcanoes and Glaciers. Just wow, what a world.

This will be around an 11 hour day with an expert guide exploring some of the natural wonders of Iceland. We will be visiting the waterfalls at Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss – must remember to pack waterproofs – then also be able to see the black beaches and basalt cliffs at Reynisfjara. Then continuing the day hiking through the foothills of Eyjafjallajökull and Hekla volcanoes then move onto the Sólheimajökull glacier which is dated to around 700 years! INCREDIBLE. What a day to be had with all this I may run out of space on my SD cards.

Day Five:
Golden Circle Tour and Secret Lagoon visit

small-group-golden-circle-tour-and-secret-lagoon-visit-from-reykjavik-in-reykjavik-187500Now approaching the last day of the trip we have a golden circle tour in the most relaxing way. Revisiting the Thingvellir National Park and exploring the Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir hot springs. Something I have seen friends do and was recommended as seeing the erupting Geysir in Strokkur in Haukadalur geothermal area.
So as you see we start the trip with a spa visit and hot springs and now ending the trip on high with hot springs again. I just like the idea of relaxing in the most beautiful scenic landscapes I will see this year.

Day Six:
Free Morning then Fly home.


With the departure of Ell that morning I leave later in the day -mainly due to cheaper flights – so I have a free day to explore or revisit whatever I want in Reykjavik such as exploring the area around The Sun Voyager a sculpture built as an ode to the sun by Jón Gunnar Árnason.

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Thank you for taking time again to either revisit the blog or if you are new then welcome and feel free to check out my other posts such as what I am up to this year: “THIS GUY IS GOING EVERYWHERE”. I welcome ANY and EVERY recommendations for my travels so if you have been to or want to go to Iceland’s then let me know! I love reading your thoughts. Till the next time readers. See you on the other side.

Just want to give credit to viator and www.sushi-suzuki.com for the photographs as these are not my own but allow visual aid for the written text.