Iceland 2011: Arrival

I keep hearing about what a surprisingly mild climate Iceland has – protected by the warm Atlantic current, maybe a bit of snow in winter occasionally, but not as cold as you’d think – no colder than New York, according to the inflight magazine. I haven’t seen a lot yet but I think Iceland is a very appropriate name. My view from the sky was of a frozen white wasteland (although I mean that in a nice way – it was spectacular.) It was also still light enough to see things outside at 4.30pm despite the sun officially setting over an hour earlier. It is snowy and there’s a bite in the air but it’s not unpleasantly cold. I didn’t see much on the drive over to Reykjavik either but I could see that the Reykjanes peninsula isn’t a field of black lava as I was promised but a winter wonderland.

Turns out the northern lights aren’t being switched on tonight so the trip to look for them is cancelled and I should get in touch with Iceland Excursions tomorrow (hoping the hotel will do this as they’re the ones IE actually contacted). This is why I planned this for the first night, so I’d have other opportunities because I know the lights are unpredictable and in the meantime, I get an evening in. My room is nice, I can’t get into the minibar which is probably just as well and it’s absolutely true that hot water here smells of rotten eggs. I am not looking forward to trying out the shower. It was cold but I’ve folded up the curtains so the heat from the radiators comes into the room and not straight out through the windows and turned the radiators up a bit so I have a little tropical paradise in here. It’s snowy outside, deep snow with clear footprints in.

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