Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Our Icelandic Adventure in Reykjavik – Part 1

As I am sure you all know by now, I have become a bit of a traveler in my older years. When I was younger, I was never really into travelling. I would much prefer to stay in the UK and ride my house through the English countryside which was amazing in itself. However, since I met my partner, this has all changed. Last year I was lucky enough to visit three different countries, with this year looking to be equally as good.

For my partners birthday in early February, a group of us, also known as S Club 7, traveled to the beautiful city of Reykjavik, Iceland. Luke has always wanted to go to Iceland since he was a child but as he grew up in Australia, this was always going to be hard due to the distance.

We all finished work early on the Friday and quickly made our way to Gatwick airport to catch our 19:30 flight with WOW air. Luckily we made it in time for a cheeky pint to calm the pre-flight nerves. I am not the best flyer. We landed around 22:30 after around a 3 hour flight, made our way through customs and then to the carpark to look for our beautiful, upgraded (happy birthday Luke) mumma van. F**k it was cold. We decided to hire a car from Europcar whilst we were in Iceland to make the most of what this picturesque place has to offer, and I think it was the best idea we had made. It makes the whole trip a lot cheaper as you aren’t paying for multiple tours, and you get the freedom to do go wherever and do whatever you want.

After piling in the van and Mr Withers being the token driver, it took us around an hour to get to our Airbnb after slowly making our way over the scarily icy road. I found out I am also a very nervous passenger. All I could think of was “don't make unnecessary journeys, don't take risks on treacherous roads”. Scary.

So, when we arrived at our apartment (which you can see here) in one piece, we were more than happily surprised with how it looked. Simple, yet stylish with enough beds for the 7 of us. We did try to find an off-license to get some mixer for our duty free voddy, but everywhere was closed so we went to bed. Party. Mind you, it was around 1.30am by the time we stopped faffing around and had to be up at 7 to go to the Blue Lagoon.

Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik Iceland - Bearded Couture

As we arrived in the dark, we obviously didn’t get to see the amazing views Reykjavik has to offer. So when we started driving along the Icelandic coast, we were in awe of the views. They were incredible. It took us around an hour to get to the Blue Lagoon, so not too long from where we were staying. We bought tickets online prior to our holiday to save some money. We all purchased the ‘Comfort Package’ which cost ‎€55 each and included a visitor pass, entrance to Blue Lagoon, a towel, free drink and miracle masks. You can choose which time you’d like to go, but I would advise the morning if you go during the winter months as you get to see the most breath taking sunrise.

We spent around 3 and a half hours at the Blue Lagoon after basking in the geothermal seawater using multiple facemasks and drinking plenty of cold ciders. Our skin was flawless after, apart from Anala who went a little red. You are allowed to spend your whole day there if you wished, using the restaurant and bar facilities to your hearts content but we had a very strict schedule to adhere to.

Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik Iceland - Bearded Couture

After another 2 or 3 hour drive, we made it to our second stop of the day, the Strokkur geyser. Here you are able to see one of Iceland's most famous geyser erupt up into the sky from the pool it once derived from. We stayed here for 45 minutes or so, watching the geyser doing its thing before heading off to our third and final stop, Gullfoss Waterfall, a short 15 minute drive up the road.

Strokkur Geyser, Reykjavik Iceland - Bearded Couture

I didn’t really know what I was expecting of Gullfoss Waterfall as I hadn’t done any research on it before I left the UK. When we got out the car and started walking closer, this noise got louder and louder. I looked over the edge, and I was more than happily surprised. It was HUGE. The light was fading, so we very quickly (and carefully) walked down the stairs to the viewing point to take as many photos as we can.

Reykjavik Iceland - Bearded Couture

Once our batteries ran out of memory, we made our way back up to mumma van to head back to Reykjavik. We were all craving seafood and found (what we thought was) a lovely harbor-side restaurant called Icelandic Fish & Chips. From the word go, the service was terrible. The waitresses did not care and obviously did not want to be there. Some of us ended up with the wrong meals, or didn’t have everything come out as the menu ‘was wrong’. I did however order the muscles which were really tasty, it was just a shame about the shoddy service. Nonetheless, we all fun in each other’s company, drinking wine and nattering away.

We got back to the apartment around 9pm with our much needed voddy mixer, got ready and started drinking the night away. The nightlife in Reykjavik was great. There are only a few bars, but all in short walking distance to one another. Very handy when drunk when you can roll out of one, and into another next door. Everyone was wasted and I couldn’t tell you how much the drinks were. All I know is that I spent a lot but it was totally worth it.

If I was in the UK, I probably would have stayed in bed all day but this was not an option the next morning. Somehow everyone was up and out the apartment by 11am, some of us feeling more worse for wear than others *coff coff Samantha*. Don’t worry spewy, I won’t go into that…

Find out what else we got up to on day two of our Icelandic trip next week! If you want to take a look at some more of our pictures from our holiday, you can find them here.

Hopefully you’re enjoying our trip so far!