My Officially Unofficial Holiday Post

‘Evening.

If we were having a coffee this week, you’d be looking in to my tired and bloodshot eyes!

This week I’ve been on holiday to Iceland.  I’m not going to give too much away because I’ll do a proper review when I’ve gone through the 400 or so photos I took over the two days.

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So, how about I give you the uninteresting stuff before the serious one which I’ll do before the end of the week?

I quite like midday departures.  They give time to get ready and everything before the flight.  Getting to Iceland was fine.  We landed in Keflavik and got on the bus to transfer to Reykjavik.  We stopped at the bus station to get on to minibuses to transfer to the various hotels that everyone was staying at.  I stepped off the bus and promptly became the only person to fall over after slipping on ice while disembarking.

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My white backpack cleaned some of the dirt off the bus.  So I started with a sore elbow and hip which I didn’t really notice until trying to sleep on my left hand side.

My only other injury came down a lava tube where I banged my knee against the sharp edge of a rock.  No big deal, especially as I was following a super cute tour guide who I was trying not to show pain too.  The super cute tour guide will play a pivotal role in my main review, so I won’t say too much more about her now!

The first day itinerary was a Golden Circle tour.  We got to the first stop which was a geyser.  I walked up to it, probably a couple of hundred metres, and stood there with camera poised and at the ready.

The geyser where I was doesn’t run like clockwork like some of them do; it goes off every 4 to 7 minutes.  I’m not sure how long I was there but I didn’t see it go off before I felt ridiculously dizzy and sick.  I wondered whether I’d been holding my breath without realising while holding the camera, so I tried to regulate my breathing but I had to give up and get out the cold and 55mph gusts.

I hadn’t eaten that day yet, so I went to the restaurant on the site and ate my way through around 3500 krona worth of fish, potatoes, veg and an amazing slice of chocolate cake and felt a lot better.

Next stop was a waterfall – a big waterfall.  I managed to get a few photos before the spray from said waterfall froze on the camera’s filter!

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Last stop of the day was cancelled due to a closed road, so we went to a museum in a supermarket instead, exhibiting information about earthquakes and fault lines.  The museum supermarket was supposed to be an office block but, when excavating the foundations the found it was on a fault line, so built it in to an exhibition instead.  When I first saw it I thought it was fibreglass there for effect.  ‘Twas a rather strange experience to physically see two continents right next to each other.

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That night was the first Northern Lights Spotting trip.  The day had been cloudy and still was really, so I’m not sure that tour should have been on.  I went, stood outside in the cold and more gales just to take photo after photo of cloud cover in the hope of catching something.  I didn’t, which meant a “free” tour the next night to try again.

Was anything visible the next night? You’ll have to wait and see (or check out my Instagram in the bottom corner of this site)!

The thing about Northern Lights tours is that they happen at night (obviously) and, after a bus load of people have been dropped off at their hotels, chances are that you’re only getting back to your hotel around 1 – 1.30am.  This isn’t too bad when your lava tubing expedition is an 8.30 pick up the next morning, but is when your South Coast Tour is a 6.30am pick up.

The South Coast Tour was the best one in my opinion.  It was 15 or so hours in total so was a very long day.  It took in some waterfalls and my favourite part of the holiday visiting Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, which was just breathtaking at sunset with the contrast between the black, scorched volcanic sand and the clear and blue ice.

The reason I’m so tired is that it was 4.30am airport connection this morning, so it’s been a tiring few days.

Hmm… So… Some of the lessons learnt that shouldn’t make it in to a proper article…

  • Cheryl may advertise Elnett hairspray, but it’s rubbish;
  • Especially when Icelandic water seems to be really good for your hair and gives it an unruly amount of volume!
  • Some tourists of a certain demographic are either selfish, naive or just plain stupid in how they interact with others, and it’s infuriating.
  • I discovered giant liquorice allsorts (of sorts), pepperoni and banana pizza and Icelandic yoghurt in Iceland but couldn’t bring myself to try dried fish which shouldn’t be eaten on a bus with other people onboard.

I past the volcano that stopped me getting home from Holland in 2010 and so got the chance to swear at it and give it a piece of my mind in person, man to mountain.

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I think I’ll leave it there for now.  Keep an eye out for the proper post with loads of photos next week!

Getting home was kind of weird too.  I’ve missed a whole load of holidays for various reasons over the last year or so and there were some feels that came back on the way to the airport this morning as I remembered what happened last time I came home.  A lot has happened since, but I’m finding it hard still to close things up.  Literally anything could happen but I want closure rather than alternatives.  Anything else feels like a workaround rather than a solution.

Iceland took up most of my week, obviously.  On Monday I had a fair trek around North West England trying to find a suitably priced camera filter.  On Tuesday I booked something which is really going outside of my comfort zone by a long way.  I’m nervous and excited but, at the moment, it feels like a good thing to do for me.

In fact, maybe I got Monday and Tuesday the wrong way round.  I really can’t remember!

On the blog, I hope regulars didn’t miss me too much.  I published some posts that have been written for a while and some that have been written for not so long.  If you get the chance and haven’t read them already, take a look.

There were no interesting Pokémon in Iceland but I did evolve two new ones earlier in the week so I’m now at 126 in the Pokédex.  I like the way that Muk looks like it’s giving the finger.

I hope you’ve had a great one yourself.

The air was soft and smelled of rain
So out of breath I found you waiting
You bounded through me like a train
One word and I was captivated
Your spark wholehearted
Drifting close and then apart
I think of you each time I felt like feeling confused
This pace requires
Every breath to keep the fire at bay
Or I will find myself entangled up in you

Take my hand move softly
Lead the way don’t let me go
For I am on a journey
With you exploring tomorrow

You like surprises you like dares
So close you cannot see you’re charming
I tell you I’ll always be there
Hoping you’ll stay until the morning
Where we are going
We’re not sure that we don’t know
But all the possibilities feel full of promise
You might reject me
If you do I’ll feel defective
I won’t tell you every moment makes me feel alive

Take my hand move softly
Lead the way don’t let me go
For I am on a journey
With you exploring tomorrow

With every word you play
With every word I say
I stack my mind with so much fear
It’s easier to run
But then we would be done
All our potential stranded here

Take my hand move softly
Lead the way don’t let me go
For I am on a journey
With you exploring tomorrow

I lived on complicated days
But found my love was unrewarding
Now i would think it worth the wait
If our tomorrow comes a-calling

Exploring Tomorrow by Alex Day

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