Flying, you either love it or you hate it right? Well if you want to see the wonders of nature and the beauty of the world, you at least have to tolerate it, much to my chagrin. If you get your girlfriend a gift which involves a holiday you have to grin and bear it. I hate it, and while the earth may look pretty at fifteen thousand feet, and you may reach your destination in record time, I still prefer the good old fashioned modes of transportation. Ones were you are not jam packed and rolled up into the smallest possible space to fit in the maximum amount of people, give me a boat, or a car, hell even give me a horse and cart over a plane. That being said Iceland is in the middle of no where, and our flight was a smooth one, a small success.
On arrival to Iceland you are immediately struck with how sparse the landscape is, there is so much empty space, and nearly every direction you look you have a beautiful backdrop of some far flung mountain, or glacier. It truly is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and the transportation from the airport to Reykjavik is really simple. Little tip for anyone planning to go, take your money with you and get it changed up in Keflavik airport, as you don’t get charged and therefore get a better exchange. Travelling to Reykjavik you have to either go by car, taxi or bus/coach as there is no train stations, in fact I don’t think there are any rail networks in the whole country (at least we never saw any), however the trip doesn’t take long and if you go by Reykjavik incursions they even have wifi on the coach.
Reykjavik is not like any capital city I have ever seen, if you didn’t know where you were you could mistake it for a town, not a capital city. There isn’t hordes of rampaging tourists, or hordes of people rushing around from one business meeting to the next. You don’t have to duck and dive around people on the streets, or take part in some urban assault course as you move around the capital. Like everything in Iceland, it is beautiful, simplistic and intriguing. Walking down the main street (Laugavegur), there are tourist shops to buy trinkets, clothes shops, tourist centers, bars and restuarants, everything and anything you really need. There is a lot of charm found simply walking around the city, some beautiful street art as well. We walked up to one of the churches in Iceland called Hallgrimskirkja (below), it is such a strange looking church and so beautifully designed.
On the first day we only had a little scout around the city center, as later that evening we were heading back to go hunting for the Northern Lights. We were staying in a hotel a little outside of the center, Icelandic Air Hotel, which is by the domestic airport of Reykjeavik and decided to walk back from the church to do a bit more exploring and have some fun in the snow. The weather of Iceland while cold in some parts, it isn’t as cold as you would think. On the first day the weather was comparable to a UK winter, that being said we still had thermal clothing, and I would suggest packing warm clothing if you are going in winter as the temprature does drop quite a bit at night. Our hotel it self gave us free bus rides into the city center, but it is only a 5 minute walk, the hotel had a friendly atmosphere and they helped us book and arrange our tours (there is a tourist point within the hotel). Once back at the hotel we had a little respite before excitedly heading out to the harbour to go searching for the mystical northern lights….