Friday 10 February 2023

I fell in love with Iceland

 We went to Iceland…


A few years ago, Jasmine mentioned a desire to travel to Iceland. I bought her a keyring with a picture of the Blue Lagoon on it. The idea was, she would get to see the keyring and manifest her trip.


Manifesto later, and we found ourselves looking at hotels to stay at in Reykjavik. It felt like a pipe dream until we made a few tweaks. We found that by flying from Luton Airport, we could save ourselves over £300 each, and found the total bill at £582 each. 

After a little time to ponder, some more research, and a fair dose of dreaming, we decided to go ahead and book our trip to Iceland.


Jasmine oversaw finding out everything we needed to know, as we have become so accustomed to travelling on a package holiday where you don’t really move much from the hotel and grounds. She did an incredible job, and her findings were so golden, I decided to share them here with you. 


We were told by so many people that Iceland was very expensive. We worried about this a little and decided to take extra precautions. Being celiac, I was concerned about the availability of non-gluten-containing food, and so we took things we could eat in the room, such as crackers, tins of ready-made tuna and sweetcorn and Jasmine took a couple of pot noodles. The hotel we stayed in was called the Storm Hotel, and we checked online to see if there was a kettle in the room. Heading to Youtube, I searched for a room tour of the hotel and it showed the kettle, so we knew we could brew up some noodles for Jasmine. My snacks were not the ideal nutrition I could have chosen, but it was legal, and it sounded like it might sustain me while we were using huge energy to adventure around this island. 


Tui had a selection of hotels you could book. Some of them didn’t invite you for breakfast, and some didn’t include any trips. We opted for the version which gave us a trip around the Golden Circle, an evening hunting for the Northern Lights, and breakfast each day. So, our budget was set, we wouldn’t waste away, and we would be able to look around the most famous parts of Iceland.


The blue lagoon was calling us. A morning of bobbing around in the high silica hot springs of the famous lagoon sounded like the perfect way to end the trip. Jasmine set to using the internet to research the costs involved. It was famed for being expensive. It wasn’t cheap. But it was worth it. How can you go to Iceland and not get out the swimming costume? I had heard it was relaxing but I had difficulty imagining that. It was relaxing. We loved it! 

Tickets to the Blue Lagoon were:  £110 each, including transport, a face mask and a drink. We opted for a slushie as it seemed very appropriate. While our face masks were on, we sat listening to a local man tell a story about how the lagoon came to be, who the hidden people were, and many other gems about the tectonic plates, earthquakes and silica. 

The Icelandic people were great storytellers; for me (also a storyteller) this was one of the main attractions. This country was full of wonder and delights and far exceeded my own expectations. I hoped to see some amazing sights but as I detailed in this Instagram post, I didn’t expect to fall in love with Iceland. 


The feeling I had was one of wonder. Nature phenomena were not in short supply in Iceland, and I couldn’t help but feel like a very small human being in the grand scheme of the planet. Sprouting Geysers had a force behind not to be reckoned with, and the heat from the spray soon turned to ice as it drifted across the air. Clinging to the nearby grass, the tiny droplets wove pretty ice patterns, begging us to pull out our cameras. 

My bucket list ticked.

I had always wanted to see a sprouting Geyser. I hadn’t expected it to feel so magical. Perhaps the low-level sun contributed to the magic as it was golden hour all day.


After a short drive between the moon and the sun (one to the west, one to the east) we went to Gullfoss waterfall for the most trying time of the trip. There were stairs to walk down which were covered in ice, so I looked at the handrail. It was also covered in ice. But I knew I needed to hold on to the rail to be able to descend the stairs. It was -13, but the ice did not melt in my hand. My glove stayed dry. My breathing was tricky as I breathed below my scarf. Just my eyes were showing. 

The bottom of the staircase gave me a chance to stop and look up. And there was the inspiring sight of the waterfall. Ice faded into the water as the sides of the fall laughed in their trickery. I didn’t know what I was looking at. But I was inspired enough to remove my hand from my glove long enough to take a photo. 

I was the coldest I had ever been. My legs were tired, my lungs were on fire. This was before I had to climb the stairs back to the coach. I had silently looked for other ways back up, but knowing I had drawn a blank, I faced head down, and began to go up, one step at a time. Breathing heavily into my scarf, the droplets from my breath formed small tear-shaped ice cubes inside my faux fur scarf. At the top, I was proud. I was in awe. 


Our final stop on the Golden Circle was the national park of 

Thingvellir where I was to embrace 

a fear I had of all things ‘vast’ and visiting the tectonic plates. 

They showed us that we were in

Europe to our left, and North America to our right. Several feet 

of ground was separating the

two, and as time goes on, it will split more and more to reveal

 two parts of Iceland. The rate 

is around 2cm per year, so it will take quite some time.

There was another hill to walk down and back up again, but the

views were worth it. 

We were exhausted. 


Our guide for the day was known as Berger, and he was 

‘delighted to announce that Tui have 

Just informed me that the northern lights trip is going ahead 

tonight,’ and we all clapped. This

was such good news, as they always waited for the predictions 

of the aurora borealis to show 

on the KP scores on an app called ‘Aurora’. That meant there 

was a good chance to view the 

Lights – but it was never guaranteed. If you didn’t see them, 

you got to go again and try the 

Next night for free. Jasmine looked and smiled at me, “it’s 4 

Mum.” That was a good 



After snacks back in the room, we headed out to see the best 

lights we could have hoped for.



I never expected to fall in love with Iceland. 


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