Saturday & Sunday, 14 & 15 January
Off to Iceland in search of the Northern Lights. Dolora and I have been discussing a winter trip, south where it is warm or north to try and see the Northern Lights. Dolora, Greg and I visited Iceland in 2016, a college graduation trip for Greg. We visited Iceland in the the end of May, beginning of June, and it never got dark. For this trip, daylight will be from eleven am until four pm. Last time we drove over 800 miles on the Ring Road, circling the island. This time we will be spending the whole time in the capital, Reykjavík.
The population of Iceland is 370,000 with around 230,000 living near Reykjavík. Prince William County where we live has a population of over 480,000. The winter temperature range is generally between 20 – 40 degrees. Milder than you would expect but you can thank the Gulf Current for that.
Along with a Northern Lights tour, our plans include a visit to the flea market, a walking tour of the city, a food tour and a Golden Circle tour. The Golden Circle tour includes a stop to soak in a hot spring fed lagoon, lunch at a large tomato greenhouse and stops at a pair of waterfalls.
It was off to Baltimore Washington Airport for a 6 o’clock evening flight. Thirty seven degrees in Baltimore. We are flying on Play Air, a budget Iceland airline. Out last trip was on Wow but they have since gone out of business. The flight is about five hours but with the five hour time change we will land at five am. Hopefully a couple hours of sleep on the plane.
Dolora was lucky enough to trigger a pat down after going through the scanner. The flight was mostly full. I had booked a window seat on the left side of the plane hoping to see the northern lights. After some dozing on and off, I was rewarded with some views over Greenland. The lights were pale green. Now I just need to see the northern lights from the ground.
Because of a tailwind, we arrived 30 minutes early at 4:30 am local time. I was a little worried since the guesthouse desk did not open until 7:30. We would be able to drop off bags but check in was at three. Dolora and I found some coffee at the airport and waited for our bus transfer to Sunna Guesthouse. The bus did not leave for a while and we arrived at Sunna a little after 7:30. Temperature was a 14 degree wake up call. Luck was on our side and we were able to check into our room and catch a short nap before heading out for some brunch. Sunrise was about eleven am.
After a delicious brunch at the Sandholt Bakery we walked though town and visited the Reykjavík flea market. Back through town stopping at a grocery then checking out some art galleries and souvenir shops. We stopped in the Hallgrimskirkja Church which is next to our guesthouse before another break before dinner.
Interesting thing about our room. To get there, you enter the guesthouse and walk tthrough, go outside on a balcony, inside another door up some steps and you are there. Very nice, clean, comfortable room. I guess this is how they keep the partiers away. Also if it is after 7:30 in the evening, you need to use your key to enter that first door.
The dinner choice for tonight was Salka Valka. It is nearby and you can feel the cold after the sun went down at 4:30. Lamb shank is on the menu which Dolora has an eye on since our last trip here. I had fish stew and we each enjoyed an Icelandic beer.
We are both tired from lack of sleep and the time change. Tomorrow’s agenda is a food tour at noon and a Northern Lights tour in the evening.