Leaving behind the arrivals hall at Keflavik Airport we headed along the south coastal road bound for the Hotel Ork in Hvergardi, our home for the next 7 days. A very warm welcome from all the staff, but not most of good friend Dakri, who couldn’t do enough for us.
This is my first visit to Iceland and I thought I knew what to expect – oh, how I was wrong! It may have been slightly grey and freezing cold when we arrived but you don’t come to Iceland for the glorious weather, you come for the landscapes, the beautiful captivating landscapes! The snow was glistening as I looked over the lava fields to the coastline. Steam coming from the pore holes was quietly drifting off into the cloud-covered sky. The wind whistled across the road, blowing just a small mist of snow underneath the wheels of the car creating a slightly eerie yet captivating sight. Welcome to Iceland!
As I woke on our first morning, Friday, I was surprised to see wall-to-wall blue sky, with the bright, warm sunshine reflecting of the glistening snow. It was a balmy -3 degrees and it was with this that we set off east along route 1. I’m told this road will become a very close friend as the week goes on, as almost every day we turn out of the hotel and head along it.
We started out today with a stop at a brand new excursion soon to be offered to Rayburn Tours groups. I can’t tell you much more right now as it’s a ‘secret’ and not for me to reveal, but it’s definitely one to add to your next itinerary as you won’t be disappointed – I’m sure my colleagues can tell you more if you ask!
Then it was on to see our good friends at the Husid Guesthouse. Jana and Gudni welcomed us in to their beautiful home with open arms, and the introduction of their beautiful four week old baby boy. If you’re not blown away by the sight of Eyjafallajokull or the Westmann Isles seen from the Guesthouse, you’ll have a fantastic stay in this home-away-from-home. They gave us a small taste of the Icelandic culture and cuisine, just a snippet of what groups can come to expect when staying here. It was only when I flicked through the guestbook, showing years and years of visitor’s comments – many of which were schools who travelled with Rayburn Tours. To see what a wonderful time they had here at the Husid Guesthouse was a truly heart-warming moment – and to be honest, it’s easy to see why!
I’ve woken today to no snow and slightly cloudy skies. Part of me is a little sad that Bury Church of England School who we are meeting at the airport this morning won’t be welcomed by the same white snow and blue skies that we experienced yesterday, but I know they won’t be disappointed.
At this point, I should probably introduce my travelling companions, Jackie, Ross, Jake and Steve. We are here to capture the majestic landscapes, live geography and the real essence of a school geography trip to this fantastic wonderland on camera. This masterpiece will be unveiled at the Geographical Conference in April.
I am off., but be sure to check back later for an update on the arrival of our group and to find out more about our Icelandic Adventure.