Last weekend was good and productive though. Kane and I left our tiny human with my mum, took a train, a plane and a bus, and spent a few days in Reykjavik. It was gorgeous but man, Iceland is bleak. Freezing and snowy and windy and sunny and rainy and cloudy - in the space of 5 minutes. The real fuckers were the snowy and the cloudy and tragically we didn't get to see the Northern Lights. As luck would have it (or not), they were incredible the night before we arrived and the night we left. Motherfucking weather. Seeing the Aurora is something I will do before I die, so we'll either be returning to Iceland or going to Norway, Sweden or Finland in the not too distant future.
Not hiring a car was an error that meant we were at the mercy of a tour bus company to get everywhere, including from the airport to our B&B at midnight. Changing buses at the bus station was chaotic but we got there in the end and went straight to bed in our 'cosy' room in the eaves. The next morning we were up bright and early for the Golden Circle tour - a tomato greenhouse (hands down the best bloody mary I've ever had, double points for the early hour), Geysir (the original) hotspring area, Gullfoss waterfall (awesome) and Thingvellir National Park where we walked up the rift between the Eurasian and North American plates. Lava fields and geology porn, it was great.
White out conditions = cancelled Northern Lights tour, so we had dinner then went Aurora hunting with some friends. White out conditions = no joy, so we did some drinking instead. Standard. Discovered Opal, an Icelandic drink that tastes like mouthwash mixed with butterscotch, my new fave so not a totally wasted trip.
The next day was FREEZING. We went on a walking tour of Reykjavik and I swear frostbite was imminent when we left the tour and huddled by a radiator at lunch time. In the afternoon we went up hallgrímskirkja (the largest church in Iceland) for an epic view of the city. We had a wander around the flea market, the harbour, a food festival in the gorgeous concert hall, the tourist shops, the Christmas shop (it's a real thing, year round. There are a couple in London too), then headed back to the B&B for a cup of tea and a rest. The Northern Lights tour was, again, cancelled.
Our last morning we had a leisurely breakfast, packed our shit, and went to hang out at the Blue Lagoon on the way to the airport. I'm sure Iceland has billions of hot pools but the tourist buses pretty much exclusively take you to these ones. Possibly the most touristy thing to do in Iceland, but quite lovely nonetheless. The sun came out and the sky was blue the whole time we were in there playing with the silica face masks and having a drink at the in-pool bar. As soon as we left it started bucketing snow! Would have been lush to be in the hot water while it was snowing, but the sun was nice too. Before entering the water you have to have a naked shower and then get into your togs all wet - there are diagrams on the wall showing you where to wash (everywhere you'd expect). Bizarre.