On Boxing day we boarded our IcelandAir jet from Heathrow to Keflavik airport in Iceland. A month before we had seen the Northern lights, whales and stunning polar night sunrises in Tromsø, Norway. I had almost no expectations and felt excited to be setting off for our Iceland Winter road trip.
We didn’t know then we would fall in love with the country. Return to drive 2000 miles around it. Come back a further four times and then fly our loved ones over to get married there.
There are four to six hours of daylight in Iceland during December. As we flew away from London we flew towards darkness. There was just enough light as we came in to land to notice the runway was entirely covered in snow, which terrified me but the plane landed without so much as a bump.
By the time we collected our hire car it was pitch black and a blizzard was pelting us from all angles. We stayed in Selfoss, a small town (the next major town outside of Reykjavik). Driving at a snails pace through snow and ice, the drive wasn’t a relaxing one but thanks to wide, well managed roads it felt practically peaceful compared with the treacherous roads of Tromsø.
Seeing The Northern Lights – The Perfect Start To Our Iceland Winter Road Trip
As the blizzard subsided, to my amazement the Northern lights stretched across the sky in-front of us. We pulled over to get a better view but had to continue driving for fear of the weather worsening again. My tripod was packed away so I only got a blurred photo but it didn’t matter. Seeing the Aurora again felt like the perfect welcome.
As we arrived at our accommodation the Northern lights were still visible between the clouds and snow. Everything was blanketed in white and I underestimated just how deep the snow was. Our cabin was so cosy and illuminated with fairy lights.
We set down our things and went to explore the surrounding area, where we found the hot tubs.
One was completely covered in snow and despite a valiant effort from Aaron, we were unable to lift the lid.
We found another which was working and sat in the snow, watching the fading Northern lights above us. It was so cold outside that where my hair had got wet from the hot tub, it froze leaving me with mini icicles dangling from my pony tail. When it was time to get out, we braved the cold and ran back in just our towels, the snow felt so cold under foot it was almost painful but we made it back to the warm cabin hastily.
This post was written retrospectively in November 2016.