Iceland has been getting such a bad press lately that I thought it my duty and pleasure to redress the balance and remind everyone how beautiful and enchanting the country and its inhabitants are. I have much to thank them for: if I hadn’t written about our holiday there in 2007 this blog would never have emerged. Instead I scribbled furiously every day, finding humour, delight, fear and awe in a land awash with natural rugged beauty.
Our fly-drive holiday around the island certainly took me out of my comfort zone. Before we went I was initially quite indignant, having to wander round geeky mountaineering/rambling/cagoule shops to purchase natty waterproof trousers and thermal tights instead of itsy-bitsy bikinis. Thoughts of languishing on a sunbed with a jug of sangria and a steamy bonk-buster had to be cast aside. I don’t ‘do’ cold or windy or rainy on holiday yet here I was preparing for a summer vacation where the temperature might reach a balmy 13 degrees if we were lucky. Boy did I grumble!
The ‘Family Adventure Holiday’ had pre-planned activities which I was dreading. Snow-mobiling, white-water rafting, glacier-hiking: in my mind any activity with a hyphen in the name should be avoided if at all possible. The boys were naturally very excited so I had to keep my thoughts to myself, take a deep breath and try to go with the ice-flow.
Yet, in the end, it was a holiday that far exceeded my expectations.
The High Points:
Hot springs – they may turn your hair to straw and the naked communal showers beforehand may upset the one’s English reserve, but they are damn good. Take me back to the Blue Lagoon please.
The Penis Museum – So many, so little time.
The Low Points:
However, the hyphenated activities, which at the time caused my heart to pound and my stomach to heave, have now become the highlights of the holiday. They have become the stories we tell, the ‘Oh God do you remember when…’ memories that made the holiday so uplifting and joyous.