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.

Icelandic Adventures – Day 1

Welcome to the Icelandic Adventures series.

Welcome to the Icelandic Adventures series. When I travel I try my best to keep a book where I take notes of the trip. In most cases this fails and it turns into bullet points here and there but other times I write down where I’ve visited or what someone has said. This is so I can jog memories or to connect the numerous amount of photographs I’ve taken and remind me what they actually are.

With that said excuse me if I miss anything – not that you will know – but I will try my best to cover the highlights of each day in this SIX part series.

My Travel Companion

Before I start I feel like you need to get to know my travel companion a little bit as she was on this trip with me and I practically tagged along to her trip! So without further ado here is my mini interview to Ell! Say hello.

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TMJ – Question One: What made you decide to travel Iceland?

Ell: Mainly because my friend had been staying up North for a few months on a horse ranch and posting pictures of snow and the Northern lights every night and it made me jealous. She invited me to stay but I couldn’t rangle the money together in time before she left to go back to Malta. Then it was going to be a Christmas present for me and my other half but he couldn’t afford it either. So i thought hell no… I’ll go on my own then… And so the flight was booked hehe.

TMJ – Question Two: Where have you travelled to before?

Ell: Mainly Europe. 26 of 50 countries to be specific. Outside of Europe includes Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and New York. And so many more to see…..

TMJ – Question Three: Would you go back to Iceland?

Ell: Defiantly plan to return to Iceland. Only just scratched the surface of what I wanted to see! I will return when I can drive or with someone who can drive me haha.

TMJ – Question Four: What was your highlight of the trip?

Ell: Northern lights! Honestly the most spectacularly beautiful sights my eyes has set its sights on. I will always be wanting to see them again and I plan to!

TMJ – Question Five: On a scale of 1-10 how was travelling with me? 😉

Ell: 10 great travel buddy… Didn’t wake me up on coach journeys which is a plus, upbeat and up for anything.

That last one… well what can I say its a bit of a leading question but Ill take the 10!

Day One – 13th April 2016

The day begins the night before. Tuesday 12th April 2016. In order to get the airport I needed to head to Ells house and then get a train from there to Luton Airport. Pesky travel times meant for a night of travel via trains and coaches. Alas we made it to the airport and then onto the plane itself.
We arrived in Keflavík International Airport at around 10am local time and needed to book our transport to the city. However we had one stop before anything else and that was The Blue Lagoon which was really nice after a long morning of travel. With super friendly staff and a bar it was safe to say a bit of relaxation was just what the doctor ordered. Ell described it as “Super blue, super warm, super chilled.” and she wasn’t wrong it was exactly that.


This whole day was a rather short day for myself as once we left the Blue Lagoon and ran for the coach to get into the city centre we got dropped off relatively close to the hostel – Hlemmur Square – and checked in. Quickly deciding that we needed dinner we popped put for a little explore and found the shops. It was about 7:30pm that I must have crashed out so not long after dinner. From no sleep the night before to ALL of the sleep that evening.