Friday, 19 May 2017

Iceland part 1

I think this will be one of several Iceland posts, as I have so many photos!  It was a fantastic trip, everything I'd hoped for.  I had been getting increasingly nervous - why book such an adventurous trip for the first family holiday abroad?  What's wrong with a package deal?! But the planning worked out and it all went smoothly.

We flew from Luton on Easyjet, on a very early flight.  My alarm went off at 2.45am - ouch!  

I'd paid a little extra (£3 each) to fast track through security, and booked fast track flight tickets.  This meant it took 20 minutes to get from the airport entrance to the departure lounge!  I would definitely do that again.  Worth every penny not to queue with three kids.

We arrived, and were picked up by the car hire people and taken to their nearby showroom. Rob drove all week, and deserve a medal for handling an unfamiliar automatic left hand drive car.

Our first place to stay was an Airbnb apartment in downtown Reykjavik, near the old harbour.

We were starving, and went to the harbour looking for fish and chips.  We found some - delicious!  We sat eating, looking at the boats and the sea and the mountains.  Apart from some chips later in the week, this is the only time we ate out.  Iceland is very expensive, and to be able to go we had to do it as cheaply as possible.  Two fish and three portions of chips cost £35.  Self catering all the way!

Very cool street art near our apartment.  Reykjavik has so much.

In the afternoon we went to a swimming pool called Laugardalslaug.  It was the perfect thing to do.  Museums would have been too much, the kids were really tired from their early start (especially Betsy, she was exhausted and upset by things she would normally take in her stride).  

We did the whole shower naked thing.  The girls and I agreed that if the changing rooms and showers were as lovely as this at home, we'd be happy to do it all the time!  

The pool was lovely and warm, heated (as everything is) geothermically.  I'm not sure if that's even a proper word, but never mind.  There were lots of floaty things to use, and balls, and a basketball hoop, and water slides, and hot tubs.

Then back to the apartment for dinner and an early night zzzzzzz.

Up and out on Tuesday.  We headed towards the Golden Circle.  First was Pingvellir National Park.

Views over the largest lake in Iceland.

Walking between two tectonic plates.

 Rob and Betsy took the long way round.

Fred and Meg and I didn't!

The view from our picnic bench.

Back on the road, heading to Geysir.

Now, Geysir was wonderful.  For some reason, the place just made me so happy, I couldn't keep the smile off my face.  It was so different to anything I've ever seen before.  I loved it.

Geysir hasn't erupted for some years now, but Strokkur goes up every few minutes.

One of the beautiful hot pools.  The blue is so gorgeous.

We sat and had some snacks here, and watched so many drivers ignore the speed bump sign and scrape their hire car on it!  

Next stop - Gullfoss.  It had been cloudy all day.  How lucky we were that the sun came out, and we got to see rainbows!

We were next to this in the car park.  It was massive!

That was the sightseeing done for the day, so we headed to our home for the night.  It was another Airbnb, this time a wood and corrugated metal cabin on farmland.  A beautiful place, so cosy and comfortable.  Rob went for a trail run.  There was a dramatic sunset over the mountains.


I'll do a new post for the next two days.

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