Ok, so maybe this one should be called “an extreme little adventure”, because winter in Iceland can only be described as intense. In our minds, this adventure was the perfect opportunity to catch the northern lights in all their glory. All the blogs said February and March were the perfect opportunity to see them. In reality, the weather in Iceland during the winter is unpredictable and fast changing. Our 3-day adventure in country was no exception.
Our trip started off in the Blue Lagoon. Straight from the airport, we waded our way through the lagoon in the dark and got to experience the sunrise from these geothermal waters. It was magical and relaxing and a highlight from the trip. With softer skin and icicles in our hair, it started to snow as we were making our way out of the lagoon. It looked like a dream. Our GoPro was a little temperamental in the frozen air, but here is a quick snap of the early morning vibes from the lagoon.
Upon checking into our accommodations, there was a knock on the door and the owner of the Airbnb stopped by to warn us that a storm was blowing in. He taught us how to check the road conditions around the country (www.roads.is) and urged us to stay off the roads for the next two days. Very sweet! That was all I had to hear to start thinking about how we want to adjust our itinerary. However, Frank jumped into adventure mode and our kind host’s words went in one ear and out the other!
So…we ventured out the next morning to see how far we could get. Not even 20 minutes down the road we got stuck in the blizzard with whiteout conditions as roads were closing all around us. Frank was in his glory; I was a nervous wreck. By the grace of God and our friend’s superhero driving skills, we made it back to Reykjavik in one piece!
Mother nature-1; us-0. But it gave us some extra time to explore Reykjavik! It was exactly what I would have pictured a snowy Icelandic town to look like. The people are so warm and the shops/cafes were so eclectic.
Our last day there, we had a break in the weather and even saw some blue skies. Most of the roads had reopened and we decided to try our luck on a journey down the Golden Circle Road to Pingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss. The waterfall was spectacular even half frozen and the Icelandic horses were adorable! At the end of the day, we managed to catch a little of the sunset as the clouds rolled back in, closing out our last day in Iceland.
While the conditions were not right for us to see the northern lights, we did enjoy the parts we were able to experience. And while it was just a small taste of what the country has to offer, it was enough to make us want to return again….next time in the summer months!