At last the day had come, and despite the reports of bad weather and low solar activity we were still hopeful of seeing the lights. With all the camera gear we were taking we were cutting it pretty close on the weight limits with both suitcases being around 19.4kg and just over the 6kg limit for hand luggage.
For an evening meal we ate at Heathrow, but it wasn’t great. To start with we both got different menus with different prices for the same dishes. When we asked which one was the right one we were told that likely neither of them were correct, but as expected it was the more expensive one that was correct. The prices weren’t great either – it was about £10 for a burger or £5 for a bacon sandwich with wedges. We had been told food and drink in Iceland would be expensive, but we didn’t expect to be paying Iceland prices in the UK!
We finished the meal just in time for the scheduled boarding time, but alas the flight was delayed until 21:10. This meant we wouldn’t be able to get to the hotel before 02:00 the following morning. It’s not that ideal when you have to be up 5 hours later. We landed 2hr54 later in the snow, onto a frozen runway. Though the flight wasn’t without drama – about an hour into the flight they asked if there was a medical doctor on-board due to a passenger having an allergic reaction. It’s the sort of thing you tend to believe is reserved for films.
The immigration control was as relaxed as the UK, so didn’t take too long to get through customs, baggage claims and out of the Keflavik International Airport. We expected to queue to exchange our printed receipt for a proper bus ticket, but we were told that wasn’t required and we could just use the printout we’d got.
At the time we arrived in Iceland it was evident it hadn’t been snowing long as there was very little snow on the ground. For the entire bus journey to Reykjavik the snow fell vigorously so that by the time we reached our destination an hour later there was already around a foot of snow. For the snow they were getting it would have ground the UK to a halt. Not in Iceland though, they’re prepared for snow. They use snow plows on the roads, as well as grit and snow tyres so they couldn’t really be any better prepared which is what allowed the coach to travel with some speed.
By the time we got to the hotel and checked in it was 02:55.